CLEVELAND — If you’re single and looking to get back into the dating game – then Sunday is your day!
It's called "Dating Sunday" – the busiest online dating day of the year, according to several apps and websites. Experts call it the Super Bowl of online dating.
The unofficial holiday falls on the first Sunday after New Year’s Day, which makes it the perfect date for single people looking to find love. That’s because there’s plenty of folks who made New Year’s resolutions to find a new spouse, are trying to get over a break-up or the holiday blues, or looking for a Valentine.
Popular dating apps and websites say Dating Sunday is when they get the most sign-ups and messages sent between users. Match predicts an 80% increase in activity from single people on its app.
January is also the busiest time of year for local matchmaking and dating service It’s Just Lunch in Independence.
“My best advice for daters – if you went on a date and had a good time, go on a second date. You know sometimes there’s red flags on a first date, or sometimes people are nervous – it’s a first date, you’re just getting to know each other. So be open-minded and you’re going to have success,” Ashley Bakewell, a senior matchmaker at the company, said.
Watch out for dating scams
Dating Sunday is also prime time for scammers to prey on those looking for love.
There’s two scams in particular singles should be aware of.
The first is called “sextortion.” Basically, the scammer talks to someone online or through an app and then encourages them to start sending intimate photos. Then, they will threaten to send out those photos unless they’re given money.
The second is the blind date scam.
A scammer will set up a first date and then while their date heads to the bathroom or is distracted, they’ll take off with their belongings.
Experts say singles can protect themselves by guarding their privacy – like not sharing last names or phone number – and using reputable sites.
Its also advised to Google dates before you meet with them – and always meet in a public place.
“Follow your gut and your instinct. You know, your body is going to tell you if you should be worried about this person. If you’re trusting them, then they’re probably a good person, but always have your guard up and follow your gut, I think that’s very important,” Bakewell said.
Another tip – make sure to tell a friend or family member who you’re meeting and where, and check in before and after your date.