Looking for love in the new year? Online dating peaks in January

Rosa Golijan / NBC News / Today

Those looking for love online better focus right now — statistics suggest that the time period between Christmas and Valentine's Day is when romance flourishes online.

According to data provided to TODAY.com by Match.com, the dating site typically sees a 25 to 30 percent increase in new members registrations between Dec. 26 and Feb. 14. During this time, other activities — such as searches and on-site communications — occur at a higher rate as well.

Match.com's highest activity peak in the last year, a 55 percent increase in registrations, occurred on Jan. 2, 2012, close to that of its UK-based counterpart with the same name. (That site's annual peek occurred just before 9 p.m. local time on Jan. 1, according to UK-based publication Daily Mail, and led some to suggest that this is the very best moment in the entire year to seek out a partner.)

The idea that people are looking for love in the chilly winter months crammed between two holidays is backed up by data compiled by Facebook. Trends in relationship status changes in 2010 and 2011 show that some of the biggest net increases in new relationships (based on users changing their relationship status fields from "non-coupled" (meaning "single" or "divorced," for example) to "coupled" (such as "married" or "in a relationship") occurred on Dec. 24, Dec. 25, Feb. 14, and Feb. 15. These days saw from 22 to 49 percent more new relationships than break-ups.

The romantic times aside, love doesn't seem to conquer all. According to Facebook, the most common relationship status change in 2012 was to "single." The social network found that 40.5 percent of relationship status fields went from coupled to "single" over the last year. (Keep in mind that this change can include folks who previously had a blank relationship status and finally got around to filling out the field.) On the bright side, 29.2 percent of profiles updated to "in a relationship," 8.2 percent to "engaged," 7.2 percent to "married," and 7.5 percent were toggled to a blank.

What we can take away from all these details is that we are not alone in being alone (or lonely)? There are plenty of fish in the sea all year long — but January, in particular, may give you a bigger selection than usual.

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