The Secret to Nailing the Biggest Online Dating Day of the Year: Wear Sneakers

Photo: Getty Images/Bloom Productions
If dating apps had a Super Bowl, or an Oscars, or a Mardi Gras ... today is that day. According to the data scientists at Hinge, Bumble, OKCupid, and more, Sunday is always the busiest online dating day of the week. (As you try to make sure that next weekend is better than the one you just had?) But Sunday, January 6, is predicted to be the biggest of the year.

And it's based on math, from the past two years. According to Hinge data, on the first Sunday after New Year's Day, you're likely to get a 20 percent bump in conversations and a 36 percent higher response to messages.

"It's the perfect trifecta," Julie Spira, author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating, told USA Today. "You have people recovering from a breakup or who were down during the holidays, you have all those New Year's resolutions, and you have the clock ticking down to Valentine's Day."

But hey, do we really need to be so fear-based about it? Here's a better way to count down the clock to Valentine's Day: being all about the (self-)love, with daily restorative yoga sessions, followed by a hot bath with your rose quartz crystals. Now that's a good time.

Women are 166 percent more likely to get "likes" on a photo where they're playing sports. (For men, it's only 45 percent.)

But! If you're working that app game, today is the day when your efforts will reach the biggest audience. (If you're going to do it, do it right...right? Optional: Blast "All I Do Is Win" while you swipe.)

So, besides the importance of January 6 in pretty much every single person's social life, what else have the dating experts uncovered as they dug into the data?

First of all, let's talk about selfies. They are 40 percent less likely to receive a "like"—and bathroom selfies are 90 percent less likely to get one, according to Hinge data. Same for Snapchat filters: They shoot down your chance of getting a reaction by 90 percent.

Black and white photos, though? They're twice as likely to get a reaction than color pics. For women particularly, these are the go-to engagement boosters: smiling with teeth (up 76 percent), looking away from the camera (up 74 percent), and standing alone (up 69 percent). So, here's your best excuse to do a moody black-and-white photo shoot while you look wistfully into the distance (AKA the dream!). Just don't wear sunglasses—or you'll see "likes" plummet 41 percent.

Speaking of living the dream, this data point was by far the most interesting from the Hinge deep dive: Women are 166 percent more likely to get "likes" on photos where they're playing sports. (For men, it's only 45 percent.) And yes, that means out of everything in your closet, the one thing you should wear in your profile pics is the thing you want to wear all the time, anyway: your sneakers.

There's so much depressing news about dating—case in point: rebating, orbiting, and of course ghosting—that this feels like a major breakthrough. If we're now living in a world where posting an action shot from a tennis match, in all your sweaty, sneaker-clad glory, gets you more dates than the old heels-and-a-nice-dress approach, then maybe the future really is female. And hey, you might as well set expectations early—because you'll probably be wearing sneakers on your first date, anyway.


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