Looking to return to dating apps in 2023? This might be the best day to do it

Written by Leah Sinclair

Some experts predict that ‘Dating Sunday’ will be the best day to be on a dating app in 2023. So why people should embrace it?

The idea of using dating apps in 2023 can stir up many emotions. Whether it’s feeling fatigued by the whole process and being bored of swiping from one person to the next, or experiencing a new desire to meet people IRL, our interest in dating apps seems to be waning. 

Google search data suggests that people were 10% more likely to consider deleting a dating app in 2022 than they were in 2021 – with searches related to cancelling Tinder up by 35% year-on-year (searches around cancelling Hinge and Bumble were up 33% and 25% respectively). This has coincided with a resurgence in interest in offline dating opportunities, from Bumble’s new IRL speed dating events to the rise of singles parties.

However, if you’re still interested in keeping all your dating options open, including the apps, there’s one day in January that may be of interest: Dating Sunday.

‘Dating Sunday’ (which this year falls on Sunday 8 January 2023) refers to singles joining new dating apps or returning to old favourites on the first Sunday of the year, and is driven by the ‘new year, new me’ feeling many experience during this time.

The term can be traced back to 2016 and refers to the sweet spot between the new year and Valentine’s Day, when people are eager for new experiences – with dating at the top of their agenda.

Typically, dating apps experience a massive surge in users and activity on Dating Sunday. In 2018, the app Coffee Meets Bagel saw a 75% increase on the first Sunday of the year compared to the previous 30 days, while Tinder experienced a 41% jump in downloads from the week before. Inner Circle, meanwhile, is expecting a 40% increase in new members on Dating Sunday 2023. 

“Dating Sunday is the Super Bowl of the dating world, and this January will be no different,” says Masha Kodden, Inner Circle’s CEO. 

“On this day every year, we see a surge of new members joining the app and a huge increase in activity – chats, likes and swapping numbers – particularly in the evening between 7pm and 10pm.”

Kodden says that 2022 has been a particularly tough year for singles, with rising inflation and higher costs playing a part along with the emergence of toxic dating trends like winter coating.

However, with so many rushing to dating apps on Dating Sunday, Kodden says it’s the best time for daters to break this cycle and “put their best foot forward and meet someone new”.

But why has Dating Sunday become so popular and how can singles utilise it? Stylist spoke to Inner Circle’s resident dating expert Crystal Cansdale to learn more.

When did Dating Sunday start to rise in popularity?

“2022 saw us hit the milestone of 10 years of dating apps, but it was around 2016 when we really started to see the ‘Dating Sunday’ trend – a significant spike in activity amongst singles on the first Sunday of the year,” says Cansdale.

“Everyone wants the new year to be better than their last – the ‘new year, new me’ feeling also motivates daters to put old, toxic habits behind them and seek out others looking for the same thing. This, combined with the fact that January (and particularly Sundays) can feel a little boring, drives singles to get swiping and leads to the Dating Sunday boom.”

Why is Dating Sunday important for singles looking to date?

Cansdale says Inner Circle and other dating apps often see a new surge of members joining the app and an increased activity during this time, making Dating Sunday “the best day of the year if you’re looking to land a date”.

“We expect matches to increase by 30% on the day, and a 40% spike in new members – meaning more chances of a date and more singles to choose from,” she says.

Is there a risk of apps being oversaturated with people on Dating Sunday?

With an influx of people predicted to be on dating apps on the first Sunday of the year, it can be harder to weed out the good from the bad – but Cansdale says the key is to always go for “quality over quantity”.

“It’s not about getting as many dates as possible, it’s about being authentic to yourself and matching with like-minded people who tick your boxes,” she says.

“Daters are bored of low-effort chat and dead conversations. To help singles date better and have quality conversations, having different features like decision prompts helps.”

What are some tips for people who want to make meaningful connections on Dating Sunday?

“Setting dating intentions and being clear on what you want is important,” says Cansdale. “Whether you’re trying to get back into dating after some time off or looking for something a bit more long-term, that’s all fine – as long as you’re upfront. Be clear about what you’re looking for – it’ll help you attract the right people and the best matches for you.

“It’s also important to spend some time getting to know the person. Spending some time asking the right questions helps to see if your match would be compatible with you.”

Cansdale adds that if you’re keen to make some meaningful connections this Dating Sunday, send out a few likes and put yourself out there to those you have things in common with.

“The more effort you put into dating, the more you’ll get out of it – with data showing the more active you are, the more engagement you’ll get, and the more times you’ll appear to other potential matches.”

Image: Getty

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