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UK News

Christian online dating doubles leading up to New Year

by Tola Mbakwe

ChristianConnection.com, the UK's largest Christian dating site, said it had a 50 per cent increase in membership last season and expects the same this time around with a peak in the beginning of January.

Jackie Elton founder and managing director of Christian Connection told Premier the mood post-Christmas has a lot to do with it.

She said: "Just as all the plates are tidied away and people start to think about what's next, we find that the activity on our dating site and everybody's [sites]starts to rise very dramatically."

Earlier this year, 3rd January was the busiest day for industry leader Match.com. It said the average dating app user will scroll through 43 different profiles on the date, with activity increasing by 37 per cent.

Elton added: "People are thinking about the year that's ahead and think it's time for a change, sometimes a relationship has broken up, but mostly people are just looking to find somebody who they are going to share the coming year with.

"Also they have time. They've got several days off work and it's dark and cold outside."

While, most people are relaxing from Boxing Day to the New Year, Christian Connection ramps up its staff from late December into January to deal with increased web traffic. In January 2017, the website recorded half a million messages exchanged between members.

Joff Williams Communications Director at Christian Connection told Premier it's not likely these are just Christmas flings either.

"Something really interesting is we measure meaningful conversations.

"What we define by that is that there are three parts of the conversation someone sent a message, there's been a response, and the first person had replied.

"We see the number of meaningful conversation go right up in January. This goes back to the intention, people are engaged with the process, and they're going on the site because they really want to meet someone."

Tony and Marion on their wedding day

The Christmas/ New Year love-bug caught Marion and Tony Keys-Barros. It wasn't in front of their computer screen, but through a Christmas party organised by Christian Connection in 2014.

"One of the big barriers to online dating is people don't move from relating online to meeting face to face. If you don't meet face to face, you're not going to build a relationship," Elton said when explaining the purpose social events organised by dating sites.

Tony told Premier he wasn't shocked by the rise of those seeking love online: "I think what happens during Christmas people spend a lot time with family, for single people it can be quite lonely and what could happen is that they start thinking about New Year resolutions and one of them is to do something about your singleness."

Marion who has been trying online dating for a while before meeting Tony said: "there's something special about meeting your partner around Christmas.

"It was very romantic."

"What attracted me to Marion was her smile. Men tend to need bit of a nudge and encouragement, if a woman is smiling it makes her more approachable," her husband added.

To learn more about Christian Connection, click here.

Listen to Tola Mbakwe's report here: 

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