July 8 Is The Biggest Day For Online Dating, So Here's How to Maximize Those 24 Hours
Look alive, friends, because the hottest day of summer is upon us — and before you get all panicky about stranger sweat on the subway, I should clarify: the hottest day for romance. Don't ask me what the hottest day of summer will be, temperature-wise. I don't know the weather.
Anyway, Match combed through over 20 years of its user data and pinpointed Sunday, July 8 as the best day of the summer for dating. On this sexiest of days, Match forecasts a 20 percent increase in activity compared to Valentine's Day, famously (if arbitrarily) designated the day most likely to make people feel very horny and also very alone.
According to Meredith Golden, a dating app ghostwriter, dating coach, and general expert in this arena, there's some logic to the seasonal trend. "After a long and cold winter, people are more motivated to get off the couch, leave their apartments, and meet someone new," she tells Bustle.
With respect to July 8, the timing makes a sort of sense: After a big holiday often marked by group events — classically, the holidays — people seem to swipe with a little more abandon. On this particular sexy Sunday, you may be coming off a very long weekend spent watching couples cuddle up under the fireworks. Maybe you passed the mini-vacation splashing around in the sea and started thinking how fun it would be to have a special someone to splash with. Or maybe you finally dumped your toxic ex after they drunkenly rampaged through your July 4 cookout and overturned the barbecue buffet, who's to say? Whatever the particular catalyst, July 4 is a holiday, and it is my personal theory that holidays leave people feeling jazzed on days-long celebrations, or a little lonely, or some combination of the two that lends itself particularly well to soliciting strangers.
That said, dating apps regularly spotlight particular days as golden moments of opportunity, probably because people like me can be relied upon to advertise them and possibly turn their predictions into self-fulfilling prophecies. Summer app usage, Golden notes, might be thwarted by a sunshiny day that draws people into outdoorsy pursuits and away from their phones. Still, she has this heartening insight to share with everyone hoping to meet their match on July 8: "There's definitely an increase on dating follow-through during the warmer months."
So now that you have the steamiest day of summer penciled into your planner, I imagine you'd like to know how to maximize those fleeting 24 hours of extra potential. Start working on your selfie face, scripting your winning openers, and scoping out new date spots, because Golden has the intel.
1. Curate Your Pictures
Before anyone gets to your hilarious bio, they're going to view a slideshow of your face. So make sure you pick winners: Golden recommends three to four pictures in which your face is featured (no! more! torso! shots!) and in which, ideally, you're smiling and radiating happiness. Or showcase your sparkling personality with a humorous photo or two. Just no "drinking coffee inside while wearing a hat and looking at your phone" pics, Golden cautions.
"This seems straightforward and obvious, but given what I see all day long, I'm often surprised by the pictures people choose to post," she says. "Here's a good rule of thumb: If you'd be embarrassed if your employer or colleague saw the pic, don't use [it]."
2. Take The Time To Write A Bio
"The description is necessary to use as a springboard for chatting," Golden says. Do not skip the bio, even if you do find it hard or stifling to encapsulate your whole personality in the length of a tweet. You must have something to say about yourself.
A suggestion: Get creative! Use emojis, shout out things and activities you like, list favorite movies and foods, make jokes — do anything other than saying, "Applicants must be X, Y, and Z." Because, as Golden says, you won't get far if you tie yourself to a checklist.
3. Be Open-Minded
Although dating apps invite users to immediately judge strangers, mostly on the basis of appearance, Golden urges you to "swipe on someone who you might otherwise ding" this July 8. "And don't get stuck on height," she says. "I'll often hear, 'But I only date over 6 feet! This one is 5'9", no way.'"
If you actually meet and hit it off, the superficial things won't matter. And if you have been cruising through the apps, looking for love to no avail, then it may be time to consider that the "type" you tend to pick isn't the type for you.
4. Be Generous With The Likes
Remember, this is a numbers game. In line with liking people on whom you might typically pass, Golden stresses the importance of volume in racking up the matches. "Focus on as many singles as your time allows," she says.
5. But Mind Your Timing
Basically, when it comes to messaging, timing is everything: You don't want to seem like you have nothing else to do, and if you're in the market for serious dating, you probably also want to avoid "u up?" messages. That said, most people mess around with their phones during long and boring workdays (odds seem especially good on the Monday after a long weekend), so plan your follow-up accordingly.
"When I see a single message at 3 a.m., I delete them immediately — unless of course it's a college student," says Golden, who, again, ghostwrites app responses. She recommends the spacious 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekday window for reaching out, rather than weekends.
"When I see a single message one of my clients at 1:00 p.m. on a Saturday, I wonder why they aren't out and about enjoying the day," she says. And while, to be fair, it's possible to check your phone and also engage in fun activities, what definitely sends up a red flag is the Saturday night message.
"I once had a client who would do all of her outreach on Saturday night at 9 p.m.," Golden says. "She didn't understand why no one responded... She switched her outreach to weekdays and during work hours, and instantly got responses...and dates!"
6. Finesse Your Opening Line
When striking up an app conversation with a new match, Golden emphasizes that questions with clear parameters fare better than open-ended inquiries. For example, asking someone, "How are you?" is both boring and likely to beget something along the lines of "fine." Conversation stalled before it even began!
Go with something that advances the exchange. Golden suggests a few samples: Ask, "Who are the last three people you texted?" or, "You look like a celebrity but I can't put my finger on it, who is your doppelgänger?" But, if you're actually looking to date and the person hasn't flagged a readiness to answer intimate questions in their bio, don't make demands like, "Tell me about some sex you just had." (A real life message someone recently sent me on Tinder.) No one comes to the app, the office, the bar, or anywhere else looking to be sexually harassed!
Still in need of some ice breaker inspiration? Try this short list of openers.
7. But Maintain Some Chill
It feels emphatically strange when someone immediately jumps into your DMs with a date invitation, before any words have been exchanged. So even when you're excited about a match, keep your cool.
"The immediate ask is a repellent!" Golden says. "After three to four days of chatting, an invitation to meet should be extended. Chatting longer than this with a stranger becomes draining. It's better to just meet IRL and see if there's chemistry!"
Plus, she adds, a person who doesn't make the offer after you've been talking for this long probably doesn't intend to ask you out. Please don't feel like the ball lives in the other person's court, because you are welcome to take the initiative, but do strategize. If the person you're chatting shows lukewarm interest, move on to someone else, she says.
8. Make A Game Plan
July 8 is but 24 hours long, and you might be tempted to cram in as many meet-ups as possible. (Sunday, after all, does have a reputation as best date day of the week.) Golden doesn't actually hate that plan, so long as you execute it properly.
"I wouldn't suggest back-to-back dates every day of the week, because it will illicit dating fatigue," she says. "But for one day, to just go for it? Sure, why not!"
Of course, it's up to you. Have fun — and good luck — on your three consecutive Sundaytes.