~ DECEMBER 2021 ~
Nearly half of singles wish they had a beau to share their Christmas excitement with – but one in three relish the chance to spend more time with family and friends
Image: Andrew Chin/Getty Images
Christmas is the loneliest day for British singles, who find it more challenging than any other time of year – including Valentine’s Day.
Research into 1,500 singles found four in ten believe this time of year shines a spotlight on their status.
The darker, colder winter weather also sees 34 percent spend more time at home alone.
Just under half (49 percent) would be more excited for this Christmas if they were in a relationship.
But while some might not be feeling the festive love romantically, research commissioned by dating app Plenty of Fish found 52 percent of singles believe seasonal singledom should be celebrated and embraced.
Just under half thrive by packing their diary full of fun, while one in three relish the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends.
Christmas Day itself is when the prospect of prying conversations around their dating and love lives starts to fill singles with dread.
A quarter of single Brits say they’ve experienced this before – with 27 percent being quizzed on their relationship status, 20 percent being asked when they’re planning to settle down, and 17 percent facing questions about their dating schedule by nosy friends and family.
And 40 percent admit that from previous experience, they have always enjoyed this time of year more when they have a special someone to spend it with.
In response to these findings, and with Christmas just around the corner, Plenty of Fish has launched a “Self-Elf Holiday Helpline” to help singles combat the festive blues.
Throughout December, people can submit their most pressing questions via the blog, with the dating app’s team of relationship experts on hand to be the virtual voice of reason and offer advice on how to successfully navigate new relationships and seasonal singledom.
The research, carried out via OnePoll, also found single Brits are increasingly turning to digital means to enhance their social circles.
Being able to meet people they wouldn’t have otherwise (40 percent), spending more time at home since the pandemic (30 percent) and lacking the confidence to approach new people in real life (35 percent) are key drivers of the trend.
And the demand is growing, with 32 percent of dating app users seeking a greater sense of community from their experience – where they can meet friends as well as dates.
Resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish, Kate MacLean said: “Although Christmas can be lonely for singles, it’s great to see that so many are using the festive period as a time to connect with new and old friends, and see their single status as something to be celebrated rather than shied away from.
“The digital space is playing a big part in that, with people increasingly turning to dating apps and social media as fun, engaging spaces to meet others with shared interests, strike conversation without any pressure, and perhaps even develop a spark.
“And we hope to play our own part in helping members to create meaningful relationships and friendships, so the festive period is one full of love for everyone.”
As a dating app with community at the heart of it, Plenty of Fish will continue to update its livestreaming experience in 2022 – allowing like-minded singles with shared interests to connect as friends first on their search for love.