The Best Way to Return to Dating Apps in 2023

Young Woman Showing Something to Young Man - Smartphone

If you took a little break from dating apps during the holiday season or even swore them off last year, we don’t blame you at all. Sometimes, we all need a little pallet cleanser, and that cleanser often comes in the form of deleting a dating app… Or three.

In the end, no matter why you decided to get off dating apps, or even if you’ve never downloaded one before, we support it. Dating apps aren’t for everyone; they can sometimes create more negative feelings and emotions than they’re worth. Plus, you can sit on the apps for hours and swipe on what feels like every single person who has ever lived, but still, you are waiting for results, and that’s frustrating.

But it’s 2023 now, and it’s time to return to the apps in a new and improved way. Now you’re healthier, well-rested, and getting after your goals for the new year. If one of your goals is to get into a healthy and wonderful relationship, we’re here to help you by providing the best advice for how and when to redownload your dating apps in the new year.

The Fall of Dating Apps

It’s no secret that dating apps received a massive popularity boost after the pandemic. People stuck inside their houses yearned for a way to get back out at life and form genuine connections. Apps like Tinder were more than willing to help people out. They lifted their distance restrictions and allowed their users to talk to virtually everyone and anyone if they so desired.

But after the pandemic and the lockdown happened, even though dating apps were still very popular — and we doubt they’ll ever go out of style, especially now in the digital age — there is a lot of data that suggests “That people were 10% more likely to consider deleting a dating app in 2022 than they were in 2021.”

The past year saw Tinder’s cancellation rate go up by 35%, Hinge’s cancellation rate go up by 33%, and Bumble’s cancellation rate go up by 25%. Even though these popular dating apps are seeing the trends and apps like Bumble are creating events for people to go to in order to experience dating in real life, like speed dating and singles parties, 2022 saw a considerable dip in the popularity of dating apps.

That being said, if you were thinking about redownloading your dating apps and plunging back into the world of online dating, there is truly no time like the present because this Sunday, January 8th, is called Dating Sunday.

What Is Dating Sunday?

In the end, no one can really predict the best time to go on dating apps. We would love to tell you to trust fate and that there is no way to plan for all of the people you’ll see on the apps, and you’ll likely find at least one person with whom you share a connection.

But we have said it before, and we’ll say it again, finding love on dating apps is often the biggest numbers game someone can play. You can’t predict who will be on what apps and when and it’s very difficult to put pressure on one day, one week, or one month and call it the best time to get on dating apps.

But that being said, research has proven that the first Sunday in the new year is often when dating apps are the most frequently visited. And yes, before you think we’re all idiots, we know that the first of January was actually the first Sunday of the year, but that was a holiday. No one really feels their best on that day. Dating Sunday gets moved back a week when the first Sunday comes too early in the year.

Dating Sunday is the day after the new year when all of the singles join the dating apps, and all of the seasoned veterans get back into their swiping game. Simply put, it’s the time when dating apps are the busiest and see the most significant spikes in users.

The rise in dating apps’ popularity and downloads isn’t a coincidence; it happens every year.

People Using Mobile Phone Dating Apps

There are multiple reasons why people flock to dating apps so soon after the new year and why we can predict the busiest day on the apps.

Experts have traced the term and its occurrence back to 2016, and many people swear that this time of the year is the best time to find success if you want to give online dating another shot.

Dating Sunday is when almost every dating app and website experiences a huge increase in its users. In 2018, Coffee Meets Bagel saw a 75% increase on the first Sunday of the year compared to their data for the previous thirty days. Tinder also experienced a 41% jump in app downloads from the previous week. Nearly every dating app out there will see an increase in downloads, users, and activity once Sunday rolls around, so we suggest you get on this wave.

Crystal Cansdale, Stylist’s dating expert, talks about the rise in popularity of Dating Sunday. She says, “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.”

So even if you miss this dating Sunday, try downloading or at least frequenting the apps more for the next few Sundays in January and see if your results improve.

Many dating experts, including Cansdale, know that dating Sunday is the best day of the year to land a date. She says, “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.”

Why Is Dating Sunday So Popular?

Don’t worry; there wasn’t a meeting that deemed Dating Sunday the day when all the singles would be single no more, you didn’t miss the memo, and you’re not behind. Dating Sunday, though a little bizarre, is truly a natural occurrence that has been backed up by data.

  • New Year’s Resolutions: One of those reasons is that people can now get after their new year’s resolutions and start making a splash in their personal life. Many people make finding love or pursuing new relationships a part of their resolutions because they can quickly adapt and get swept up in the ‘new year, new me’ mentality. And we applaud that.
  • Cuffing Season: Another reason dating apps are so popular during this time of the year is that it’s cuffing season. If you haven’t heard of the phrase or felt the pull of cuffing season yet, consider yourself lucky. But it’s a phenomenon that happens around this time of the year when the weather is getting colder, the nights are longer, and you just want to snuggle up with your partner for the rest of winter. Dating apps skyrocket in popularity and use during this season because many of their users want to find someone for at least this small time period to spend it with.
  • Post Breakup: This is why many people get on dating apps in general, and it’s never going to stop. People will often try out dating apps to get over a past relationship, especially if that wound is relatively new. Dating apps are often seen as a quick fix to fill the void that might have been left by a previous partner, and they’re a popular way to get past heartbreak. If you were in a relationship that ended around the holiday season, you don’t necessarily want to get into a brand new one during one of the busiest times of the year, so a number of singles hold out until the end of the holiday season. The holiday season is also a time of a lot of travel, so you might not be able to get on a dating app where you live or find a time when you and your match can meet up. It’s easier to wait until the new year or until Dating Sunday and try your luck then.
  • ‘Tis the Season: The final reason why some people flock to dating apps during this time of the year is that it’s a perfect in-between — the holiday season is over, but you still have time to get to know each other before Valentine’s day. The first Sunday of January is the perfect sweet spot when not a lot is going on in anyone’s life. There’s just enough time before Valentine’s Day when the two of you can get to know each other and enjoy the holiday together.

The Come Back

As stated above, 2022 was not the year to find a relationship, according to multiple studies. Because of that, Dating Sunday will be even more frequented and celebrated because there is an influx of singles who are sick of the dating culture that emerged in the last year and are trying to change it.

Inner Circle’s CEO, Masha Kodden, tells Stylist, “Dating Sunday is the Super Bowl of the dating world, and this January will be no different.” She says, “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 7 pm and 10 pm.”

She explains that the past year was a challenging year for dating, particularly concerning singles. The rise of inflation, higher costs of living, and the new trending toxic dating trends like winter coating, gaslighting, and breadcrumbing made finding someone that much harder.

But the lull in the dating world is almost over, and Dating Sunday marks the time to get back into the game.

Is There a Downside to Dating Sunday?

If Dating Sunday is the day when every single person in the world gets on dating apps, wouldn’t that make the apps extremely oversaturated? 

To an extent, yes, but the increase in numbers and users on the dating app also helps your chances of finding someone with whom you get along and with whom you’d like to spend more time. 

Cansdale suggests you utilize the same dating app practices that everyone should use on the app and not just swipe on people because they’re on the app and ready to mingle, but because you think they would be a good match for you. While it is fun and easy to get carried away sometimes, and a lot of people will end up swiping on anyone and everyone in an attempt to find their match, it’s better in the long run when you go for quality over quantity on the apps and start to weed out the people who you know you won’t get along well with at the swiping stage no matter what.

With all that being said, yes, you might be one of the millions of users trying to get a date on the same day. Still, you’ll also have more people to choose from on your end, and it’s more likely that you’ll find someone with whom you get along just fine.

Also, because of the thrill of a peak of energy and engagement on one day of the year, other daters are more likely to be more active on this day and try to get a conversation going as soon as possible so they’ll know if you’re the one or if they should keep looking. 

Dating Sunday has a more exclusive vibe to it and can make something that is often seen as mundane or more of a chore something inspiring. 

The Best Tips for Dating Sunday

Now that we’ve hyped up the day, what are some of the best ways to find that success that everyone’s craving on Dating Sunday? The first piece of advice we’ll give is to be focused and know what you want. I’ll often refer to online dating as window shopping for love. While the phrase and the idea surrounding it do cheapen the experience a bit, online dating has many of the same aspects as window shopping or shopping in general. But if online dating on a regular day is like a causal stroll in a store, Dating Sunday is similar to the Black Friday of the year. 

Keeping that in mind, make sure that you know what you want, who you’re looking for, and your hard no’s. It’s important to know these things any time you’re approaching online dating in general, but so much more when you’re viewing the most among the people that will be on the app for the rest of the year. Keep your head down, keep focused, and know what you want. 

We’re not suggesting that you have a bulleted list next to your phone while you’re furiously swiping on endless matches to see if they fit into what you want for a partner. Still, we do urge you to have a general plan or idea of what you’re ready for and what you’re looking for in a partner, so your time on Dating Sunday isn’t spent debating what you want, but instead, finding it.

Cansdale also suggests that users should be open and upfront about what they want. She says, “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.”

Everyone chooses to download a dating app for different reasons. Each reason is valid and fair, but if you’re looking for a one-night stand and matching with people who want to be engaged by the end of the year, that’s automatically not going to be a good match. We’re not saying to put your intentions or reasoning for being on the app directly into your profile, but just be honest when you get to the messaging stage with your matches about what you’re looking for. 

Odds are, with the increase of users and all of the different people coming onto the app, you’ll find multiple people in the same boat and looking for exactly what you’re looking for.

Our last piece of advice is to spend time being intentional with every match.

I know this can juxtapose our statement about Black Friday shopping but go with me here. Once you’ve got all the things you came out for during Black Friday and have them in your cart, most people will take a few minutes to look at everything and assess if they want the things they’ve chosen.

Even though there is a bit of a timer on the day, and you want to get in and get out with a match, you also don’t want to waste anyone’s time or start talking to someone for the sake of talking to someone. Remember to always look for quality over quantity when you’re on dating apps and that if you treat your time on the apps like a race or a competition, you’re less likely to find the desired results.

Have fun with the day and all it can bring to you, but also know that if you miss it or if you’re just not ready to get on a dating app right now, you’re still going to have success during the rest of the year, it’s just fun to think about a day when all the singles are online together.

Matt Marino
Matt Marino

Matt Marino is an online content writer for, specializing in trending blogs and dating app reviews. He is a graduate of Geneva College with a Bachelor of the Arts in Communications.