‘Tis the season. Cuffing season, that is. First coined on the hallowed webpages of Urban Dictionary back in 2011, the term refers not to that summer the nation got a bit too into Fifty Shades of Grey, but to the winter dating phenomenon which sees “people who would normally rather be single desiring to be tied down by a serious relationship for the colder months”.
At a time when rising energy costs are eclipsed only by the rising pitch of your mother’s voice as she asks if you’ve “met anyone nice yet”, it makes a lot of sense. But we at MotherZine have noticed an altogether less holly/jolly festive dating trend – the rise of the Christmas ghost. Gone from your inbox, and yet still watching every Insta Story from the office party.
Turns out, it’s not just us. Google searches for “ghosting” are at their second highest in December, and Facebook breakups reach their peak two weeks before the Christmas holidays. Promising stuff (for our egos). But like a team of Carrie Bradshaws with a WARC subscription, we couldn’t help but wonder… does the data point to a cause? That isn’t just our personalities?
Turns out, sort of. We went deep on December dating behaviour and joined the dots, stringing the stats together like those paper snowflake chain things you had to make in primary school*. The result? Four theories to bring – if not joy – at least a little comfort to your lacking love life this festive season. The more you know and all that.
They were overwhelmed
By your wit/charm/generous spritz of Santal, sure. But also by the sheer volume of people they’re talking to at this time of year. 30% – 50% more, to be precise, according to data from Grindr.
The lesson here? Don’t take your ghosting personally. Or, come up with a strategy to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Which brings us neatly to our next theory.
They were only in it for the seasonal knitwear
Particularly if it happens to be a full festive suit.
Case study in point, Tinder user James, who was swamped with 1,609 matches in just a week after upgrading his seasonal wardrobe. That’s an average of 230 per day – 22900% more than the average daily match rate.
It’s just a shame it couldn’t last beyond Christmas.
What can we learn from James? With great knitwear comes great power. But it’s best not to base your entire dating strategy on a wooly snowflake.
All they want for Christmas is them
The festive season can be intoxicating (and not just in the sense that we’re now 39% mulled wine), so it’s natural to be drawn to someone that exudes festive cheer.
But – if they’re playing Love Actually on a loop and claim to have patented the Mince Pie Smoothie, take heed. Data from OkCupid suggests that those who are obsessed with the holiday season are 40% more likely to identify as having “very, very high” or “higher than average” self confidence.
In other words, your Christmas-crazy ghost might not be that into you… but they’re probably pretty into themselves.
They decided to get serious
Stick with us whilst we draw a pretty bold parallel. A romantic double yellow, if you will.
A study by Statista shows that marriage proposal rates see a 20% increase in December. That means some people are making some pretty big decisions. And what’s the logical thing to do before pulling the trigger on a big decision? Weigh up your options.
You can see where we’re going with this. But hey, Christmas is all about bringing people together. And this makes you Hinge’s answer to Cilla Black.
*By which we mean flimsily and under adult supervision.