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14-Aug-2015 15:39

So what are the options for Irish people looking to find someone to love, date, or even just to distract them from the fact that it’s still winter?

Is everyone going online, or are more traditional forums the best option?

people who are single look to start afresh after a month of socialising and family get-togethers in December (who has time to find a soul-mate when there’s office Kris Kringle presents to buy?

) Come January, ads for the some of the biggest global dating service brands gradually replace those Guinness ‘White Christmas’ TV spots, while the same companies bombard news outlets with press releases aimed at steering casual daters onto the internet.

Pretty much the digital equivalent of ‘hot or not’ — the app finds people nearby who are also on Tinder, and connects them only if both parties swipe the screen to indicate they’re into the other.

It’s main advantage being that it’s absolutely free to use.

POF differs from some other well-known dating sites in that it allows prospective users to search for matches before setting up an account (essentially letting them ‘check out the talent’).

One such story from this year pinpointed 5 January as the most popular day of the year for internet dating.

The dating site generally sees a 25 to 30 per cent boost in traffic between Christmas and 14 February, and their survey even went as far as to pick 8.57pm on 5 Jan as the most likely time to find love online.

Casual users are allowed scroll through several pages of profile before being told they must sign up to continue using the site.

The tactic has paid off over the years — the site has a huge number of Irish users (a random search for 29-year-old women within ten miles of Wexford throws up 152 accounts, for instance — not entirely scientific, but it certainly indicates the popularity of the service).