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... New Year, new dating chapter New Year, new dating chapter

3 January 2008

This time of year traditionally brings a boom in online dating activity, as singles seek new prospects for the New Year.

Along with sticking to diets, making more time for our loved ones and learning new skills, finding new potential partners tops the list of popular resolutions as we welcome the chance for a fresh start.

Hitwise, which tracks Internet traffic, reveals that more single people visited dating sites in January 2006 than in any other month last year.

Mark Brooks, editor of, which tracks the online dating industry, explains: "You have the November and December effect with family gatherings, and all those questions get asked: 'Who are you dating? Are there wedding bells?' "

"And New Year's Eve, people want to go out with their other halves. And of course, you have that build up toward Valentine's Day and you get the loneliness factor rising."

Traffic starts to fall after Valentine's Day and plummets by summer, he told the Seattle Times.