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Romance and stress during the peak dating season from December to February

Although the holiday season brings a lot of joy and excitement, it can also bring a lot of stress because "the holidays can be a really stressful time in terms of trying to start new relationships and also getting out of previous relationships," according to Justin Garcia, a scientific advisor for the international online dating site Match .com, and faculty member at Indiana University's Kinsey Institute and Department of Gender studies.

Match.com's annual Singles in America study is the largest study on U.S. singles. According to the Match.com survey of 1,000 of their clients, 80 percent of survey respondents said holidays make them feel more romantic than other times of the year. Also, 25 percent reported experiencing a break-up during the holiday season.

The stress about relationships is particularly increased for the singles because inevitably many singles are grilled over the holidays about their solitary status, said Garcia. The survey by Match.com found that 14 percent of men and 10 percent of women admitted to dating someone during the holidays just to have someone to spend the holidays with. The peak online dating season is during the holidays, between December and February, as there is a 25 to 30 percent increase in new members registering at Match.com.

An unprecedented number of single Americans is now turning to the internet to find love. More than 27 percent reported that they have dated someone they met online, including social media sites such as Facebook and other chat groups. Also, 20 percent met their most recent first date online vs. 7 percent who met at a bar.

Garcia said online dating makes it convenient for people to be aware of singles living near or within their area of interest. However, he suggested people spend some time beforehand to think about what they want in a relationship and how they can communicate with their dates, before jumping to join the online dating sites. Garcia also said looking for a spouse is more complicated than just dating. Dating is meant to be fun and love comes after that, with time.

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