It is also well publicised that singles feel overwhelmed by loneliness over this period.However the new statistics provide singles with grounds for optimism: January is a peak time for budding romances, as Today is scheduled to be the year's biggest night for first dates.According to Dr Victoria Lukats, psychiatrist and uk's dating expert, there's a simple explanation:"These findings are consistent with previous surveys.

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What's more, nearly half (47%) of singles, 45% of men and 50% of women, admitted to feeling particularly lonely in January -- that would factor up to more than 6 million people nationwide Dr Victoria Lukats continued."According to this survey, Saturdays and Fridays are the most popular days for a first date.

Interestingly, a similar survey in 2006 had found Thursday to be the most popular day of the week for a first date.

Unless a survey is very large, it's difficult to draw certain conclusions but if indeed the favourite day of the week for a first date has shifted, it's tempting to hypothesize that this could be due to the economic downturn.

As more and more singles reach out for love in 2009, over two thirds, 67%, will turn to paid-for dating services to arrange a date.

Perhaps people who have been putting off dating for a while may tell themselves they will make an effort in the New Year."In a recent poll of 1,300 singles by uk, three out of four people (81%) said they would actively look to meet someone in January, regardless of the downturn in the economy.

That's 47% looking for a committed relationship, 13% for a casual relationship and 21% for any type of relationship.

A survey of 5,000 singles by uk, a leading scientifically-based online dating service, revealed that Britain's singles will go on a staggering 2.5 million first dates this January - nearly three times more than in December and twice as many as any other single month of the year.