Blue Monday: Why gay dating in January is the worst

January 18, 2019
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Bridget Jones

'All By Myself' scene in Bridget Jones's Diary. (Working Title)

January 21 is Blue Monday, so called because, apparently, the third Monday of January is the most depressing day of the year.

Of course, this sounds like a bunch of marketing baloney—but there is some merit to the idea of January being depressing AF, especially if you’re single.

I have a theory that mindlessly tapping through Grindr, Tinder, Hinge, or whatever else is in vogue these days, in hopes of meeting ‘the one’ in January, more than any other month, is a surefire way to set yourself up for disappointment.

After the dust has settled on Christmas, and with it the pheromonal high of receiving gifts, and the sweat and glitter from partying till 5am on New Year’s Eve has been washed off, you’re back where you started: Single and alone, like that tragic “All By Myself” scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

The sense of hope you feel on New Year’s Day—#NewYearNewMe—soon dissipates as January wears on slower than a turtle in peanut butter. How are we only mid-January? 

Blue Monday? Blue January more like

January, with its glacial pace, is often considered to be a tough month all round: Less money after Christmas shopping sprees, a new work year with new objectives and pressures, cold weather, and, if you’re a socialite, you might find your regular drinking buddies out of action due to some ghastly trend called Dry January.

Adding a string of potentially awkward first dates into the mix, then, is like kicking yourself when you’re already down. Dates I’ve been on in January have been invariably awful.

“[One date] I went on was so excruciatingly painful, the conversation so dry, that I ditched him in the hubbub of the club.”

One guy, trying to watch his bank balance after overspending at Christmas, suggested we go to Nando’s because it was cheap—then proceeded to gnaw on half a chicken with the grace of a rabid hyena. My eyes couldn’t look beyond the remnants stuck in his teeth.

The conversation wasn’t redemptive either. He casually dropped hints about how he was the only one alone at his family Christmas this year, and how nice it would be to have someone with him next year. Steady on, boy.

At the end of the date, I awkwardly declined a second date from the eager chap because, as miserable as January can be, desperation is not attractive.

Last year, another date I went on was so excruciatingly painful, the conversation so dry, that I ditched him in the hubbub of the club we went to after drinks. “Oops, I seem to have lost you—going home!” I texted.

Maybe people don’t just bring their A-game in January? Is it the cold? The post-Christmas comedown?

Generally, any meaningful dates I’ve had have always been after January. The brighter the weather, the brighter the personality, perhaps?

Blue Monday, Dry January… how about Just Doin’ Me January

For fear of starting my year on a depressing note, thus setting the tone for the rest of the year, I’ve resolved not to date this January. And I’m happier for it.

The effort that I might have otherwise put into going on awkward dates has been channelled into more productive things, like throwing myself into work (rather than avoiding it post-Christmas break), reading (I forgot how thrilling a good book can be!), and, obviously, binge-watching You and Sex Education on Netflix.

Try being single and just doing you for the rest of January—because why make an already tough month tougher?

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