With spring officially in full bloom, now is the time of the year where we dig out our shorts or bikinis from the back of our wardrobes, locate our sunnies and start looking forward to our summer holidays. But how does the sunshine affect our dating habits? Well here's the good news: If you're stuck in a dating rut, now's the time to climb out of it. Don't just take my word for it. If you're single, late spring and summer is the time to ramp up your dating efforts. Here's why:
Do we look more attractive in the sun?
There is a widespread assumption that people look better in the summer, with sun-kissed cheeks and golden glows, rather than chapped skin and lank hair. Last year a survey proved that this is the case. 2000 adults were asked to look at two pictures of the same person, one taken during the winter and one in the summer. 73 per cent of respondents said they thought the summer photo was more attractive, 72 per cent saying the summer shots looked happier, healthier (50 per cent), more confident (37 per cent) and 21 per cent said they felt the people were wearing nicer clothes. Combined with this 54 per cent said they felt more attractive in summer, while just two per cent argued they felt better in winter.
If your dating profile picture is one taken in your winter woollies, now might be the time to update it for a summery shot to increase your chances of meeting that special person.
Is the sun an aphrodisiac?
Another reason to ramp up your dating efforts is that both sexes are more receptive during the summer months. Have you ever felt your libido drop off during the winter? Scientists have shown that for men in particular sunshine helps boost our love lives. A recent study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria of 2,299 men found those men who have enough vitamin D from sunshine had more of the male sex hormone than those with less. Both hormones peaked during the summer months. As well as boosting our libidos, testosterone sharpens our memory and concentration and improves our energy levels.
It's not just the men. Researchers from the University of Brittany in France have found that women are more likely to flirt and hand out their number to men when they're approached when it's sunny and than when the skies are grey. Over a fifth of women handed over their digits when the sun was out, as opposed to 13.9 per cent on a cloudy day.
Increased opportunities to meet someone
If you go out more, you're more likely to meet someone and if you're online dating, leaving the comfort of your home when it's warm outside might not seem like such an ordeal. One scientific study concluded that the reason people date and make love more during the early summer months - June and July - is for the simple reason that we are around more people more of the time
A deeper dating pool
Facebook know when we'll fall in love and an interesting statistic picked up by their data science team is that most break-ups take place between May and July. It seems the pressure of holidays and temptation means that romances that are already on the rocks won't last the distance. This is great news for singletons as the dating pool is deeper.
So summer is definitely time to let loose and be open to meeting new people. Try dating someone who isn't your normal type - or simply spend time with new people - you never know what could happen. Say yes to all invitations, from camping trips, to drinks after work. Think patios, BBQs and festivals, we can't wait!
Brett Harding is the director of Lovestruck, a website dedicated to online dating and bringing people together. He is in currently the process of digging out his best summer shorts.