New Year means it's time for new love

The number of Australians looking for love online is set to peak on New Year's Day.

Dating website eHarmony said people were more likely to log in on January 1 than any other day of the year, with 6pm-10pm tipped to be the busiest time.

"A lot of it can come down to coming out of the Christmas period, Christmas is very much about family, but it's also very much about couples," according to La Trobe University senior research fellow Andrea Waling.

"We know that Christmas time in particular is one of the loneliest times for people, particularly those who are single who may not have families to go to but also don't have partners or a loved one."

The dating website said historical data showed January 1 was also its busiest time in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.

Men aged 50-54 were most likely to log on that day and messages between users increase by about a third during January.

Dr Waling, who was not involved in the research, said the uptick could be due to marketing which linked the magic of Christmas with romantic gestures or family members questioning single people about their relationship status at gatherings.

"In Canada, in the UK, the US and Australia we have a kind of romance narrative where we're only valuable as much as we are in a relationship with somebody, a monogamous relationship and so there's so much pressure around that at the holidays," Dr Waling said.

She said dating could be particularly hard in December as many people were busy with other commitments but made fewer plans in January.

"We know that it's not just dating apps, we know that gyms are always at their busiest (in January)," Dr Waling said.

"Everybody signs up for gym membership and goes okay, this is the year I'm going to get fit or dieting starts... and I think dating is a part of that."