HUFFINGTON POST - Dec 26 - Mark Brooks, a dating analyst and consultant to the Internet dating industry, said it was the endless stream of awkward questions from family members that prompted many to search for love online this time of year. “The effect becomes more pronounced over the Xmas vacations and party season," he said. “Questions such as 'have you been dating anyone recently' and 'do you think you’ll ever marry’ become 'On your own, are you?'." Kate Taylor, a relationship expert at Match.com, said people look back at their achievements over the past twelve months, and think about their New Year's resolutions. On Match.com ~4M unique connections are expected to be made; with 3M email messages written; 2.5M 'winks' sent; and 500K IM conversations taking place. Brett Harding, managing director for Lovestruck, said registrations increase by 48% during this period. For eHarmony, the number of registrations was 3.5 times higher than the week immediately before Christmas. Cupid.com's Sean Wood also suggested that the pressure on couples in the Christmas period could also lead to more break ups – resulting in more singles on the scene by Boxing Day. AshleyMadison.com biggest spike came immediately after New Year's Eve. The first working day after New Year's there was a 413% increase in member sign-ups with a total of 9,857 new members. What's really interesting is that for many sites, the traffic then falls again drastically in the spring. “Internet daters tend to stick around for about three months," said analyst Brooks. "Then they bail, then they come back, or go to another site, or multiple internet dating sites."