Another day, another dating trend we need to get our heads around. (We're still trying to figure out how we can actually implement “the exit survey” strategy….) Anyway, when a new one comes around, who are we not to delve straight in and figure out how it could impact us and our love lives?
So, into today's dating trends lesson, we bring you: workout wooing. Yep, it's basically exactly what it says. So, gym lovers, this is one for you. (Gym haters, not so much. Sorry.) It's based around new research from Bumble and Gymshark, which found that over one in five (22%) Gen Z and millennials (18–34 year olds) have exercised or attended a fitness class on a first date, with popular workouts including HIIT, running, and Pilates or yoga.
In fact, it seems that working out with a potential partner has overtaken sitting around in a romantic restaurant with them. (We know—we're shocked too.) If you're not attending a gym class with a date, then you might be among the 32% of people who have attended a fitness class with the intention of meeting a new partner.
The research also shows that many Gen Z and millennials would choose a fitness-based date over one involving alcohol, with 29% saying they would rather attend a fitness class on a first date than go to a bar. Almost half (46%) said they would rather meet a potential partner at a fitness class than on a night out. This makes sense when you consider the rising number of people who prefer nonalcoholic drinks.
“It's unsurprising, given the big uptick in people reducing their alcohol intake and refocusing on a healthy lifestyle postpandemic, that many on the hunt for love are keen to incorporate exercises,” says relationship therapist and founder of TS Therapy Tami Sobell. “If you're an avid exerciser, then taking a date to a class is a good way of scoping out shared interests and getting those endorphins pumping together.”
“It also gives people something to do—and discuss—on a first date, as during a workout there is unlikely to be space for any awkward silences,” Sobell says. “Add into this formula that we are all busy people, combining a workout and a date is often seen as an effective way to maximize time and energy.”
Naomi Walkland, Bumble vice president of Europe, agrees: “Dating, especially early on, is all about experiences, and what better way to connect than share something that you love?” she says. “At Bumble we are always trying to find ways to help people connect over shared interests, passions, and values. We've seen that our community is already showcasing this with our sports interest badges being the most popular globally. From skiing to Pilates, people can show off their favorite hobbies in their profile photos, bios, or by adding an interest badge to their profile and incorporating this into a first date can be an easy way to break the ice when you first meet.”