‘Workout Wooing’ Is The New Dating Trend That’s Actually Good For Us

If you’re single and looking for love (even if only for the night), chances are you go to the bar or swipe through a few profiles on your dating app of choice to make it happen. However, the tide seems to be changing, and singletons are seeking potential partners in a whole new way. The workout wooing dating trend is proof of our shifting priorities, and it’s actually kinda refreshing.

What is the workout wooing dating trend all about?

It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Bumble and Gymshark came together to do a bit of research and they discovered something pretty interesting: 22% of single Gen Z and millennials have done something fitness-related on a first date. From running and HIIT workouts to Pilates and yoga, daters are all about getting sweaty together.

As a result, it seems workout wooing is the latest dating trend that might be worth trying. In fact, 32% of people in the study admitted they’d gone to a fitness class hoping to bump into someone hot and potentially find a new partner. What’s most encouraging is that 29% of Gen Z and millennials would much rather exercise with someone on a first date than go to a bar. Not only that, but nearly half (46%) admitted they’d much rather meet someone at the gym or while working out than on a night out at the club.

Naomi Walkland, Bumble’s vice president of Europe, thinks the trend makes a whole lot of sense. Since we connect with our dates by sharing experiences, the things we do should be things we’re passionate about. “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,” she explained.

Now THAT’s good stuff.

Why working out with a date may just be better than dinner and a movie

  1. It gets the endorphins flowing. While exercise can be physically challenging, it’s been proven that pushing yourself while working out works wonders for your brain AND your body by increasing your production of the feel-good hormones known as endorphins. Workout wooing is therefore a great way to share those positive vibes with a potential partner. It’s not hard to see the benefits of that!
  2. If you’re passionate about fitness, it’s good to connect with someone who feels the same. For many people, fitness is an integral part of their everyday life. If that matters to you, chances are, you’re not going to want to be with a couch potato. If you want a partner to be active with you, starting off on this foot is a good way to go.
  3. You learn different things about each other’s character. If you’re working out with a date, you get to see pretty early on what they’re all about. Do they complain constantly that it’s too hard and they want to stop? Or, do they push themself because they know they’re capable of more? Are they a show-off who cares more about looking strong than being strong? So many questions can be answered with an exercise date.
  4. It’s better for your physical health. It goes without saying that hitting the gym or going for a run with a date is way better for your overall health than sitting in a dingy bar and drinking yourselves into oblivion. Making that commitment to your physical well-being early on sets a good precedent if you do actually end up in a relationship. And if not, hey, at least you won’t wake up with a hangover.
  5. It’s a great way to switch things up. Sorry, but going to a bar or even a coffee date is a bit boring. I mean, it’s fine and all, but getting active is much more fun. It’s an unconventional date idea that a lot of people will still be taken aback by when you suggest it. However, hopefully they’re open-minded enough to be into it.

Can workout wooing help you meet someone?

While a large part of the trend is about what you do on a date with someone you like, workout wooing can also help you meet that person in the first place. Admittedly, only about 6% of couples meet at the gym, according to research by Blink Fitness and Harris Poll (via Refinery29). But hey, that’s still significant enough to try! And in fact, a lot of people seem to agree given that 32% of singletons admit that even the possibility of finding someone amazing was enough to make them get off their butts and into the gym.

The thing is, you never know what’s just around the corner (hopefully, no gym creeps). And you’ll certainly never know if you don’t try. So, pull on some leggings and actually get some use out of that gym membership. You just might find love in the process.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill