In 2023, it seems there are already hundreds of different dating terms to understand. From “winter coating”, when a former flame gets back in touch in the hopes of pulling through the winter together, or the “cost-of-loving” crisis , which has seen couples opting for cheaper dates and even breaking up due to the increased price of having a partner, it’s safe to say, the world of dating can be a minefield.
The latest trend to surface? “Workout wooing”. Essentially, this means heading to a gym or embarking on a workout for a first date over a more traditional restaurant or bar. Bumble and Gymshark have found that 29 percent of Gen-Z and Millennials would actually prefer to attend a fitness class than go to the pub together, and there are some good reasons why.
While you might think it strange to tie up your trainers in place of stepping into your heels on a first date, working out together is already a tried and tested method for finding and fostering love. “Love Island” stars Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti started off their relationship in the villa with a workout, whilst long-term celebrity couple Victoria and David Beckham frequently update their Instagram with cute snaps of them exercising together.
“It makes more room for the partners to get playful and it allows them to keep their distance without offending one another — a lot easier than a traditional dinner date.”
Over one in five Gen-Z and Millennials have already taken the plunge and invited their prospective beaus along to the gym for couples workouts, and it seems there is a growing train of thought that this could be an ideal location for taking the pressure off things and easing expectations, particularly when it comes to sex. Dr. Callisto Adams, a Ph.D psychologist and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, tells POPSUGAR that “workout wooing” can make for a less intense environment when it comes to taking things to the next level (and a reminder that it should always be when all parties are ready, with no set time frame). “A dinner date can lead to sexual tension or sexual chemistry due to the intimate nature of the date, but a workout date on the other hand is more dynamic,” she says. “It makes more room for the partners to get playful and it allows them to keep their distance without offending one another — a lot easier than a traditional dinner date.”
Although, for those who are enthusiastically DTF (as is your right), there are tons of benefits that working out with a prospective partner can provide – including those feel-good endorphins which may strengthen your relationship. “This trend would be enjoyable for everyone who loves a nice workout, yet doesn’t entirely focus on the workout and doesn’t forget to pay attention to the other partner as well,” Adams adds. “You don’t have to necessarily be sporty or athletic to hop in and join the trend. A yoga class for beginners could make a good workout date or any other physical activity you feel comfortable with can do the work.”
There’s also the additional factor of women’s safety. Following the tragic murder of Sarah Everard, ways for women to feel safe, particularly at night, has rightly been in the spotlight. Seemingly meeting a stranger from a dating app can feel like a vulnerable spot to be in, so joining an exercise class, surrounded by other like-minded people, arguably offers a more secure environment than an empty bar. “There are plenty of other places that are well-lit, public, and have CCTV cameras,” Adams explains of whether gyms are perceived as a safer spot for dating. “I do not think that the safety aspect is the main reason why women are drawn to workout wooing, however, we cannot neglect it as a possibility or one of the reasons.”
An increase in dry dating further fuels the notion that singles are looking for meaningful connections as they reduce their alcohol intake — and “workout wooing” provides a fun alternative to alcohol-focused date venues.
Whether you’re an exercise lover or want to dip your toe in the flirty world of workout wooing, it’s worth giving it a go. And if all else fails, there’s always a post-workout wine option, too.
Image Source: Unsplash / Bruce Mars