After a new (training) partner? It makes sense to ditch the pub pick-up and find your perfect match in the gym. In fact, one in five users of the dating app Happn said they’d rather go for a spontaneous run or walk to get to know someone than the traditional cinema, dinner or drink options. Let’s face it – a movie date is awkward early on. Staring at a screen, no thanks. Sweating it out in spin class, correct.
But how do you transition from glances on the cross-trainer to coffee date post-workout? For your opening line, think more: asking for advice, less: criticizing his lunge jumps. Guys are sensitive about that. Claire Certain, head of trends at Happn, says, “Exchange tips and ask for advice – perhaps there’s a machine you’ve never used or you simply want to know where the best place for a protein shake is. But do not offer unsolicited critique on someone’s form.” Wait till you’re official to tell him his lunges are really average.
Committing to that Tuesday 7am HIIT class might have benefits beyond boosting your fitness, too. “Setting up a regular schedule for when you go to the gym, and perhaps even what classes you take, will help lay the groundwork for natural conversation starters as you start to bump into the same people again and again,” Certain advises. “It would almost be rude not to acknowledge them after all!”
However, don’t get too regular. Mixing up your workouts is great for boosting your strength and cardio fitness. Also: it can create new opportunities for meeting a new bloke. “If you’re always lifting weights or hitting the cross-trainer, you could miss out on great people working on something else, or cut yourself off from those who would otherwise approach you,” says Certain. Think of it as extra incentive to bump up your strength workouts.
Also avoid: piling on the make-up (your pores say no) and piling on the weights – you don’t want an injury just to impress. The biggest upside? Even if your romance mission fails, you’ll get fitter. Forget the bloke, that’s the real win.