Tinder, OKCupid, eHarmony, GlutenFreeSingles—it seems like there is an endless array of dating apps and websites these days. Once you’ve chosen which of these sites are worthy of your time, you then have to go through the hassle of trawling through profiles and fending off a barrage of messages from unexciting people. And that’s all before you even get to the actual meeting up part.
Dating in this era has become a massively overcomplicated minefield where romance is in short supply, and you’re often left over analyzing every single word of a Whatsapp message. In fact, dating really does feel like just another stress to add to a hectic work, social, and meal prep schedule.
However, the one thing that can make you feel fantastic, even after the most dreadful of dates, is the gym. Whether you’re squatting to relieve stress, doing cardio to reveal those abs, or breaking a new PR for pull-ups, the gym is the one stable place.
Forget awkward dinner conversation and uncomfortable silences, here’s exactly why you should consider swapping a date at the bar for an appointment with the barbell.
10. The gym is easy to join. Joining a dating website is way more complicated
You enter a new gym and before you can say “awkward afternoon coffee date” you’ve filled in the membership form, handed over your payment details, and become a fully-fledged member of gym church. If only joining a dating website was that simple.
After answering 86 compatibility questions that are basically the same but reworded, you then have to create a compelling profile, upload 10 images, and write a small essay on your “ideal first date or partner” or some other bullshit. Three hours and several edits later, you’re ready to find your match amongst all the pervs who are flooding your inbox with vulgar messages.
9. The gym doesn’t care about your appearance
The amount of time we ladies spend getting ready for a date is utterly ridiculous. The preparation often starts days before and involves shaving, waxing, tweezing, exfoliating, washing, drying, straightening, self-tanning, preening and trying on multiple outfits. All that hard work and effort and your potential suitor will turn up in jeans and a plain t-shirt.
On the other hand, the gym requires zero effort with your appearance. In fact, doing your hair and makeup for the gym will make you feel like you’re massively overdressed. Rocking a ponytail, bare-face, and your most comfortable leggings are actively encouraged and is your natural state.
8. The gym doesn’t judge your eating habits
You’re on a dinner date, and everything seems to be going well. And then the waiter comes to take your order. Suddenly, your order of grilled fish and brown rice with a side salad (dressing on the side) raises eyebrows.
Yes, I try to eat like this regularly. Eh, sometimes I get bored of it. I do plenty of “living it up.” I just don’t have that many macros left for the day. Macros is short for “macronutrients.” It’s not a diet; it’s more of a lifestyle.
7. The gym doesn’t cancel on you at the last minute
Whether it is the first date with a potential beau or the 50th with a long-term hookup, nothing matches the disappointment of a last-minute cancellation—especially if it’s canceled via text message with some bullshit excuse.
It’s bad enough that it’s via instant message, as opposed to an actual phone conversation, but it’s even worse knowing that you’ve changed your gym schedule and accommodated your macros for this meal! Don’t let that ruin your evening. However, the gym is always there to wrap you in its firm, iron embrace.
6. The gym doesn’t care if you make a fool of yourself
I once did an entire training session without noticing the giant hole in my leggings right on my ass. That was also the same session I PR’d on deadlifts. Zero. Fucks. Given.
I also once choked on a piece of steak on a date and had to have the waiter perform the Heimlich maneuver on me. Needless to say, the conversation from that moment on was incredibly uncomfortable. I walked out of the gym feeling like a legend; I left that date knowing that I wouldn’t be getting a call or text later that week.
5. The gym will most likely provide a better workout than the person you take home
Cosmopolitan regularly likes to trot out the fact that sex helps you burn TONS of calories, but after half a bottle of wine and a few shots, you’d have to have sex for about five hours to undo the damage. And let’s be honest—Are you and that chosen partner for the evening really up for that sort of task? Probably not.
Spending happy hour in the gym instead of the bar will undoubtedly give you a better workout than whatever happens post-date. You also don’t have to deal with awkwardly waking up next to a stranger or the walk of shame in the morning.
4. The gym is full of attractive people, not hiding behind a creatively taken profile picture
We’ve all been there – you turn up to a date and the person you’re supposed to be meeting looks NOTHING like their profile picture. To avoid seeming rude, you plough ahead and endure through the evening, but spend the entire time trying to find the opportune moment to ask “so, when was that photo really taken?”
The great thing about the gym is that these are real, live, attractive people who are all wearing tight and revealing clothing. So, you know they’re not hiding anything! Sometimes, it is nice to just window-shop, but sometimes going to the gym can result in a very satisfying date too.
3. The gym fits around you, your schedule, and what you’d like to do
One of the hardest parts of dating is figuring out a day, time, and place that works for both of you. This takes a serious amount of effort and planning, most likely communicating through some dating website messaging system and seldom is it worth the effort.
When it comes to the gym, you’re in control. You can go when you want, for how long you want, and decide everything that happens while you’re there. You can even throw in a few extra sets of hamstring curls, if you fancy it. Fuck it, treat yo’ self!
2. The gym gives you a high that cannot be equaled by any date
As well as the physical gains from hitin’ the gym, it also helps to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and release endorphins (the chemical that makes you feel happy and euphoric).
Now, don’t get me wrong, a successful date can make you feel really good about yourself too. However, for every great date you have, you have to endure six awful ones with people who make you just want to give up and settle for a life as a crazy cat lady.
1. The gym will motivate you to be your best, more than any individual ever will
Once you starting working out, the gym will push you harder than you ever thought possible. You’ll lift the kind of weights that daunted you months ago. You’ll run longer and faster than you’ve ever imagined. You’ll see your body transform into something that you can’t stop checking out in the mirror!
The gym (and its fit members) will give you all the encouragement you need to reach your goals and fulfill your potential. Unless a date is with someone super special, it will never be able to match that.