Here Are Some Things About a Person That Would Turn Me Off Dating Them
- Obsessively into the gym. Exercise is great; refusing to eat bread is strange and concerning.
- Not a feminist. Women deserve bodily autonomy, equal pay and fair treatment.
- Bad breath. I wouldn’t want to kiss anyone with rotten teeth.
I imagine if you asked someone twenty years ago, their list of ‘turn-offs’ would be slightly different. Maybe they’d involve AIM. Now, thanks to dating apps like Bumble analysing dating trends to help people find the perfect partner, we know what Gen Z would like and what leaves them cold.
- 29% of Gen Z would like a partner who’s into knitting (Tom Daley stans, I see you!)
- About half of Gen Z do not want to date anyone whose picture on their dating profile has an ex badly cropped out (but, like, how can you tell?)
- 51% of single Gen Z-ers would start conversations with someone whose pictures show them doing a niche hobby.
So come forth! Bring your crochet; your sport that’s only played in Sweden; or your collection of Sonic the Hedgehog glass figurines! Niche hobbies are what all the girls/boys/others are into!
Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that. I think what Gen Z are really looking for is people who are passionate and interesting, who have something to talk about and a big life that doesn’t revolve around working and sleeping. So, despite research suggesting that Gen Z might be more likely to date a trainspotter, what they’re really looking for is someone who leaves the house.
How The Pandemic Changed Leisure Time
We do have to link this to the pandemic. I might want to forget it ever happened, but others prefer to know how their prospective partners spent the lockdowns. There’s an element of classism, of course – working class ‘essential workers’ probably don’t want to explain the ridiculous toilet paper shortage or their heartbreaking roles as caregivers – but for middle-class folk who got six months of furlough, there is an expectation that you spent the time gardening, building a lego palace or teaching your dog to do TikTok dances.
A lot of people learnt new skills, started businesses or revisited hobbies that they didn’t have time for before and their lives shifted. I can see why Gen Z (or other Bumble users) might want to discuss this with prospective partners. Now that social distancing is over, we’re interested to know what everyone did when they couldn’t hug their loved ones.
How To Plan A Modern Hobby Date
The other thing is that hobbies are great ways to spend dates. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: meeting for a drink is a classic; dinner and a movie is overplayed, so why not plan to meet up and paint in the park? Go kayaking? Explore the Swansea dating scene? Incidentally, if you do want to go for a random date in Swansea, Clyne Farm Centre offers horse riding with a wonderful view of the bay.
Or you could go fossil hunting on the Jurassic coast and swap fun facts or ridiculous stories about the latest Jurassic Park film. After years spent indoors, alone, is it surprising that Bumble users are ready to try niche hobbies and interests to get away from the monotony of their houses?
Perhaps I’m influenced by the beautiful weather. For readers outside of the UK, it has reached a massive 20c centigrade. Online hobbies are fine for rainy days, and the pandemic really opened up opportunities for people to socialise over the internet. I’m not talking about the Metaverse because that surely is the stupidest thing I’ve ever encountered, but online gaming with platforms like Jackbox or using Discord to, um, do whatever Discord does could help to develop shared experiences and mutual interests.
Hobbies are also great ways to meet new people. Obviously, this must be done delicately – don’t join a life drawing class and spend the whole time hitting on the person next to you as they move their easel further and further away. But cultivating an interest, making new friends and potentially finding someone who you’d like to date? Well, it’d put Bumble out of business, but it very much seems like the kind of thing that might enrich your life.
So, as you gravitate back from online dating and slow dating, bring some of your new skills and niche hobbies. It’ll make you seem like an engaging, well-rounded person who can easily chat to someone about their interests, too. If you’re a Gen Z dater, congrats! You’re upping the game and making us all want to experience new things in life.