Young Aussies ditching dating apps and signing up to running clubs

Dating in Australia can be tricky, but now Aussies are running towards a new way of meeting people.

Young people are signing up to local running clubs not just to get their hoofs on the pavement but in an attempt to find love.

Ever since the dating app Tinder was launched in 2012, the way people meet romantic partners has drastically changed.

It went from people meeting at clubs and pubs to people feeling more comfortable approaching someone online than in real life.

The swiping generation was born and suddenly it would be weirder to announce you met your new beau at the local grocery store than online.

In 2024, it feels weird to go on a date with someone without first knowing the height they are pretending to be.

Despite the hold dating apps have on dating culture, there has been a shift, and women are sharing they are looking for other ways to meet potential partners.

Online women are revealing that they’ve decided to join running groups, not just for a sense of community but because they want to meet someone.

Sydney local Danni posted a TikTok revealing that dating apps weren’t doing the trick, leading her to join a run club.

She said it was “better” to meet someone at 6am on Sunday than a Friday night and, although she was a walker not a runner, she joined a local run club to suss out the “vibe.”

She said while she had fun on the group jog, she ultimately didn’t meet any men but she planned to be “patient” and try again next week.

Similarly, Melbourne local Tayla posted a TikTok and shared her decision to join a rub club because the dating apps just weren’t “working” for her.

Another TikToker Sarah also posted online that she decided to start running with other people because she was simply finding dating apps “so bad.”

Meanwhile, one creator claimed that the “whole” of Sydney had given up on dating apps and instead were trying to meet people through running clubs.

The entire population of Sydney giving up on dating apps is a reach, but there’s clearly a cultural shift of young people wanting to meet people the old-fashioned way and they’re prepared to pound the pavement to do it.

Psychologist Carly Dober said that the run club phenomenon has a lot to do with dating app “fatigue” and singles feeling burnt out from the process.

“Dating apps can be a really helpful tool in finding people that you perhaps never come across organically but we also know that dating apps provide decision fatigue,” she said.

Ms Dober explained that there are just so many “options” on dating apps, which can often make people feel like there’s always someone better about to come along and the truth is dating apps can really get people down.

“There’s also research that shows us using social media and dating apps excessively can harm mental health and wellbeing, and can also lead to people dehumanising people on the other side of the apps at times. This can lead to poor communication, and transactional experiences that people might not usually engage in outside of the apps,” she explained.

Ms Dober said that the running club dating trend is a very positive one for Aussies to embrace.

“Not only do these run clubs provide opportunities just to meet people and widen our social circles, but we know that talking to people face-to-face yields more helpful interactions compared to online interactions,” she said.

Ms Dober stressed, though, that it is “healthy” to meet people both online and offline. It just comes down to how much dating apps are personally impacting the individual.

“I encourage people not to be completely reliant on dating apps and still find opportunities to engage in opportunities to meet people through friends and new experiences,” she said.

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