For those recently propelled into singledom in decades beyond the 20s, the plaintive cry of ‘where will I meet someone??’ is strong. Sometimes the easiest way to find the right answer to that question is to examine the wrong answer to that question.
First wrong answer to that question is – in the gym.
Every piece of advice from well meaning besties will be aimed at prying your ice-cream engorged butt off the couch and getting a new hobby, getting some exercise, getting fit!!!! (usually a line delivered in the lilting tone of a preschool teacher and with appropriately OTT punctuation), but make no mistake, the gym is not your friend when looking for a new partner. Here are just five reasons.
Reason 1 – Sneakers are not a gift from the fashion gods.
Although there is no shortage of gorgeous sneakers, which can be impeccably co-ordinated with matching outfits, if you spend any quality workout time in them, they will soon take on the rancid odour of a wet possum / old drooling basset hound. This is not attractive. Additionally, if you have been in any way adventurous and worn them outside, in your next gym session they will deposit a neat pile of dirt behind your treadmill that resembles mice droppings or something the cat has flicked out of the litter tray. Also not attractive. If you are a girly girl, perpetually clad in stilettos, your artificially shortened calf muscles will protest and you will feel unrealistically short and squat every time you enter the gym. If you accidentally start to like this too much, the law of unintended consequences means you will shortly start wearing crocs to work which may mean you never date again.
Reason 2 – you will check your self-respect at the door
There are two types of women in the gym.
- Those who exclusively wear the latest workout designer de jour, in a range of hues colour-matched to their lip gloss with a precision that would make Elizabeth Arden skip in giddy admiration. These gym participants often sport salon-fresh blow-waved hair, occasionally also adorned with a sparkly clip, fresh frangipani or Chanel headscarf, all artful devices used to obscure a complete lack of sweat. Whilst these ladies will retain composure whilst in the gym, they will invite scorn from any self-respecting male gym member….except those men who are a little prone to sporting a headscarf or something sparkly of their own.
- Those who actually work out in the gym. If you are this type, your ability to attract a mate in the gym will be somewhat eroded if you have any kind of normal physical reaction to expending effort. A personal example? Einstein-esque hair that will escape from a ponytail as surely if you had poked a finger into that spare powerpoint next to the treadmill. Face as red as an heirloom tomato, which will invite worried looks from those on gym duty for fear that you are suffering an aneurysm. Sweat that will migrate from your face to the end of your ponytail and, in time to the cadence of your treadmill action, will then shower nearby participants. Although for a moment vaguely reminiscent of those childhood days of running through the sprinkler on the front lawn, this will not endear you to other gym members. (will ensure however that you do end up with a two-treadmill demilitarised zone around you on future visits if that is what you are after)
Reason 3 – You will need a new wardrobe.
This will involve time, money, and a little research. If you are still in the newly-fragile stage, your judgement impairment may be even more extensive than merely a new addiction to drunk texting and you may turn up in something like this…..
…in which case you have ruined a perfectly good 12 month gym membership as any chance at creating a good first impression is now null and void.
Reason 4 – Gyms mess with your reality.
This is the end result of the methods they use to conspire to keep you there. One of the most insidious examples are the ‘skinny mirrors’ which convert your very normal figure into something supermodel-esque so that you ALWAYS WANT TO BE THERE. What you see in the sneaky skinny mirror.
What every other gym goer sees
Reason 5 – the risk of an unflattering exercise posture is high.
Perils are everywhere, ironically most notably the machines that target favourite female trouble spots such as the thigh adductor machine.
You should never be seen in anything resembling this kind of apparatus by any male unless you are seconds away from delivering his firstborn child into awaiting arms.
Finally, do not be enticed by the new dating offshoot of the outdoor fitness crowd where fit singles train with other fit singles. Many of the same perils as the gym but somehow you need to be fit before you get there. Kinda like cleaning up the house before the cleaner arrives (and lets face it, WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE) which means signing up for a gym membership to train up for singles boot camp and reaching a whole new level of irony.