Tired of getting dressed up on a Saturday, spending too much money at a club and going home with no prospective partners in sight? Then forget heading to a bar and try heading to a barre class to meet that next special someone. As more and more boutique-type classes — like Barry’s Bootcamp and Soul Cycle — are cropping up, so too are relationships in these places. A couple of couples give their firsthand account about why the gym is a hot, new dating spot.
Having an instructor pushing you to run faster and squat lower might not seem like the ideal setting for falling in love. But, for Lowe Taylor Cunningham and Patrick Cunningham, Barry’s Bootcamp provided that extra nudge to make their romance blossom.
“Before we went on our actual date, we would see each other in the morning in class and awkwardly say hello,” says Lowe. “I was always very impressed with his high speeds on the treadmill.” Their relationship went from friends to a first date and now the couple is married and just welcomed a baby boy this Christmas. But, it wasn’t his hot body that Lowe was drawn to as one would think.
Like going out to bar, just judging people based on attraction doesn’t set up a lasting relationship. “Participating in a regular fitness activity allows a person to meet someone gradually over time,” says host of VH1’s Couple’s Therapy, Dr. Jenn Berman. “That can create a much stronger base. Plus, your judgment is a whole lot better when you’re high on endorphins rather than drunk on a couple of cosmopolitans.”
Photo credit: Lowe Taylor Cunningham and Patrick Cunningham
Romance in training
The best relationships are built on a foundation of mutual interests, so for Group Fitness Manager Justin Rubin and Group Fitness Instructor Angela Moore, working out and working at Equinox was the first step towards a happy marriage.
“We met at a cycling audition and began talking about fitness, triathlons and teaching,” says Justin. “One thing led to another and the rest is history. When engaging in an activity that is both good for you and is something you’re passionate about, you approach meeting people with a different mindset than at a nightclub. It is such a healthy environment to meet people,” says Angela. “If your priority in life is to be healthy and continue on that fitness journey, then you should meet someone that is in alignment with that.”
Photo credit: Justin Rubin and Angela Moore
Not only could you meet the love of your life at your next fitness class, but you could maybe even score a date with a Hollywood hunk! Jake Gyllenhaal met his model girlfriend Emily DiDonato while they were spinning their hearts out at a NYC SoulCycle class. And actor Justin Bartha even married Equinox trainer Lia Smith. “When you have similar values and ideas and spend time engaging in those activities, relationships tend to blossom,” says Dr. Berman. “No matter who the people are, if they’re both very passionate about health, then they’ll have more compatibility.”
Photo credit: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty Images
How to score a sweaty date
The key to the whole process is putting yourself in an environment that’s healthy for your body, mind and soul. When you do something that is positive and feel good about it, you put out a different vibe than in a typical nightlife spot.
“You don’t want to go into it with the intention of meeting someone,” says Justin. “If you go there with the motivation to get everything out of class you can — mind-body connection, burning calories and having a good time, then what is meant to be will be. With that deeper shared connection comes a new level of bonding not found on the bar scene.” “I never liked meeting people in bars,” adds Lowe. “You never know if you really like them without the cocktails and dim lighting. I would rather see someone sweaty and killing it in class and go out for smoothies after.”
So, if you’re looking to land that cute guy in the next row of spin bikes or TRX class take a couple of tips from Dr. Berman: smile, make eye contact, ask questions and compliment him.