Online Dating and Self Esteem: Does going to the gym get you better dates
Do you have low self esteem? Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and question or doubt the bits and pieces that make you…well.. you!?
Maybe you thought it would be nicer to have bigger arms, a flatter stomach, a bigger ass or bottom to you overly polite types. Thanks to modern media and being human you probably have, but did you ever think that having one or all of these physical attributes would improve your dating life or self esteem in some way?
That your last rejection would be different if your body was more akin to a Barbie or black Ken doll, I’m pretty sure there’s a black Ken now!! It’s 2018 right.
So here’s the question, does working out or going to the gym get you better dates?
Also I will be using the word “gym” as a verb for the majority of this post, feel free to judge me for it.
That gym thing
If you have Instagram, Facebook or any social media implant you’ll find gazillions of photos of men and women showing off their protein stuffed bodies, some impressive, some scary, some making you question their authenticity and others making you wonder what it would take to even achieve anything close.
There’s an opinion that most people who go to the gym have no life outside of it, have very little going on in their skull, are superficial, a bit douchey and quite into themselves. Although they’re not completely wrong, they’re not completely right either, not all coders are socially inept and not all bankers are wankers. I believe that exercise, done at the gym or in the little space you make in your bedroom is good for the soul, it builds confidence, generates good hormones, releases stress, boosts self esteem and has the added bonus of making you feel and look good while passing whatever milestone you set for yourself.
The human race wasn’t built to just sit on its ass and watch love island. To iterate, having a good body is something a lot of us already have but unfortunately not to the standards that have been set by media, ourselves, society and our potential dates, and thanks to that a lot of us do what we can to fit in that weekly gym visit. Some enjoy it, some do it because it’s the thing to do, some are reaching for that body goal and others fall in and out of it after every third month.
Motivations are far and wide but we’re going to focus on the one that involves getting more reasons to stay up late and drink with a stranger.
Should I gym to improve my dates
So let’s say you sign your enthusiastic self to a gym membership plan and are assigned your first personal trainer who you’ll eventually start calling an evil bastard for judging the efficiency of your push ups. Now your reasons for putting yourself through this will no doubt vary, but for the reasons you’ll want to do this in relation to dating are possibly quite superficial, maybe you want to lose weight, maybe you want bigger arms, maybe you want a better backside or maybe you just want to add “gym” to your Bumble profile without it being a complete fib, but for whatever your reason what will it achieve.
From a superficial point of view let’s say you’re a lady who suddenly starts going to the gym and starts getting closer to that “gym bod” you've been seeing on Instagram lately.
You add this new look to your dating profile and maybe you start matching with like minded men, or just men with higher body standards or just more men in general. It’s hard to imagine the difference seeing as men tend to swipe right on most women, maybe the quality of men might get better or your own tastes change because you now spend three evenings a week in the gym and rather your next mate was also there to hold that squat rack for you.
But more importantly maybe it will also boost your self confidence and self esteem as well as give you a little less to feel insecure about if your body and health happens to be one of those things.
I think this may be quite watered down for the guys who may decide to join the gym. Unlike our female counterparts, having a nice body doesn't drastically increase your match rate, in fact flaunting it may actually do the opposite as I’m sure we've seen enough topless bathroom selfies.
But what it does do for you is increase the amount of confidence you have in yourself, and as a guy in the dating game confidence is a very important factor. What it also does is give you an extra thing to talk about with your potential match or date assuming she goes to the gym at all. People ought to be attracted to personality rather than looks, but how often do you pick up badly branded goods from the supermarket just because you’ve been told it has a good personality.
In addition if you’re anything like me and tend to analyse reasons for being rejected after a date, you can at least write off any thoughts about it being about your body.. it might be your personality instead… yikes!!
Why you shouldn't gym to improve your dates
Ideally you want to be with someone that likes you for you and not how perky your butt is or how many pecs you have. Most dating apps if not all, are incredibly superficial and it’s pretty much an online human shopping spree.
You’ll be hard pressed to find another person on it that will match with you without also considering your appearance, it’s not great but it’s definitely the case for most. But luckily having the ultimate physical body isn't attractive to a lot people and even if you’re amazing body gets you more dates than you can fit on a calendar it doesn't mean you’ll like them all or if they’ll like you, can’t dead lift a crap personality.
But if you do match with someone regardless of your focus on body sculpting perhaps the interaction would be more three dimensional and less about imagining how they’ll look naked, men will probably do this anyway.
Although I’m an advocate for the gym, being healthy is already enough and leaving your sweaty DNA around a pure gym probably isn’t worth the effort if all you want to get out of it is a few new matches on your swipe addictive app.
To “Gym” is to go on a journey of self improvement and discipline, it’s a great way to feel good about yourself and to train hard work and discipline into your bones and psyche as well as raise your self esteem. Although it has a bad rep, when done properly and with the right mindset it’s an incredibly effective way to release those precious good hormones and raise self esteem. But it’s something that should be done for you, and not for the benefit of others… well mostly, nothing wrong with getting some external praise and motivation for your hard work either.
Originally published at diaryofawannabe.com on September 11, 2018.