Attention Gen Z – this one’s for you!
Gone are the days of spending literally hours inside your room getting ready for a much-anticipated first date. As per Tinder’s Future of Dating report 2023, almost 51% of Tinder users in the age group of 18 to 25 globally are currently making dating a completely low-stressed part of their daily lives.
Whether they are randomly sneaking out on dates after an exercise class in the morning or meeting for drinks after dinner with friends, fitting in dates whenever it is convenient for them – this is exactly what was termed as stack dating or errand dating by the Global Relationship Insights Expert of Tinder, Paul Brunson.
And although associating your date with a random errand does not sound very romantic, it is kind of the point – hear me out!
The young and bold today are just scheduling their dates along with what is on their plates all ready for the day – just like anyone would do while meeting friends, getting some work done, or booking a gym session.
While dating is important, it seems like Gen Z has realized that it does not have a whole thing – they are instead treating dating like another event on their day’s schedule. That way, they can show up in relatively more authentic versions of themselves. As per Tinder’s report, only 32% of Gen Z users on Tinder are stepping out on dates even on weekdays – tea break, anyone?
So, today, let’s dive into the intricacies of this brand-new dating trend – stay tuned to find out more.
Stack Dating: The Dating Trend Taking Romance By A Storm
Gen Z today is making their dating lives work by just stepping out on multiple short dates in a single row – like the modern version of speed dating, and that too if it fits into their schedule, which, if you think about it, is both empowering and important. Why, you ask? Simply because it is a proactive way to date someone – it’s not reactive.
A majority of us prefer sitting back and waiting for someone to come choose us. But with the concept of stack dating, you are clarifying that you have limited time in your schedule – you will proactively put the people you are dating into a certain time frame.
And when you interact with multiple romantic prospects, you are likely to become more confident and who you will become compatible with in the long run.
That being said, just because the concept of stack dating is kinda in, it does not mean it happens to be a fit for everyone out there. There is more to unpack when it actually comes to the new dating trend of Gen Z.
The Difference Between Stack Dating And Regular Dating:
Stack dating, also known as errand dating, is literally when you are scheduling dates with other activities that are a part of your daily schedule. It can be during work hours, or it could be a breakfast date, or it could also be meeting up for some time in the park before you go hang with your friends.
Gen Z is making dating a priority by stepping out on dates whenever they have time, but at the same time, they don’t want to make a BIG deal out of it. Sometimes, it can also mean going on multiple dates on a single day when you have the time for it.
It is also a way in which you can put relatively less pressure on the dating culture by nixing your prep time as well as all the anxiety that accompanies it for easygoing short dates that highlight your most authentic side.
That way, you can actually prioritize connecting romantically with different people instead of wasting your time on one person or putting all your eggs in a single basket.
And while regular dating also talks about finding time for your much-anticipated date, similar to stack dating, it often also involves plenty of prep time, giving up huge chunks of your night or day to meet a stranger, not knowing whether it will be worth all the effort, and the anxiety that comes with making your first date a huge production.
Stack dating simply takes all of this away by positioning dating as a normal part of your regular schedule.
The Benefits of Stack Dating:
There are benefits of stacking your dates – Gen Z is making the most of this viral trend. And looking at the advantages of stack dating, we can clearly see why!
Authenticity Over Physical Attraction:
The best thing about stack dating is how it prioritizes keeping most things real, so it makes a lot of sense that the concept has become popular among Gen Z. 50% of those who were surveyed in Tinder’s Future of Dating report prioritized the authenticity of a romantic interest over everything else.
In fact, as per the report, Gen Z is the first generation that refuses to rank physical attraction as their top factor when it comes to choosing a romantic interest. Instead, this generation is asking – is there comfort? Are we compatible? Am I comfortable with this person?
Think about it!
When you meet a potential date during work hours while they are in their work clothes or just grabbing a coffee post-gym, doesn’t it feel like you are actually experiencing a normal part of their day? If you do end up dating this person, this is the version you will see regularly.
Changing your personality for someone because you are on a date just doesn’t add up anymore – there are too many fishes in the ocean to behave like someone that you are not!
The Perfect Escape Opportunity:
When you are not really feeling it, stack dating also gives you the opportunity to end your date. You are literally on the clock – it is so much easier to end your date when you plan afterward or have a strict 60-minute time limit as an excuse. This also sounds smart from a safety-oriented perspective.
If you have somewhere to be after your date and you are in potential danger, your absence will at least signal that something is not right.
That being said, you have to be mindful of how you express your time constraints while meeting your date. Perhaps don’t start with the fact that you have made plans after your date, especially if it is to meet a different potential romantic interest.
Remember: Just because you are stacking your dates does not mean you should actually make someone feel like they are not very important to you. Give your date your complete attention – put your phone away, ask questions about their interests and life, and if you feel like it, then don’t stop yourself from flirting a little, extending the date past the time restriction!
Relatively Low Stakes:
Stack dating also keeps the stakes really low. If you are dating casually and the connection does not really go anywhere, you won’t really be disappointed since you did not invest tons of energy and time into the person. Additionally, you can also find out who you are really compatible with since you can easily compare the dates you have been.
Ask yourself – who was a good listener? Who made you curious? Which date was all about physical attraction, and which was about genuine interest?
Are There Cons Of Stack Dating?
For starters, there are many Gen Z folks who think that the whole low-pressure convenience associated with stack dating does not really add up. TBH, it is possible someone prefers to enjoy their actual break during their downtime or lunch. It is possible that you do not like rushing into a date and prefer keeping your leisure free of interactions with a potential love interest.
While stepping out on several dates in a single row will allow you to run a comparative compatibility study of how each date went, having multiple options can also lead your dating life into a classic paradox of choice.
If you struggle with making decisions, then it will be difficult to choose anyone, especially if you have been on way too many dates. Simply having too many choices can make the whole low-stress situation very stressful for many, and it can also get very exhausting in the long run.
There is also a risk of seeming as if you do not care about that particular date, even if you do care a lot. Time restrictions or scheduling dates on your lunch break can feel unromantic to many people. It can also signal that you do not actually care about making your date feel special or even trying to get to know the person, which can be pretty insensitive.
The Stack Dating Trend Is Genius! Thanks TikTok!
It is not a secret that Gen Z dates differently, and forgive us if we sound biased, but we are here for the newest trend.
Stack dating is perfectly cool – you are treating your date like another errand. You don’t have to spend hours getting dressed and keep your Friday night free, hoping that this romantic interest is your twin flame!
Instead, it is all about squeezing in a date here and there whenever you have time and, more importantly, when it’s convenient! For the baes barely hanging on between a boss babe life and girl dinners, Paretay, a TikTok user, experimented with the concept of stack dating, and it went viral soon!
Booking your dates in one-hour slots at a single time – three dates, one Saturday night, let’s go! Since then, the trend has spread like wildfire, and now we are interested too!
Although this method might seem impersonal or disconnected – hello lovers – it is a more realistic approach when you are balancing the qualms of capitalism, or adulting, or more.
A majority of us sit back and actually wait for someone to select us – but with the concept of stack dating, you are saying you have limited time on your hands. You are proactively scheduling dates.
So, How Can You Actually Make Stack Dating Work For You?
So, how can you make stack dating actually work? The first thing you need to ensure is that it should not feel like an errand to your date. It is easy to spot when someone treats a date like a corporate interview. Have respect for your date, show them you care, and be sensitive to their efforts.
While stack dating is all about taking less stress about any date, it does not mean you should take the engagement seriously and give 100% of your time and energy while you are on the date.
Remember that while stack dating means you’re putting less pressure on the date, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the interaction seriously and give 100 percent of your energy while you’re there.
Perhaps the best way to make it work is by just keeping things 100% real. Since stack dating is about making your dates work for your lifestyle, it means you will have to arrive on the date as YOU and not some idealized utopic version of you or even who your date wants you to be.
If the date doesn’t turn out to be genuine, chances are it won’t work out. Sure, everyone is not going to love or accept you for who you are, but that is kind of the purpose behind stack dating – to eliminate the wrong matches.
Gen Z has simply decided to show up as themselves – if their date doesn’t accept them as who they are, then it means that the match lacks compatibility.
Wrapping Up: Stack Dating Is The Modern Equivalent Of Speed Dating?
There is an episode in Sex and the City adequately called ‘F**K Buddy’ where the sweet and beautiful Charlotte tries to break her typical pattern of putting her eggs in a single basket by agreeing to two back-to-back dates in a single night.
It doesn’t end well when her first date runs into her kissing her second date outside her apartment. It’s been over 2 decades since then, and thanks to TikTok, speed dating has made a comeback – this time, it’s called stack dating, and we are quite enjoying stacking our dates! What about you?
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Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.