The perfect date: Date on a bike
Outside the box
Forget relationship sites, dating apps, the traditional dinner out and quick speed dates. People who have tried all kinds of dating, without success, and want to build a relationship for once, are better off getting on their bike. An active cycle ride through nature is, in fact, the perfect way to date. Consumatics, commissioned by Gazelle, analysed various scientific studies and that was the conclusion they reached.
Don't sit opposite each other
A lot of people will go for a meal on their first date and sit opposite each other. Don’t, says researcher Wenda Linthorst. “When you look someone straight in the eye, you are less able to express yourself, as the brain has to carry out two different tasks in the same cerebral area. This makes it difficult to get conversation to flow. On a bicycle we don’t have that problem: conversation flows more easily, and if there is a lull at any point, it feels natural.”
Cycling increases the heart rate. A psychological effect then comes into play: excitation transfer strategy. Linthorst: “The brain is not good at distinguishing the reasons why the heart rate has increased. If you have more excitement coursing through your veins, you automatically associate this with the person near you, making you feel more positive towards them. So, head off together on your bikes towards that dike, or up that hill: your brain won’t know whether your heart has started beating faster because of the cycling or because of your date. Cycling together improves the likelihood of a successful date.”
Looking for the perfect date? Hop on a bike.
Other studies also show why the bicycle may be the ideal dating tool. “Your self-confidence improves when you move. That’s good, because when you’re on a date, confidence is essential. You need to have confidence in yourself and so that you appear attractive. You must also dare to open up to another person,” says Linthorst. She suggests that the best bet is a bike ride through nature. “This puts more focus on being together, not on the surroundings. If you experience calm with all your senses, you feel more at ease.”
Japanese study from 2016 by Kajimura.
English study by K. Fox (2000) published in the International Journal of Sport Psychology
Various studies by Terry Hartig
R. Glenn Cummins (2017) and Meston & Frohlich (2003)