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Gen Z Wants to Meet Their Soul Mates in Person, Not Online

dating events, socializing

Dating events have reportedly become increasingly popular among young people as they seek alternative ways to meet people in a world once dominated by dating apps.

Attendance at dating and singles events targeted at millennials and Gen Z has increased by 49% this year compared to last year, Bloomberg reported Friday (June 28), citing data from Eventbrite.

The decline in the number of paying users on dating apps like Tinder further supports the trend of young people seeking alternative ways to meet potential partners, according to the report.

A survey conducted by Axios and Generation Lab found that 79% of college students and other Gen Zers are opting for in-person interactions over regular dating app usage, the report said.

Traditional venues like bars and coffee shops are no longer the go-to places for young people to find potential matches. Instead, they are gravitating toward interest-based functions and activities, per the report.

For example, the Venice Run Club, a popular running group, has become a place where new members state their single status as part of their introduction. Even a late-night chess club, like the LA Chess Club, has become a hotspot for singles in Los Angeles, according to the report.

Eventbrite reported that game-based singles events, such as board game speed dating, have seen a 400% rise in attendance from 2022 to 2023. Athletic events designed for singles have also grown by 136% during the same period, the report said.

Some events, like Pitch-A-Friend Philly, encourage participants to give presentations about their single friends, aiming to help them find potential partners. Others, like the meet-up events organized by Hot and Social, provide opportunities for young people to socialize and make new friends, per the report.

At We Met IRL, a New York-based organization that facilitates dating events for people aged 25 to 35, events sell out in minutes, or even seconds, at $25 per ticket, according to the report.

The appeal of these dating events lies in the fact that they provide a structured environment for meeting new people at a time when many young singles struggle with the uncertainties of approaching someone in casual settings, the report said.

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that more than 70 million U.S. consumers log in to dating apps each month. The most popular apps include Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, according to the “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Love and Social Media Edition.”