Hobbies That Will Inspire Dating

close up of a young black man wearing an apron and cooking at home

close up of a young black man wearing an apron and cooking at home


There’s a growing perception throughout much of society that dating and courtship have become, for lack of a better word, sleazier processes. Largely thanks to dating apps, many of us now judge potential partners on looks first and personality second. We prioritize hook-ups over actual dates, and categorize and sort through possible companions as if we’re organizing online shopping lists. Or at least, that’s the perception.

I’m not sure if there’s a way to counteract the trends toward online dating or hooking up via social apps. Some will even argue that online and app options represent the natural evolution of the dating process, or that even if we have different ways of meeting, ordinary interaction prevails in the end. What I am sure of is that if we’re to retain any semblance of an ordinary dating culture, it’s extremely important to have more to say, demonstrate, and generally represent than what goes onto a dating profile. Sure, you may end up on a date because of a profile picture, or a listed job, or the fact that Tinder says you’re 6’2”, but once you’re actually on a date, you’ve got to be classy and appealing. And that brings me to hobbies. Another sad result of our increasingly digital world is that a lot of us no longer practice regular hobbies because we’re so engrossed with our smartphones. Constant social interaction, never-ending availability of games, news, and entertainment have shifted a lot of our free time from personal pursuits toward pure consumption of whatever’s there for us to enjoy. You may have noticed that’s not going to fly on a date. If you’re out with a girl who interests you and she asks what you do in your free time, Angry Birds and YouTube videos aren’t going to cut it. So here are a few of my suggestions for everyday hobbies that can still make you feel classy—and that could even help out on that next date.


1. Cooking I can’t stress this one enough: being able to cook is the classiest hobby for a guy in the 21st century, and it’s one that the ladies are going to eat up (no pun intended). Cooking shows patience, discipline, and, if you get good, creativity and even artistry. It also demonstrates self-sufficiency, and gives you one more way to treat and/or impress her when the time is right. One thing I’ve argued on many occasions is that cooking is one rare skill you’re allowed, if not encouraged, to show off. Think of it this way: if you’re a great football player, you’re not exactly going to get a girl excited about watching you throw the perfect spiral (unless you happen to be a pro). But if you’re a great cook, you probably won’t get a lot of pushback when you try to prove it.


2. Action Sports I borrowed this from an existing list of 75 manly hobbies, which actually stuck specifically to rock climbing as its idea. I’d expand the same general concept to include other action sports as well—not necessarily skateboarding and rollerblading, but adventurous hobbies like snowboarding, kiteboarding, water skiing, and the like. Having one of these under your belt demonstrates that your interest in physical fitness goes beyond competition to include the sheer thrill of exertion. That’s a desirable trait in just about anyone, and it gives you something to teach others. These aren’t sports you just try out and succeed at, so if you end up with a significant other, you can show her the ropes.


3. Woodworking You probably don’t want to get too carried away with this one, because going full mountain man can be a lil’ over-the-top. However, the basic ability to carve wood artistically can be pretty cool, and it at least gives you a unique quality that no one’s really expecting to hear. Like the ability to cook, woodworking demonstrates a lot of basic core qualities that partners find desirable. And as a bonus, it gives you an avenue by which you can create fun, one-of-a-kind gifts for others.


4. Poker A poker hobby can get excessive if you’re hosting three poker nights a week in your basement, but the basic ability to understand and win at an intellectual game just oozes class. Chess may be a little too intellectual (great players tend to seem almost idiosyncratic about it), and other card games too juvenile. However, poker is a varied, difficult game that requires focus and the ability to learn and adapt. It’s also more complex than most realize and easier to learn than ever, thanks in large part to Internet poker rooms. At Betfair’s platform, you can actually learn a huge range of different poker games, including the standard Texas Hold’em and many others. You can often learn blackjack as you go also, but poker is the card game of the classy.


5. Literature It may not always seem like it in the shifting dating culture discussed earlier, but most women still prefer an intellectual side to the guys they date—even if they found those guys through electronic apps. And a firm grasp of classic literature coupled with an ongoing interest in reading is a great, subtle way to demonstrate your intellectual side. It doesn’t mean that you have to sit at dinner tables spouting off James Joyce quotes to your partner and friends. But being able to jump in on a conversation about reading or fiction in general is a nice personality touch that seldom goes unnoticed. Those should function as a good way to get thinking about what some of your classier hobbies might be, and how you might make time to emphasize them. It’s important to stay involved with what we enjoy most, and it may help in the dating game too.