Jessa Goebel has been climbing since she was a little tyke, and while she calls Fayetteville, W.V., home—with the New River Gorge basically in her backyard—she's been climbing and training in gyms since the mid-'90s. Which is why we listen when she says she's got the beta. The beta on dating at the climbing gym, that is. "I've had plenty of time to see it all," Jessa says.
"The climbing gym is a great place to find a date—guys and gals with lots of muscles wearing tight clothes and sweating. Need I say more?" she says. In the past, she says, the sheer number of men compared to women could be intimidating. "Nowadays the script is flipped and there are statistically equal amounts of male and female climbers in climbing gyms."
Are you single? Looking for someone to tie in with? According to Jessa, there are three main types of climbers looking for dates at the gym:
—The guy or gal looking for a forever life/climbing partner. These are the climbers who are looking for a life partner who shares a passion for climbing and each other. This is the most serious level. It's mandatory for your gym game to be on point to snag this type of partner. In fact, it might take a few ‘practice partners’ to get this right.
—The guy or gal looking for a gym/weekend climbing partner. In other words, someone to belay on projects.
—Lastly, the people looking for someone to take them to dinner and out for a few beers after a gym session. So classic! Not just for college kids anymore.
Knowing what you're looking for, or expecting, and recognizing what the other person might be looking for can help keep things running smoothly.
So if you're walking into the gym, scoping out the scene, what kind of vibe do you want to put out there to attract a date? "Be confident, don’t play hard to get," Jessa says. And, on that note, don't take yourself too seriously. With tongue firmly in cheek, she ticks off the things women "shouldn't do" ... "Never talk about how you’ve broken a nail, never ask if you should lead climb a route, never talk about how tight the leg loops on your harness are."
But seriously. For the guys: Maybe lay off the mansplaining, and think twice before asking, "Are you sure you want to lead this?"
Looking to take it to the next level when you have your eye on someone? "At the bouldering wall, place your chalkbag next to your target guy's chalk bag and
"accidentally" get them mixed up. This can also be done with your gym bag. This will force a social interaction," Jessa jokes.
Or, try the new classic pick-up line: "Ask a guy to take an instagram picture of you climbing at the gym."
With that, good luck, friends. ***Wink.***