You heard it here first: trainspotting is sexy now.
At least, that’s what new research from Bumble seems to suggest, as the dating app says its users are increasingly turning away from the stereotypical profile tropes and instead showcasing niche hobbies and interests to attract a date.
More than half (51%) of single people say that photos that reveal a skill for an unusual sport or activity would prompt them to strike up a conversation – so if you’re a clarinet pro or simply superb at roller-skating, maybe now is the time to let potential suitors know.
Certainly, you should steer away from tired old dating profile shots – the least popular things to feature in photos are gym selfies, messy bedrooms, and pouty expressions.
One of our favourite stats to come out of the research is that a third of Gen Z say they’d now be more keen to date a trainspotter than before – surely a result of the Francis Bourgeois effect – and Tom Daley has no doubt encouraged the 29% of millennials who’d be interested in someone with a passion for knitting.
Almost 1 in 4 (22%) said that having a unique hobby trumps other desirability factors when it comes to finding the perfect partner, beating the likes of knowing multiple languages and being skilled at DIY.
As a result, Bumble is launching seven new Interest Badges in the coming weeks to celebrate these booming niche activities – including trainspotting, knitting, beekeeping, and more.
Bumble Sex & Relationships expert, Dr Caroline West says: ‘Dating, especially in the early days, is about finding things to connect over and understanding who the other person is. Your photos are your opportunity to reflect who you are, what you love, and what you’re looking for. For example, a hiking photo can highlight your love of the outdoors, a particularly tough achievement or signal that you prioritise fitness and well-being. Representing what makes you happy is key to finding an authentic connection and by highlighting your unique interests and passions you give people an easy conversation starter.’
READ MORE: Rosie Green’s midlife dating column