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May 2, 2016 by
Jay Medley
Looking for new friendships, social connections, and maybe even love in all the wrong places? Not finding like-minded individuals who have the same interest in fitness as you?

Whether you’re an adult looking for dates or new friendships, or the parent of homeschooled children looking to meet other families, or anything in between, look no further than an indoor rock climbing gym.

When you’re trying to meet someone with whom you can build a relationship, be it romantic or platonic, you need to narrow your prospects down to people with whom you have something in common. This is where a gym, any gym, has benefits. At a gym, you’ll meet others who are active and interested in fitness. Because rock climbing is based on holding up your own body weight (and not lifting heavy weights in general,) it’s a sport that attracts males and females of all skill levels, so you’re sure to find a good mix for romantic or platonic prospects. Find out if your gym offers special times for certain age groups or clubs; some gyms have special times for homeschoolers so they meet and climb with other homeschooled families (this offers a great opportunity for kids and parents to make new friends.) There may be climbing clubs for different age groups as well. If you’re new to the gym, you’ll have to take a climbing safety course. This is an opportunity to meet others and strike up a conversation even before you start climbing.

With rock climbing, you have built-in conversation starters. It’s hard to break the ice and start conversations with strangers, but with rock climbing, you could offer to belay another person, you can discuss a route that one of you is about to climb, and you can offer tips and encouragement to climbers on the wall. Rock climbing is a social sport, so expect to talk to new people. After all, you need someone to belay you and you can return the favor by belaying them, too.

Making new friends as an adult can be tough, and it can be awkward to arrange for hangouts with a new potential friend. It can feel like you’re asking a potential friend on a date! When you meet someone through rock climbing, it’s easy to arrange another hangout with your friendship prospect doing more rock climbing. Plan a time when you’ll meet at the gym to belay each other, and from there you might be able to grab a post-climb protein smoothie.

If you strike out meeting people in your own gym, you can turn to the internet to find other climbers. Did you know that there is even a social media site for meeting other rock climbers? CragNotes lets you discuss notes on past climbs and upcoming climbing plans so that you could meet up with other climbers you’ve met on the site. There are also dating sites devoted to fitness enthusiasts where you can specify that you are into rock climbing.

Whether looking for a friend, a date, or some social connections, your rock climbing gym can provide you with a great place to meet people. So put your phone away and get social the old-fashioned way: talking to people about the shared experience in front of you.

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