Meanwhile, a study conducted in 2010 concluded that it only takes one-fifth of a second to fall in love. It makes sense then, that people might want to make their dating game more efficient.
Christina defines the zero date as: “One drink, one hour. With the goal of answering one question: would I like to have dinner with this person?”
“Not,” Christina adds, “Are they ‘The One’?”
If it goes well, you can schedule a first date, if not, you never have to see them again. And the best bit? According to Christina, “Because it’s just one hour, you can squeeze up to three in one evening, and then you only have to do your hair and pick out one great outfit a week.”
The zero date also gives you an opportunity to find out how potential dates respond to you asking them out.
Christina told GLAMOUR there are two main reasons for the growing popularity of zero dates: “one is that people are more aware than ever that life is too short to spend time on awful dates. The zero date offers a name and a format (and thus, I think, grants people “permission”) for investing less than a full evening with someone they are only just starting to get to know.”
Alex Mellor-Brook, a dating expert from Select Personal Introductions (a leading matchmaking agency), agrees that zero dates can be a great way to “filter out the people who are time wasters, fakes and mistakes.”
He continues, “[Zero dates are] a great way to call someone out, and get them to communicate with you on a visual basis. Anyone catfishing can be eliminated immediately. Do they look like their image? Do things add up based on what they have said about themselves on their profile? You’re able to find out a little more about them and then decide, would you want to leave your house to meet them?”
It’s clear that people are tired of swipe-based dating, as Alex explains. “Swipe-based dating was almost gamified over lockdown with people swiping like they were playing Candy Crush.” He adds: “spending so much time swiping without much reward will definitely have an impact on this style of dating.”
However, not everyone is on board with zero dating. James Preece, a celebrity dating coach & relationship expert, argues: “If you want to create chemistry then it requires a combination of effort, energy and a desire to connect.
“If you try to shortcut the process then you not giving each other the chance to build upon this. It can take time to prepare for a date – hair, makeup, new outfit etc. There has to be ‘something’ that puts butterflies in your tummy and dates should be special. If you don’t do this then you might as well just be meeting a friend or having a business meeting.”
If you do want to give zero dating a try, Christina shared her top tips with GLAMOUR:
1. Be super clear of your expectations: one drink, one hour (or however you’ve defined it). Don’t meet at dinner time if you don’t want to eat dinner.
2. Take care of your own transportation (drive yourself, take public transit, or take a car service, rather than having your date pick you up and drop you off). You want to be in control of your exit strategy.
3. Treat each conversation with curiosity and truly be open to it working out. At the same time, wait for the person to show you who they are rather than filling in the blanks based on who you want them to be. You have to be able to hold these conflicting ideas in your head at the same time.
You never know, you might enjoy the zero date so much that you decide to have dinner there and then. That’s the brilliance of zero dating – it’s up to you.
For more from Glamour UK’s Lucy Morgan, follow her on Instagram @lucyalexxandra.