Find a Relationship by 'Home Depot Dating'
Is it possible to go shopping for a life partner? According to the latest TikTok trend, it might just be: “Home Depot dating,” which has racked up more than 6 million views on the social media app, first started as videos of single women looking for eligible bachelors among the hammers, paints, and screwdrivers in the hardware store. Their mission was to strike up a conversation with fellow shoppers in an effort to make a “meet cute” happen—or at least learn some DIY home decor tips. While the concept sounds a little “try hard,” as the Gen Z crowd might say, the idea that we can meet a potential date in the real world doing what we love is enticing, especially if you’re suffering from dating app fatigue.
“The concept of ‘Home Depot dating’ really is that we are out and about in the world all the time running our errands, going to restaurants, socializing with friends and that someone who is compatible with us might be drawn to the same types of places as us,” says Heather Shannon a sex therapist and host of the Ask A Sex Therapist podcast. “So you don’t need to just focus on the dating apps and miss all these in-person opportunities while bored out of your mind, scrolling and thinking how people should put more effort into their profiles. Home Depot is a perfect example of finding someone compatible IRL—two people who enjoy home improvement and DIY projects would both be drawn there, so you might as well strike up a conversation in the hardware aisle and see where it goes.”
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If hanging out at a Home Depot isn’t your thing, Shannon lays out how you can use new dating trend and to your own advantage.
Why meeting someone at a place that matches your interest is a great idea
Do you like tennis? Take tennis lessons. Love animals? Volunteer at an animal shelter. Passionate about plants? Make sure to visit your local plant store often. The bonus of doing this? You get to do what you love while possibly meeting the love of your life at the same time.
“This is what we call alignment,” Shannon says. “When you’re living your best life and doing the things that light you up inside, you’re going to attract other people who are living their best life, and you’re also going to meet people who share your interests and passion. It gives you some instant compatibility and something to talk about with each other.”
How to strike up a conversation with a stranger
Being accustomed to swiping and texting means most of us are a little nervous when it comes to approaching an attractive stranger in real life. Shannon suggests keeping it easy by asking a question.
“It could be as simple as, ‘Hey, do you know where I can find XYZ in the store?’ You could ask them their opinion on a shirt in a clothing store or if they’ve heard a certain record in a vinyl store,” Shannon suggests. “In Home Depot, you could ask them if they know how to mount a painting properly on a brick wall, for example. Also, because now this is a trend, you could even make a joke about ‘Home Depot dating’ and see if they’re really there for a home improvement project too, or if they’re there because they heard about the trend. That might even be a way to find out if they’re single too.”
Another way to strike up a conversation? Try helping them out if they seem stuck on a decision and could use some help picking something out. Maybe say something like, “That color would look great on you!” or “Personally, I’d go with the white tile.”
What are the pitfalls of trying something like Home Depot dating?
Yes, you could potentially meet someone great at Home Depot or elsewhere, but you want to make sure that you’re visiting these places because you genuinely want to and not because you’re strategically forcing something to happen. Shannon’s advice? Be less attached to the outcome and just remain open.
“Keep it loose and let your bliss lead the way,” she says. “Let things play out organically. It used to be that online dating didn’t exist and then when it first came out, people were suspicious. Everyone met in person. Now that everyone dates online, the reverse has happened and we’ve become less open to meeting in person or even forgot about it as an option. So go to the places you love and be open to being friendly and initiating conversation with no further agenda. You’ll know it if you click and feel a spark.”
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
Whether you’re visiting a Home Depot or waiting in line at your local coffee shop, Shannon says the dating trend is a good reminder that “you can meet someone compatible anywhere, and we aren’t necessarily in charge of how or where that happens. By being open and realizing it can happen anywhere at any time, we are increasing our chances of finding a great match.” While she doesn’t believe you need to get off the dating apps entirely, she does encourage you to take breaks and focus on going to in-person networking events, conferences, live performances, volunteering, shopping—and yes, Home Depot.
“Don’t hold back,” Shannon says. “If you think someone is cute or you’re curious about them (or their DIY project), don’t censor yourself either. The most authentic and organic thing in that case would be to allow that attraction and curiosity to express themselves.”
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