Singles bars are an outdated concept; matchmakers are too high-pressure; and online dating can be a minefield. What’s a single person to do? Go grocery shopping.
In a recent feature, The Wall Street Journal details the reasons adults—especially those who are older—have found dating and social success at the supermarket. Meeting people while shopping is low-key, non-confrontational, and doesn’t involve deviating from your normal routine.
“Most of our dating life was at the grocery store,” a woman named Jessica Ellis tells The WSJ of her early relationship with now-husband Jeremy. “You get a chance to talk, there’s another task to focus on and you’re not worried about impressing the other person.”
(She forgot to mention free cheese samples.)
All of this romance is made possible by the rise of groceraunts, the concept of restaurants, wine bars, coffee shops, and other sit-down dining options inside supermarkets. The WSJ reports that these offerings are a move by grocery stores to encourage people to hang out longer in-store and treat the supermarket as a social gathering place.
It makes sense that the majority of the shoppers whose ages are listed in the piece are over 50. Going out to bars or even online dating can seem intimidating to that set, who probably never Tindered back in their day. The grocery store—unlike the club—is a place they feel comfortable.
One of my own family members, a divorced father in his 60s, recently told me he’d met a woman in the cheese section of the Stop & Shop he frequents. The woman seemed bewildered when she couldn’t find the Roquefort, which led to a conversation about a party she was hosting, and eventually, an exchange of phone numbers. They went on a couple dates after that (to restaurants, not the frozen food aisle).
Read more heartwarming vignettes about love, friendship, and reusable tote bags in the full Wall Street Journal feature.