Your eyes meet across a crowded room. He’s a very easy-on-the- eye cross between Brad Pitt in his prime (he is a vegan after all) Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey and man of the moment Timothée Chalamet. Not only is he handsome, this potential beau seems funny, kind, plus he has a good job, and presumably bank balance, too.
But then, it happens. He slurps from a plastic straw while calling global warming a conspiracy, before admitting he goes everywhere in his car and wouldn’t be seen dead on a bike. Needless to say, this date did not end happily ever after. Eco hunk he ain’t.
There’s been a gradual and welcome shift in the do’s and don’t’s of the dating world over the last few years. Eco-consciousness has become a key criterion when searching for a partner. Dashing looks and a twinkling personality is all very well, but it’s no longer enough. Is your Ryan Gosling look-alike a recycler? Your Idris Elba doppelganger an eco-warrior? If he’s not green, then we’re not keen is the saying nowadays.
The Allure Of An Eco Hunk
All the single ladies are no longer trying to put a ring on it – they’re more worried about making a conscious effort to go on dates with an eco hunk via public transport. And the most attractive trait a man can have nowadays?
Forget having a 917K Porsche in the driveway or an American Express Centurion card in your pocket, boys. Velotric Bike surveyed over 1,000 Americans about their environmental choices and how they relate to dating – and, well, it seems that being eco-conscious has never been more alluring. And ranked as the most attractive eco-friendly behaviour? Using a reusable water bottle, of course.
The survey also explored how certain mindsets could cause or resolve intimacy and communication issues. Finding the perfect partner essentially means being on the same page – and an individual’s environmental choices can significantly affect potential relationships.
A staggering 82 per cent of respondents reported differences in environmental ideology resulting in fights with a significant other. Dubai-based entrepreneur, Lily, says: ‘I was dumped for caring about the environment “too much”!’ She admits that she was equally turned off by dating men who rolled their eyes at an eco-friendly lifestyle.
And while being passionate about the planet can also mean three times more passion in a relationship – with couples living in solar panelled-homes claiming to have red hot love lives according to research – finding a partner who loves the earth as much as you do can be tricky.
You might meet somebody who ticks a lot of boxes and makes you smile, but how can you be sure their values align with yours? Interrogating them on their eco-knowledge over dinner isn’t exactly moonlight and roses.
So to avoid wasting your time, what red flags should you watch out for when looking for an eco hunk?
- Refusing to believe in or care about global warming
- Mindlessly wasting food
- Lack of attempts to recycle
- Driving a car when walking, cycling or public transport is an option
And what green flags will get your heart racing?
- Cycling to work
- Driving an electric or hybrid car
- Proudly being a nature lover
- Using reusable grocery bags
- Carrying a reusable water bottle
But where exactly can you find these like-minded soulmates? The good news is that many dating apps are geared towards being green. You can start your quest for eco love on Green Singles, Meet Mindful, Natural Friends, Planted Earth Singles and Elite Singles.
Mainstream apps such as Bumble have personality shortcuts called Interest Badges. This list includes options such as coffee, pop music, and voter rights, and with more than 150 to choose from, the labels enable users to showcase a selection of at-a-glance values. So if you’re after an eco hunk, search for the environmentalism badge.
Finally, where can you go to find eco love? As the temperature drops in the UAE, the great outdoors beckons for a fabulous first date. Kayak through the serene mangroves and star gaze whilst enjoying a cup of Karak tea with biscuits under the full moon (email@example.com). Enjoy a bike ride together and find the perfect spot for a picnic. Why not plant a tree while you’re there? Or let’s face it, is there anything more romantic than taking a walk on the beach, the waves lapping against your feet as you get to know each other?
Gardening is not only a great hobby, but can spark a mutual interest and provide a decent workout. Then again, if you really want to get your adrenalin-pumping together, go for a hike. Hatta, in Dubai’s largest national park, has no less than 17 routes to take while admiring the Hajar Mountains. More seasoned hikers can attempt the Stairway to Heaven trail at Wadi Ghalilah, and this will be sure to get your hearts racing.
For those who’d rather stretch their intellect, take a stroll around the Louvre Abu Dhabi or take your pick of what Sharjah has to offer, such as at Sharjah Science Museum. But if you’re really keen to see where things are heading, a date to the Museum of the Future would be a perfect starting point to explore what might truly happen next…