These days, the world seems more crazy and hectic than ever. There’s always another event, another show, another digital distraction…It’s hard to fit anything new into our busy lives – let alone a date! That’s where a new viral date-hack is trying to change the game! It allows you to do a month’s worth of work in a single evening, and TikTok users around the world have been eagerly incorporating it into their weekly schedules.

Welcome to the world of Stack Dating.

What is Stack Dating?

If you’re old enough to remember the ‘90s, Stack Dating is kind of like the time that one sitcom character scheduled several dates at the exact same time, whether on accident or because he (because, let’s be honest, it was always a “he”) thought he was slick enough to pull it off. Spoiler alert: he never was.

The idea is to schedule hour(ish)-long dates with several potentials all in the same day (not the same time, Chandler/Theo/Will/Zack!) Some Stack Dating practitioners suggest stretching those times out: a morning coffee date, a midday lunch meet-up, then an evening dinner or drink. Others stand by the original method of scheduling dates right up against each other (if you imagine your phone’s calendar filling with several one-hour dates all butting up against each other, you’ll start to see where Stack Dating got its name.)

Why Stack Dating?

The notion behind Stack Dating is to maximize your dating potential when you have a minimal amount of time on hand. It’s an approach to dating that emphasizes chemistry over romance. Vibes over butterflies.

It also provides a more casual, lower-pressure way to date. No fancy dinners or off-the-wall first date ideas – just an hour blocked out to sit, chat, and get a feel for the other person. And if you do decide to get all dolled up, stacking up your dates means you only have to do it once – then just strut your fancy self from date to date.

When you’re single, it can sometimes feel like you’re staking your entire romantic future on a single date. But Stack Dating can help reduce that stress and the potential disappointment. Every first date is no longer an all or nothing affair. You’ve got a whole evening of potentials! First date a bust? On to the next one!

The Pros & Cons to Stack Dating

There are some natural positives to Stack Dating, many of which we’ve already talked about. Less stress. Less time spent getting ready. Less time spent trying to fit a date into your schedule. It can also help focus a date and allow you to narrow in on the person across from you so you can decide whether it’s a relationship worth exploring out of the evening or the hour.

…And that’s also where some of the cons come in.

When you only allow someone an hour to demonstrate their whole self…is that fair to them? If you’re on Date One, but thinking about how Date Three has those really dreamy eyes, are you giving your current date all the attention they deserve?

Two-thirds of romantic couples say they knew their partner as a friend before they started dating. And the average length of those pre-romance friendships? Twenty-two months! That shows us that many relationships form, change, and grow over time. They don’t simply pop into existence – or make themselves obvious after an hour-long date.

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Stack Dating

One way to make sure you’re giving your dates the benefit of the doubt is to use Stack Dating as a test bed. If, after the end of an hour, the person across from you is a walking red flag…maybe don’t call that one back.

But if you had a good time, some fun conversation – even if sparks didn’t fly – keep them in the mix! Give them a second round (maybe a more traditional date next time!) It’s rare for someone to knock you off your feet the second they walk through the door and even rarer for those relationships to last.

So, what do you think? Is Stack Dating something you’re going to try out next time you find yourself with a few enticing matches?

Trey Zink
Trey Zink (He/Him/His) is a writer at Pure Romance. With a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati, Trey floated around the packaging and branding world for 10+ years, designing and writing for brands such as Tide, Welch’s, and Miracle-Gro. He eventually pivoted careers, trading packaging, logos, and signage for rhymes, puns, and alliteration. Outside of work, Trey enjoys video games, soccer, and melancholy songs.