Fitness Influencers and Dating Culture

Woman fitness influencer

Growing up, we didn’t have fitness influencers. In fact, we didn’t even have the internet, so there was no social media, let alone influencers. If you had told me then that people could reach celebrity status for having a large following, I would’ve said, “Are you talking about a cult?”

But that was then, and this is now—and fitness influencers are very much a thing. These buff bros and babes are major players online, and they not only sway people’s workouts, eating habits, and overall lifestyle, but they also have an impact on dating culture.

In terms of what today’s society sees as “normal” or ideal, when it comes to dating and relationships, fitness influencers hold power on their platforms.

You’ve seen them on social media, whether it’s Instagram or Facebook or TikTok, showing off perfect-looking lives, bodies, and habits—so it’s changed how a lot of people think about what they want in dating or romance.

So limber up and fill up your YETI insulated cooling tumbler with water (no soda; this is a fitness zone) while we explore how these fitness influencers impact people’s expectations and ideas of what they want out of relationships and dating culture in general!

fitness influencer

The Rise of the Fitness Influencer

These fitness influencers, with their ripped bodies and disgustingly healthy diets, have gained huge audiences on IG, YouTube, TikTok—if there is a social platform, you’ll find them on it—and post everything from workouts, fitness tips, what they eat, and other aspects of their lives—like their love life.

Their feeds are curated, so followers are constantly seeing their perfect everything, and this def shapes what their audience wants in a romantic partner. If you see two seemingly “perfect” people living their best lives and looking amazing while doing it, of course, you’re going to see that as the ideal!

Fit man

Perfect-Looking Bodies as the Ideal

Although fitness influencers aren’t responsible for this per se, another big effect they have is setting unrealistic body images and ideals for their audience. That happens with all of social media—it’s certainly not unique to this particular category.

Being bombarded with images of super fit, toned bodies can make people want and expect more attractive romantic partners. This not only alters what singles want when it comes to dating but can make followers unhappy or insecure about their own bodies if they don’t stack up.

fitness influencer

Lifestyle and Compatibility Wants

Fitness influencers are known for showcasing their healthy lifestyles of wellness and the discipline it takes to maintain their routines. And while this isn’t a bad thing, as like attracts like, this tends to sway people to believe they should be searching for the exact same kind of partner. It becomes a priority to find potential partners with common interests, which is completely normal! But you may narrow your dating pools as not everyone is a fitness enthusiast who practices intermittent fasting and drinks green juice like it’s their job and they want a promotion.

fit man and woman

The Influence on Relationship Dynamics

Most fitness influencers show off their romantic relationships online by posting adventurous photos of them looking gorgeous and doing adventurous things besides their workouts! But this can be a double-edged dumbbell, leading to unrealistic expectations about normal, offline relationships, ignoring the boring day-to-day stuff. They’re never going to post pics of themselves having an off day or not looking picture-perfect, which can make people feel like their lives are less than or boring in comparison.

woman influencer

The Role of Social Media and Comparison

Social media facilitates comparisons to others’ lives.  Users compare their own relationships to the curated ones shown online.  This can make people feel inadequate and set impossible standards for their own love lives.

fit woman

Fitness as a Symbol of Personal Values

Being all about fitness and only fitness becomes symbolic of someone’s values—people can think partners with fit bodies share all of their values outside of healthy living and taking care of themselves. But that’s the only thing that’s important; far from it!

Being in great shape is not just about having a banging body—it means you are tending to other things in your garden, like your mental health, and having other interests outside of the gym. Yes, it takes a ton of dedication and self-discipline, but if your entire personality and life revolve around one thing, you could be a hollow chocolate bunny—you look delicious from the outside, but there is nothing going on inside.


The Positive Side: Inspiration and Motivation

One good thing about these fitness freaks (not an insult, we mean it as a compliment) showing off on social media is they can actually inspire others to get into a more healthy routine and exercise—and even though it sounds superficial, when you look and feel better, it doesn’t hurt when it comes to pulling in more dates.

Focusing on your health and body can increase your confidence, which obviously makes you more appealing to date. And if you and another person are both into that fit and fab life, that common interest itself will help you connect and become closer!


The Negative: Potential for Unrealistic Expectations

But while the super fit influencers might motivate some positively, you have to acknowledge the other side of the coin and see that they also could skew people’s perceptions about what’s normal or even physically possible.

If you’re constantly seeing these perfectly toned bodies and amazing lifestyles, eventually, that image might get warped in your head, affecting what you should expect or deserve—this could set you up for disappointment in the romance department. You could end up frustrated and disheartened when dating because reality is always different from the glossy, curated, and filtered pics on a fitness influencer’s feed.

Final Thoughts

Fitness influencers have a complex impact on dating culture today—they can motivate people to make positive changes and develop new and healthier habits. However, it’s important to look at the flip side and see how it can have a negative influence as well!

Finding a balance between being inspired by these influencers and hanging on to realistic views on body image and romantic relationships is super important for building healthy, happy, and real romantic connections. Ultimately, recognizing the difference between the glamorized, over-filtered social media world and real-life dating is critical for a well-rounded perspective on romance.

While fitness influencers shape modern dating perceptions and hope to some extent, for better or for worse, they can encourage healthy lifestyle changes but also further unrealistic relationship ideals.

Being aware of and navigating their clout over culture is needed for taking a realistic, healthy attitude toward dating and connections. In other words, follow the fitness junkies but do so with the mindset that not everything is as it seems—especially not in the picture-perfect world of online influencers.