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Study shows Gen Z hide interests to seem cooler when dating

Research from Candy Crush Saga reveals that young people have concealed an interest from a date in fear of being judged.

Dating can be hard, especially when you feel the need to hide your true self. Last year, half of Gen Zers admitted to hiding their true personality when away from social media, and a new study found that the same goes for your hobbies when seeing someone.

A survey from the video game Candy Crush Saga reveals that many young people need to hide their hobbies and interests when seeing someone.

Out of the almost 1,000 respondents, three-quarters (75%) of 18-24-year-olds have hidden an interest from a date for fear of judgement. A third (33%) worry their date won’t find it attractive, whilst another third (29%) feel pressure to be cool. While 80% of 18-24-year-olds have pretended to be interested in something to appeal cooler or fit in.

It also takes an average of 7 dates for Gen Z to share interests with someone they’re seeing. Interests like gaming (32%), listening to pop music (27%), and watching cartoons or anime (27%) are the top hobbies they’ve concealed from others.

While we don’t know why these interests are deemed “uncool” or where the idea came from, we might be seeing a new trend.

The research also revealed 77% of 18-24-year-olds would find someone more attractive if they owned their interests. At the same time, 71% would prefer someone to be upfront about their interests even if it might be seen as uncool or cringe.

Half (52%) of 18-24-year-olds think an interest in gaming makes someone more attractive – because it shows you do not take life too seriously (37%).

After noticing this, Candy Crush Saga has coined a phrase: “quirkodisiac”, the quirky interest(s) we hide from others for fear of being judged that they find really attractive. The top “quirkodisiacs” amongst Gen Z are reading/collecting comic books (27%) and listening to pop music (27%), followed by gaming (e.g. mobile) (26%).

To help embrace your quirky side, Candy Crush Saga partnered with sex & relationship expert, Charlene Douglas to share her tips.

Charlene says to practise sharing your quirks in a fun, light-hearted way. ‘The more you learn how to speak confidently about it, the easier it will feel to share with others,’ says Charlene. ‘Confidence is attractive!’

‘If you’re really nervous, allow your date to learn other facts about you first. This way, they can form a rounded, more balanced impression of who you are.’

The expert also says to explain why you like your hobby and then ask what they like and why. You could also connect with other people who share the same interest as you.

‘This excitement can help you to bond and feel connected to others,’ she says. ‘Differences can be exciting, add a sense of mystery and make people want to find out more about you…which can be the ultimate turn on!’

Gen Z grew up with the internet, which might be why it’s easier for them to embrace their authentic selves online. While we are fortunately seeing a trend that’s encouraging us to own our quirks with potential partners, it’s important regardless to embrace what we love.