There's an episode of Sex and the City called the F*** Buddy where sweet Charlotte attempts to break her pattern of putting all her eggs in one basket (we're paraphrasing here) by booking in back-to-back dates in one night. Spoiler: it doesn't end well when Date One runs into her kissing Date Two outside of her apartment. In 2023 this has been dubbed 'date stacking' and it's become the latest dating phenomenon to gain momentum thanks to TikTok.
The idea being that as dating can be draining, time consuming, and as it doesn't always lead to romance, you can reduce the potential disappointment and save time by scheduling multiple dates in one night. Consider it speed dating without the organisers or buzzers.
Date stacking went viral with a woman in Brooklyn narrating her plan for three dates in one night via TikTok in March, and now the trend is doing the rounds again and being tested out on UK shores, with a Times journalist trialling it earlier this week.
In case you're wondering how it works in practice, the TikTok video by Paretay that went viral, explained: “I'm booking them in one-hour slots at a time. Three dates, one Friday night, let's go."
If that sounds like an intensely brisk schedule, a TikTok dating coach named Alexis Germany Fox posted about the concept in 2020 and advised date stacking with “a lunch date, a happy hour date and a dinner date all on the same night.”
In theory it sounds like a fun day — but dating can be unpredictable. So while this technique is designed to tackle that fact, it could also intensify the potential pitfalls. Consider that nerves can take on your energy levels, and the fact that listening and absorbing new information from a relative stranger can be emotionally fatiguing. Not to mention manners would be a minefield: what if you want to keep hanging out with one date as you're getting on so well? It would be rude to cancel someone so close to the time. Or the opposite: if one date is awkward and you feel emotionally drained by it, or it lowers your mood, is it fair to bring that to the next person's table?
There's also quite a major red flag in Alexis schedule suggestion: surely a happy hour date isn't wise before a dinner, unless you're going tee total? It's not cool to turn up after getting tipsy with someone else, surely?