My current partner and I met in this crazy way. Most people our age are baffled when I let them know that I actually met my boyfriend using a pretty old school method: in person.
I’m not hating on dating apps. I’ve used every popular one there is out there: Tinder, Bumble, CMB, Hinge.
While dating apps are becoming more and more accepted by people as a way to meet a romantic partner, they can be intimidating. It’s hard to guess someone’s intentions, and that’s if you can get past the game of turning endless texting into an actual, in-person meet-up.
Dating apps definitely increase the pool of potential romantic partners, but they somehow feel limiting, too. People tell me that with every swipe, they lose a bit more hope, which is hard to come to terms with when most would rather not be on dating apps at all.
Luckily, meeting people in-person doesn’t have to be an elusive endeavour. I know it sounds hopeless, but it’s completely viable to still meet potential partners without dating apps.
If you want to date people you meet IRL and are having trouble, try using these tips.
1. Go Out Into The World
I can tell you one thing for sure: You’re not going to meet someone while sitting on your couch binging The Witcher—unless your sink breaks and the plumber is looking mighty fine.
You have to get out into the world and do more. This method is how you meet more people in general, but it’s also how you’re going to meet someone that could turn out to be a future romantic partner.
Plus, if you go out and do things you love—concerts, yoga classes, Star Wars fanfic workshops—you’re going to find someone who automatically shares an interest with you.
2. Turn Off The Screen And Look Up
Nowadays, people tend to fill their idle time with social media. Instead, peel your eyes away from your phone and look up into what’s going on around you.
Your chances of meeting someone when you’re out living your life significantly decrease if your attention is continuously being given to your phone. Nothing says, “I’m not interested in talking,” quite like scrolling through Instagram.
At the very least, appreciate the present and what’s going on around you. Make simple chit chat with others that aren’t preoccupied with their screens. You never know when that person might be someone you spark an interest with.
3. Shoot Your Shot
Talking to strangers can be intimidating, even more so if you’re attracted to them. But if you don’t shoot your shot, you’re going to miss every chance at meeting someone potentially special.
Back when I was single, I went to a hot yoga class at a new studio. It had been quite some time since I did hot yoga, and about 10 minutes in, I felt very light-headed.
I stepped out of the class to take a breather. That’s when I got to chatting with the guy that worked at the front desk. We instantly connected over our obvious common interest: yoga.
But then the class ended, I left, and that was that. I got home and instantly regretted that I hadn’t asked that guy for his number. I went back and forth with myself and finally decided to call the studio.
Low and behold, the guy answered. I asked him if he’d like to grab dinner sometime, and he was flattered. We went on a few dates after that, too. Things didn’t pan out between us, but at least we gave it a try. Had I not called the studio, I always would’ve wondered.
4. Meet Your Friends’ Friends
Meeting people through your friends is one of the smartest moves to make in dating. You know you like your friends, so chances are you’re going to like who they choose to spend their time with, too.
Spoiler alert: This is how I met my current boyfriend. I knew a group of guys from college, but it took two years before I met my partner, one of their friends from high school. When we finally met, I was dating someone, then he was dating someone, etc.
We knew each other for two years before we went on our first date, but it built a solid foundation for us to build off.
When your friends have a party, go. When your friends go out, tag along. Better yet, when you make plans with your friends, ask them to invite their other friends.
5. Say Yes More
In congruence with agreeing to more plans with your friends and getting out of your apartment, just say yes to more invitations.
You might think your co-worker’s housewarming party or uncle’s birthday sounds cringe-worthy, but being sociable is the only way you’ll meet new people in real life.
You never know when a dinner date with friends or yoga class one weekend will result in meeting a special someone. But I can guarantee that saying “no” to invitations all the time will significantly decrease your chances and practically obliterate them.
6. Don’t Be Afraid Of Rejection
Unlike dating apps, people don’t wear a sign around their neck letting you know their relationship status. That’s probably going to be your biggest hump. Still, you just have to go for it and know that someone being in a relationship already might be something you encounter.
But luckily, the more you’re rejected, the easier it gets.
The same goes for if they’re just not interested in you. Honestly, if someone shows disinterest from the get-go, at least you’re not invested. There are a million reasons why someone might not be into you—just try not to take any of it personally.
If dating apps are your jam, swipe away. If you’re looking to take things offline, just remember to get out into the world, have a bit of courage, and shoot your shot.
I’m not saying this won’t take a bit of effort. I’m not saying you’ll find someone right away. But with consistency, awareness, and positivity, your chances are more likely to meet that special someone IRL.