Modern dating can be tiring, frustrating and not always that much fun. It can seem that the only way to meet people now is online or through the myriad of dating apps, but the technology of dating can make the whole thing feel very impersonal and businesslike. If you’re getting sick of swiping through the apps and getting nothing but sleazy messages, mediocre dates and people who ghost you after two weeks of chatting, maybe it’s time to try something new instead.
Ditching the dating apps can ease some of the pressure on you immediately. You’ll be free of the eternal search for that perfect profile picture, endlessly crafting a bio that’s attractive, alluring but not desperate and the boring game of scrolling for someone who has a profile that doesn’t make you cringe. Dating apps can be very damaging to your confidence and can put you off totally; it’s easy to get stuck in a circle of asking yourself why you aren’t getting more matches or why everyone on there seems awful.
Even if you’re over all the dating apps, meeting someone the old-fashioned way can seem pretty impossible. The average millennial works forty hours a week, with some even reaching a fifty-hour work week. With long work hours, most of us don’t get much social time where we have the opportunity to meet new people. Our spare hours are spent maintaining the friendships we already have, or just trying to keep up with the latest must-watch streaming series.
In fact, modern life can be very focussed on not talking to anyone new at all. Most of the work at computers, and spend time in headphones at our desks to dodge awkward small-talk with our colleagues. When you finish work, you might commute home on a train or bus where you do whatever you can to avoid making eye contact with anyone. At the supermarket we use self-service checkouts, we ride home in Ubers to avoid calling a taxi firm and order food from yet more apps instead of going into the restaurant to collect a takeout order. Lots of us almost go out of the way to avoid talking to people. None of this helps us to meet people in real life, meaning we fall back on the apps to meet potential dates.
The good news is, there are options beyond the apps or meeting someone in a bar. Think outside the box and try dating in a few new ways.
Put Yourself In The Path Of New People
You don’t have to actively search out dates to meet someone you might be interested in. You don’t have to go speed-dating, ask your friends to set you up on blind dates or accept your parent’s suggestions of meeting the very nice son of their friend from the golf club in order to meet someone. Instead of focussing on dating, focus on meeting new, like-minded people whose company you can enjoy.
Think about your hobbies. What do you like to do where you might meet some new people? Perhaps you love to dance, or you like kick-boxing or tennis. Join a class in something you love to do already. Do you work from home? Work in coffee shops, or try booking some space at a hotdesking or co-working space to meet other freelancers in similar lines of work to you. You’ll meet people with the same passion or with similar lives, and you never know when a spark of attraction might bloom. Even if you don’t meet the one, maybe you’ll make some new, interesting friends instead.
Consider going to meet-ups for people like you; there are meet-ups in most large towns and cities for young professionals, for women working in technology, for church groups and many more. Find a group that matches you to meet people who have things in common with you. Just be careful not to treat professional networking events like a speed dating event. If you’re there as a professional, act like it. Be open to meeting people, but don’t behave in an overtly flirtatious manner, or you could damage your professional reputation. If you meet someone at work or from a rival organization, check your contract for rules about dating colleagues or conflicts of interest to make sure you don’t accidentally break any rules.
Accept invites to friend’s parties, or ask to be their plus one for a work function at their job. Go to concerts, or suggest trying a different bar to the one you usually visit. Accept the friend who asks you to watch them in their amateur play, or join your Dad watching his favorite sports team. Be open to chatting to people and put yourself in the path of new people. Make small talk and be friendly, and you might just meet someone who interests you.
By meeting people this way, you already know you have something in common, which gives you a great starting point for building a lasting connection. By meeting in person, you should already have an idea of whether you’re attracted to them or not, which saves you from wasting time with someone from an app who doesn’t tick your boxes when you meet in person. It’s also easier to get a better idea of what someone is like than it is when you meet online. Anyone can say that they’re funny or passionate about their dating profile, but it’s hard to know if that is true until you meet them. When you’ve met in person, you already know those things about them, and they know a bit about your personality too.
Chemistry is easier to judge in person. We can tell a lot from body language, which we can’t get from the apps.
Remember That Dating Should Be Fun
The dating apps can make dating seem stressful, and push the focus onto finding a partner just to get off Tinder, Bumble or Grinder. By dating in person, you can drop that pressure and remind yourself that dating is supposed to be fun.
When you’re trying to meet someone, try and keep fun as the priority. Don’t audition each date as your future husband or wife. Instead, just ask yourself if you find their company enjoyable.
If you’re finding looking for someone in person isn’t fun yet, ease yourself in. take all the pressure of meeting a potential partner, and just enjoy having fun, flirtatious conversations. Check out the top 5 free phone chat lines as a starting point to sharpen up your flirting technique. Chat to other singles for free with no pressure on meeting at all. You can flirt for fun until you’ve remembered just how enjoyable it can be. Then you’re ready to get out into the world and meet other people.
Do you have friends who are also dating? Why not make a regular date with them to get together and share stories? It’ll be fun to chat about successful dates, commiserate over unsuccessful ones and compare notes. Knowing you’re not alone in strange dates or other dating disasters can help you to feel better about dating when it grows wrong. You can keep looking at dating as something fun if you make it fun with friends who are in a similar boat.
Keeping things light also gives you better ways to deal with the inevitable rejection that is always a part of dating. Outside of the apps, not everyone you meet is going to open to a real-life meeting. If you start chatting to somebody cute on the train to work and they don’t seem interested, don’t push. Drop it and chalk that one up to experience. Remember it’s fun and don’t take it personally if somebody doesn’t return your interest.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
It’s easy to get into a routine in life and see the same people at the same places. If you want to meet someone new, you need to get outside of your usual routine. Instead of wondering why you can’t meet someone nice at the pub quiz you go to every Friday, the problem could be that you’ve exhausted the small pool you move in.
Widen the pool of people you’re around and have some fun trying new things at the same time. Arrange a visit to a karaoke bar with some friends, book a weekend away to a new city, or try something you’ve never been brave enough to, whether that’s a hot yoga class or a white water rafting trip.
New things can be exciting, and kicking yourself out of your comfort zone will boost your confidence. Confidence is attractive and will give you a boost when you’re approaching people. You’ll also have lots of great stories to tell on all those dates you’ll hopefully be going on. You’ll meet new people you wouldn’t meet normally, get into practice at getting to know different people and you might even find a new bar or hobby that you love.