The idea of meeting people in real life can seem a bit antiquated. Or just downright impossible, that’s why we all use apps, right? Wrong. It took me a long time to work up to join dating apps like Tinder. I know it sounds ridiculous, because literally everyone is on it, but I was worried that I would look better online or on an app than in real life, both physically and generally, and then during dating in real life it would be a disappointment. Eventually I got over it, and I met my girlfriend on Tinder, but I definitely have a sweet spot for— and a whole lot of experience in— offline dating.
If you find that you’re constantly swiping and never talking to anyone, or letting conversations go cold, or even just feeling completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of people on the internet you may want to take a break and look offline. Although I certainly had access to more people, especially bi and lesbian women, through dating apps then in my day to day life, you can totally meet quality people there, too. You just need to be a bit braver than you would on the internet, and better at keeping your eyes open rather than just expecting things to happen to you.
If you’re looking to move offline, here are three areas that aren’t bars where you can totally meet people to do date, if you’re keeping your eyes open:
1. Through People You Know
This is what I mean about being brave. I mean, the dream is that you meet a friend of a friend at a party and you hit it off and run into the sunset, right? That’s sort of what you’re waiting to happen. But it doesn’t normally happen that way, friend groups are pretty established and maybe you’ve normally dated all of your friends’ friends that you want to date by now. You run into the same people over and over. But ask if there’s anyone you haven’t met who they think you would like.
Or ask people at work— as much as dating someone in your office is almost always a bad idea, if you have work friends who seem cool, you can ask if they know anyone who’s single. Everyone has those friends who would be a great significant other but they just aren’t for them. So if you find like-minded people, you can meet the people they love but would never date. You just have to be brave enough to ask. If it ends up being embarrassing, who cares? It’s way better than just sitting around waiting.
2. Through Things You Do
I’m not saying you need to go to your local hot yoga studio’s Valentine’s singles’ special (that actually existed at my local studio and it looked like my worst nightmare). But if you find people who have similar interests there’s a much better chance they’ll know someone you would also get along with. The odds are way better than just meeting someone off the street.
Keep an eye out at your hobbies. It just opens up your rings of potential people, as long as you are brave enough to strike up conversation with new people. After the first few times, it’ll get easier. Don’t feel like you need to jump right into asking for a date, that can seem cheesy and forced. Just start talking about the class you were in or the book you read, it’ll get you used to approaching to people you don’t know.
3. Completely Effing Randomly
A guy once asked me out in the middle of a pizza restaurant in South London. He came over with his number written on a piece of paper, the whole bit. And even though it was like a 7 p.m. on a Tuesday, no one was drunk, and he was completely put together and polite, my first thought was “What an effing wierdo!” How sad is that? My friends had to talk me into giving him a chance— and he deserved it for ballsiness if nothing else. And they were right, he was lovely and totally normal and we had a couple of great dates.
In fact, I was the wierdo who’s entire boob popped out on the second date (true story, and I am always the weirdo). But it’s really depressing that I jumped to the fact that he must be some kind of freak for asking out a person in real life. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Or used to want?
So just keep your eyes open in normal life, don’t be afraid to say yes to something completely out of the blue. They’re probably just looking for exactly the same thing you are. (But never a bad idea to send your friends a dropped pin of wherever you go with them.)
Originally posted on Bustle