A Guide to Meeting People Without Dating Apps

A man and woman sitting together on a park bench

If you're tired of using dating apps to meet potential partners, you're not alone. Many people are feeling fatigued at the prospect of continuing to swipe right indefinitely until they meet someone great. These same people also know that meeting people in real life, without assistance from dating apps and sites, is very difficult. 

While it can be challenging to put yourself out there and try to meet new people IRL, the potential rewards are worth the risks. Fortunately, there are a few tried-and-true strategies that can help you make a connection with someone out there in the real world. Read on to learn how to put yourself in the best position to stumble into that perfect person.

Get Involved

Now that you've decided to attempt to meet people IRL, it's time to get out there. One great way to meet people is to join groups or take classes related to something you're interested in. For example, if you are interested in meeting someone who would love to cook with you, consider taking a few cooking classes or joining a local cooking club.

It can also be a helpful exercise to work on engaging and meeting people more in the places that you already frequent. Starting a conversation at your local bar, coffee shop or workplace is a great way to practice your social skills and gauge how well you've achieved a good confidence level. By all means don't be a nuisance, but engage people socially and strike up a conversation here and there. 

Mix Up Your Routine

While you might think it makes sense to try to meet new people at your local hangouts, it can actually backfire. Chances are, if you go to the same bar every weekend, you’re unlikely to meet many new people there. You’ll have better chances of meeting new people if you switch up your daily routine.

Try going to a bar in a different part of town, hitting up karaoke, or trying out the new restaurant in your neighborhood. Mixing it up means that you’ll interacting with a different crowd of people than you usually do, making it likely that you’ll meet someone new.

Even doing something as simple as going to a different coffee shop on the way to work can help you meet new people. You might be surprised at the opportunities that open up just by slightly changing your routine. 

Start Conversations

One of the most difficult parts of meeting people in the real world is actually starting a conversation with someone you’re interested in. When you’re using a dating app, much of the work is done for you, because everyone’s there for the same reason. In real life, it can be difficult to know if someone is interested in talking to you. This means that you’ll need to exercise emotional intelligence and be willing to experience rejection when trying to flirt with someone. While it might not sound like it, this is actually a good thing. This gives you an opportunity to be vulnerable, take risks, and to further develop your ability to read social cues. 

Go on a Date

Once you’ve successfully met and struck up a conversation with someone you’re interested in going on a date with, the hard part is already over. Once you have a date set, the next step is to figure out the perfect plan for your time together.

Some good first date ideas include doing out to lunch or dinner, going to see a movie, or going for a walk. For a non-traditional first date, bring the person to try something fun, like kayaking or rock climbing. Bonus points if the activity is something neither of you have tried before.