We live in a culture of convenience. Whatever we want—food, groceries, laundry service—we can usually get with a few taps on our phone. But in the dating world, the “convenience” of swiping from the comfort of our couch in our sweatpants, beverage in hand, means that many of us have forgotten how to actually encounter a potential love interest in real life.
Don’t worry—we’ve got you. Here’s a refresher on how to meet someone IRL.
If it’s been a while since you’ve ventured into the analog dating world, the thought of approaching a beautiful stranger might seem super intimidating, so start off with baby steps. Get in the habit of making conversation with strangers who you aren’t interested in dating—it could be your Uber driver, your barista, someone in the dog park, or the person behind you in line at the store. The more you do it, the more relaxed and comfortable you’ll likely become when talking to someone who really does make your heart flutter.
Do something you love.
What’s more attractive than someone who looks like they’re genuinely enjoying life? Think about a hobby you’ve been wanting to try—abstract painting, whiskey appreciation, astronomy, stand-up comedy—and join a group that does it locally. You’ll not only be doing something to make yourself happy, but you’re more likely to meet someone who has similar interests to you—beyond just tacos and pizza.
Tap your IRL social networks.
Old-school social networking consisted of meeting friends of friends by actually hanging out with them. So instead of sifting through Facebook, ask your closest circle of friends—those who know you well and whose judgment you trust—if they know of any single people they can introduce you to. And if blind dates aren’t your thing, organize a group hang where you can get to know potentials in a more casual context.
This really should go without saying, but even if you’re out in public with the intention of meeting someone, that’s never going to happen if your eyes are glued to your phone. After all, it’s impossible to exchange meaningful eye contact or a flirty glance when you’re constantly looking down. So whether you’re on the subway, waiting for a friend to arrive, strolling the grocery-store aisle, or sitting in a café, put your phone away and see what happens.
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