20 Places To Meet And Date People In Real Life
I teamed up with the popular website Bustle to contribute some ideas on concrete things you can do improve your dating life and meet other singles in real life (IRL), as well as ideas for interesting places to meet a new potential partner.
I love that Bustle is doing something called App-less April, which is a challenge to delete your dating apps for a month, and I want to support this idea and challenge you to give it a try too!
If you follow me on social media, you know I’m a big proponent of online dating—that’s how I met my handsome hubby, after all! But I do believe in this techno-centric world singles are losing important interpersonal skills, especially non-verbal behaviors such as how to look up from your phone, make eye contact, and smile.
Plus, it’s way too easy to become addicted to dating apps, and to treat them as a game or ego boost. Isn’t the whole point of online dating to get offline and meet in person?
In fact, the 2017 Singles In America Survey found Millennials are 57% more likely than other generations to have created a profile on a dating app. Sadly, Millennial daters are also 125% more likely to admit they’re addicted to the process of making a love connection.
According to a recent Bustle survey with dating app Happn 78 percent of women and 85 percent of men still want to meet people IRL.
So, it’s time to put your phone down and mingle with other singles!
First, let’s talk about where to meet a new beau. If you’re burnt out from the bar and dating app scene, think strategically about where the type of person you want to date would hang out, as well as what you like to do for fun. For instance, if you live an active lifestyle and desire someone physically fit, where might this type of person spend their time?
Here are 20 places to meet a new significant other:
- Gym (boxing or Crossfit gyms tend to have both men and women)
- Rock climbing wall
- Local Farmer’s market
- A park
- An opening night celebration (gallery, a friend’s accomplishment, a local restaurant event)
- Uber Pool
- Grocery Store
- Meetup group
- Salsa or swing class
- Brewery or wine tasting
- First Friday (a lot of towns have these free or discounted events)
- Book store
- Join a book club
- Take an adult education class (art, language, music, cooking, etc.)
- College alumni event in your city
- Professional networking event
- Spartan Race or Tough Mudder
- Charity event or auction
To be honest, love connections can happen anywhere, even sitting in your local coffee shop or on public transportation. That’s because the key isn’t necessarily where you meet, but more so about being aware of your surroundings and being approachable.
An icebreaker should be natural and contextual to what you are doing. You don’t have to rack your brain too hard, just start with a simple question or comment. For example, if you see a cutie at the grocery store, say, “Hi, do you know how to tell if this fruit is ripe?” or, “Any idea how to cook this?”
If it’s an activity, you can ask someone if they’ve done it before or how to do it, offer a suggestion, or give them a compliment about what they’re doing. It doesn’t need to be brilliant, even a “Wow, it looks like you really know what you’re doing!” is enough to get the ball rolling. If the person happens to be single and attracted to you, a conversation will ensue.
So, if you want to ditch the apps and date organically, remember to think strategically about where likeminded singles may hang out, and lead with a contextual icebreaker to keep it feeling natural and not awkward.
This article was originally published on LoveSuccessfully.com and shared with permission.
As The Millennial Love Expert, Samantha Burns, LMHC is a Relationship Counselor and Dating Consultant who works with individuals and couples to help their love lives thrive! Samantha tackles all relationship issues—breaking up, dating, increasing relationship satisfaction, and coping with infidelity.
As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Samantha earned her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, completing her thesis on gender differences in infidelity and counseling couples through an affair. Samantha works in her thriving private practice in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as offers coaching services to clients near and far on Skype/phone.