With the dominance of online dating apps on the market right now, it makes you wonder whether it’s even possible to meet someone IRL anymore. Here we muse on the idea of meeting new people without the help of dating apps.
The stigma of online dating has runaway with Internet Explorer into the sunset, never to be seen again. Which is great: you can dedicate a whole page of your smartphone to dating apps alone and in theory, no-one shall judge you. Who could judge you when everyone seems to be on it? Tinder has produced over 10 billion matches – that’s a lot of love. Millennials in particular are swiping right more than ever and as of 2015, 45% of memberships to online dating site RSVP belonged to those under 35. It’s not surprising considering how easy, fun, and convenient online dating is set up to be. But we have to ask, although we may be meeting more people through online dating, are our dating lives enriched by the experiences or is there something to be said for meeting new people without a dating app?
In theory dating apps are a great invention. They let you meet people near you, and you can talk to them and they can talk to you and it’s really cool until you realise that you have Tinder-thumb and that using the app doesn’t make you happier or feel better about yourself. Sometimes it can even leave you feeling lonelier than before. Reports of online dating fatigue are a thing, with many singles deleting their dating apps in an attempt to reconnect, stating they feel disillusioned, bored, and fed up with being constantly rejected.
On that note, let’s get a little bit retro and look at how you can spend less time on your phone looking for love and intrigue in 2017 and more time meeting people face-to-face.
#1 Drag your other token single friend for a round of speed dating
Before online dating there was speed dating, which is essentially offline Tinder without the sore thumb from swiping. Retro speed dating nights are reportedly making a come back with some quirky angles. Forget stuffy events wearing a name badge in a bar – cringe. Think more speed dating craft nights and conscious dating nights for the Tinder-intolerant.
Grab a single mate and go for a laugh to see what it’s like. Worst case scenario you have a funny story to tell your mates after and who knows, maybe your act of bravery will encourage others.
#2 Join a club and expand your network
The theory behind this one is that you get to focus on meeting lots of new people at once, and without the pressure of finding a ‘connection’. This way you can ditch getting caught up focusing on the big picture, and join a club that actually interests you. In doing so you’ll be able to make new friends and meet a whole bunch of new and interesting people.
Even if it doesn’t lead to an attachment straight away, it could lead you to a dreamy friend of friend down the road. Be open to chance meetings that organically evolve when you step outside of your comfortable network and embrace the opportunity to meet a lot of faces at once.
#3 Find something that you can do with people when you are your best self
The theory of attraction goes that ‘like’ attracts ‘like’. So, whether you’re on the hunt for new romantic interests or just good mates, the place that you need to find them is when you are feeling happy, confident, and positive.
Do you love being creative? Hit up a life drawing class, most of which have drinks involved. Do you feel your best on the dance floor? Make time to get your groove on this weekend. Is spending time on the beach the only thing that keeps you sane? You know what to do, boo. Essentially, be your best self by focusing on the things that you enjoy and the rest will follow naturally.
#4 Say ‘yes’ more often
While some people are prone to the fear of missing out, others are prone to the joy of missing out. Why hit up the club when you can stay at home, where there’s no queue for the bathroom and no cut-offs at the bar?
Saying ‘yes’ means you’re open more organic encounters and opportunities to meet new people. This is especially true in summer when everybody and their neighbour are having barbecues, house parties, and Sunday arvo beach sessions. Next time you blag an invite to join a crew that you wouldn’t usually hang out with, be brave and say ‘yes’ because more places means more faces.
And as we know from the myriad of Instagram quotes, life begins at the end of your comfort zone! Hur hur.