There was a time when I would get dressed up, go out with a friend and low-key visit bars to find attractive single men. This seemed to work on occasion. Only, the men turned out to be not so attractive. One I met at a comedy club; he took me to a restaurant where he didn’t like anything on the menu so refused to eat. Another I met in Mayfair – a paramedic who thought it was funny to stand up and exercise in a restaurant.
Like many single people looking for love, online dating was my last choice. Although I knew couples who had met through dating apps, I had heard too many stories of unwanted sexting and ghosting. When I finally joined, I found the dating sites quite frustrating at times.
If you’re in the same position, there are ways to meet someone without online dating.
1. Arrange dinner parties and social events
Apparently, French people don’t date. Most find their partners through social gatherings. If you believe none of your friends has eligible possibilities for you, just consider how many people one work colleague knows, or how many people your best friend’s sibling could introduce you to.
Start arranging and attending more parties where you can broaden your social circle. And don’t be afraid to ask about single friends – every loved-up couple knows at least one potential suitor.
2. Sign up for networking groups
When I last attended a networking party, I remember clutching my bag on the way to the tube, feeling inspired and upbeat. I had spent an evening with people who felt the same as I did about writing.
Your perfect partner might not have much in common with you – in fact, so many great love stories seem built on two opposites who cannot stay from each other. But, you may find your ideal person has a shared interest in writing, culture, building a business etc.
There are lots of networking sites that show different events you can attend in your area. If you have a social media following, you could contact companies in your niche and enquire about PR events.
3. Attend single nights
From Jenga speed dating to wine tasting and life drawing, you can attend just about any singles event. While admittedly, many of these experiences cater to people who live in cities and large towns, it’s worth checking your area to see if any single nights are happening. If you’re feeling nervous, bring a friend for emotional support.
4. Take on a new hobby
Yes, you knew it was coming. The hobby idea – the thing that every person tells you to do to meet someone offline. Before I met my boyfriend, I was constantly recommended this suggestion! It didn’t quite work for me because I struggled to figure out what activity to try.
If you have a good idea of something new you want to learn such as a language, or a goal like getting in shape, this could be an ideal situation for you to meet your future partner.
5. Go on a tour
How to meet someone without online dating – how about going on a tour? A few years ago, my sister encouraged me to do a walking ‘Spy Tour’ with her. Although it didn’t appeal to me, I decided to go and had a fantastic time. Our tour group had such a variety of people – different ages, some by themselves and others in groups.
You can try a food, wine, walking tour – anything that piques your interest.
6. Attend more social experiences
We walk past strangers all the time – have you ever sat on a train and wondered how many people are currently signed up to a dating app, hoping to meet someone in real life?
However, while we have the potential to meet strangers every week (in supermarkets, at a coffee shop…) we tend to come across them when we have little interest in socialising.
That’s why it’s important to have things in your social calendar that give you the opportunity to connect. And if I’m being honest, that will probably involve some form of alcohol. Consider going to a festival, pub comedy night or other activity that gives you the chance to strike up a conversation.
7. Spend time alone
It’s daunting enough approaching one person, never mind a group. Surrounding yourself with lots of friends may make a great evening, but it might not be ideal for getting a date. Try to go out occasionally, by yourself or with another friend.
Before lockdown, I created a challenge to build up my confidence. This involved doing things that scare me, such as public speaking and eating alone at a restaurant. I sat on my own with my Matcha tea and falafel salad, and it wasn’t half as bad as I imagined. Of course, I did eat quickly before rushing off to meet a friend.
What tips do you have for meeting someone without online dating?
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