Maybe you’ve tried online dating and it’s just not going anywhere. You need a hiatus from all the tindering, lunch dates, coffee meeting your bagel and weird guys who seem to be a dime a dozen. I don’t blame you. Online dating provides a lot of options but sometimes all the options seem the same and not one of them is a winner.
But in real life (#irl)? Can you still meet someone without online dating or an app Velcroed to your hand? You can. It doesn’t have to be gangly and awkward either. The best way to meet people in real life is to have the expectation that you want to expand your friend group. Making new friends is less intimidating than trying specifically for dates and friendships can turn into dates or potential set-ups.
Here are my top 8 suggestions for meeting someone #irl:
- Meetup.com – “but that’s an app/website/online!” you scoff, you want to get away from being online! Just hear me out: meetup.com is a great way to meet people with similar interests and you don’t have to be new to your city to use it. Pick at least three groups with upcoming events and attend. Read the group descriptions carefully. Pro tip: try to attend meetups that have less than 15 people that attend each event, too many people can be overwhelming and difficult to talk to people.
- Attend a Gym class: I’m not talking about going to the gym to hit the treadmill. Scope out a workout class in your area that you would like to try whether it’s hot yoga, pole dancing, or paddle boarding. A lot of gym classes will let you try out a week or so free. Make an effort to talk to someone each class even if it’s as simple as “Ugh, so tired.”
- Host a +1 Party: Invite 5-10 of your friends and have each of them bring someone you have never met before. This isn’t completely self indulgent either because everyone will be meeting at least a few new people.
- Attend a Class in Your Area: Painting, cooking, pottery, foreign language or programming classes are available for low costs at local colleges or places around town.
- Volunteer somewhere local: Often there’s less pressure because you need to work as a team to help with tasks. You would be surprised who you meet. Pick a cause you’re passionate about!
- Networking event: Sounds lame, but you can meet new people who share your career interests and possibly want to meet up to discuss said interests.
- Water cooler: My work strangely still has one of these, as did my last job. So I assume the place where employees fill up their water is still pretty common. Just make sure to initiate conversation if the other person is too nervous to talk to you!
- Join a team sport: Shockingly you don’t have to be in college or high school to join a team sport. Lots of cities have kickball, dodgeball, soccer teams and weird sports you’ve never heard of. Just Google the sport before you go to make sure, it is, in fact a sport and not some creepy sexual thing.
It sounds corny, but pursuing things you like will help you find people with similar interests. This can help lead you to love!