alternatives to online dating

Many of us have opted for online dating as a means for finding a new partner. Whilst this is a perfectly good way of accessing single, likeminded people it concerns me that we may be ignoring the alternatives to online dating while we continue to swipe left.

I have always been open about my perforation to traditional dating rather than this online malarkey, as scary as it may be. Whether you’re having no luck with online dating or just want to get yourself “out there”, there is no clear cut or perfect way. However, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get you on the path to meeting some great new people. You may be an extrovert that can approach someone with confidence, or you may be a wonderful wall flower. Either way, I’d like to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and try those alternatives to online dating – pronto!

1. Speed dating nights

Let’s start off easy. Single people don’t go to speed dating enough anymore. We all know the dating scene has been largely pushed online. Call me traditional but I believe that you can learn a lot more about someone in their presence. From personal experience, I can admit that it’s nice to have a non-committal conversation in an intimate, non-pressuring environment. In a way, speed dating is very similar to using a dating app. You get to meet many single people in a short amount of time, everyone is (or should be) available to date and it’s easy to say “no” if you’re not interested. The bargaining point is that stronger connections can be made and chat flows more naturally in person. Even if you don’t find your soul mate at an event – it’s a great way to build up confidence for those of you who need a little self-assurance.

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2. “Have you met Ted?” introductions

If you haven’t watched the show “How I Met Your Mother,” (and shame on you if you haven’t) this game was played throughout the show by Barney Stinson in efforts to get his tragically single friend a date. Now, I am not saying that you are tragically single – but if it worked for Ted, it can work for you. The game is simple: when your eligible target is in ear shot, have a friend introduce you by announcing “Have you met (insert name here)?” – if they are familiar with the show it’s a great ice breaker, if not the proverbial ice is broken anyway. Now it’s down to you to dazzle them with your charm, wit and charisma. Simple, right?

3. Have a friend set you up

Your friends know your type, they want the best for you and they might even know someone who would be great for you! Why not ask a mate to set you up? If your date is handpicked by your best friend, they are more likely to have things in common with you; they may be even in the same social group as you, which is a great if things get serious. If you’d like to do me one better, consider the mates you have put in the “friend zone” over the years. Now things are heating up!

4. Get out more, literally

The more you go out, the more chances you have of meeting someone. I am not advising you to on a 3-day bender in the middle of the week, but you should start showing up to the events you may have said “no” to in the past. Attend all birthdays, support the causes that are important to your friends or if you feel like going that one step further – why not arrange something yourself? This is all about getting out of your comfort zone. If the routine you currently have is doing you no favours, change that.

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5. Get a dog

The reason I say dogs specifically is so that you can go for walks and see what there is to offer, you might just attract another pet lover. Think of the “how we met” stories – adorable! Many people are fond of the outdoors, particularly during the summer months. There is an abundance of people you can meet – however if you are confident enough to chill outside and strike up a conversation, you may not need the dog. If you do, let your canine friend serve as a fluffy ice breaker. To the male readers: most women love cute animals and can’t resist coming over to say hi (you’re welcome).

6. Smile at a stranger

This may seem like a simple, honest action (which it is) but never underestimate the power of a genuine smile. The flirtation is less about the smile, rather what it can lead to. You may strike up a conversation with someone while queuing at the checkout, share a laugh while ordering a drink – the possibilities are endless when you open yourself up to meeting new people wherever, whenever. The point is, you never know where you will meet that special someone, why rule out a potential partner just because you haven’t been officially introduced?

7. Join a dance class

Let sparks fly while pulling out your best cha cha. If your local dance centre offers classes specifically for singles, even better. Sometimes it takes stepping out of your comfort zone to make new connections. You may meet someone while discovering a new hobby and really letting go – think of the chemistry you may have with a potential Mr or Mrs right at a dance class! Following on from my earlier point of trying new things, dancing can be full of sensual flirtation and you might just learn some moves to bust out at your cousins wedding.

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There you have it, 7 alternatives to online dating – no swiping involved. Why not try one of the pointers on your way home from work today? You’ll be meeting new people in no time. If you’re too shy for any of the above tips, you can always try poking your crush on Facebook.

Charlie is a graduate in Media and English Literature, an excitable blogger, and a closet comedian. Also, Netflix enthusiast, friend to dogs, foodie, book club aficionado, and wannabe jet-setter.

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