These days, it feels like the only way to meet someone new is to swipe left, swipe right, or send some sort of winking emoji. Online dating is “the thing” — I get it. But what if online dating isn’t your thing? How do you meet people if you’re over online dating, or if you were just never into it to begin with?
While dating in NYC, I’d never put all of my eggs in the online-dating basket. I’ve always had a couple of alternatives up my sleeve when it comes to meeting potential dates. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to meet people that don’t require an app or a subscription.
Ready? Here’s My List!
Sweat it Out
I know we all have our go-to classes, but don’t forget to switch up your workouts and try something else. A new class inevitably means new people, and if the class is small enough that everyone interacts, and some of the drills require partnering…flirting increases your heart rate, right?
Go Headphone Free
I live in NYC, and if I leave the house without my headphones, I pretty much feel naked. But whenever I don’t have my headphones in, something crazy happens: People talk to me! Saying hello to a stranger is hard enough without wondering if that person can actually hear you. So, if you live in a big city and would love to be approached, every once in a while, make it easy on the other person. Make yourself available by looking like you’re open to conversation. Swap your headphones for a book, take off your big sunnies, and look up and around you from time to time. You never know what might happen or whom you’ll meet.
Okay, so I think we all know that if you attend a church, synagogue, or other place of worship, it can be an awesome place to meet people who may share your core values. I’ve seen many beautiful couples take root in church. If religion isn’t your thing, perhaps you can explore a meditation group or yoga class.
As I was putting my shoes on after yoga last weekend, the guy whose mat was next to mine came over and struck up a conversation, asking what I thought of the class and if I was coming back soon. I didn’t go into class planning to connect with someone. But sometimes, after a shared experience, people are in a good mood, feeling relaxed, and are therefore more open. Personal enrichment combined with meeting new people sounds like a win-win to me.
Embrace a Community
When you’re single and all of your friends are coupled off, it can quickly feel like you’re living a solo life. To avoid that, you’ve got to create a community for yourself. One of my professional friends is helping to plan an “Our Family Dinner” event in her city; another friend on a fitness journey went on a body-positive vacation and met someone she liked. Of course, travel, book clubs, or things likemeetup.com can make it easy to build a community based on your interests.
Go Out & Play
If you’re super-adventurous, sports teams and hiking clubs that take day trips are a fun option that keep you in shape, too. My old roommate is part of a football team, and they always grab drinks after they play. So, not only is she meeting new people from her own team, but every time they play, she meets people from the opposing team during the post-game happy hour.
Be Alone, Together
Many of us are less social if we’re already with a group of friends, so why not join with other people who are also parties of one? There are lots of great group-travel communities on social media, plus cool sites like eatwith.com (which does pop-up eating events all over).
The one thing I know for sure is that you won’t meet anyone if you’re home sulking about being single. You may have noticed a theme in all of my suggestions: Find things you love to do…and do them. Life isn’t on pause until you’re in a relationship, so be sure to live your life to the fullest and see who you meet along the way — yep, even out there in the real world.