Sure, online dating sites and apps give those of us looking for love an opportunity to see what’s out there beyond the usual places to meet. But let’s be real: it ain’t for everybody.
So here are five expert tips for putting yourself back on the market without having to create the eHarmony profile or master Tinder swiping.
Tip #1: Put your phone away and try to actually notice people
Taking an offline approach to getting back out there shouldn’t be limited to skipping dating sites or apps, but also by making an effort to be more unplugged, period! Such as when you’re getting your morning coffee, out walking the street or passing through public spaces — that sort of thing. At least that’s the opinion of upscale matchmaker and author, Janis Spindel. In a Huffington Post piece, the former fashion executive argues how prospective matches could be anywhere. But if you are frequently busy texting or fiddling around on your phone, you’ll never know it. So stash the mobile in your pocket or purse and look up!
Tip #2: Sign up for new activities
Maria Avgitidis is the founder of an award-winning dating service based in New York City. In a story last year for The Washington Post, Avgitidis stresses the importance of going to places that open you up to meeting people with common interests. Which means you should take up a hobby or sport. Join a gym, acting class, visit the dog park, or find a social club that interests you. Sky’s the limit, really. The point is that if you want to stumble across someone organically — rather than the same types again and again throughout the course of your regular routine — you’ll need to take initiative and increase your odds. It’s simple prospecting.
Tip #3: Start volunteering
Donating your time for a worthy cause — whether it’s of the community outreach or teen mentoring variety — will not only help you encounter someone with similar values but also provide the platform enjoy shared experiences together. Cyber-dating authority Julie Spira agrees, recently expressing as much to Global News on how to date in 2018 without using apps. But back to volunteering: the act of doing good for others will also make you feel a heck of a lot better about yourself. And make no mistake, a confident dater is usually a successful one.
Tip #4: Try to maintain an open body language and strategically position yourself
Sharing methods in Reader’s Digest to meet and attract new people, Kimberly Seltzer — an image expert and dating coach — suggests maintaining open body language and positioning yourself strategically whenever possible. Regarding the former, that infers sending non-verbal cues that you are approachable. Again, put the phone away. Remove your headphones, straighten your back and uncross your arms. Relax the muscles in your face, too. As far as the latter goes, deliberately locate yourself wherever promising interactions are likely to happen. Are you at a bar? Good, now either find a seat in the middle or at the corner. Or, if you’re at a party or event, go ahead and secure a “home base.” For example, the food and drinks table, or maybe a seat on the couch with some friends. The goal is to be in the epicenter. As Seltzer herself clarifies, “people will come to you."
Tip #5: Play the referral game!
This last piece of advice is one of my own and something I’ve taken to doing myself. And with promising results! In dating, playing the quote-unquote referral game is as simple as reconnecting with platonic pals. Odds are you have a bunch. In my case, it’s been old schoolmates, former colleagues, estranged acquaintances and the like. Y’know, the friends who used to hook you up with all theirs, but you lost touch thanks to life and/or past romantic relationships getting in the way. The idea is to get back on their radar as someone single and looking to mingle. They may still have plenty of available companions who are as anxious to be set up with a viable match as you are. Don’t you want to be top of mind and first to get that recommendation? Thought so!
Chris Metler is a sought-after freelance writer and editor. Specializing in print and digital media - with a focus on culture, creativity, people, places, and lifestyle - his bylines can be found across a range of Canada's premier editorial publications. Sources: Huffington Post: 8 Matchmakers On How To Find A Date IRL by Rebecca Adams The Washington Post: Put down that phone! Here’s how to meet potential dates without apps by Sarah Polus Global News: How to date in 2018 without using apps by Arti Patel Reader’s Digest: Advice from a Dating Expert: 8 Ways to Meet and Attract New People by Juliana LaBianca