How to Meet Someone Without Online Dating

So you’re ready to meet that special someone, but you’re tired of the constant swiping of dating apps. Or maybe you can’t stand another date with someone who only wants to hook up or doesn’t look like their profile picture. Ditch the algorithm! The best way to show off your great personality is to get out there and meet people in real life. Chatting in person is easier than it might seem at first, and we’re here to help with plenty of suggestions on how and where to meet people!

1 Pursue hobbies you’re passionate about

You’ll have a common interest with anyone else who’s participating. If you’re doing something that really excites you, you’re going to light up and look like you’re having a good time. That type of glow is super attractive on anyone, so you might actually be more likely to meet people when you’re having fun. And as a bonus, even if you don’t meet anyone, it will still be a great time![1]

  • For instance, if you’re really into skateboarding, go spend the day hanging out at the skate park.[2]
  • If you love art, check out the museums and galleries near you.
  • If you’re passionate about others, try volunteering! It’s a great way to give back to your community, and you might meet new people while you’re doing it.

2 Strike up a conversation about what’s happening around you.

Use your environment as a casual lead-in. Once you find someone cute and introduce yourself, look for ways to keep the conversation going. Don’t worry about corny pick-up lines—the easiest and most natural way to talk to someone is just to make an observation or ask a question about something that’s around you.[4]

3 Ask your friends to play Cupid.

Lean into your network to meet new people. Let your friends know you’re hoping to meet someone, and ask if they have any acquaintances they think you’d be a good match with. If your friends are paired up, you can even ask if their significant other has any single friends you might like. This can be a great way to meet someone—and as a bonus, you already know you’ll like their friends![6]

  • To help your first meeting be less awkward, have your friend come along. For instance, you might all meet up at a bar for drinks, or your friend could host a cookout at their house where you’re both invited.[7]

4 Change up your routine to meet new people.

Going to familiar spots usually means you’ll be around familiar people. You’re way more likely to meet people by going somewhere you’ve never been before. Head to karaoke night at a spot across town you’ve never been to before, or take up your coworker’s invitation to meet up for a spin class at their gym. Anything that breaks you out of your routine is another chance at finding love![8]

5 Head to a bar or coffee shop solo.

You’re more likely to be approached by someone if you’re alone. It can take a little practice to get comfortable going out on your own, but luckily, it gets easier the more you do it. Channel your most confident attitude and bring along a book or magazine. Just remember to glance up every so often to see if anyone’s checking you out.[10]

  • Don’t forget about the staff—that cute barista or bartender might be interested in chatting during their down-time.

6 Take a class or lesson to get out of your comfort zone.

You might meet someone while you learn something new. This is a total win-win, because not only will you be growing and learning, but you’ll also be surrounded by a whole new group of people. Be friendly with anyone you meet in your class—even if they’re not the match for you, they might eventually introduce you to someone who is![11]

  • Get out of your comfort zone by taking classes or lessons to learn something you’ve always wanted to do—like kickboxing, painting, or cooking. You may meet someone you can practice with!

7 Attend meet-up groups and singles events in your area.

Look for groups and clubs that match your interests. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find all sorts of local meet-up groups. These can be based on specific interests, like running, model building, or acapella singing, which is awesome if you’re into those things. However, there are also meet-up groups that are more like a social club where you can mingle and meet people. You can even look for groups in your area that host singles nights—they’re all about getting dates![12]

  • It might feel a little awkward to go to one of these at first, but you may be surprised how much fun you have!
  • It can help to prepare ahead of time with a few ice breakers and conversation topics so you don’t have to think of what to say on the spot.

8 Try speed dating to meet a lot of people quickly.

Speed dating gives you a chance to gauge your chemistry instantly. At a speed dating event, you usually have about 3 minutes to chat with someone. Afterward, both of you indicate whether you felt like you were a match or not. If you both want to see each other again, the organizers will put you in contact with each other so you can make a date.[13]

9 Make eye contact with people while you’re out.

You have to notice someone to meet them.Make eye contact and smile this will get someone to notice you.[14] It can be tempting to use your phone as a way to pass the time when you’re out somewhere by yourself, but this can actually backfire if you’re trying to meet someone. Staring at your phone sends a signal that you don’t want to be bothered. Not to mention that if you’re busy watching TikTok videos, you won’t notice if the cutie across the room keeps giving you flirtatious looks.[15]

  • Even if you’re not on your phone, keep your head up rather than staring at the ground. That way, your posture will show others that you’re confident and open to chatting.[16]

10 Introduce yourself to people who seem interesting.

Don’t just wait for them to talk to you! Okay, it’s true, this can be challenging at first, but the good news is that the more you do it, the easier it will get! So take a deep breath to steady those butterflies, walk up to someone you want to meet, and say hi. They might just start chatting with you![17]

11 Read their body language to see if they’re interested.

Check out their facial expression and eye contact, in particular. If you’re chatting with someone and they’re making eye contact and smiling, their body is turned toward you, and they’re giving you detailed answers, congrats![18] Even if it’s not a love match, you’ve successfully started chatting with someone you think is cute.[19]

  • On the other hand, if their arms are crossed or they turn away from you, they’re frowning or looking away, or they’re only giving one- or two-word answers to your questions, they’re probably not open to talking. Don’t take it personally!

12 Lose the fear of hearing “no.”

Some people won’t be interested, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s kind of a good thing. It means you’re trying to meet people, and that’s something to be proud of. Even better, you’re getting practice at starting a conversation with strangers—and in today’s digital world, that puts you way ahead of the game when it comes to meeting people in person.[20]

  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone by setting a goal of how many people to introduce yourself to. You might decide you have to introduce yourself to 3 people over the next 2 weeks, for instance.

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