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A Guide To Dating Without Dating Apps

One of the biggest obstacles to meeting someone in real life is the amount of time we all spend looking at a screen. You probably already know this though, so let’s move on from stating the obvious and onto advice on how to put that phone or computer down while you’re out and about, shall we?

As you’re going out with friends, attending events, and generally socializing in your community, try leaving your phone in your pocket or purse (or even at home!). It may feel unnatural at first, but eventually, you’ll just be a person who doesn’t have his/her face constantly buried in a screen. 

Not only will this make it easier for you to strike up conversations with people around you—but it will also help these interactions feel less transactional. Your goal should be to meet new people without letting technology impede any potential connections; it’s not just about cutting down your Tinder matches by 2%—it’s about actually making an effort to meet new people in real life.

Today, I am providing you with a guide on how you can date without dating apps. The purpose of this guide is to empower you with tips and tricks on how to approach dating without the aid of your phone. Continue reading.

A Guide To Dating Without Dating Apps

Let’s face it—dating apps have become as much a part of human culture as Netflix, social media, or gaming consoles. However, despite their popularity, an unhealthy dependency on them could be harming your ability to meet new people and develop healthy relationships down the line. If you’re feeling lost when it comes to the idea of going “app-free” for a bit, I have got you covered!

Get specific about what you want

The first step in dating offline is to get specific about what you want. After all, how can you expect to connect with a person if you don’t know what you’re looking for?

So, take out a pen and paper and make two lists: the top ten qualities that are non-negotiable for your next partner (no kids or wants kids, active, etc.), and the top ten deal-breakers (he owns an iguana or she loves sports). Got it? Good! Now you’re ready to start meeting people IRL. *sigh with satisfaction*

Make sure if you really want to do it without a dating app

If you’ve ever used one of those dating apps, you know that the purpose is to get you to meet people in a way that doesn’t require any social interaction. They’re like Teletubby landmines: they require no infrastructure at all and are completely self-sufficient. 

You can’t fall in with the soil, setting off an alarm, or get buried by a wall, nor can you run into an intrusive clown or have your internal organs rearranged by an evil scientist. But if there’s nothing else around for miles and miles, they’re surprisingly effective at getting you to go out and meet people.

As someone who was relatively inexperienced when it came to online dating as opposed to more traditional methods of meeting people (like going out on actual dates), I got in on this internet gold rush early enough that everything was new and different for me. It didn’t take me long to figure out the upsides and downsides of the apps—which is why I figured I’d share my experience with anyone else who’s interested in trying them out without spending too much time learning how they work. (Check my other blogs on how to use different dating apps)

Know what you are seeking in your date

Although there are ways to make yourself more attractive to others, there’s no way to guarantee chemistry. You just have to put yourself out there and live the life you want. If you’re feeling positive and confident, that will attract people with similar energy.

Be open-minded about what you’re looking for, but don’t compromise on your values either. The best way to be a good partner is to have clear parameters of what makes you happy. Then, there’s no need for conflict when someone comes along who doesn’t fit within those parameters.

So, what to do for dating without a dating app?

Here is what you need to do.

Smile at strangers.

  • I know, I know, it sounds so simple that you may think it can’t possibly work. But it does, in fact, work. In NYC, people walk around with their heads down and their headphones on. They are not looking at you. They are not looking at anyone except the ground or the screens of their phones held a few inches in front of their faces. 
  • The way to get someone’s attention is to look up and smile—a genuine smile, as opposed to the fake grin that many wears as they rush through life (you can tell the difference by what your eyes do when you’re genuinely smiling). And once you’ve got someone’s attention—even if he or she doesn’t give you a full-on smile back—try saying hello!

Explore your options.

  • Singles-focused organizations, social clubs, and non-profits are just a few of the places you can look to meet people with similar interests. Or, think about doing something completely out of the ordinary. How about joining a dog sledding team?
  • Do more things that interest you. When you go out and do stuff you like, you’re more likely to meet people that share your same interests and values—i.e., potential dates!

Try some new experiences.

Try some new experiences. Obviously, you can’t meet and date people without leaving your house at some point! If you’re not sure where to go and what to do, it’s time to break out of your comfort zone. Consider the following options:

  • Attend a seminar or workshop on a topic that interests you.
  • Join an athletic team in a sport you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Volunteer somewhere that helps others.
  • Go on a hiking adventure or take a tour around an area of your city that’s unfamiliar to you.

Things you need to neglect.

  • Don’t be afraid to take a risk.
  • Don’t get hung up on dating apps.
  • Don’t worry about the future or the past.
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
  • And most importantly, don’t worry about rejection.

Ask your friends for help.

  • It seems like everyone is on dating apps these days. But if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you don’t want to be one of the millions who are swiping away in hopes of a match.
  • Don’t fret! You can still find love without relying on technology for your next date. Follow our advice, and you’ll soon be on an adventure worthy of a rom-com montage.
  • First, get your friends in on it. They can help you meet new people (just be sure to ditch the wingman or wingwoman if things start getting serious). Having your pals there will also encourage you to open up and make the most of your first date. Our rule of thumb is? If it goes well, a second date should already be in the works by the time dessert arrives!

Can you find dates without Dating apps?

Yes, you can find dates without dating apps, and it’s pretty easy, too. And you’ll enjoy some of the benefits missing from online dating:

  • You’re less likely to overshare. Online daters are criticized for sharing TMI (too much information) about themselves when they chat with potential dates. Many people are still getting used to the idea of sharing their personal data with strangers; this makes them more guarded and less likely to share too much information at first.
  • It feels more spontaneous. This is probably one of the biggest advantages for those who prefer face-to-face interaction over online chatting: it feels more natural and organic than chatting with someone online where you don’t even know if you’ll ever meet them in person. For that reason, it doesn’t feel like a chore as much as an adventure!

Stay open to new possibilities.

You will have the most success with dating if you keep yourself open to all kinds of possibilities. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Don’t spend your time only going to places that you think people who look like you would hang out in.

Go where everyone is, baby! If a boy catches your eye, don’t be afraid to walk up to him and talk to him. He might just be intimidated by the idea that you are so flawless and a goddess among women that he should hide his face in shame at even looking at you, so take the first step! You can get it all girl! 

If a girl catches your eye then go up and give her a compliment. Compliment her on her shoes or how cute she looks today or how nice she smells (don’t overdo this one though, smelling someone for too long can be creepy). Make the first move, don’t let anyone else do it for you, love!

And most importantly be yourself, flaws and all! If a date doesn’t work out then you should come away knowing that they weren’t right for you anyway because they didn’t get it when you sang them part of “Let It Go” from Frozen while making snow angels in Central Park (or whatever thing makes you happy). And if they do get it? Then life is good gurrrrl!

How to know if your date is more interested in hitting it off or just getting out of there?

Body language can tell you a lot about how someone feels on a date, but sometimes it’s hard to read. If your date smiles and laughs at every joke you make, it can mean they’re really into you—but then again, maybe they’re just being polite!

Good communication is key to having a successful relationship. If your date doesn’t like something you do while dating, they should be honest with you instead of letting the problem build up over time. This will lead to a healthier relationship where both partners respect each other more.

The bottom line

Building quality relationships takes effort. The most important thing to know about dating without dating apps is that you have to put in some effort. For a lot of people, the idea of putting yourself out there and being vulnerable can be daunting; it’s easy to understand why so many singles are turning to apps in order to find a connection. However, if you really learn how to make the most of your time and energy offline, it becomes much easier—and more fun!—to meet quality people without relying on technology.

For starters, when you’re not using dating apps, you need to be willing and able to make the first move—no one else is going to send that opening message! This means being aware of opportunities as they arise, whether that’s striking up a conversation with someone at a coffee shop or asking your neighbor out for drinks via text. 

Moreover, it means knowing what you want and what kind of person works for you: There’s no point in saying yes when you don’t feel a spark or expecting “the one” to appear out of thin air. Be open-minded but selective (just like online!)

About the Author

Sasha Aun
Sasha Aun
Hi, I am Sasha, a professional relationship expert, and a blogger. At Datinghelpguide, I write tips to create an attractive dating profile and guides on managing dating profiles on multiple apps.