Everyone seems to be trying out online dating these days. With how common it is, you might think that it’s an easy process. The truth, however, is that online dating isn’t always ideal. Apart from the risk it poses to your security, you can also end up feeling disappointed and frustrated.
If you want to avoid those things, you should probably consider dating offline.
But first, let’s review a few tips to make it work.
- Have a simple goal of making new friends. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Seek to find a great friend and see where things lead.
- Commit to saying “Hi” first. Don’t be shy. Perhaps set a goal of saying hi to 5 people a day. Start with one a day and then work your way up.
- Smile and have fun. Everyone looks better with a smile.
- Be open to meeting new people- anywhere and everywhere.
- Always be dressed and groomed to meet new people even if you’re just running out to get milk. You just may meet that someone special in the dairy isle!
- Be interested in others and ask lots of questions.
- Don’t be afraid of rejection. You’ve got nothing to lose!! What’s the worst that could happen? Someone will laugh at you? That’s hardly likely. And even if they do, who cares! Just say “Next!” and move on!
- Go slow for safety and success. Never rush into anything. Go slow.
- Check out these conversation starters from Searchwarp and Suite 101.
Now that we got that out of the way, here are the best ways to find an online date:
Host a “White Elephant” party for singles
The idea is everyone who is invited must bring a single friend, preferably of the opposite sex. You can also have each invited person invite 5 other people to increase the numbers for your party.
Join a social/singles group in your area
Check the newspaper, yellow pages or online.
Start a social/singles group in your area
If you don’t have one in your area or want something different, start your own. Start small and build. It can even become a business down the line if you have success and decide to charge dues.
Ideas for events for your group:
- Themed parties
- Sports events, like ski trips or baseball games
- Meet and greets with a speaker of interest
Find singles magazines or newsletters in your area
Join their mailing lists and see if you can find anyone who interests you.
Check the “Local Happenings” section of your newspaper
Clip out the events that interest you and go. Bring a friend or go solo, but just remember to meet at least one new person when you go!
Take your dog or other pet to a dog/pet park
You can also search for pet meetups online according to dog breed or really any other interest you may have. Other places to use your pet as a lure: main street shopping areas, fairgrounds, and outdoor sporting events.
The ‘Ole Meat Market
Yes, you can meet someone in a bar. People do it everyday. Is it the best place? Maybe not, but you shouldn’t rule out any place where there is opportunity.
Join a club in an area that interests you such as astronomy, public speaking, gardening, books, or whatever. Check Google, local bulletin boards, or your local paper for ideas.
Take an adult education class in something that interests you
You’ll be surprised at the people you’ll meet there.
Go shopping in the opposite sex’s department
Ask a stranger for help in shopping for your relative.
Browse bookstores, libraries, and video stores
Go in the sections that interest you. Ask someone their opinion and see what develops!
Attend trade shows, conventions, specialty sales, and auctions for things that interest you.
It is the perfect place to talk to new people because that’s what it’s all about!
First know your employer’s dating policies and always use discretion. Many people have met their mate this way. Maybe it will happen for you, too.
Attend an event of another department. Let select co-workers know that you are looking. Maybe they will know someone you’d like to meet.
After hours shopping
Grocery shopping, the hardware store, and the like can be great places to meet someone just like you. If you’re shopping after 5pm or on a Saturday pay attention to check out more than just the produce and then take some action by saying hi and asking a question.
Attend a singles dating event
It can’t hurt. Bring a friend if you need a little confidence boost.
Go to those weddings, reunions, and other such events that you’ve been invited to.
Fight the urge to say “Ugh. Oh no.” Go. Have fun. Talk to people and see what happens.
Volunteer for a group or an area of interest for which you have a passion
What better way to meet someone that may be compatible with you? Looking for people in your area of interest is one way to make sure you end up with someone who has the same passion as you.
Attend art gallery and museum openings and functions
Culture, creativity, and dating potential, oh my!
Join a professional organization
And when you do, be sure to go to events and maybe volunteer to help out with some of them. Working on projects with others is a great way to get to know some new people.
Join a health club or a casual sports group
This includes softball leagues, golf, ski clubs, sailing, etc. And don’t rule out groups just because you’ve never done it before. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to sail, then join a group and learn. There’s always room for newbies.
Consider a singles vacation trip. There are many organization including Club Med that organize trips to any and all destinations you can imagine. Search the newspaper or online.
If you belong to a religious group, see if they have any groups that interest you. If they don’t maybe you could start one and then advertise it in their weekly bulletin or newsletter.
Music and Theater
Go see a band, a play, the orchestra or an opera. Expand your cultural horizons or simply go for some head banging. Just remember to meet some new people.
Attend a free seminar
Many businesses present free seminars to gain new clients such as brokerage firms, home improvement stores, and technology stores. Go get some learning and chat to some fellow attendees.
A little help from your friends and beyond
If you’re really looking, put the word out to a lot of people that you are open to introductions or invitations to events to meet people. Hand out your card with your number and email. Tell people what you are looking for. Then let it sit. If you do this consistently, you’re sure to end up with some dates.
What do you think is the best way to meet someone? What is your favorite conversation starter? What’s the craziest story you know of a couple and how they met?
Please share in the comments!
Written by K. Stone, author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. Popular articles are How to Write a Book in 60 Days or Less and Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?