No doubt, dating apps can get old after a while. Especially if you’re a guy who’s been single for a long time, flipping through endless profiles and getting no responses to your messages isn’t exactly fun. In fact, if it were possible to go back to the ‘90s when you could just hand her a mix tape and hope for the best, a lot of guys probably would.
That’s not to say it’s hopeless: There are definitely things you can do to improve your results while using dating apps. But it’s also nice to take a break from them sometimes and try to meet women in other ways.
Trouble is, does anyone even do this anymore? How do you find a date offline when it seems like the whole dating scene revolves around the apps? And how do you approach women offline in a way that’s not cheesy?
Below, I’ve listed five critical questions you’ll need to ask yourself if you want to figure out how to find a date offline, along with a strategy for each one.
1. Where Do You Currently Meet Women?
Your physical location plays a huge role in how many women you even have access to. Do you live in a huge metropolis like San Francisco? Or do you live in a remote town with a total population of 2,000 people? Both the geography and population density are important.
First, let’s take a look at geography. If you’re a bleeding liberal who still lives in a state or town that’s super conservative, the number of women who will even match your personal interests and values will be pretty low. Your geographic location, in this case, is working against you.
Second, how many singles actually live in your city or state? You could try to find actual data, or you could just get a feel for it. For example, if you have a personal relationship with 25% of your town, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider where you live. Your past reputation tends to follow you in a small town, and you don’t want to let that scare off any new potentials. Plus, if you’re in a remote area, you’ll simply run out of people to date. If this is your situation, you’re probably already feeling the truth of this.
Strategy: Change Your Geography
Once you’ve prioritized your dating life, put your money where your mouth is and make the big move. It’s difficult, but the increase in dating choices you’ll have could be staggering. And I don’t have to tell you what’s at stake: It could mean finding the women who’s truly right for you, versus settling for someone you wouldn’t otherwise have chosen. Case in point: My boyfriend grew up in a 3,000-person small town in the foothills of California. We would never have met if he stayed there and didn’t venture out of his comfort zone.
That said, your other option is to travel more often. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to travel further for dates than you’d like. Let’s say you’re in a remote area that’s 90 minutes outside a major city. If you aren’t willing to move, then you might want to consider driving to the city once a week to socialize, just so you’re not stuck hanging out with your divorced high school buddies every weekend. (Sorry.)
2. How Large is Your Network?
Do you have a large network of friends and family? Or are you more of an independent guy?
Not to say that anything’s wrong with either answer. But again, there are differences. If you’re the kind of guy who doesn’t keep in touch with family or friends much, is heads-down at work, or avoids being social, then you’re going to have a tougher time meeting women.
Remember, women crave safety and security. That means if you meet them offline, they’re more likely to go out with you if they meet you through someone they know. So the smaller your personal network is, the less chance you’ll have of meeting women who are “friends of friends.” It definitely would be a missed opportunity, since a good 17% of today’s engaged couples met their partner this way.
Strategy: Grow Your Network
So how do you get to know more people who can introduce you to women? You start saying “yes” to everything. By that I mean, any time you’re invited to a party, happy hour, event, get together, you name it — just GO. Even if you don’t want to. If nothing else, it will shift your mindset into being more open around people. This will help you be more comfortable whenever you do meet women, even if there aren’t any singles at that particular event.
Another good thing to do is set a goal to attend at least one, if not two, weekly social activities that meets in the same place at the same time. Consider classes, or maybe co-ed sports activities. This way, you’ll develop ongoing relationships with people in a way that’s fun and low-pressure. Bonus points if the activity you pick has lots of women there (and even a few that you might be interested in).
But just remember that this is really about growing your network, so even if you don’t meet women directly at these events, building more relationships (and letting people know that you’re single) can open you up to more opportunities. You never know when someone has a cute single friend they can introduce you to.
3. What Are Your Current Methods for Meeting Women?
That being said, how do you currently meet women directly? Do you focus on meeting them at school? At bars? At shopping malls?
Write down a list of the places you normally meet women. If it’s a struggle to come up with more than a few places, then it’s probably worth brainstorming several more and putting them into play.
Or, maybe you’re not meeting them offline at all. If that’s the case, then you’ll just have a little more work cut out for you.
Strategy: Expand Your Reach
Having a healthy list of options when it comes to meeting women offline can help you make sure you’re not always fishing in the same pond, so to speak.
So, once you have your list ready of all the places where you currently meet women, try to see what’s missing. To get you started, here’s a brief list of ideas of where you could possibly meet potential dates:
- Workout or bootcamp class
- Yoga class
- Health food store
- Religious community event
- Meditation retreat, mindfulness class, or psychology workshop
- Event for a social cause or charity
- Volunteer event
- Co-ed adult sports league
- Your work
- Lunchtime or happy hour at a restaurant in your city’s finance district
- College town coffee shops, bookstores and libraries
- TED talk
- Open mic night, improv show, or class
- Professional networking event
- Speed dating event
Try a few of these, and also come up with three or four ideas of your own. Make it a project, and really give it some effort. You’d be surprised how much it can not only expand your connections, but also change your attitude towards dating, as well. You may find yourself less anxious about finding a partner once your social calendar is full.
4. How Are Your Conversational Skills?
Since you’ll be putting more effort into going to social events, you should probably also ask yourself: When was the last time you initiated conversation with a stranger?
The more you practice opening a dialogue with people you don’t know, the easier it will get to meet people in person. But, don’t worry: It doesn’t have to be anything intense. The key is to base the conversation on the activity you’re already doing together, at least at first.
Strategy: Beef Up Your Conversational Skills
If you think your conversational skills could use some work, then you’ll need to find ways to improve. One way to make it easier is to choose social activities that absolutely require you to talk to people. For instance, if you take an improv class, you’ll have to talk to people no matter what — if you didn’t, that would be weird. Same thing if you volunteered at a sign-up booth for a charity sporting event, or if you started bartending. So if you need extra help with conversational skills, pick activities that involve a lot of speaking.
When you’re trying to figure out how to find a date offline, becoming a good conversationalist is key. A lot of your competition (other men) will be experts at bantering, so you’ll want to keep up in that department.
Here’s a Relevant Example for You
Just last week my boyfriend and I traveled cross country to NYC for my cousin’s college graduation. After the graduation event was complete, a few of us took an Uber over to NYC’s SoHo district to eat, shop, and unwind. On arrival my boyfriend told me directly that he really needed to break away from the large group to get some alone time (I didn’t blame him).
About an hour later I found him sipping a coffee on a bench outside a coffee shop. He was randomly conversing with a NYC local/stranger. I sat next to them and listened in on the conversation. It reminded me what I really liked about him during our courting phase years before – he was open and willing to talk to someone who clearly wanted or needed some social interaction.
My boyfriend later told me how much he appreciated the conversation – it allowed him to learn about someone new and sharpen his conversation skills.
5. Could You Use More Help?
Have you tried a lot of these strategies and still not gotten the results you want? There could be something personal to you or your situation that’s standing in the way. Anything from cultural issues (if you moved to a new country), to fears of rejection, to attachment issues can interfere with dating, especially offline.
Strategy: Hire a Dating Coach
If you still don’t quite know how to find a date offline and think you could use some help, then by all means hire a dating coach. He or she can keep you accountable to reaching your goals, especially when it requires you to participate in some activities that are outside of your comfort zone. A coach can help you brainstorm activities that you feel good about trying — and aren’t so far out of your wheelhouse that you end up with PTSD afterwards and quit dating altogether!
How to Find a Date Offline: Wrap-Up
To put it bluntly, dating coaches DO work — so don’t hesitate to reach out. Book a 1-on-1 New Skype session with me so we can start working on your particular issues with dating offline. The sooner you tackle it, the sooner you’ll be out of the dating scene completely, living your life with the one you love. I can help you identify what’s going on with your dating life and offer customized strategies and tips. We’ll also determine if my 3-month Signature program is right for you.