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Top Alternatives to Online Dating in the San Francisco Bay Area

Top Alternatives to Online Dating in the San Francisco Bay Area

By 2037 half of the world’s babies will be born to parents that met online.

That’s right, in just under 20 years, the majority of newborns will have dating apps to thank for getting their parents together.

It’s crazy how times change.

Not so long ago we were much more likely to meet our significant other at church than online. 

Alternatives to Online Dating in San Francisco

Nowadays it seems like the only way we’re destined to meet a partner is via an app.

And hey, you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong in thinking that.

In 2017 a Stanford study found that 39% of all heterosexual couples that got together that year found each other online.

But here’s the key number from that study, 39%.

Meaning that 61% of all new couples found each other IRL as opposed to online.

For the old-school romantics out there this is good news. It means that there’s still a chance — a statistically good one at that — that you’ll meet your next partner in the real world rather than online.

That being said, how exactly do you meet someone IRL?

In particular, how do you meet someone IRL in one of the most fast-paced, gender-lopsided, cities in the world?

In this article, we’ll answer that question for you as we dig into the alternatives to online dating in San Francisco.

Alternatives To Online Dating In San Francisco

Phone A Friend

Let’s start with the obvious shall we?

Take a look at the graph above one more time. You’ll see that according to the study, meeting your romantic partner through a friend is how 28% of new partners meet each other, making it even more commonplace than meeting online.

So how can you leverage this to find a partner?

Well to name just a few things:

— Go Michael Scott on them and ask that they each write down the number of a friend/acquaintance that you’d be compatible with

— Encourage your friends to invite a female friend when you hang

— Make it a point of emphasis to attend the parties of your friends

It’s this last point that you really need to take full advantage of.

Parties are the perfect place to meet women.

Not only are they large social pools akin to ones you’d find at bars and clubs, but you immediately have an easy opener to spark conversation — “How do you know “x”?”

Not only this, but in a sense the friends and acquaintances you’d find at a friend’s party have already been screened. Unlike strangers you’d meet at a bar, the people you’d chat up at your friend’s house are trusted, have been vetted, and most likely are similar to your friend. This being the case it should be easier than not to connect with this person and have at least a few things in common with them.

Fun fact, this was actually the premise that sparked the idea for Hinge, the dating app that’s “designed to be deleted.” 

It’s a good sign that meeting people IRL is alive and well when one of the most popular dating apps is based on the idea that we meet those most compatible with us through our friends.


By this point in your life, you should have debunked the myth that opposites don’t attract.

I mean, opposites might attract initially, but then repel quickly by way of a violent divorce or ghosting.

We’re attracted to those similar to us chiefly because of our desire to confirm our world view.

“…most of us have a need for a logical and consistent view of the world. We tend to favor ideas and beliefs that support and reinforce that consistency. People who agree with us validate our attitudes and so satisfy this need, whereas people who disagree with us tend to stimulate negative feelings – anxiety, confusion and maybe even anger – that lead to repulsion.” – Professor Swami

This is professor Viren Swami’s of Anglia Ruskin University take on why we’re so hot for people similar to us.

With that being said wouldn’t be great if we could meet people with the same interests of us?

Like, what if you could filter out everyone except people that really loved one certain hobby or activity?

That’s pretty much what Meetup does.

Meetup is a website/app that brings people with similar interests together.

Some popular Meetup groups in the SF area include:

Urban Hikers



Intellectually Curious

To be clear, Meetup IS NOT a dating app.

It’s merely a platform that brings together people with similar interests.

It’s basically Facebook Groups but isn’t run by a tech company trying to take over the world.

Co-Ed Sports

Taking part in any group activity is a great way to meet women, but especially sports.

Sports has a way of quickly bonding those on the same team.

Something about working together towards a common goal while in the trenches can quickly bring people together.

When on the lookout for sports teams to join be sure you’re joining a co-ed team.

You’re likely to find co-ed teams in volleyball, bowling, and kickball leagues.

If once on your team you realize that you’re not into any of your teammates don’t be disheartened. The amiable and fraternal nature of co-ed leagues lends itself to meeting people on other teams.

It’s likely that you’ll go out for beers with opposing players or at the very least easily be able to chat it up with players from opposing teams before and after games.

You can also tap into your teammates’ social networks to try to find a single woman worth of dating. Making new friends expands your social circle and makes it more likely that you’ll meet someone new.

Remember that the number one alternative to online dating in San Francisco is meeting women through friends. This gets easier and easier as your friend group expands.

Once you feel comfortable enough with your new friend group, make it known that you’re single and looking.

Speed Dating

Speed dating in one of the USA’s most populous cities is pretty easy.

The city offers ample opportunity to sit down with a stranger and chat is up for 5-10 minutes while nervously sipping on a beer.

But wait, isn’t speed dating basically online dating?

No, and I’ll show you why.

Alternatives to Online Dating in San FranciscoThis LendEDU study shows that most college-age singles use Tinder not to find dates, but rather to boost their confidence. In fact, 44% of the 3,800 respondents said this was the primary reason they used the app.

Juxtapose this for reasons why people attend speed dating events.

While I don’t have a fancy bar graph to bolster my argument, I’d bet 1,000 Coffee Meets Bagel beans that 95% of singles that attend speed dating sessions are there to make a romantic connection.

Why else would you go out to a bar on a Tuesday night to talk to strangers?

Look, while speed dating might be stigmatized, it’s also effective.

There’s literally not other context or medium that puts you in front of dozens of single women in the space of an hour.

If you want to meet someone immediately, signing up for and attending a speed dating event might be your best bet… or you can just hire a matchmaker.

Hit It Off With A Co-Worker

Dating your co-worker just kinda makes sense.

You spend all your time with this person anyways. You’ve probably gone on countless lunches together, know them better than anyone else, and have been in the trenches together.

Naturally, after a while you’re going to feel some sort of way.

Hell, in the early 1990s meeting your romantic partner through work was the second most popular way people met their partners.

The thing is — the rules of office romance have changed since then.

What this means for you, is that you’ll have to use an awful lot of tact and restraint when courting a co-worker.

Here are the rules of pursuing your colleague:

— Do your homework and figure out if she’s into you

— Understand the worst-case scenario

— Ask her out, but make it known that however she responds, things won’t get weird or uncomfortable between you two

Let’s focus on the last of these points for a moment.

Ensuring that things won’t be weird between you two is actually pretty easy — if you follow my advice.

First, you’ll want to become friends with the woman you’re thinking of asking out. When you’re friends it’s easier to read one another and communicate about difficult topics. Not only this but it’s easier to transition from friends to romantic partners than it is to transition from acquaintances to partners.

Next, you’ll want to hang out a few times out of the office in a platonic way. While kicking it never attempt to touch her inappropriately or overtly flirt.

When you do finally ask her out, vocalize that you two have a great relationship and that you could see a romantic future. Ask her if she feels the same. Tell her you fully respect whatever decision she makes and that if she says no — or yes — you won’t make things weird for her or press her further.

Ensure her that you’re cool.

When in doubt, ask yourself… what would Jim do?

Alternatives to Online Dating in San Francisco

Say Hi To The Next 10 People You See

That’s right, say hello to the next 10 people you see, male or female, old or young.

Make eye contact, smile, and be receptive to having a conversation.

Saying hello to a stranger won’t suddenly turn you into a romantic maven, but it will make you more sociable, and this can only work in your favor.

Greeting strangers will slowly make you more likely to strike up conversations with people regardless of the context.

Ever get the sinking feeling in your gut before you approach a woman?

It’s this feeling that you’ll combat when you become a prolific greeter.

The reason so many of us are turning to dating apps to meet people is because we’re too awkward to meet them IRL.

Humans have become incredibly reliant on dating apps because making IRL connections has become too scary of a possibility. Doing away with this fear will make meeting at Meetups, dance classes, co-ed sports groups, and at work a hell of a lot easier.

The happy byproduct of improving your social skills is that your dating life will reap the rewards as well.


A TDL is not an alternative to online dating in San Francisco.

What A TDL is, is a tool you can use to ask out the women you meet.

Look, I just supplied you with a wealth of alternatives, it’s on you to take advantage of them.

Once you’ve met the right woman, it’s time to ask her out.

So how do you do that?

TDL, stands for time, date, location. 

By asking a woman on a concrete date with a defined activity and time she’s able to give you a definitive response.

This is how it works in practice.

“Hey Stef! Let’s bowl it up this Thursday at 8pm at Bowlmor. Ready to get that booty kicked?”


This TDL is playful, defines the activity, location, date, and time.

The alternative to a TDL is this:

“Hey Stef! Wanna go out sometime?”

This way of asking a woman out is like telling a waiter that you “want food.”

No shit.

But in order to get what you want you need to provide specifics.

Make sure that first date is close to her home, involves something she’s into, is during the day, and at a convenient time. Make the date appealing and so easy to say yes to that she can’t say no.

What Now?

Now that we’ve discussed a few alternatives to online dating in San Francisco — and with the pandemic nearing a close — at least in the USA — it’s almost time to bust out of your cocoon and begin dating again.

But how will you bust out of your pandemic cocoon?

Are you the in-shape social butterfly that you want to be? Or do you need a little romantic refining before your first date?

Hit me up via a new client 1-on-1 Zoom call so that we can help address your dating worries.

When we talk we’ll create a dating blueprint tailored to your goals that is both viable and will help you achieve your goals.

Our dating coaches and matchmakers at emlovz have helped hundreds of men find worthy partners. Now it’s time that we helped you.

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