Dating : Is it possible to find love nowadays without dating apps?

Dating : Is it possible to find love nowadays without dating apps?

I’m 25/F and recently out of a 3-year relationship. I met my ex (along with all my previous exes) through school, and really don’t have experience dating as a working non-student adult. I’m concerned because I’ve been hearing that it’s hard to meet people these days if you aren’t on apps or websites.

I feel like I can be confident enough to put myself out there and talk to new people in person, so that’s not exactly the issue for me. I’m more worried that the dating pool must be pretty small if most people are on apps instead of socializing with strangers out in public. In my experience attending Meetups and interest groups, for example, most attendees have been middle-aged or older. In public places like cafes, people my age tend to be glued to their phones or plugged in to music.

If you’re in your 20s and don’t use dating apps, how do you find success with dating? Have you found meaningful relationships the “old fashioned” way? I don’t want to have a self-defeating attitude about this, I really want to learn ways around it. Any advice is appreciated!

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  1. I’m 28f and met guys just out doing life. I go to bars and happy hours with my friends and am sometimes approached by guys and we’ll chat and exchange numbers. Sometimes I’ll talk to someone on the train/bus, at dunkin, one time a guy left a note on my car which I thought was cute. Some I click with and some I don’t. My friends that are on the apps aren’t having great luck meeting quality guys so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on that front.

    Also, re-reading this, it makes it sound like I’m talking to guys everywhere I go and that’s not the case. These are examples over the course of years. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens.

  2. It’s totally possible, but it takes some courage and a different attitude. I’ve been single now since early 2018, but had some serious and some not so serious dating since then. I haven’t yet resorted to online dating since meeting my now-ex-wife.

    What I do now is I don’t try to find “the one” but I try to make new connections. I make the first move to approach people, strike up conversations, and make contacts. At a recent concert there were a couple people in front of me holding their phones vertically and I just asked them if they instagrammed. We ended up trading insta contacts and following each other. One of those turned into a lengthy share about her vacation and how we both got into the same music.

    In another case, I was dancing at a club and a couple asked me for earplugs (I always wear earplugs and carry spares). We got to taking, they were interested in an event I frequent, and we exchanged contact info. While I don’t plan on trying to date her, we are going to a couple common events together and now I have expanded my circle. They know I’m single and I’m sure they have single friends.

    I also go grocery shopping two or three times a week rather than a couple times a month when I was married. It’s an opportunity to meet people and I’ve become really good friends with one of the cashiers. Who knows, but I don’t rule out possibilities for connections. Of the six women I’ve dated in the last year and a half, two became somewhat serious, two have become really good friends, one is still someone I see regularly, and one I don’t talk to anymore. I’ve also made at least a half dozen new friends I wouldn’t have made without the focus on connections rather than dating. Some are married, some are otherwise complicated, but they’re people that make my life more full.

    It takes work and effort, but for me, it adds to my quality of life and is far less disheartening than OLD.

  3. I’m in the same boat as you. I’m tired of the dating app scene. if you don’t want to give up online dating, maybe try the paid sites. I think you’ll find more higher quality potential mates on sites where you have to pay. The barrier of entry for free sites is very low imho and seems to attract lower quality people. I personally don’t feel like taking the time to dumpster dive for a high quality mate on free sites.


    If you want to meet people in the wild, ask yourself what are you looking for in a mate? For example, I’m a Christian and want a man who is also a Christian. So instead of bars and clubs, I spend my time at church and meet people through events thrown by my Christian friends. I belong to the YMCA and feel like my chances of meeting a Christian guy are higher there plus I need a partner who likes working out, so it’s a win-win.

  4. 25 M. Through friends and you make friends by being friendly and outgoing with everyone. Most people I date are through other people. I am seen as the event guy in my friend groups because I organize and get groups together. « Hey there’s an art show Thursday with live music and I know how much you guys love it. Invite some friends and let’s make this a fun night out of it. » and if one of the 20 people I invite brings a friend or two then my social circle has expanded. People will associate you with fun and once they have a good time they’re more willing to invite others. I invite people I meet at events to other events. I host game nights and go to other people’s game nights. It’s much more organic than going clubbing or using apps. Hell I’m more likely to see if there’s a connection or not.

    Basically by building a social life that is growing you meet a lot of great people who are vouched by friends. I get to live my best life and do what I want while meeting new people. Hell going to events with a group makes it easier to meet people at those events and bring them into the group or combine groups. Plus you get social validity that you’re someone fun to be around.

  5. Yes. Statistically speaking, you are actually less likely to find love on dating apps than by meeting people the « old-fashioned » ways.

    Most non-student people meet their significant others at work, events/activities, church, mutual friends/acquaintances, etc.

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