How To Meet Someone Without Online Dating If You Are Tired Of Apps
When Camille Virginia moved to Chicago to be in the same city as her boyfriend years ago, things didn’t quite go as planned. “He broke up with me in a few weeks and I had no friends [there]She said to Bustle. Left with the choice of either coming home or putting down roots on her own, she decided to resist her introverted nature and try to meet people the old-fashioned way – in cafes, at parties, and just walking the streets. .
Her friends were curious: how did Virginia, who grew up with social anxiety, make all these organic connections with people? âI made a powerpoint to send them some ways to chat with strangers,â she says. Years later, these slides became The offline dating method. The original book, published in 2019, was aimed at women interested in meeting men, but as Ashley Fetters pointed out in Atlantic, his advice was general enough that he “could practically serve as a guide on how to talk and get to know strangers, period.”
Shortly after its release, however, the lockdown arrived, ending the types of spontaneous alien-based interactions that the book draws its ethics from. With the exception of Zoom dates and tense and distant park blocks, we have stopped meeting new people. As a result, we felt even more lonely.
âIt’s difficult because COVID is acute,â says Virginia, but âloneliness is chronic. You feel it deeply. It’s pervasive, and it’s getting worse and worse. One study said that loneliness equates to smoke 15 cigarettes a day.
But now, with the vaccines widely available, the potential for casual encounters to become magical encounters has been restored. The only problem? After a year off our social skills got rusty. As if dating weren’t taxing enough before, 51% of singles are currently experiencing FODA or ‘fear of dating’ after last year’s lockdown, reports 2021 Hinge survey of 2,000 global users
If you’re hesitant to go back, Virginia offers her top tips for radiating a magnetic approach and meeting IRL people here.
The 2010s were kind of defined by the standardization of dating apps, but now some millennials have been using them since college, and they’re fed up. They download them for two months, they are fed up, they leave, and it’s just that exhaustion cycle again and again. How do you think application fatigue will evolve over the next few years?
What’s interesting, while you were talking I started to think about fad diets. People love silver bullets, don’t they? They want the one thing that’s going to make them lose weight, or meet the person, and they just want to be done with it. But unfortunately, losing weight and the journey to find your future partner takes time – and that’s why it’s more difficult. You have to look for the right person, make sure you are on the same page. With weight loss, if you lose 30 pounds in two weeks, you are just going to get it back right away.
[Dating apps] I feel like a taste of the month’s situation, which is why I doubled down on offline meetings because human connection, especially in person, will never go out of style.
After a year of reduced dating, or being too nervous to even think about it, how can people get past that initial fear of showing off, being vulnerable, and dating again?
I think it’s actually a great opportunity to have those more difficult conversations and set those boundaries. It can be difficult. This is something that I struggled with in dating. I wanted to sound like, âOh, I’m super laid back and easy going. I am not one of those people who require a lot of maintenance. And now it’s just a matter of owning it. We all need to be a little picky and set these limits for our own safety.
So yes, define what is your comfort zone and then go to those settings. You may need to check someone’s vaccination card when you meet and make sure they have their ID. And if the person refuses, then you know you’re not on the same page on fundamentals, so it’s not going to work anyway.
Do you think people are approaching dating differently this fall? Should we expect a season of handcuffs as usual?
It’s a good question. I would say handcuff season has just been extended with COVID right now. We don’t know how long it will last. So it could go both ways. People might panic and say, âI don’t want to go through what I’ve been through for the past 18 months being alone. I have to find someone. Then either you’re going to make a hasty choice, and it could be the wrong person, or you may just happen to find the right person.
What are the most effective ways for people to hang out and build new relationships this fall?
Go outside and do things if you can. Bundle up, go to the dog park, grab a coffee to go, go to the grocery store and just be around people. Many businesses and organizations got very creative during COVID and pivoted a bit so people could still safely interact with each other. Go get them.
Do you have any specific tips for finding this stuff? Let’s say I live in Louisville, Ky., And I hike, but I don’t have a group that I go with on a regular basis.
Yes. I was there when I moved. I posted on Facebook, âI’m moving to Chicago, I’m in town. Does anyone know anyone? “Someone [will]. And if you meet a local there, or someone who’s been there longer than you, they’ve been through that process already and have other people you can meet. I would say start there, then Google Outdoor Activities, Hiking Groups, meetup.com, Eventbrites.
Talk to your neighbors if you live in an apartment complex. Maybe leave a note on their doors to introduce yourself to see who is open to login or hike.
You mentioned that some of your clients contacted you last year to forge new platonic relationships. What’s the difference between making friendships and making romantic connections offline?
It’s actually the same process. If someone catches your eye and something draws you to them, you don’t have enough information to know who that person will be in your life. It could be your new friend, a new customer, or someone you click with, and three months later they invite you to a party where you end up meeting your future spouse. All that I know [in that moment] is that I want to talk to this person, and I’m going to find a way to do it.
If there’s a bit of flirtation, okay, well, they find me attractive too, and I’m interested in some romance. Or it starts out as a friendship, then within a few months blossoms into a romantic relationship. So it took that pressure off, it has to be a friendship interaction, and it has to be a romantic interaction. It’s really the same.
Let’s say you find yourself in a romantic relationship this fall and are thinking about locking it up. In what ways can people assess, is this a good match for me? Or did I rush into something because I didn’t want to relive winter 2020?
My way of identifying your perfect mate is through values, and I learned it the hard way, because I dated men who were good in so many ways, and we had fun, but our values ââweren’t there. were not lining up. We have defined honesty differently. One of them thought it was OK talking to ex-girlfriends behind my back, and I didn’t think it was honest. So that stuff won’t work because every little bump in the road gets magnified when you’re not on the same page with your values.
Just a simple, “How do you define honesty?” can be requested at the first meeting. I wish I had known how to start these conversations earlier in many relationships. It’s not about toasting someone, but it’s really about understanding why they define their values ââthat way. Has anyone been dishonest with you? What did it do to you? What did it look like? And you can do it with all of your core values: respect, responsibility, empathy, kindness, compassion. It’s a great way to really get to know someone quickly, but also to make sure you’re on the same page on the basics.
One of the main limitations of apps, in my opinion, is that you end up looking for these signals of similarity. Oh, we both love this band. You end up basing the connection on keywords instead of chemistry or value-based judgments.
That’s a good point. It’s kind of a way of feeling in control of the process, isn’t it? Well I love pizza so if they love pizza they must be like me in other ways too. It’s a matter of security, and it creates that false sense of identity for the other person. You don’t know anything else, just that they have the same taste buds as you.
You describe yourself as being socially anxious and introverted. How did you get past this and what is your advice for others looking to do the same?
I’m just sick of being alone and feeling like I missed the memo on how to make friends. I felt a bit like this since high school, and I really found my social circle in college. But I had to be intentional. I mean, it’s like I told my clients (before COVID). “Well, do you expect a guy to knock on your door?” You won’t meet anyone if you don’t go out. So you have to take this first step. Define your comfort zone, then push past it a bit and gain momentum. Don’t take a bigger bite than you can chew.
Camille Virginie is a dating coach and author of The Offline Dating Method.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.