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Delete Tinder: How To Find Love Off The Internet

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It seems like nearly everyone is on a dating app these days. Singles do their best to swipe their way to love connections and DM their way to a relationship, but it doesn’t always work. Plenty of time users spend days, weeks, or even months chatting and flirting with someone they found on a dating site, only to meet in person and find that face-to-face, they have no chemistry at all.

While it may be convenient to have hundreds and thousands of profiles at your fingertips, dating apps aren’t necessarily the best way to meet a potential love and, even if it does prove effective for some, the technology isn’t for everyone. It’s no surprise that a recent study found that many more Americans would prefer to meet someone in person (whether it be through friends, at work, or by chance meeting) than through a dating app.

Unfortunately, people might feel discouraged about the possibility of meeting someone in person. When friends’ blind date plans have been fruitless (or just plain awkward) and you’re sick of sitting at bars, it can be hard to have hope for the IRL dating scene. But never fear, there are still plenty of places to meet Mr. or Ms. Right without using a website.

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The first step in finding your next special someone is to meet more people. After all, finding someone you really like can often be a bit of a numbers game. You might have to meet a couple dozen people before you find someone you’re attracted to. It might take even more to find someone you’re really interested in.

One great opportunity to meet more people is at friends’ parties. Every time a friend invites you to a birthday (or a housewarming or holiday party), you’re given the opportunity to meet your friends’ friends. And, depending on the size of the party, maybe even your friends’ friends’ friends. Who knows if their hometown BFF of neighbor could be ~the one~?! These are people who, if you hadn’t shown up for the party, you never would have run into. And who knows, maybe this meeting could lead to something big.

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CBS

Okay, but what if your friends aren’t throwing down anytime soon? There have gotta be other options! You know who likes to volunteer? Nice, caring, thoughtful people. You know who makes nice partners? Nice, caring, thoughtful people. See what we’re getting at?

Volunteering is a great way to meet that special someone because you know that people who give their time to help others can’t be all bad. In fact, if they’re giving up a Saturday to drive for Meals on Wheels or to pick up trash on the beach, they’re probably really amazing. Volunteering is a great, low-stress way to get yourself out of the house and get yourself talking to some kind-hearted people. With volunteer duty, there’s no worries and no commitment. You don’t even have to get dressed up to do it.

But of course, you can’t volunteer with only potential dates in mind (that sort of goes against the whole point of volunteering), so even if you just end up making a few friends instead of dates, that’s okay. Expanding your social circle never hurts. You might meet your new friend’s friends, which could lead to a love connection.

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FOX

Joining a sports team or going to fitness classes can be a great way to meet someone (and not just because of those pheromones getting everyone hot and bothered). If you meet going to the same yoga studio or kickboxing gym, you already know you have something in common. You might even be able to break the ice with a little shop talk, like chatting about the best yoga poses or your favorite boxing gloves.

But don’t worry if you’re not necessarily a gym rat. This can be a great way to meet someone even if you’re just getting into a fitness routine. Picture this: you’re taking a rock climbing course, you ask the cutie next to you to help you with your harness, and suddenly you’re introducing yourself, exchanging numbers, getting married and having babies. Okay, okay maybe that’s moving a little fast. But you’ll definitely introduce yourself, and that’s a start. Even if your person’s not hanging in a crowded gym, you’ll be feeding your soul and that’s worth something.

Speaking of common interests and feeding your soul… remember back in high school and college when it was so much easier to find a someone you were interested in? There were people everywhere sitting in your classes, looking for a partner for an upcoming assignment or homework help. Once you get to your mid-twenties or older and graduate, you’re not surrounded by people the same age — or even the same stage of life — all the time. But you know what they say — your education is never really over. Especially not these days, when let’s face it, we could all stand to pick up a few extra skills.

Take a Photoshop or Javascript or graphic design class to boost your resume. And if you happen to meet a hottie there, so be it. Bonus: if you can argue that the skill will help at your current job, sometimes you can even get your employer to pay for it! Bond with someone new over class readings or projects, and you can even use homework as an excuse to study over coffee after class.

But, generally, finding love starts by doing one simple thing: saying “yes” to new experiences more. You could meet someone standing in line at Starbucks while your friend’s in the bathroom, or while walking your BFF’s dog while she’s out of town. Get out of your comfort zone; attend a social event alone that you usually wouldn’t go to without a pal. You really never know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but you’re probably not going to meet someone interesting while watching re-runs of The Office for the billionth time. Just sayin’.

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