The statistics speak for themselves – scientists at the Pew Research Center say 88% of singles meet their mate in real life, not online.  In fact, only 5% of couples say they met online.  This means if you are only looking for love online, your chances of meeting someone special are pretty low.

We don’t live in a society that supports meeting our mates the way our parents did.  Many Americans don’t go to church or have other traditional social networks.  Working adults don’t have access to as many singles as college aged kids.  Add to that our obsession with our phones and we simply set ourselves up to be forever swiping. It’s scary to think about leaving your couch, taking off your sweatpants, putting your Netflix queue on hold, and going out to meet people, but meeting people in real life still works!

I’ve talked to a few dating coaches and they agree, you have to create opportunities to meet people in real life if you want to improve your odds of making a meaningful connection.  Here are some tips for making it easier to meet IRL.

  • Get off your phone!  If you are in line at Starbuck’s and playing with your phone, stop.  Take some time away from the phone and look around you.  There might be someone who’s noticed you, but hasn’t approached because looking at your phone says, “don’t approach me!” Stop talking on the phone at the grocery store, on walks with your dog and other places where you might bump into someone.  Incidentally, if you always wear your ear buds, you are also missing out on an opportunity to interact with someone great.
  • Ask questions.  If you’re in the produce aisle and see someone you might like to meet, ask a question.  If the woman of your dreams is looking at mangos, ask her how to slice a mango.  If that guy you see at the store every week is perusing the cantaloupes, ask him if he knows how to tell when they are ripe. It doesn’t have to be slick or well-practiced, just friendly and low key.
  • Don’t travel in herds.  Ladies, men have to summon the courage to approach you and start a conversation. Don’t make it hard for them by traveling with your five besties all the time.  The ideal situation for a man is a group of 3.  That way if you reject him, he won’t suffer the indignation of rejection in front of ALL your friends.
  • Get out and do stuff.  Men, if you want to meet someone in person, you have to get out and do things!  If your routine is go to the gym, go to work, hit the store and home, you’re not putting yourself out there.  While you might meet someone at the gym or the grocery store, think about getting out and doing some fun things you enjoy.  For starters, it is much more comfortable to strike up a conversation when you’re doing something fun. Second, it gives you a starting point for exploring any mutual interests. Beer tastings, anyone?

Here’s one final statistic from the Pew Research Center — One-third of people who have used online dating have never actually gone on a date with someone they met on these sites.  If you are not having the success you want online, consider expanding your opportunities to meet someone by upping your “meet someone IRL” game.

(The image is courtesy of Pixabay)

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available. A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives. When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.