Although we're pretty lucky to have access to hundreds of singles on all of these dating apps out there, it's important to take a break from online dating from time to time.
Why? Well, you need to give yourself a chance to meet someone organically.
Not everyone wants their “how we met” story to be a “we both swiped right” story. Even though dating apps are super convenient, they're, unfortunately, putting a stop to the meet-cute.
Meeting someone in real life is already a first step in the right direction: There's a cute “how we met” story to tell, an immediate connection formed and an idyllic memory to look back on.
Many women prefer meeting men in real life because it creates the opportunity for a more natural connection. A face-to-face first meeting allows you to get a feel for his personality, his sense of humour and his ability to converse in person, none of which can be determined on an app.
It's these detriments of dating apps that waste our time when someone we meet up with isn't at all who we thought they'd be IRL, and it's these wasted nights that motivate us to meet men out in the real world, instead.
Here are 16 places to meet single guys IRL, as well as some tips on how to talk to him once you spot him:
Send him a drink at a restaurant
I can't count the number of times I've had a drink at a busy restaurant, and I could see at table of attractive men nearby. Instead of talking about how cute they are, why not send one of them a drink?
Ask his server what he's drinking, and ask them to bring him one from you. I tried this once, simply as a social experiment, and it was both hilarious and successful. I live tweeted the whole thing.
After I sent him the beer, he, of course, came up to my table and said thank you, and he even sat down at my table for a bit. We exchanged numbers, and he commended me on my confidence, saying that nobody had ever done that before.
At a party
It's so easy to meet single guys at parties, but we often make the mistake of hanging out in a corner with our girl friends all night, and we're too shy to approach anyone.
The guy you have your eye on won't notice you if you're tucked away in that same corner all night, so here's the deal: If you want a guy to notice you at a party, you should be standing in a high-traffic area.
Stand by the fridge where all the beers are. Park yourself by the water cooler. Stand by the food. You'll meet lots of men this way. You can also check for cute guys holding almost-empty beers and say, “I'm going to grab myself a beer. Do you want one?”
Always go to parties with your outgoing friends because if all else fails, you can get them to march right up to the guy you want to talk to and say, “Hey, I want you to meet my friend!”
At a hardware store
Hardware stores are one of the easiest places to meet men, especially since so many of them shop there. I was at Home Depot the other day, and it was hot-guy-central.
The moment you spot a guy buying tools who catches your eye, walk past him, stop and say, “Do you, by chance, know what I need to buy to install my floating shelves?”
Then, you can start chatting about home decorating, what he's buying and why. It's an effortless conversation topic that can easily lead to a date.
Any sort of line-up is a great excuse to chat with someone.
If a cute guy happens to be behind you in line at Starbucks or in front of you in line for Chipotle, don't hesitate to kill the time by striking up a conversation. Line-ups are boring, and he'd probably rather chat with you than check his phone for the next five minutes.
If you're at Starbucks, for example, try tapping him on the shoulder and saying something like, “Hey, if I buy a brownie will you eat half?”
Single guys do volunteer sometimes. And the type of guy you'll meet while volunteering will probably be a good-quality, nice guy you can bring home to Mom.
If you're in the same volunteering group, you can chat with him, mention you're going to be volunteering at another event next weekend and ask him if he'd like to join you.
At a coffee shop
Plenty of successful, entrepreneurial men work all day or all night at coffee shops. And the popular, busy coffee shops almost always involve sharing tables with strangers.
Sometimes, only certain tables have an outlet to plug in your laptop, which is a great excuse to ask to share the table (since you need that plug). Once you're sharing a table with him, you can make conversation by asking him what he's working on.
At the dog park
The dog park is a great place to meet men, so if you don't have a dog, you need to borrow your friend's dog ASAP.
You can say things like, “Aw, my dog likes your dog. We should exchange numbers so these new best friends can meet up again.” Or if you see a guy petting your dog, you can say, “He seems to like you. He doesn't like everyone, so take that as a compliment.”
On the subway
Similar to busy coffee shops, public transportation often involves sitting next to a cute stranger. If you spot an empty seat next to a cutie, sit down and ask him what book he's reading, introduce yourself and make small talk. That small talk could result in numbers being exchanged.
At a sporting event or a sports bar
Head to any baseball game, hockey game or football game, or even to sports bars to watch the game. Trust me, lots of cute single guys will be there. And they'll definitely be game for a distraction between periods.
If you're both cheering for the same team, you'll already have common ground to start a conversation. Even if you're cheering for opposing teams, you can joke around with each other about it, aka you can flirt with each other.
Whether you're waiting to board the same flight at the airport or in the waiting room at the dentist's office, you have an excuse to chat with someone when there's time to kill.
For some reason, we ladies always think we need an excuse to talk to a guy. Well, if you need one, "killing time" in a waiting room is a great reason to strike up a conversation.
Whenever I go grocery shopping, I always see men shopping by themselves, and there are plenty of excuses to talk to them.
You can walk right up to him and say, “Excuse me, where did you find that stir-fry kit? I love how the veggies are already chopped up for you.”
Usually, grocery stores also have line-ups at every check-out lane during peak hours, so choose the line-up with a lonely man in it. You could even joke around with a playful “Hey, thanks for saving my spot in line!” and pretend to budge in front of him.
In an amateur acting class
Plenty of people join amateur acting classes or improv groups as a hobby. It's perfect for meeting new people, as you're often paired up with someone and forced to become fast friends as you act out a scene together.
At the gym
Guys like picking girls up at the gym because they love the way we look when we aren't wearing makeup or trying too hard. It's a casual setting that makes it easy to talk to someone, even if you're just pretending you need advice on whether or not your form looks good.
A shared hobby
A shared hobby or activity is a great way to meet men in real life.
If you're both on the same soccer team, you're both in the same outdoor education group or you're in the same running group, it's a great foundation to start a relationship. Everyone likes dating someone they share interests with.
Don't be afraid to ask your friends to set you up with someone. Everyone knows an eligible bachelor or two, and not enough people organize set-ups these days.
People seem to be the best versions of themselves when they're on vacation. They're relaxed, confident and often have zero inhibitions when it comes to meeting new people.
It's incredibly easy to pick up a guy at the pool and ask him if he can recommend a good restaurant nearby or if he wants to join you on a snorkeling adventure.