If Dating Apps Aren't Your Thing, Try These Places To Meet People IRL

by Christy Piña
Originally Published: 

We're living in a digital world where the dating scene changes faster than you can swipe on Tinder. Dating apps have made finding matches so easy that the idea of meeting someone "organically" in real life can feel overwhelming and a little scary. But the truth is, not everyone is a fan of dating apps, and that's OK too. Like with most things, dating is a unique experience for everyone. For those who tend to gravitate toward making face-to-face connections, there are tons of places to meet people IRL, so you don't need to limit yourself to swiping left and right. From your everyday coffee spot to your go-to happy hour, your next face-to-face meeting can happen anywhere.

Nevertheless, knowing that you can meet someone anywhere doesn't necessarily make it easier to just go up to them and introduce yourself. "It can be difficult to approach a stranger and start a conversation," dating coach Erika Ettin previously told Elite Daily. "Just remember that no one can shame you for trying, even if you don't get the response you're looking for." If there's a new cutie at the gym or the park you go to on your lunch breaks, bringing up something relevant to the environment — like the workout they're doing or where they got their delicious-looking sub — may make approaching them a little easier.

If you can't shake the excitement you feel when talking up that gorgeous person across from you at the bar, or bonding with the person sitting next to you at the airport, I've got you covered. There are so many places you can meet people IRL that'll give you that same thrill, and they're all around you. See for yourself.


1. Your go-to coffee shop

2. Literally any bar, restaurant, or nightclub

3. The local farmer's market

4. At the gym, though some people don't like being approached during their workout, so use your discretion

5. Apple picking, if it's fall

6. At the beach or the pool

7. At your local grocery store

8. A concert (or music festival)

9. At the park

Lucas Ottone/Stocksy

10. Your go-to happy hour spot

11. At a bookstore

12. The airport (or on your flight!)

13. At a networking or college alumni event

14. Bond over your love of science or art at a museum

15. Wherever your hobbies take you (renaissance fairs, bookclubs, dance studios, the boardwalk, etc.)

16. At work, whether it's a new employee or someone you've just never met before)

17. Your school or city library

18. In class

You may find your possible future bae at your favorite happy hour spot while ordering your third martini, or in the cookie aisle at the grocery store while bonding over your love of the Golden Oreos no one likes. But regardless of how you meet, approaching someone new can be a little nerve-racking. If you find yourself in this situation, "remember who you are, what you stand for, what you have to offer, and bring to the table. And then bring it," Laurel House, celebrity dating and relationship coach and host of the Man Whisperer podcast, previously told Elite Daily. She also stressed that you don't need to worry about coming across as "perfect."

"Perfect is boring. Perfect is not relatable," she said. "Be quirky, silly, deep, even vulnerable. That's what makes you[...] memorable, and them wanting more."

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