9 Ways To Meet People Besides Scrolling Through Dating Apps

Don’t let your phone do all the work.

Your fingers are sore from the constant swiping, your mind tired from constantly thinking of witty quips for your next dating profile. I hear you. I’ve been there — in fact, I’m there now.

The good news is that you can always take a hiatus. The better news is that you can still meet new people, sans screen.

Here are some ideas for how to meet people in real life.


The benefits of volunteering are limitless. I got my current full-time job through being a committed volunteer. I’ve made lots of friends volunteering. The same extends to finding a date.

While you shouldn’t volunteer just to meet a date (because gross), volunteering is a major way to expand your network. Lots of volunteer programs have mixers of volunteer appreciation nights – try going to one and seeing who catches your fancy after a few drinks.

Go to meetups

I’ve used meetup.com for poetry workshop groups and for practicing French conversations. It’s an excellent way to meet folks you’ve never met before.

Creating a profile is pretty straightforward, it’s mainly a matter of choosing what your interests are. This way, you’ll definitely meet folks you share a common line with. If nothing else,you’ll make new friends – especially if you go consistently

Partake in an artistic community

Are you a painter, writer, dancer, or musician? Or do you appreciate those art forms? When I say get involved in your town/city’s art scene, I don’t just mean going to the big museums; I mean going to open mics, local shows, small gallery openings, and community theater performances. I’ve gotten the chance to meet so many awesome creatives by simply going up to the performers later and telling them how great they were.

Most local art is reasonably priced, and because it’s so small, when you see the lead of Antigone the musical that wowed you, you can tell them in person (and slip your number if you’re feeling flirty).

Take classes

Learning is the thing I miss most about school. Luckily, there are plenty of adult learning opportunities.

Want to brush up on your college pottery? Or learn to make pots like Sam in “Ghost?” Look into a local class and meet other folks who want to expand their minds, too. You’ll always have a discussion topic – class!

Accept your friends’ party invites

Easier said than done. I am the #1 champion of calling it a night early because it’s 10:00pm on a Friday and sometimes, bed is just a nice place to be. But I’ve also forced myself to go out and ended the night with two new numbers in my phone. Go to your friends’ birthday parties, or random club meetings and expand your network. Most job opportunities (and romantic opportunities) tend to come from folks like acquaintances, or people who aren’t part of your immediate friend circle.

Eat out/go to bars alone

I know, I know – wild. More people do this than you would think. Try picking a bar that’s on the quieter side and sit at the bar, so you can at least chat up the bartender. I’ve done this before and had plenty of friendly, non-creepy conversation. Plus sitting alone makes you look confident, and confidence is way sexier than bona fide good looks. If you’re still nervous about it you can bring a good book as backup.

Join a book club

join a book club

You’ve been telling yourself you want to read more for years. Just join a book club already! You can find one through a friend, or through websites like meetup. Nothing’s hotter than someone with a working brain. Ask your book club crush about their thoughts on Zadie Smith and go from there. This is much better than eyeing the book titles of strangers on the train and mentally appreciating their choices in literature – which I do a lot.

Don’t work from home all the time

While working from home can be a blessing, it’s not so great on the social side of things. You’re missing out on all the office gossip and potential for flings (which, on second thought, might be a for the best after all). Get out of your PJs and hit up your local cafe. Once you become a regular, you notice the other regulars too, including the handsome barista at the bar.

Go to the dog park

Few things are as joyous as playing with a pup in the park, while low-key scoping for potential dates. A guy with a dog obviously has a soul, so the dog park works pretty well as a vetting location!

See if you can borrow a friend’s dog for a tousle in the park. If they have a busy schedule, I doubt they’d resent their dog getting more outdoor time.

You can totally meet people without relying on a screen. It’s as simple as getting the hell out of your house. Easier said than done. But once you get going, watch your phone fill up with contacts.

If you’d like to read more like this, check out: “Behind the Swipe” with LOVE TV — The Story of 10 Tinder Dates in One Month, 7 Love Lessons I Learned from the Amazon Show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, and Is Your Dating Out Of This World? Here’s How to Find What Planet You Are

The 4 Essential Photos You NEED on your Dating Apps

The Fab Four Of Online Dating Pics: Know Them. Love Them. Use Them.

In all my years of dating and coaching, I’ve developed many rules that have helped clients (and myself) sail the tumultuous waters of the online dating world. There’s one rule, however, that I believe so wholeheartedly and never deviate from (and has always found the highest success when in use). The rule? That you only need FOUR photos on any online dating platform or app. Just four. No More, no less. This holy quad showcases exactly who you are and shows the most important facets of you. Like many parts of dating, too much or too little can often hurt your case. But four pics? Four pics are just enough! So what are they? I lovingly call them: the Showstopper, The Wedding Party, The Politician and Dr. Interesting.

The Showstopper

Smiling gorgeous Asian girl

This is the photo of you looking amazing, closely cropped (but not too close- mid-section to face preferred, nobody needs to see any pores) to showcase that beautiful mug of yours. This photo should be CURRENT, have you looking like yourself, in good lighting and if not smiling, at least seeming playful, mysterious or sexy. And if we’re being honest (as I hope we are!) this photo really does do most of the heavy lifting, and should be the photo of you that people see first. This can definitely be a selfie so you have control…but try to make it a subtle selfie. Nothing filtered, softened, duckface-y, blurry, or obviously taken from your friend’s futon. Actors, beware: while you’re made up and looking good in a headshot, NONE OF YOUR DATING APP PHOTOS SHOULD BE HEADSHOTS. Mmmkay? Thanks byeeee.

The Wedding Party

Stylish bridesmaids having fun

Another incredible asset that not many people use is the wedding photo! In these photos, you’re often looking great, all dressed up, having fun and being your badass self. And the best part? They are usually taken by someone who knows what they’re doing (aka a professional photographer!). That means that the angles are good, the lighting is on point and the photographer is super aware of what the subject is doing/how they’re looking. Often, this is the photo I say to use to showcase your body (a body shot- crucial!) but it isn’t necessary. Just don’t use a wedding photo that remotely suggest that YOU are getting married…as one might guess, that will backfire. Don’t have a wedding photo? A picture at a party with friends works, too!

The Politician

Stylish bridesmaids having fun

This is the photo that says, “hey, I have pals and people like me! See?” It can and often is your “body shot” to show people what your whole bod looks like. The Politician is the photo with a couple close pals, having brunch, hanging with your niece, etc.” Men generally have these photos but fall into a common mistake- having ALL politicians, Politician photo as Showstopper or having The Politician photo with too many people in it. While we want to know you’re social and fun, we also don’t want to have to pick you out of a lineup of 30. Keep it to 15 people or less, please; preferably just a few people who are the same attractiveness level, so as not to take attention away from you. Animal photos will also work for the Politician slot (an animal-friendly person is in my mind, just as good as a people-friendly one).

Dr. Interesting

blonde lady climbing on the rock

So you’ve got a great close up, a fun flattering wedding photo and a photo with pals. Now, you need that niche photo: that photo showcasing something you love to do, a place you love to be, preferably performing an activity that is distinctly you! For example, if you like rock climbing, it could be you at a climbing gym or on a summit (also a very flattering body shot). Or, if you love to cook, how about a picture of you doing your thing in the kitchen, smiling ear-to-ear? Ideally, it’ll be easy to get these photos because you’ll actually be doing these things on the reg. Just don’t mislead with your Dr. Interesting: don’t put a hiking pic in if you hate to hike (and no matter how good your hair looks). As a note: Dr. Interesting can often be combined with others or be a form of the other photos. For example: if you are a nurse and you have a photo of yourself and two nurse friends, it does double duty!

Now get to snapping- and dating, people!