I was recently speaking with a client who felt exhausted by online dating.
The endless swiping… the sub-par dating pool… the lack of intrigue for anyone that registered as anything more than a (totally generous) 5 out of 10 on the excitement scale.
And hey, honestly, I don’t blame her.
Back in my online dating days, I rarely lasted longer than a week on any platform.
Yes, sometimes because I matched with someone and deleted the app… but more often than not, it was because I hated it and the whole thing felt empty, sad, and superficial.
So… if there’s a part of you that feels like ‘Online dating seems like the way to meet people these days but I hate it and please god is there any other way for me to meet someone that doesn’t involve my eyes burning out from staring at screens all day and feeling increasingly disappointed in the state of humanity???’… then I have good news for you! There are absolutely alternatives, and I’ll be digging into them now in this article.
And don’t worry… I won’t be saying things like ‘speed dating events’, ‘networking events’, or ‘professional matchmaking services’… which, while of course any of those things can bring about results, they can also tend to bring out a higher density of legitimately desperate seeking singles that likely aren’t your cup of tea.
So without further ado, here are six ways to meet people without online dating that will likely be far more nourishing to your heart and soul, compared to drowning in endless swipes.
6 Ways To Meet Someone Without Online Dating
1. Tell your friends/family members/people that you are open to a relationship
‘Jeez Jordan… can’t we ease in and start with the simpler stuff first?’ No. No we can’t.
Life rewards bold, courageous action. And often the lowest hanging (aligned, healthy, nutritious) fruit is found via our already existing social network.
(Social network as in the real humans you know, face to face… not social network like social media.)
When you make it known to the people that you’re closest to that you’re looking for someone special, then this gives them an added layer of permission to a) introduce you to people they already know and think you would be a good match for, and b) allows them to keep an eye out for any new person they meet who would be someone to introduce you to. Either way, verbally informing the people who know you the best that you are looking for a relationship, and please feel free to ask you about introductions if they know of someone who could be great for you, is often one of the fastest ways to meet some surprisingly high-quality potential partners.
Again, is it embarrassing? Could it feel a tad bit desperate to let your best friends know that you are open to introductions? Sure, maybe. But are you more interested in protecting your ego in the short-term, or in finding a long-term, nourishing partnership that will fill your heart on a daily basis for the remainder of your years? The choice is yours.
2. Start engaging in a ton of in-person, group-based hobbies
Do you like doing things? You know, like hobbies?
If so, hooray! You’re a multi-dimensional person who does things other than just work and sleep!
Whatever those things are, you can likely find ways to do those things out in public and with other people who also like doing that thing.
Do you like Brazilian jiu jitsu? Go to in-person, drop-in classes twice a week and you’re bound to meet people (friends and potential partners alike).
Do you like nature walks (not just in theory, but in practice)? Join a local walking club and you’re guaranteed to meet more nature lovers like yourself.
Are you more of an intellectual book-worm? There are book clubs, writing clubs, and philosophical discussion groups that you can look up and drop into.
Whatever your thing is, you can likely find a local group that specializes in that, and by bringing your hobby into the social sphere, you’re bound to mix yourself up with more people that have overlapping values, and make progress towards meeting your person.
3. Change up your routines (like, a lot of them… and maybe all at once)
If the way you’ve been living your life hasn’t called in your forever-love, then the strategy needs a shake up.
By auditing, questioning, and changing up your routines, you can rapidly introduce dozens of new ways to meet your next significant other.
Do you always walk to work? Take public transit. Do you always take public transit? Try walking. Do you always take the same path to work? Try a different path.
Only go to the grocery store once a week and batch prep all your food while listening to a podcast? What if you went to the grocery store 3-4 nights per week? That would certainly put you around hundreds more new people on a regular basis.
Same with the gym. If you go to the gym once per week, or only at one specific time of day, then you’re missing out on the hundreds of other people you would meet if you went more often or at varying times of day.
I’m including this point especially for my more introvert-leaning readers. If it’s easy for you, when left to your own devices, to just hermit up a storm at times… then you might need to stretch yourself in the short-term to expose yourself to new patches of people. Whether that’s through the change up in your gym routines, how and when you get groceries, how and when you engage with your hobbies, or through any other pathway.
The fastest way to calling in a highly aligned romantic partner will always be a two-step process: 1) put a bunch of effort towards FUN and ENJOYMENT so that you are authentically beaming with your own unique, lighthouse energy into the world… and then 2) increase exposure between you and the world, especially in high-quality-potential-partner-dense environment (that have overlap with you and your interests). So… time to get out there and shake up those old, stale routines.
4. Third-wheel it more often with your closest, healthiest coupled-up friends
A great way to feel into whether you’re truly allowing the yearning of your heart to fully exist is to spend time with your friends who are in the healthiest relationships. What do I mean by this? Sometimes people feel really open and excited to be in a relationship, but if they look at themselves honestly while spending time with other couples, they might feel closed-off, envious, or even resentful at how happy their friends are who are coupled-up. The knee-jerk reaction of comments like ‘Get a room!’ actually come from our guardedness, and can highlight where we are not actually open to a loving relationship that has the power to transform us at our deepest level.
Conversely, if you can spend ample time around your coupled-up friends and exclusively feel warm, loving, grateful, and genuinely happy for them (not just from your mind, but in your heart and body), then you’ll know that your internal resistance is non-existent.
It’s like the difference between seeing someone enjoy a warm bath and feeling the warmth of it as if you were in the water yourself… versus seeing someone in the same warm bath and thinking to yourself, ‘Fuck your warm bath. When’s it going to be my turn to be in a warm bath already!? I’ve read all the books… I should be in that water!’ The former response demonstrates our readiness for a deep, transcendent love, and the latter comes from a hardened, bitter crust that we have allowed to form around our hearts that is keeping us from attracting in anyone with emotional availability.
So again, spending time with your healthiest coupled-up friends can be a great indicator for where we truly are in our readiness and reception to a big, aligned love.
5. Grieve, and release any residual emotional wounding with the sex of your affection.
‘Wait, what… grieve? How will sobbing on the floor help me in attracting a significant other?’
Sometimes the thing that most gets in the way of someone meeting an amazing partner is that their heart is still walled-up with old pain.
Maybe an ex-partner really did a number on them and they haven’t fully grieved it. Maybe they have significant abandonment wounds from a parent who really wasn’t all that kind or considerate with them when they were young. Or maybe they have leftover judgments, resentments, or frustrations towards men/women that are keeping their hearts behind castle walls.
Whatever the source of the pain, it must be felt.
This isn’t so much a call-to-action for going and doing a bunch of therapy. I see it as being much simpler than that.
Can we allow ourselves to soften into our pain? To drop the running around… all of the busy work… the cramming our lives so full that we never have the opportunity to slow down and really be with ourselves.
Slow down… breathe into what is there to be discovered in your own heart… and let the pain surface in its own time. With time, attention, and an honest desire to let the residue move through us, it will shift. And when we shift, the world around us will also shift.
6. Audit where you aren’t showing up fully in your life
Another way that people often thwart their partner-finding efforts is that they have a point (or multiple points) in their life that is currently in too stark of a contrast to who they are. In other words, they are out of integrity with themselves. And instead of facing and changing those points of dissonance, they want to call in a partner who will help jumpstart the struggling car battery of their heart and be enabled in their desire to avoid responsibility.
Sometimes, the thing most standing in someone’s way is that they are living in a way that is too far outside of who they truly know themselves to be.
It could be anything. It could be their work, their neglected hobbies, a long-standing numbing compulsion (smoking, drinking, overeating, etc.), or a long-abandoned aspect of themselves that they have relegated to the shadows.
Whatever the thing is, it isn’t necessarily a necessity that they face and address the thing first… but in my experience (personally and professionally) it puts a cap on how aligned of a partner they can call in, while remaining in this state of being a smaller version of themselves. Put another way, without facing the thing in themselves, it’s like they can only attract a partner who is up to 70% a good fit with them. Is this unfortunate? Sure, maybe. But I see it as life being kind to us, because when we get frustrated enough with the pattern, we get to be in a position of choice and actually do something about it.
If we aren’t feeling lit-up, alive, aligned, and proactively embodying all of the potential we have available to us… then why would we be deserving of calling in someone who sees and loves all of us, when we ourselves are choosing on a daily basis to neglect aspects of who we truly are?
So… do a deep personal audit, see what you find, and then earn your way into being in a higher state of integrity with your true essence. Your life will be far more enjoyable in the short-term, and you’ll clear gunk off of the projector screen that will allow you to call in far better potential partners as well.
Meeting Someone Without Social Media, Summarized
– Build a happy single life.
– Prioritize fun, lightness, and joy, on a regular basis.
– Be the lighthouse that beams brightly and calls in the people who resonate with your authentic joy.
– Shake up your routines, increase your in-person exposure to the world, and heal any emotional wounds that might be standing in your way.
Do all of these things with any degree of earnestness, and I promise that the quality and level of alignment of potential partners that you start to call in will shift.
Likely, faster than you thought possible.
Dedicated to your success,
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