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Erika Ettin: How to put down your phone and meet new people (yes, including 'The One')

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

Online dating seems like the most obvious way to meet a potential partner — after all, how many singles (who are ready to mingle, of course) do you know who don’t have at least one dating app on their phone?

But online dating has become more than just a place to find dates. When someone moves to a new city, it’s a place to chat with locals about restaurant and bar recommendations. When somebody is bored, it’s where they can start a conversation with a like-minded stranger. Some people even turn to websites and apps simply looking for friendship. (Bumble even has a feature for that: Bumble BFF.)

While it definitely feels like it at times (especially during a pandemic), online dating isn’t the only way to meet new people. In fact, there might be more effective avenues, depending on your personality. Check out some of these ideas:

1. Join a sports league

From casual kickball to competitive softball, adult sports leagues have been becoming more and more popular. Not only will you automatically meet a group of new people, but those on your team might know someone (a co-worker, friend, sibling, the possibilities are endless) who would be perfect for you. Just make sure you let it be known that you’re single and looking, and you’ll be surprised at how many options pop up.

2. Check out MeetUp.com

 

Sports not your thing? No problem — many people are right there with you. Luckily, MeetUp.com has gatherings for just about any interest you can imagine, from crafting to music to poker games to movie outings. In addition to introducing yourself to new folks, you might even pick up a skill or two along the way.

3. Go to a bar or coffee shop solo

Going out with friends is always fun, but you’re much more likely to be approached if you’re by yourself. Bring a book (maybe one with a conversation-starting cover) and enjoy your drink, and just maybe someone will say hello. (Of course, don’t be afraid to make the first move if someone catches your eye.)

4. Visit the dog park

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