Life Advice



8 places to meet people IRL that aren't dating apps or bars

Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

When there’s a new couple around, it’s natural to ask, “So, how did you meet?” Most of the time, it’s one of these answers: through friends, at work, or on a dating app. Gone are the days when connecting through Tinder or Bumble came with an elaborate lie about a meet-cute that stemmed from sitting together on a plane … it’s so common these days.

But there are drawbacks to meeting through an app or website, I get it, and sometimes you just want to get off your phone and meet people the old-fashioned way. Well, I have good news for you — it’s still very possible, and it doesn’t have to start with approaching a stranger at a bar. Here are some better possibilities:

Playing on a sports team.

Adult sports teams are more popular than ever, and signing up for a recreational free agent team will introduce you to a whole new group of friends (and all the people, hopefully of the single variety, who they know). A good attitude is more of a prerequisite than stellar hand-eye coordination, so hit the field, court, bowling alley, or cornhole-throwing arena.

Joining a book club.

It sounds like the start of a Hallmark movie, but a book club is another way to socialize with a new group of people. Don’t panic if there are no singles who share your bookworm tendencies — just like a sports team, you’re expanding your social circle, and you never know who has a single friend they’re eager to introduce you to.


Hanging at the dog park.

Of course, this one only works if you have a dog or have a friend’s pup you can borrow or tag along with (don’t be the petless human at the dog park — it’s odd). But nothing gives strangers something to instantly connect on quite like their beloved pooches. Once Fido gives Luna a sniff, you have a reason to start chatting.

Volunteering for a cause.

Whether you’re tutoring kids, cooking for a shelter, or helping cats find their forever homes, doing something good for others is never a bad thing. And if you happen to meet someone in the process, even better.


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