Single and ready to mingle? Here’s how to find a date without dating apps
Online dating may seem like the norm with modern relationships, but that’s not the case. Here’s how some millennials find dates offline. You may be able to relate, or you may get ideas on new places to meet people.
Like them or not, dating apps have become an acceptable way for younger generations to meet a potential love interest. As of 2016, Tinder, a popular location-based mobile dating app, had a staggering 9.6 million daily active users, accounting for some 1.4 billion swipes per day.
Tinder has been operating in India since 2013. On Wednesday, US-based dating app Bumble, Tinder’s fierce rival, said it will foray into the country by the end 2018. The company has roped in actor Priyanka Chopra as an investor, she will also act as an adviser to the app.
Yet, no matter how common dating apps and sites have become, they’re not necessarily for everyone. Though definitely convenient for busy people, who don’t have the time to look for a significant other in real life (IRL), online dating can be tiring for some.
22-year-old Pritha Ghosh, an engineering student at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, finds the idea of internet dating a “tricky little business” and has no plans of being a part of it.
“Some of my friends have tried the infamous dating app, Tinder, and have gone on a few first and only dates. They found people very flaky on the apps. I prefer meeting future dates in person, without the help of an app,” Pritha says.
After being addicted to them for almost a year, Sourav Chatterjee, 28, deleted all his dating apps and ended up loving it. As efficient as some dating apps are — you can message someone one minute and literally be out on a date with them the next — going to a friend’s birthday party and hitting it off with somebody IRL is even more so, says the IT professional.
The biggest advantage of meeting potential dates in real life, according to him, is getting to experience their vibe right away, which is something no online dating platform can deliver.
“There’s no better way to gauge attraction and chemistry than to be physically present with someone,” Sourav says.
Kolkata-based psychologist Aparna Sengupta agrees that while meeting people as potential partners is possible on digital applications or social media, meeting people in person tends to yield better results. That’s because physicality can help you figure out whether or not there are sparks.
“When meeting someone in real life, you have the benefit of eye contact, viewing nonverbal cues, and judging a connection,” Aparna explains. That’s hard to gauge from just a few words on a screen.
All the above said, the question is, how do people who don’t like online dating actually go about meeting people?
Entrepreneur Abhinav Singh, 30, says he’s had the most success while meeting up with friends from years ago. His two most meaningful connections with women he dated happened with old friends; in fact, he is currently dating a girl he knew in college, and it’s going really well.
“Different lifestyles causes people to grow apart. After a random, ‘What have you been up to?’ message, we hung out and something clicked. Dating someone you’ve known for years has the advantage of skipping over the initial small talk. of meeting people. Since you have been friends for a while, you already have built-in mutual interests. I have found that generally, knowing the person from before can accelerate the relationship. This is good and bad at the same time, but if handled well, it can lead to a good, meaningful relationship,” says Abhinav.
For Shruti Shah, a 19-year-old college student from St. Xavier’s college, Kolkata, online dating sites are appealing because there’s not as much stress as talking in person. But she thinks having a good conversation with someone in person, suits her better.
“It’s nice to be able to go to a place where I can meet a lot of people I have things in common with. Many of the people I’ve ended up dating, or having a romantic relationship with, I’ve met through mutual friends at events. I like going to musical gigs and a lot of the times, I end up meeting people over there. Sometimes, it can be really hard to go out and find people with similar interests, so going to a gig, where we already have something in common makes it easier. Being in a group setting with friends who also share these interests has helped a lot in the past, too, since it makes it a lot easier to talk,” says Shruti.
Ayan Dutta, 25, is no longer on dating apps for the simple reason that he didn’t get as many dates as he had expected. He feels maybe he doesn’t photograph well or his career choice of leaving an IT job and pursuing entrepreneurship could be the culprit. In fact, Ayan says he finds meeting women in person extremely easy.
“In my most recent stint on Tinder, about six months ago, I swiped right on maybe 1,000 or so profiles for weeks without a single match. I started suffering from low-esteem, so I stopped. Now, I meet women at a lot of places — bars, parties, work events. It’s really as easy as introducing myself and starting a conversation. If we’re both enjoying the conversation and feeling a connection, I’ll ask for her number. For what it’s worth, I start conversations with everyone, everywhere. Everyone has an interesting story to tell,” Ayan says.