Online vs. Offline Dating, Dating IRL, How To Meet People Organically, Meeting New People In A New City, Alternatives To Dating Apps + Serendipitous Dating, Where To Meet Guys, Girls
I work with many people from all walks of life — those who are recently single, those who are new to the area, those who are super busy in their lives, those who have had bad luck meeting people offline and those who are looking to meet others outside their day-to-day lives. These are all great reasons to start online dating however there is one major thing you should be aware of once you create an online dating profile and start swiping like there is no tomorrow.
Once you get in the habit of taking photos, creating interesting captions and exchanging witty banter, there is a strong chance you could lose the ability to engage in spontaneous, social conversations.
Many people get too comfortable relying on technology and guarded walls and filters that they lose the ability to act spontaneously — there is no backspace, no un-send no drafts in real life. There is just you and the other person.
Serendipitous moments, improvisation, reading body language and reacting in real-time is what dating is all about.
The Perfect Online Dating Profile: Tips On What To Put In A Dating Profile
Too much time is spent crafting the perfect you that you may regress in your ability to make and carry a phone call, to act spontaneously on a date vs. Yelping ideas and saying what you feel off the top of your head vs spending hours if not days thinking about what to type on your phone or computer.
Soft skills like eye contact, banter, body language are often ignored when exclusively focused purely on online efforts. Inability to successfully transition from online to offline is where most people fail when it comes to dating, if they make it that far. One has to have enough going on in their lives to be able to have enough experience, material to have good conversations and sell yourself to others you meet on the app. Building up hobbies, interests, passions, social calendars will have a direct impact on dating success.
Build up confidence by learning to eat alone at a restaurant, striking up conversations with bartenders and cab drivers. Do one thing new every day in your life whether it’s going to a new cafe, walking a new route to work, taking time to enjoy the scenery around you or learning to take 5 minutes to soak in the views and people around you on your daily routine.
Deal-Breakers vs. Preferences, Nice-To-Haves On Dating Sites
Additionally, online dating apps and sites provide a false sense of security and confidence by allowing for so many filters, check-boxes and algorithms that people forget to give people a chance and just take the time to enjoy the moment of that spontaneous conversation at the bar of a restaurant, that moment of connection on the bus or that sudden glance from across the room of a coffee shop. There is nothing that beats those first in-person precious moments of hope, curiosity and nervousness.
Acting like a fool and being clumsy can sometimes be the thing that separates you from robot dating whereby every move is calculated, rehearsed and executed.
Being overly picky often results in more disappointment than a higher quality match. I am not saying you should toss your preferences and deal-breakers out the door — what I am saying is you should exercise good judgment while being open, spontaneous and unguarded.
Go through every checkbox on your list and start to do the math. Every time you establish a deal-breaker you are eliminating 5-60% of the dating pool. Compound 4-5 deal-breakers and you quickly eliminated 35-85% of the entire dating pool.
You Have To Be Confident In Your Own Skin Before You Date Successfully
Dating successfully requires practice. It’s very rare for people to sporadically meet the person of their dreams without learning to have everyday conversations, experiences, and perspectives. If you are not comfortable in your own skin, it’s very hard for others be feel good or confident about their choice in you.
People love to feed off the energy in others and shyness can make it difficult for people to open up themselves to others. Being in a good place (or at least on your way to) mentally, physically and socially will make it much easier to date. Having a plan, making progress, showing initiative and being driven in life is what attracts people to others.
Not Putting Too Much Pressure On New People In Your Life
All too often, people put too much pressure on new people they date. It’s rather unfortunate to put so much pressure on someone to be your friend, lover, therapist, cheerleader, financial advisor, mentor, activity partner etc. It can be exhausting and unrealistic to expect so much from someone so quickly.
Don’t take things too seriously and don’t overly invest yourself in someone too quickly. Enjoy the process of dating early on and date often so you can figure out what you want, what you are willing to put up with and what you want to prioritize in someone.
Organic Interactions and Introductions, Spontaneous Conversations
The art of remaining calm and collected while embracing mistakes and clumsiness is one of the greatest skills to develop when dating and meeting others. Too often do people get red in the face, possess a phobia of fear in front of a cute girl or guy or leave an environment with a sense of rejection and humiliation. The ability to bounce around topics, read people, allow for conversation flow and present body language is key to having successful conversations with others.
The ability to laugh at oneself is not only a disarming personality trait bur also one oh humility.
Final Thoughts – Meeting People Offline, In Real Life
Offline dating (or as I would like to say everyday life and serendipitous introductions) allows people to take risks, be bold, be funny, be flirty, be clumsy, be scared, be adventurous, be curious, be creative, be quirky and be random — all the redeeming qualities that people love in life because it allows other to feel comfortable in their own insecurities.
Online dating can prevent you from being your best self if you attempt to curate your profile so much that it no longer reflects the real you. Online dating should be used as an additional channel for meeting people, it should never be your exclusive method for shots at romance.
Coronavirus Quarantine Update: Serendipitous Introductions & Dating During Covid-19
The arrival of Covid-19 has slowed down and virtually stopped all offline serendipitous dating interactions. Record number of people are deferring to dating apps these days whether it is a sincere effort to meet others and date or merely seeking entertainment and pen pals during isolation and loneliness.
In either case, virtual dates are now a thing that even the biggest critics cannot ignore. Just because real life initial interactions have come to a screeching halt, doesn’t mean those skills I listed above should be ignored. Creativity, date planning, conversation skills and ability to engage in great conversation are a few of the key drivers for success with virtual dating and video chats.
By now, most people are experiencing Zoom fatigue and are aching to get outside. Delicately broaching the topic of in person dates like walks in the park, coffee dates or picnics requires an ability to gauge interest, comfort and safety.
Furthermore, while masked up and severely limiting outdoor activities there are still opportunities to meet organically. People may not be able to see your smiles, but they can see your wardrobe, masks and the way you are responding to the times we live in today. Social distancing, manners, and awareness are traits people can observe at stores, waiting in line for pickup orders or out and about during outdoor activities.
While harder to probably get a number or ask someone out spontaneously, it is not impossible. Those that realize this and work on these efforts have an incredible advantage over those that are giving up the towel and deferring to dating apps exclusively.
As many people are signing up to try dating apps, a good portion of people are not. Pleasantly surprising someone offline can make more of an impression in others during these difficult times.
Dating Coach Services
First date ideas, wardrobe styling, places to meet singles, where to sit at bars and restaurants, body language, vocal intonation, eye contact, conversation skills and more.
Additional Reading: Conversation Skills & Meeting People
How To Meet People In Real Life: https://eddie-hernandez.com/how-to-meet-people-irl/
Online Dating Conversation Starters: https://eddie-hernandez.com/dating-app-conversation-starters/
How To Be Successful With Online Dating: https://eddie-hernandez.com/how-to-be-successful-with-online-dating/
Biggest Mistakes Men Make On Dating Sites: https://eddie-hernandez.com/biggest-mistakes-guys-make-online-dating/
About Eddie Hernandez
Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond as featured in the NYTimes, SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle.
In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, offline techniques for meeting people organically, naturally.
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