Online vs. Offline Dating, Dating IRL, How To Meet People Organically, Meeting New People In A New City, Alternatives To Dating Apps + Serendipitous Dating

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

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 the make it that far.


Deal-Breakers vs. Preferences, Nice-To-Haves

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.


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 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.

Next: How To Meet People In Real Life

About Eddie Hernandez 

Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the 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 and date ideas.

Dating Profile Critique

For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.

For other helpful online dating tips check out my blog for more helpful advice:

Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More):

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