(Dating) App-less April, a month-long challenge to delete your dating apps, is officially underway. I'm starting the 30-day experiment to focus on dating offline, something I hardly know anymore. But there are plenty of reasons to join App-less April, whether you're frustrated with dating apps or can't get enough of 'em. In fact, several dating and relationship experts say this challenge is the perfect opportunity to date yourself and re-focus your energy.
Maybe you're not meeting anyone you're interested in dating. Maybe you keep getting ghosted. Maybe you're burned out with dating in general. Whatever the case, I'm seeing this dating app detox as a way to change things up and learn something new — and how you approach it is up to you. But, if you are using the challenge to try to meet people IRL, there's one important thing you need to remember.
"Deleting your apps is the first step," dating coach and certified matchmaker Francesca Hogi tells Bustle, "But if you don't change your other behavior, you're unlikely to meet dates offline."
Exactly. Simply not being on apps won't suddenly change what happens to you offline, your behavior and outlook will. So what adjustments should you make this month? Here's what Hogi recommends if you want to meet people IRL:
1. Flex Your Flirting Muscles
"In order to meet men or women offline, you've got to be willing to show them you're interested," Hogi says. "The #1 way to do that is through eye contact. Practice making eye contact until it feels uncomfortable (this will only take a few seconds if you're out of practice), smiling, looking away and then looking back a few seconds later. It's the real-life equivalent of swiping right!"
2. Take One Action Each Week To Expand Your Social Circle
"If you're not normally meeting people in your current network, push yourself to get in front of a new crowd of people," Hogi says. "Accept a party invitation from someone you don't know well, commit to staying an hour at a networking event, take a workshop or even go to a singles event. You never know where your new connections might take you!"
3. Go Public
"Tell those closest to you that you're taking a different tack when it comes to dating. Let them know you're open to new social events and to new introductions. Make it low-pressure! Tell them you're pushing yourself to do things differently this month and you're open to new experiences."
Want to join App-less April? Share your stories with us by using the hashtag #ApplessApril and mentioning @Bustle.
Images: Caroline Wurtzel/Bustle (2); Giphy