Where NOT To Meet People IRL

I don’t consider myself to be especially psychic, but growing up, I always had this gut feeling that one day, I’d meet the love of my life in a meet-cute type of fashion. I blame my obsession with love stories of any kind from a young age for this ridiculous, rosy-colored point of view, but I’ll be honest: I actually have met people in pretty spectacular ways.

My ex and I met when I fell down on a bus in front of him in New York City. Another guy I dated because he asked to draw my portrait while I was sitting in Union Square. Another dude through a cooking class. And yet another, because we reached for the same box of cereal at the same time.

OK, that last one was a lie (c’mon, that would be cute, right?!) — but the rest are 100 percent true. As someone who isn’t exactly of fan of online dating, or frankly, that great at it, I try my damnest to meet people in real life. But ya know what? It’s tough out there — especially with a generation of ever-connected Millennials who give more eye contact to their Snapchat filters than they ever to do real people in face-to-face situations.

But if I want to maximize my chances of meeting the right person for me without the use of dating apps, where should I head? I’m not entirely sure, but I did ask experts that places that are a waste of my time — and yours — if you want something serious. Here’s what they said.

1. Any Place That Signifies A Deal-Breaker For You

“Can’t stand smoking? A cigar bar is probably not the place to find you a significant other. The odds aren’t in your favor where the action is a deal-breaker for you, its most likely not the place where you will find the future love of your life.” -Sarah Patt, dating expert and matchmaker.

2. The Grocery Store

“Long lives the fallacy of meeting someone over the butter lettuce. The reality is that most people are in such a rush, that they do not stop and talk to anyone, much less strike up a conversation. An alternative might be taking a cooking class that is more interactive, shares a common interest, and has members engage with each other throughout the class.” -Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC

3. On A Date With Someone Else

"Every once and a while this story can be romantic: he was on a date with someone else when he saw her out of the corner of her eye and couldn’t stop thinking about her. But for the most part it’s just skevy. Do yourself a favor and spend the date really trying to get to know your actual date, you never know what you might discover if you give them a chance." -Sami Johnson, Head Matchmaker at The LDS Matchmaker

4. The Bar Scene

“While you may meet people hanging out at a bar, do you really want to meet someone who spends all their time hanging out at bars? I bartended my way through my Doctorate, and I can tell you that there is nothing that interesting or attractive about the people that spend five+ nights per week at the bar. A nice alternative might be taking a new brand of classes that are emerging. They teach people to make drinks anywhere from hip to the truly classic. It is a fun and laid back environment to talk and meet.” -Martinez

5. The Gym

"People have long held the idea that the gym is the place to meet other attractive people. The reality is that people are there for a limited amount of time to get in a workout, and often the last thing they have on their mind is engaging in a meaningful conversation with someone. You are lucky if they take their headphones off, or wipe down the machine. A great alternative might be to find a group through somewhere like, that is fitness minded. A group that gets together for yoga, kayaking, or hiking can be a great way to meet people and establish all types of relationship from friendships to more.” -Martinez

Images: Fotolia; Giphy