How Do You Meet Someone If You Don't Use Dating Apps? 18 Millennials On How They Find Dates IRL

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It can feel like ~everybody~ uses dating apps. But, that's not true, as I'm sure you and I both know people (perhaps yourself!) who don't. Though being on dating apps may seem like the norm, that's not the case with everybody — people meet partners in real life all the time. For instance, I did Appless April, Bustle's challenge to take delete your dating apps for a month and ended up loving it. After all, meeting future dates in person, without the help of an app, is natural and faster — you omit all the back-and-forth, the matches who just want to be pen-pals, the matches who ghost...

"The biggest advantage to meeting potential dates in real life is getting to experience their vibe right away, which is something no online dating platform can deliver," Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman, tells Bustle. "This increases your odds of making good choices on who to go on a date with. There's no better way to gauge attraction and chemistry than to be physically present with someone."

I definitely hear that! As efficient as some dating apps are — I mean, 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. Not to mention that dating apps are often a dating Band-Aid or crutch for people, I think. An example? Recently at a restaurant, I started talking to two guys at the table next to me (one was reading a book and had a Powell's City of Books bookmark — I love that indie bookstore in Portland!). Somehow, dating apps came up and they said they had deleted theirs, since having apps made them approach women less in person, "because we can just go home and swipe later." So, they said their luck was much better IRL when they didn't have the apps to rely on as a back-up. Great point.

All the above said, here's how 18 Millennials continually find dates IRL. You may be able to relate, or you may get ideas on new places to meet people.

1Jess, 29

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2Ryan, 32

3Marissa, 20

4Collin, 28

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5Kaylyn, 30

6Julie, 24

7Kevin, 32

8Lindsey, 28

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9Alyssa, 25

10Erika, 26

11Alex, 29

12Holly, 29

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13Jake, 31

14Clint, 31

15Missy, 27

16Anthony, 32

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17Matt, 27

18Nadine, 31

When you're stumped as far as where to find a prospective date IRL, remember this: "The best real-life situations are ones you already regularly experience," says Edwards. "From the moment you wake up until when you go to sleep, there are countless opportunities for you to meet someone — taking public transportation, at the coffee shop, at work, the bookstore, out at lunch, in the gym, at the bar for happy hour, getting groceries — the list goes on. All you have to do is take advantage of the opportunities that are already there."

If you just think of the 101 places you go each day, ~all~ of them likely have potential for meeting someone, aka your future partner. They biggest key is leaving the house and seeing what happens.