If you're not sure if joining a dating app is for you, you're not alone. Although it seems like everyone is on dating apps these days — and among my friends that definitely is the case— there are still a lot of people using the old fashioned approach to meeting others. And there can be some benefits to meeting people in real life as well as online.
"Diversify your dating approach," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of the relationship blog, You’re Just A Dumbass, tells Bustle. "Don't just rely on the typical dating apps as the only methods of meeting someone. That will create online dating fatigue quickly. To mitigate those feelings of fatigue and frustration, diversifying your approach can actually maximize your efforts to find love. Include in your strategy both online and offline, because love is a complicated process and has no formula. We can't create the exact 'when' and 'where.' We just have to be there."
In fact, a new report by ReportLinker, a technology company that specializes in data, looked at how over 500 U.S. adults feel about (and use) dating apps— and not everybody is on them. They found that 81 percent of participants were not on dating websites or apps at all.
Other studies have shown that millennials are more likely than other age groups to use dating apps. In fact, the Singles In America Survey found that millennials were 57 percent more likely to have created a dating app profile than other ages. But that still doesn't mean everyone is on them. So how else are people meeting? Well, here's what ReportLinker found about how folks in relationships coupled up:
1Through Friends: 39 Percent
The old-fashioned way does work, with 39 percent of those in a relationship having met their partner through friends. That is a great way to meet people, although can make things really awkward when it goes wrong. Trust me, I've sat through a lot of uncomfortable birthday parties. And they were all my fault.
2At Work: 15 Percent
15 percent of respondents met their significant other through work, which I thought was really high, considering how tricky that situation could get. But in a way it makes sense— they're the people you spend a ridiculous amount of time with.
3Bars Or Other Public Areas: 12 Percent
I don't really like the term "other public areas," because it makes it sound like we're all just loitering in alleyways, but I get the idea. In fact 12 percent met their special someone out and about, so maybe you're clubbing odds aren't so bad.
4Sports, Religion, Or Hobbies: 9 Percent
For such a big category, I'm sort of surprised that only 9 percent of people met their partner in this way. It seems like a great opportunity to meet folks with similar interests and beliefs, but I guess that's not always enough to make the spark happen.
5On A Dating App: 8 Percent
Like I said— they seem ubiquitous, but they're not for everyone. Only 8 percent of those in a relationship met their partner online or on an app.
6Family: 7 Percent
This surprised me — 7 percent of respondents met someone through their family. I'm assuming they mean "through" their family— and not "in" their family, right? But hey, if it you find someone through family than at least you get through the awkwardness of introductions a lot faster. So it's a win-win.
7School: 6 Percent
If you're still in college or doing post-graduate work, you might be in luck. Six percent of those in a relationship met their partner through their school.
Three percent said "other" — so mysterious but for romance's sake let's pretend these are meet-cutes.
9Speed Dating: 1 Percent
Singles events FTW! An additional 1 percent met their partner through speed dating.
As you can see, people are having luck meeting each other in loads of different ways, so if online dating isn't your thing there's no reason to worry. Bottom line? What ever feels easiest and fits into your life most naturally is the best fit for you.