A few weeks ago, I made the decision to give up dating apps, and it’s actually been a pretty big adjustment. Who am I supposed to text when I’m bored in class with no boyfriend AND no Bumble? Who am I supposed to hang out and drink bad martinis with on Tuesday nights if not a stranger from the internet? (I maybe need to consider getting out more/making more real-life friends…)
On the bright side, though, now that I’ve stopped swiping my phone battery lasts more than 3 hours and my parents have stopped yelling at me about using all of the family data. Silver linings, ya know?
After I deleted all my apps, I became momentarily concerned about whether my decision was going to solidify my fate of growing old alone with a house full of cats. I decided to write a story about where to meet guys IRL (@Mom, that means “In Real Life” in millennial speak) to figure out how the hell people pickup dudes if not with my cellphone. The story was a perfect excuse to do “research” (90% of why I write about dating is because it means I get to talk on the phone with “dating experts” and get advice about my love life) and to ask stranger-ladies on the street how they landed the hot guys they were holding hands with walking out of Whole Foods on a Sunday afternoon.
My “research” also involved asking my Facebook friends (and every degree of friends of friends of friends of friends) to offer up any and all cute “how we met” stories. Based on all the annoying couples photos of them apple picking/in photo booths at weddings/standing in front of ocean sunsets with love-struck looking guys that are constantly flooding my newsfeed, I figured someone must have something good to offer.
As it turns out? Most of them (friends and strangers alike) either met their boyfriends in college, online, or at a bar.
This discovery was not so promising for someone (me) who’s still holding out hope that she’s going to get to tell her grandkids some rom-com worthy story about their grandfather that involves either a runaway puppy, a carriage ride in Central Park or Hugh Grant and a travel book shop in south London.
Luckily, with LOTS (and lots and lots and lots) of searching, I found 9 people with viable ideas as to where I could meet a cute guy and still have an adorable story to tell Baby Zoe III, and decided to try some of my own advice (for once) by testing out all 9 of their suggestions. Apparently, each and every one of these worked for someone, but, Spoiler alert: I’m still single.
I volunteer at a women’s shelter, which is the MOST amazing place I’ve ever been, but definitely not an appropriate place to pickup dudes, sooooo this one’s out. (That said, everyone should visit their website and read the article I wrote about them and donate money/clothes/food/whatever else you’re willing to part with this season. They are really making a difference in the lives of young homeless women in New York City, and could really really use your help.)
At A Work Happy Hour
I don’t have a job, other than freelance writing for two women’s-only websites, so this one’s also out. Although, two of my last three boyfriends happened to be my friends’ bosses (lol whoops!), so maybe I should start going to my friends’ work happy hours? A lot of them do work in finance…
At The Dog Park
My best friend’s older brother has a dog, and I’ve spent my fair share of Sunday’s accompanying him to the dog park (the dog, not the brother, to be clear). There are a LOT of cuties there, both animal and human, but I always get too distracted by the dogs to be bothered with flirting. If there’s one thing I like more than an eligible bachelor, it’s a puppy, and being surrounded by so many of both at one time is complete sensory overload. So, instead of actually trying to meet anyone new, I tend to sit on a bench Snapchatting pictures of stranger’s dogs. No one has called the cops yet, which is nice.
At Sports Bars
I’m not so into sports (shocking, I know) but will absolutely grin and bear them if it means getting to share a plate of buffalo wings with a handsome stranger and stare at Tom Brady in football pants.
In general, I’m a littttttle reckless when it comes to meeting guys in bars, sports or not. When I’m out, I tend to give my phone number to strangers without abandon, mostly because I think it’s fun waking up to random, emoji-riddled texts from unknown numbers on Sunday mornings. It gets a little dicey, though, when I have to ask them to send me selfies because I have NO idea who “Marcus Westway” is, and if I actually had any real desire date him or I just gave him my number so he would stop talking to me. None of the selfies I’ve gotten the next day have ever actually been from anyone I’d even remotely want to makeout with, but as a lifelong optimist, I’m still holding onto that hope.
At An Art Gallery
The only people who hang out at art galleries during the week are fellow unemployed creative types, and sadly two of us in one relationship is a recipe for disaster. I imagine all we would ever do is “Netflix and Chill” all day, every day (like, while normal people are at their paying jobs) with artsy foreign language documentaries that I would pretend to like and gourmet takeout that neither one of us could afford. If anyone wants to go to a gallery on a WEEKEND though, let me know— the last time I did that, I saw Kanye West.
On The Subway
I once saw a really cute guy on the subway, and am pretty sure he almost had me arrested for stalking. Realistically, no one wants to be bothered at 7:30am when they’re trying to listen to Purpose, read the Skimm and sip their red-cup latte without spilling it on their Barbour jacket.
At The Grocery Store
The Trader Joe’s line is filled with hotties, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM is there with his girlfriend. Plus, I’m usually face deep into a bag of red grapes by the time I get in line, so am not really in the mood to chat.
I always fall in love on vacation. Senior year of high school I came home from Turks and Caicos with a boyfriend who lived on a yacht, and senior year of college I came home from Mexico with a (*snap snap*) “boyfriend” who lived wayyyy closer to the bars than I did (#RIPRhino), so both times I really came out on top. True, neither one of those actually “worked out” per-se (probably because they never actually knew they were my “boyfriends”) but my roommate and I are trying to go to Mexico for New Years (does anyone want to come?!?!?!?) so maybe that will be where I find my Matthew McConaughey and live happily ever after.