Why you should date offline (i.e. In the Real World)


People tend to treat dating as an either/or situation.  Either you’re dating online or you’re dating out in the real world, but you can’t have both. If you’re dating online, that’s your jam, and that’s what all of your time and effort goes into. After a while, online dating starts to feel like a full-time job. There are so many different sites and about 40 million daters to sift through. It’s overwhelming, to say the least.

On top of that, you have no point of reference the people you’re matching with really are. Since you have no mutual friends, there’s no one to vouch for them or clue you in about a drinking problem, a crazy ex, or the fact that they just got out of prison.

We believe that people are the perfect human beings based on their dating profiles, and fill in the blanks on our own. We build these people up in our heads, only to feel let down when they don’t live up to our false expectations. We waste time and energy connecting with a person who isn’t real.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t date online. Online dating has a lot of great perks. It allows people to meet partners outside of their social circles who they would not necessarily meet otherwise. But there are some things that you just aren’t getting from your online dating apps (like an actual connection.)

Dating offline has become a lost art, a historical artifact in our dating tool kit, a skill that we’ve stuffed away in favor of clever taglines and purposefully chosen profile pictures. But taking things offline could be just the game-changer you are looking for.

Why you should date offline:

1. Less chance of wasting your time

Offline dating can literally happen anytime, anywhere. You could meet your next match at the grocery store, the DMV or sitting at your favorite lunch spot. And when you do bump into someone worth chatting up, you will know that what you see is what you get. There will be no “He looked so much taller in his pictures” or “She is definitely not 29”. You can instantly make a connection with a person, and quickly decide whether you want to spend the next few months getting to know them. If not, at least you got your errands out of the way, right?

2. The odds are in your favor

Online dating is great when you’re looking for a specific type of person. Singles set restrictions for age, weight, height, income etc., but what if your future soulmate doesn’t necessarily fall within those specifications? People are ruling out more than they are ruling in, and are closing themselves off to the possibility of finding something meaningful.

When you’re dating offline, the people you meet are by chance, and you have the opportunity to get to know them based on more than their superficial dating stats. You could end up falling for someone that you would have overlooked online, because of who they are, not who they claim to be. Plus, there’s a greater chance of standing out yourself, and not getting lost in the shuffle of eligible daters. You are more than your dating profile. Embrace it!

3. Grow as a dater, and as a person

Too many people hide behind online dating because they are shy, or don’t know how to communicate with the opposite sex. By limiting your communication to instant messaging, you are missing out on important nonverbal cues, like eye contact, body language and gratuitous touching. You end up substituting emoticons for real interaction, and lose valuable lessons that every person should have in their social tool kits.

Offline dating challenges you to overcome your shyness and develop those social skills that are so rarely used when communicating via text message. You’re not just chatting up that cutie in line at Starbucks; you’re challenging yourself to grow as person.

4. Get to make a REAL connection

You can’t beat the thrill of approaching someone new and striking up a conversation. It’s exciting and nerve-wrecking, and sometimes feels like you might throw up, but the payoff is so much greater.

All the dating profiles in the world can’t tell you if you will actually connect with someone or not. All the algorithms and flirting messages back-and-forth can’t guarantee an actual match. But after ten minutes of chatting with that guy at the dog park, you will know if there is something there that is worth pursuing. And even if you don’t end up dating the person right away, you still made a connection that could blossom into a friendship or something more down the road.
Bottom Line: When it comes to online dating, no matter how great their punctuation is, or their writing skills, or their ability to photoshop, there’s no surefire way to tell if you’ll have the one thing that can turn a friendship into a lasting relationship: chemistry. I’m not saying you should deactivate your dating apps. Just pry yourself away from your phone once and a while, and open yourself up to the possibility of meeting someone in real-life who could be your perfect match.

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