We chatted to dating guru Iona Yeung about her top tips
Do you remember a pre-smart phone world? One where you looked ahead rather than down at your screen? These gadgets have taken over our lives in almost every conceivable way. From organising our weekly food shop to tracking down the love of our life, you can do all of this with a casual swipe of your finger.
The problem is that the world of disposable online dating is making it difficult to pin down a real and sustainable relationship. It’s hard to give one person your full attention when thousands of ‘perfect’ singletons await you at the click of a couple of buttons. Even on real life dates our phones represent a tempting distraction from the person across the table. Why listen to another boring anecdote when you can scroll through twitter updates or nip to the loo to hunt down another potential match?
There just has to be a better way to search out Mr or Mrs Right. So give your swiping finger a well-deserved break and check out the following six ways to meet people in the offline world.
1. Talking with strangers
Gulp. Actually going up to random people and talking to them. We think nothing of throwing out comments to anyone and everyone we come across on Facebook and Twitter but talking to an unknown on the bus fills us with every type of irrational fear.
The truth is that if you really want to immerse yourself in offline dating you’re going to have to get this down to a fine art. Like most things in life, it will get less scary the more you do it so take a deep breath and say hello. You might be surprised at how much this brightens your contact with the world both romantically and otherwise. Still not convinced? This will certainly change your mind.
2. Joining the gym
What better way to bond than over a killer spin class or tough session on the treadmill? The brilliant thing about the gym is it combines doing something really positive for your mind and body with the chance to meet a whole host of potential matches. Exercise is one of the best mental boosts you can give yourself and you can learn about some of the key benefits here.
The most important rule of gym romance, leave your phone in your locker. Turn off the tunes and the constant life updates to really connect with your workout and those around you. “Is that your dumbbell or mine…?”
3. Volunteering abroad
There are many reasons why people volunteer to work abroad and meeting your potential partner is one of those. Taking up a worldly experience such as volunteering in a foreign country presents a wonderful opportunity for personal experience and growth. It provides a chance to see the world, to help people in need and to expand your horizons. All the while surrounded by a group of like-minded people with whom your life will become intertwined for weeks or months. It’s no wonder then that romance springs from these intense situations. Go exotic enough and you’re likely to be without a phone signal and left with no choice but to interact in real time.
4. Being a social butterfly
Learning to say yes to a whole range of activities is a key part of dating in the real world. From a pure numbers perspective, putting yourself into lots of situations with lots of people is likely to lead to real life matches. So say yes to that gig you aren’t sure about or those work drinks you would normally dodge. Not only does being a social butterfly mean you could stumble across that special someone it also actively improves your social skills. Try and schedule in at least 3 activities per week for maximum impact.
5. The shopping centre
The shopping centre might not be top of your list of most romantic places to meet a match but there is a steady logic to this idea. Our shopping habits say a lot about our personality and disposable income so visiting your favourite store might be a useful way to meet a like-minded mate. It’s also a relaxed and low-pressure way to approach someone you don’t know. Ask for directions to the food court or the nearest cash point to flex your social muscles and strike up an interaction.
6. Being a risk taker
Would you risk it all for love? It seems that those who are willing to take a leap of faith or put themselves out there are more likely to gain success in finding their perfect match. So, date someone outside your comfort zone, say yes to an unusual dating activity or just take the chance to pass your number to that guy you see every day on your commute.
Yes, taking risks, being unpredictable with a pinch of spontaneity leaves you open to getting hurt or disappointed but it also leaves you open to so much positive energy that we should all up our risk factor. You might uncover a whole new side of yourself.
Turn off the Wi-Fi and up your dating success with these interpersonal steps. See more tips from Iona here.