Welcome to our series, The Love Diaries – a space for you to share your experiences, advice, fairy-tale endings, setbacks and heartbreaks. We’ll be hearing from industry experts giving practical advice alongside Capsule readers (You!) sharing your firsthand experiences with love – everything from finding love, to keeping love, to losing love.
If you have a topic you’d like to discuss, share your thoughts, experience or advice about, drop a line to [email protected] with ‘Love’ in the subject line.
This week we ask, how do you meet someone in real life? Look, it’s a bloody great question – and we all know that getting dumped is the absolute pits. When you combine the prospect of trying to date again – let alone during a bloody pandemic – well, it’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s even harder if you’ve sworn off the apps, and are trying to meet someone ‘the old-fashioned way’ – so we spoke to a dating expert who has been in this VERY situation – and managed meet a bevy of men IN THE REAL WORLD.
You just can’t keep a good girl down, reckons author of The Offline Dating Method Camille Virginia – and she should know. After a relationship ended, she decided to throw herself back into the world of dating – here’s her story about how you meet someone in real life.
“After my breakup, I picked myself back up and started just doing things – simple stuff like activities and just going outside. In the process of reconnecting with friends and activities I had put aside during the relationship, i managed to meet seven men in seven weeks. This is how I did it:
- I had some furniture picked up when I moved out of my exes and the removal guy asked me out after learning I was single
- I met a former Navy SEAL at an old-fashioned fair; he dropped his sunglasses, I pointed it out, and he came and found me later and asked if I was single
- I want to an entrepreneur meet-up event and met a guy, we went out to dinner
- I went to a wedding at a resort lodge and approached a cute guy at breakfast – we ended up having a few romantic weekends together
- I went to a bar with a friend and on our way out the back, we complimented a guy on his cute dog – we ended up chatting with him and his friend and he asked me out
- I reconnected with a guy on Facebook who I had met 16 years ago and we chatted for months before finally meeting up and spending the weekend together.
- I went to Lane Moore’s Tinder Live show, where she would connect with men live on Tinder as a comedy show and ended up sitting next to a guy at the show – so I got a date offline at an online dating show!
Do you have any tips for women getting back into the dating world after being dumped?
Don’t date the wrong man! [Laughs]. Getting dumped is a part of dating, it happens to everyone, and it keeps our humility in check. Get your emotions and thoughts out any way you can: journaling, talk therapy, talking to friends, crying, watching happy/sad movies to either inspire you or commiserate with. Keep going until you start feeling better, which you will in time as long as you’re feeling the feelings.
The top five most unconventional places to attract a potential partner OFFline – how do you meet someone in real life?
- Airports (you’re on your way somewhere cool, inhibitions are lowered so you’re more open to chatting!)
- Hotel bars (people are not from the area, so again inhibitions are lowered and you can take more risks, plus there’s absolutely no taboo about being alone in a hotel bar)
- Hospitals (it’s a constant turnover of people and hey, there are eligible doctors! I’m not suggesting you loiter around hospitals, but go hang out in the hospital coffeeshop after your doctors appointment and linger a bit)
- Lobbies (again, high turnover and great people-watching)
- Bookstore (meet like-minded readers, there are easy topics to start conversation with)
How do you summon up the confidence to approach potential partners in real life?
If you have a fear of saying something awkward, chances are you’ve over-compensated for that by trying to think of the perfect line so it will come out “more naturally.” The unfortunate irony with this approach is that by taking the time to craft it, you completely strip it of being natural, which will make it feel and sound even more awkward.
The quickest way to overcome this fear is to use my Mind to Mouth Move. To apply it, catch the first thought that pops in your head about the person you want to engage, then say it out loud to them before you give yourself the chance to overthink it. In other words, take your first thought immediately from your mind to your mouth.
This prevents you from over-rehearsing what to say and ultimately psyching yourself out from saying it. Over time, by practicing this technique you will build trust in yourself so whatever you end up saying, it will do the job just fine!
So, you’re keen to meet someone in real life – what are some other things you can do to make sure you’re open to meeting someone?
- Switch up your daily routine – there’s that old quote from Einstein that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Now OBVIOUSLY you’re not mad, but the principle still applies – shake your life up a little and interact with new people in new places.
- Look up, man – it’s so easy to bury our noses in our phones whenever we’re out, ESPECIALLY when we’re alone or you’re feeling a bit vulnerable. But start noticing things – and people – around you. You might be surprised.
- Think about expanding your circle – your besties are GREAT, but is there that one friend with whom you haven’t spent much time but always has interesting stories? Think about reaching out and heading out for a drink. They’ll have a whole other social circle you can get to know – and vice versa for them!
- Date yourself – I know i know, but just give it a go. Get dressed up, go to a nice place, treat yourself to a gorgeous dinner. This is harder for Kiwis for some reason, but just have a bash, perhaps in a restaurant with a high bar where you can perch yourself and observe the comings and goings. But it’ll teach you to not give a shit about anyone else’s opinions, while reinforcing your confidence levels – both of which are important for dating.
- Let people know you’re in the market to meet a partner – sometimes people’s dating statuses are a bit ambiguous, so it can’t hurt to let your mates know what you want, and to let you know if they have someone in mind. Those who don’t ask, don’t get…
How do YOU meet someone in real life? Let us know at [email protected]!