In my experience there are 3 steps to finding love offline.
The process will actually make you happier as the focus is not solely on finding love but also doing things which bring you joy!
Even before I got divorced, I was aware that everyone seemed to be meeting their love interests online. Nearly 50 million of Americans have tried it. As my marriage crumbled, I remember dreading the prospect of spending even more of my life in front of a screen, to find love.
I recall looking at several profiles on several sites:
- there was the man hyper-interested in healthy eating (I had heard chocolate can be good for you….);
- the man who considered himself to be like James Bond (isn’t Bond a serial womaniser and everyone who gets with him dies?); and
- it seemed like all the men wanted someone ‘easy-going’ (does that mean “who will do what I want”?).
I decided that I just could not face having to spend my free time meeting people I might not even like, when I could instead be doing something I enjoyed. So opting for something I enjoyed is what I decided to do!
Within a year, I had met someone who I had far more in common because I had focused on doing what I liked and wanted rather than trying to please others, which had been my previous modus operandi. So here is what I did and what I recommend you do too:
Make a list of things you like doing or have always wanted to try
I had always loved walking, drawing, galleries, comedy clubs and so I looked at all the things going on in London and just went along to them. I also embraced my new time and freedom to try new things; Rock climbing and silent disco to name but two.
I also joined meetup.com which had plenty of local groups and loads of ideas of things to try.
So many of the activities were free which was useful given my substantial fall in living standards after my split.
I cannot say that everything I tried was fun, somethings were down right weird BUT, every month had a new adventure and I enjoyed talking about my experiences and people enjoyed hearing about them.
When I went to these meetups or activities, I would ask people with whom I got on, if they would like to meet again.
So instead of asking men out on dates, I would invite potential friends out. I was essentially focusing on making friends rather than meeting my love interest.
Again, some friendships were more successful than others. Some people did not want to be my friend and made a polite excuse. In the end though, I developed a great network of people to call upon if I was bored.
The other major plus side of this approach is that I got invited to parties…… and this is where I met my husband to be.
3. If you do meet a date, continue to spend your time as you would like to
When I did meet potential love interests, because of my busy social life and schedule, I did not have time to fret about whether someone liked me, and quite frankly, I no longer cared. Not being bored is also a great guard against settling, because if you are happy with your single life, the person has to be worthwhile for you to want to make time for them.
Suggesting what you do on the date also is a great indicator of whether or not you have common interests. If all you partner wants to do is go fishing and you love to travel, you will soon realise you were not meant to be.
The benefits of these three offline dating tips are:
You will be more attractive….
With this approach, I also found that people were so much more drawn to me than some others who were equally, if not more, attractive. Doing things you like makes you more interesting and you have more to talk about. It also makes you more content and more relaxed, and some people sense that.
You also come across as less keen/desperate because you aren’t. When you meet people you don’t need them to make your life good because it will be already.
You will be happier/more content
Firstly you will be happier as you are doing things you enjoy. You might be exercising or doing something creative, maybe doing something for the community or your place of worship. However you decide to spend your time, you will be spending time constructively and having meaningful connections. The vast majority of online dating connections are not going to be meaningful.
Secondly your life will no longer be about you being rejected or not by someone you do no know. The focus shifts entirely on focusing on your own enjoyment. And so when you date, that approach follows through and so you are far less bothered about rejection, focusing instead on whether you prefer and evening with your reading club or the man/woman opposite!
This approach does require effort and bravery. It takes time to organise activities and bravery to step into a room where you don’t know many people. You also need to be brave to ask people out on those friend dates. However, once you are in your groove, you will never look back!
Isabelle Hung is a divorcee, a fiancé and a founder of Divorce Club.
For more divorce advice go here.