How to find love offline

If you’re single, it’s never been easier to meet someone… at least in theory. Dating apps have revolutionised the way we meet, flirt and couple up, but they are not without their problems.

Dating columnist Rebecca Andrews explains: “No matter how many apps I download, 99 per cent of conversations end after around three exchanges,” she says. “I decided to try meeting people in real life - a little experiment if you will. I got some good hits in some surprising venues using a variety of techniques and ice-breakers.” If getting back on the scene or meeting someone new is on your to-do list for 2019, read on. Rebecca shares what she learned trying to meet people the old-fashioned way, by having an actual conversation in person. Here are her top spots to meet new people so you can get off the apps this year.

Co-working spaces

Rating: 8/10. Honestly, I was surprised by how successful this place was.
Gear: a laptop.
Cost: price of one day at a co-working space.
Who it suits: Anyone without a full-time job, who once had a full-time job so you can crack jokes about how much better life is “being your own boss”.
Ice-breaker: “So, what do you do?”- A classic line that is finally venue appropriate. Also effective: “Do you know how to use the printer here?”

The supermarket

Gear: Trackies or your gym outfit.
Cost: $70ish (singles eat out a lot)
Who it suits: Literally everyone because we all need to eat to survive.
Ice-breaker: “Have you ever seen an eggplant this big before?” If they don’t smile at this, you don’t want their number anyway.
Rating: 9/10 – Head out for supplies on a Monday night. Couples and families are way more organised than single folk when it comes to week ahead prep.

Dance/yoga/foreign language classes


Gear: casual/class appropriate
Cost: $10 - $40ish
Who it suits: Interesting people who embrace change and want to improve themselves, so basically the best kind of people!
Ice-breaker: None necessary. Casual conversation about whatever you just did is easy.
Why it works: You already have a common interest which basically means you’re halfway down the aisle!
Rating: 7/10 – I noticed I wasn’t the only one onto this as a place to meet new peeps so there was a bit more competition than usual.

Bars

Gear: something you feel good in. 
Cost: $50 - $80ish because offering to buy someone a drink is a nice thing to do.
Back up required? Any more than three and you’ll find it hard to meet new people.
Ice-breaker: “Hey you look familiar – oh hang on, I think... are you on Bumble?”It establishes you are unattached, while also sussing their situation.
Rating: 10/10 – the classic venue, on nights we singles hit ‘em up (read: any night but Friday and Saturday). Honestly, it’s a cliché for a reason – it works.

Beach volleyball

Gear: Something you feel comfortable running, jumping and falling over in, as well as a couple of friends so you almost have enough people for a team.
Cost: Next to nothing, your own expense is court hire (which isn't that common).
Who it suits: Butterfingers. The worse you are at sports, the better. Mucking around and having fun is sexy and screams self-confidence. Top Guns are intimidating and annoying like Tom Cruise. Be uncoordinated and proud!
Ice-breaker: “We need an extra person, would you like to join our team?”
Rating: 8/10 – everyone is relatively bad at it and this is the key factor to success. Laughing at your inability to keep the ball moving breaks the ice and establishes rapport.

 

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