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Sure, dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and OkCupid are all the rage. Yet here’s a romance reality check: Most relationships still begin offline.
According to a 2017 survey by wedding planning resource The Knot, just 1 in 6 brides — a mere 17 percent — said they met their mate through a dating site or app.
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But don’t log off that dating site just yet. For a greater chance of success, those looking for love should combine digital and in-person strategies, relationship coaches say.
“I believe in casting a wide net online and offline,” dating expert Julie Spira says.
Here’s a look at ways to meet a potential match in real life.
Ignore your digital devices
Sitting solo at a restaurant or bar? Resist the urge to continually scroll through your smartphone, advises Bela Gandhi, founder of the Smart Dating Academy coaching service.
“Look up,” she says. “Smile at people. Look them in the eye.” Be approachable and open to conversations with strangers. And while you’re at it, “say something nice to them that you mean,” she says.
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Home in on what you want
Think about the type of person you’d like to meet, then do some “reverse engineering” to devise where that person would spend time and who might know a person like that, says dating coach and Dates & Mates podcast host Damona Hoffman.
Would he or she frequent a gym, potentially be part of a running club or likely show up at a church social? Use those insights to decide where to go when making plans.
That clarity will also help you to better describe to others what you are looking for. “Do you know any single men who are Christian, family-oriented and smart?” is more specific and helpful than saying, “Do you know any men who are single?” Hoffman says. She also has her clients create an elevator pitch describing an ideal match focused on “values, goals, personality — more so than interests and physical type.”