Sick of trawling Tinder? Cringing at people’s Bumble opening lines? Done with being ghosted, retroshaded and houseplanted?
We get it, modern dating can be an absolute minefield. Yes, dating apps help us connect with people we probably wouldn’t cross paths with at the local pub, but they can also over-complicate things and anyone who has spent months chatting someone up online only to realise they have zero chemistry IRL can attest to this.
You’re not alone; according to The Inner Circle, 3 in 4 UK singles would still prefer an IRL meet-cute, a staggering 76% of people are open to being chatted up in real life, yet singles only approach someone they fancy IRL only once every 2.4 years.
Inclined to take things old school? Thankfully offline dating is rapidly gaining momentum and appeals to people keen to reestablish in-person connections. Club Cambio, for example, is a dating dinner party for London dwellers in their mid-twenties to early thirties. Each event offers a changing cuisine, guest list and location; think if Airbnb did single supper clubs. The host puts on the night and 8-14 single people get the chance to date offline.
“Dating today is a lot of bloody effort,” Lizzie Staiano, the founder, told us. “No one speaks in real life and everyone has the same curated pictures and answers on the apps – chances are your housemate has already matched with the ‘athletic yet soulful’ climbing guy you’re chatting to, and, shock, he’s a loser.
“It all feels like life admin and when you do eventually get to a date, more often than not, within five minutes you know there’s no vibe. I wanted the raw, spontaneous stories of my parents’ generation, and I knew my friends wanted them too. Being big dinner party hosts in our house, I wanted to play on this idea, so Club Cambio was born out of the want to foster an environment where randoms could actually meet, chat and maybe even flirt IRL (!!!!) – so I stuck it up on Eventbrite and before I knew it, I was stuffing cannelloni for 12. Suffice to say, we haven’t looked back since.”
Vicky Cheng, CEO of Let’s Day Out, is trailblazing this trend by fusing both virtual and real-life experiences to match people at events. Her app matches users that share similar interests and invites them to exclusive events in London (think pasta making, gigs and bottomless brunches). The app then lets you stay in touch with these people.
We asked Vicky for her top offline dating tips so you can take things old school…
Find a common interest and make that the activity for your first date
First dates can be daunting, but they don’t have to be. Find something you’re both going to love to break the ice. Then at least if it doesn’t work out romantically, you still had a great time doing something you loved!
Offline conversations tell you far more than online ones – get the balance right
Take that chat offline. How can you get to know someone really when they’re behind a screen? How can you see their reactions to things your saying? Can you tell they’re giving you the eye? Actions speak louder than words…
Swiping on looks gets you nowhere – focus on personality instead
Swiping is sooo 2014. Aren’t you tired of always falling for the wrong ones or catfishes? We trust our screens too much. Get to know them through their hobbies. What are their likes and dislikes. Not ‘what are their teeth like’.
Explore new experiences, be terrible at them together and laugh your heads off
First date, done. Now it’s for all the other dates… do something new! Learn more about each other and yourselves by going on dates that are adventurous and something completely out of your ordinary.
Explore the things each of you loves and keep the relationship fun and alive
It’s important to show interests in each other, so make sure you tick those boxes. The only way you’re going to learn about them is by spending time around them in their comfort zones.
Make new couple friends
Sometimes it can get too tangled becoming best mates early on with your partners friends. Find some new friends that you can both get to know and potentially double date.
Really? Have you gone MI5 again? You’re already hoping for the worst if you’re scrolling so far back you can pretty much see their first social media post. Surely it will be more exciting to get to know that person in person? Don’t search for the negatives. Discover the positives.
Live in the present, have fun and don’t stress
Dating has this entire bubble of ‘stress’ and ‘worry’ around it. Why? Surely you’re both as nervous as each other? Chill and give yourself a pep talk. Life’s too short to worry about those small things. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
Published on Glamour
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March 23, 2020