Where Did You Meet Him if not on a Dating App?

Photo courtesy of Pexels

I’m not gonna tell you anything you already don’t know.

Dating apps suck!

In fact that’s why so many of them pop up all the time, and fizzle away as quickly as the new kid on the block gets popular. Seems like no one has gotten it right. I admit some do work short term, but in the long run survey after survey shows that only 5% of couples report they’ve met their significant others online.

But that begs a bigger question: what are the other 95% of couples doing? How are they meeting their romantic partners?

Introductions Are Not Encounters

All dating apps work on the same principle, despite whatever quirks they spice it up with. Whether it’s casual swiping or two hour long questionnaires, the job of a modern dating app — when it succeeds — is to make an introduction to someone you can’t physically see with your own eyes.

Congratulations, you’ve got yourself a match!


Now here comes the tricky part: how do I know I’ll like this person? Do they go antique cookie jar shopping on Saturdays like I do? Are they into 80s music like I am? Do they appreciate the nuanced comedic genius of Weird Al Yankovic? How am I supposed to decipher all that when all I’ve heard from him is “Sup?”

Activities, Not Preferences

These days every time I ask couples how they met they have some awesome story. There’s the occasional dating app success story, and lord knows lots of people hookup on them (speaking of experience here folks)… but you almost never hear anyone in a lasting relationship say they met on okCupid or Tinder! And research confirms this. What most answers do seem to have in common, is that they met their partners by doing something, or being somewhere, in real life!

The Cool Couple Next Door…

My next door neighbors are this awesome couple who’ve been together for 7 years now (married for 3) and they met while shopping in a supermarket. My best friend is married to a coworker she was bbf with for a long time. And last but not least, my ex found romantic bliss volunteering at a hospice. The common thread here folks, is that they were out in the real world doing something. Heck, I even know of a couple who met when he accidentally rear-ended her car, no pun intended!

Going Our IRL

Alright, so we’re all busy people and between a career and losing close friends to other cities, relationships, and what not, it’s really hard to get out and do things socially with an eye towards meeting someone. Social media held great promise in the beginning but ultimately failed though not as bad as the dating apps. Yes, apps do make it easy to chat with someone but what I really need is to look someone in the eye when I get introduced, preferably while I’m doing something cool, like… square dancing!

Is there an app for that?