Technology may rule in today’s world, and meeting people on dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge may be the norm for most singles, but not all matches happen online.
There are plenty of people who don’t want online dating sites or apps to be their primary source for meeting quality people.
If you’re single and looking for true love in a serious relationship, where can you meet quality men or women without dating apps?
According to a study conducted by Michael Eosenfield and Sonia Hausen of Stanford University and Reuben J. Thomas of the University of New Mexico, 39% of heterosexual couples now meet online each year.
But that means 60% of couples still meet the old-fashioned way — or at least without the help of a dating app.
For marriage-minded people, dating, in general, is more challenging.
While you don’t have to be serious and rush to the altar, there’s a specific end-purpose motivating you in your dating. You’re not out there simply filling time or playing the field. You’re working on yourself, perfecting your dream, and looking for someone who is compatible with you on a number of essential levels.
To sum it up, you’re looking for a person of quality.
A carefree happy hour at a bar with friends can be an enjoyable distraction now and then, but you probably know it’s not your best bet for meeting quality men.
Before I get into where to meet men, it’s important to establish a few criteria you consider non-negotiable in a partner. If you keep that list in mind at all times, your screening process will be considerably easier.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to determine if a man you meet is the kind of partner you want:
- Are your core values in alignment?
- Is your vision for life on the same track?
- Are you spiritually aligned?
- Is it easy to be yourself with this person?
- Does this person inspire you to grow and be your best self?
- Does this person have integrity and is trustworthy?
As a dating coach, I help people build a dating portfolio that best reflects who they are. This process includes guiding them to the kind of places where they’re most likely to meet quality men they’ll connect with based on their own personalities, life goals, values, and interests.
Here are 6 places you can meet quality men or women without dating apps.
1. Volunteering for a local cause you’re passionate about.
There are so many benefits to volunteering that it should be part of everyone’s life and every single woman’s dating strategy.
By sharing your gifts and time with a cause that tugs at your heart, you will make a difference with far-reaching benefits, and a bunch of those benefits will belong to you. Volunteering connects you to others and comes with emotional and physical perks for you as well as for those you help.
And let’s face it, altruism is an attractive trait in a potential mate. It’s an automatic signal that this person isn’t all about themselves.
Because volunteering gets you outside of yourself, it also gives you the chance to meet quality people without pretense.
Want to know if a guy will be attracted to you when you’re in your dog-walking clothes and sporting no make-up? Put your hair in a ponytail, focus your energy on making the world a better place, and watch what happens to the quality of your social circle.
2. Alumni events.
Even if you don’t know the fellow alum you’re about to bump into, you already have a built-in commonality.
Spending years in the same educational and residential environment is a powerful connection. You have quick access to conversation starters, and chances are good that you share at least some core values and interests. After all, you chose and cheered for the same school, participated in the same rituals, and may even know some of the same people and professors. Your shared college experience — even if you graduated in different years — will always be a grounding commonality.
Alumni events can have social and professional benefits as well, and you’ll have the added benefit of knowing education is a shared value.
3. Sporting groups and leagues.
If physical activity is important to you, do you want to make sure you don’t waste your time with a couch potato?
Your climbing club, bicycling club, or tennis league can be one of the best ways to meet quality men. Exercise makes you healthy, reduces stress, and gives you a fun outlet for being both playful and competitive.
And those endorphins you stir up will make it easy to laugh and enjoy one another’s company, even through all the sweat. I met my husband through a professional singles sports group that focused on bicycling.
4. Social groups.
Groups like those you can find on Meetup make it possible to tailor your social life according to your personal values, interests, and fellow participants. There is literally a group for everyone who wants to meet about any given interest.
You can tailor your search to a specific age group, a certain activity, or both.
For women who are motivated to marry and want to meet quality, age-appropriate men who share similar values, social groups are a great place to start.
5. Religious institutions.
A study conducted by Pew Research Center found that while the majority of Americans feel that sharing religious beliefs is a less important factor in having a successful marriage than sharing interests, a satisfying sexual relationship, sharing household chores, and maintaining an adequate income, sharing religious is still considered “very important” for marriage by 44% of the general population.
And if you are marriage-minded, knowing where you both stand regarding religious beliefs and practices is essential.
Interestingly, the frequency of religious discussions is significantly higher for partners affiliated with the same religion than for those not affiliated with the same religion or any religion at all. And those conversations can prove to be pivotal in relationships, especially when a couple experiences difficult times.
If your religious faith is central to your life, your synagogue, church or another house of worship makes sense as a place you can meet quality men. Make it a point to attend social functions and participate in their community outreach events.
6. Speed dating.
If you want to meet several quality guys who are also on a serious search for love in a short span of time, speed dating might be a great diversion from your normal strategy.
The purpose of speed dating is to give people the chance to meet several potential matches in the format of “mini-dates.”
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In roughly five minutes, you can decide if you want to know more about the man sitting across from you. If you do, you simply turn in your form to the facilitator, stating to whom you would like to receive your contact info. If the interest is mutual, you will both be given one another’s contact information, and you can take things from there.
The nice thing about speed dating is that you’re not stuck with anyone you have no interest in. Anyone can endure a conversation for five minutes, right?
It may seem as if all dating leads back to online dating apps, but that’s not the case. There are still plenty of places where you can meet quality men face-to-face.
Your job is to know yourself and the kind of man you believe would be a good spouse for you so well that you will be able to easily recognize a great potential match when he shows up.
Here’s the winning formula: Start by making a list of your life goals and what matters most to you, namely your values. Determine your non-negotiables. Then add in your interests and passions and place yourself in environments that support them.
Quality men do exist, and chances are they’re busy doing the things you already value and enjoy.
So worry less and spend more time finding activities and endeavors that allow you to shine by doing what it is that makes you, you.
Amy Schoen is a nationally recognized expert in dating and relationship coaching who is passionate about helping marriage-minded singles find their true love and create fulfilling, life-long relationships.