Ask most singletons how it feels to be single, and they'll tell you the same thing: it isn't as fun as it's made out to be. And no matter how successful you are at playing the field, there will always be that part of you that longs to give up the chase and settle down with someone that makes you want no one but them. But life isn't a wish granting factory, even when it comes to the most important human emotion of all, so it's little wonder we rely on technology to help us.
Yet more often than not these digital interactions don't have the desired effect, and instead of making dating more accessible, it often narrows down our choice by giving us too much choice which is a weird paradox in itself. Either that or most (particularly females) are left fed up with the propensity human beings have to be weird when faced with only the glaring light of a smartphone.
However, few do anything about these problems, and instead of re-directing their quest for love, they complain about the dating scene, all while continuing to swipe away. So with that in mind, Lifehack Lane suggests you do away with dating apps altogether and revert to more old-fashioned ways of doing things.
Here are 15 things that are more likely to result in finding the partner of your dreams than any dating app could offer.
1. Learn to enjoy your own company
We get it: human beings are social creatures yet being alone can increase the likelihood of social interactions with strangers.
Think about it. If you're with friends or family, it's unlikely you're going to want to risk going up to someone while they look on. It's embarrassing, and the same will apply to the person you have your eyes on. If they see you in a large group, they might be more intimidated than they already are to approach you. So learn to love yourself, and do more things independently.
2. Frequent A Favourite Place
It could be anywhere. A coffee shop. A unique eaterie just off the High Street. A bar. Whatever the place, visit regularly and become accustomed to other regulars; that way you'll begin to meet other people who have a similar love for the place.
Even if you don't build up any romantic connections, by being in the same location, you are increasing your chances of meeting other potential suitors via striking up friendships with the locals who might invite friends or have someone they know you might get along with. Or you could just meet someone when you least expect it, which leads us onto our next suggestion.
3. Talk To Strangers
Break social conventions and be daring. Gauge their mood and eye contact, and if you sense they're interested, talk to them!
In most cases, the guy will usually initiate the conversation, but that doesn't mean women can't either. It could be anywhere. At a bus shelter. On an aeroplane. As a word of caution, if you're daring enough to go through with this, we suggest you do so in smaller crowds. Otherwise, the person is more likely to be stressed and perhaps uncomfortable at the thought of other people watching him/her getting chatted up.
4. Let Your Friends Set You Up
No, it's not forced. However, using a dating app and talking to someone weeks-on-end before you've even made physical contact with them certainly is. So if a friend has lined up a hot date for you, just go with it and don't feel pressured into marrying them, You're under no obligations. You're merely putting your trust in a friend rather than an iPhone app.
And who knows? You may just like the person and have an organic and blossoming encounter as opposed to being in a constant state of malaise over whether or not they will resemble their profile picture.
5. Join A Club
Once you've finished High School and College, it can be hard to find the same social opportunities afforded to you in education. And while education poses its stresses, at least you had lots of parties and ample time off in the summer to mingle and truly be young, free and single.
But as you age, that phrase doesn't quite ring true in the brutal world of work, so it takes more time and effort for single people to date; hence why dating apps are so popular with young professionals. But that doesn't mean they lead to any meaningful encounters so why not join a club or even a class where you could well meet like-minded people that you may even find attractive?
6. Stop Listening To Music
If you dream of being approached by the person of your dreams or hope that you might one day even feel a burning desire to at least talk to them, nothing will happen if you cut yourself off from everything around you with loud music blaring in your ears.
It may be nice to shield yourself from the noisy melee of workers and cars, but by doing that you're distancing yourself from romantic possibilities, few of us entertain happening.
7. Always Say Yes To Invitations From Friends
We know it can sometimes (often) be an arduous affair to meet up with our friends when all we want to do after a long week is slip into our pyjamas and watch Netflix shows. We know. We really do. But you know what's better? Doing that with a partner, something that won't happen if you always say no.
Often, the hardest part of going out is simply getting ready. Once you're with everyone, you're often much better for being around people, and who knows? You may just bump into someone when you least expect it.
8. Socialise At Work
Dating your co-workers isn't ideal, but who knows? Maria from reception might know someone who's perfect for you because they detest the mornings just like you and insist on having cream with every hot Starbucks drink.
Even if they don't, by going out with them, you're putting yourself out there to other suitors in bars and pubs (unless your office is teetotal, which would really suck). So if they like you enough to see you out-of-hours, then feel treasured and find yourself a partner while you're at it.
You're probably busy enough as it is without having someone telling you to volunteer, but it can be highly rewarding. Not only are you doing a good deed, but you're also putting yourself in contact with diverse people from all kinds of backgrounds who are kind enough to give up their free time to help others more in need.
Now, if kindness and compassion aren't synonymous with a dream partner, we don't know what is.
10. Get A Dog
Not everyone will be able to buy a dog, let alone have time to look after one, but if you're one of the lucky few that do, then why not get one? Sure, they're hard work, but the platonic love from a dog is always nice, and as well as keeping you fit and healthy by taking them on long walks, your chances of meeting a hot dog walker also improve.
It's little wonder fellow dog owners get along as a mutual like is already established. So go over and say hi to another dog walker. The worst that can happen is you get into an ordinary conversation about their dog's dietary needs.
11. Showcase A Talent
There's nothing more attractive than a person with talent- especially those who aren't afraid to display it. It could be anything, from writing, acting and singing to less artistic but equally as impressive skills like DIY, sports and academia.
Whatever the talent, don't be afraid to showcase them to people outside your social circle. If you do this, you're more likely to impress a passer-by than you ever would by looking dolled up in a bar.
12. Don't Be Afraid To Reach Out To Someone You Think Might Be Worth A Second Shot
Dating is a multifaceted beast, full of ups, downs, and moments that truly have us questioning who we are and what we're even doing with our lives. Yes, we overthink things, especially when we entertain the idea of letting another person come into our lives which may have been why it didn't work out with them.
Whether you had known them for 2 weeks or been in a relationship with them for over 3 years, even then, it might just not have felt right for you, but if it does now, there's nothing wrong with that.
Regardless of the history, if enough time has passed, and you honestly feel like you missed an opportunity but are now in a better place to entertain the idea of something more serious, then reach out to them and see if you can rekindle the flame. Just make sure they're still single. No one likes a homewrecker.
With everything going on in the world, both on a micro and macro level, we can forget to look up, take in our surroundings and smile for being alive. Life is all but a temporary existence, and we should feel honoured to have a chance to live for however long our health gives us.
Of course, we don't expect you to freak people out with a smile that stretches from ear to ear. But just be positive, and maybe even say hello. That way you're coming across as approachable and friendly, two of the most important characteristics people look for in a partner.
14. Never Leave A Party Early
Going out is one thing, but not going home after only one drink can be a real test for those who regularly wrestle with the temptation of being in bed with a steamy mug of hot chocolate before 10 PM. Sure, being in bed when it's cold can be a no-brainer, but when you're single, it's important you stay for the livelier parts of the night.
And rarely do you meet someone at a bar at 6 PM. Most likely, you'll have had a few drinks before you, or someone else has unwound and found the courage to engage in conversation, So stay out, and you might just find someone to share your hot chocolate with.
15. Get Off Your Phone
The Belgian artist Henri Matisse once said, "There are always flowers for those that want to see them." It's certainly a fitting quote for a generation increasingly disengaged with their natural surroundings. After all, if you never look up, how can you observe? And who knows? You might have just walked past the person of your dreams without noticing because you chose to stare at your phone and text an emoji to your friend.
It's a common practice among this generation and has spawned an array of artworks depicting a generation missing out on life. So turn off your phone and welcome yourself back to the real world. It's a better place than you'd imagine.