Anyone who’s been in the online dating scene for a minute knows that it can make meeting new people easier, but that it also presents some serious digital-age problems. I’m here to talk about some of the problems with online dating and offer a solution in the last place you might expect (cue dramatic music).
You might be thinking, “Wait, he’s not about to suggest…no, he couldn’t possibly mean…singles events?!” Before your brain conjures up images of timers and weirdos sitting across from you telling you about their ceramic hobo clowns, let me reassure you, singles events and mixers have come a long way. I would venture a guess that if you go out regularly in LA or Orange County, you’ve probably witnessed a singles event and not even known it. While the internet still plays a huge part in organization, there are some clear advantages to meeting singles at mixers and events as opposed to online.
One of the great things about Southern California is its diversity. Practically anyone can find a local singles mixer that is geared towards their personal interests. You can find events that meet at Venice Beach, the Arts District, Downtown Disney, breweries, and even local game houses. A quick internet search will undoubtedly yield a number of options for whatever you’re into. Gone are the days of sitting in a cleared-out restaurant, trying to impress people who don’t have any-thing in common with you except for the fact that they’re single too. Singles events and mixers have to compete with the online scene, and they do so by providing environments that bring people together who have common interests, giving them an opportunity to get to know each other in a way that’s conducive to starting relationships.
Even if you’re not ready to jump into a mixer or event, heading out to singles hotspots is a great way to transition back into meeting singles in-person. The best advice I could give is: go some-where that provides opportunities for natural conversation. Going out to a bar where people are just standing in groups drinking, with nothing else in common other than they happen to be in the same place at the same time is no good for really connecting with someone. Go somewhere with conversation-starting elements like an art walk, street fair, barcade, or farmers market. You can find events like these all over Orange County and the greater LA area.
Online dating provides the opportunity to drastically increase the quantity of potential partners you come in contact with, but it’s well known that the quality is sorely lacking. You can bounce around from app to app, but meeting people at new and improved singles events and mixers drastically increases the quality of people you’re likely to meet and is definitely more fun than taking internet strangers out for coffee. And let’s not forget these other online dating horrors:
1. Meeting someone amazing, then finding out you aren’t as willing to commute as far as you previously thought…
Wait, it takes me HOW LONG to drive 50 miles?
If you’re meeting at a singles event, you know what kind of commute you’re signing up for.
2. Finding a dime, but enduring date after date of awful conversion only to find out you’ve got nothing in common…
No really, please tell me more about your vintage collection of paint scrapers.
At a themed singles mixer, you know you’ve already got something in common!
3. When they’re beautiful, intelligent, funny, but on the first date you find out their voice is a combination of literally every noise you hate…
Maybe we can date in silence?
Really no way to remedy this, but at least meeting in person right from the beginning gets it squared away sooner!
4. If things don’t work out, and they’ve added you on every social media or online dating platform…
Nobody want’s to be continually contacted on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Kik, Myspace Messages, Xanga, wait…HOW ARE THEY FINDING ALL THESE ACCOUNTS?!
Sometimes leaving social media out of the first few dates makes it easier.
5. After you chat for days and days, then meet in person and act like this…
Why does it feel like I know all of your secrets?!
Singles events get this part out of the way early so you don’t feel like you have to hide what you know.
Take this bit of advice: give singles events and mixers a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised and it is always easier to meet someone in person right from the beginning than get to know the online version of them.