Are you sick of online dating?
As everything in our modern lives becomes more digital, so do our dating habits.
The online dating culture of swiping, clicking and liking has become a natural part of the modern dating scene in the last decade. But even though there is an endless stream of people, profiles and pictures – the possibilities are literally endless – a lot of people feel lonely, hopeless and completely fed up with swiping and going on first dates.
After a while it doesn’t feel exciting anymore, and I get the sense from my coaching clients that a lot of single people feel more or less stuck on the dating apps. But if you don’t like approaching strangers on the streets or going to bars, then what are your options?
Well, let me tell you! You are in no way required to meet people in ways that don’t feel good or authentic to you!
But in order to find ways that do feel right for you, you have to look at things a little bit differently.
The way we date today has created a norm where we go on dates with no social context other than the date itself. You are more or less excluding yourself from the world by creating a bubble wherein the only quest is to find out if you like each other. This might sound like a good idea, but that is actually not the best way to get to know someone or find out if you are a good match.
As a comparison, let me ask you how many friends you’ve made through sitting at opposite ends of a table asking each other fact based questions about each others lives? I’m guessing zero.
You probably met your friends through doing something together. Maybe studying, singing in a choir, doing a work project, volunteering or sharing an interest, passion or belief. With friendship, getting to know each other is never the main activity; it is the result of another activity. We get to know people by interacting in the world with them, not just from talking about ourselves.
I suggest that you do this in your dating life too, especially if you’re tired of dating online (or even if you just want more friends).
Make a conscious decision to up level your social life and prioritize things that bring you joy and meaning. This will automatically put you in contact and context with others who share your sense of joy and meaning, which is a great foundation for both friendship and dating!
Finding a community, tribe or social context, where you love the activity and get natural connection with others through a shared common interest, will fill your life with likeminded people – without the pressure of figuring out the future of your relationship within the first hour. This gives you the space to organically find out who you want to befriend, date or just keep as an acquaintance.
Prioritizing joy, meaning and your social life is something that you should be doing anyway since you were not born to simply work, pay bills and sleep. Your joy and sense of community with other people are important parts of a good life – with or without a partner! Hence, you are not only doing this to meet someone, but to create a life that feels exciting, meaningful and fun. Then, if you like, you can share that exciting, meaningful and fun life with a partner, or enjoy it on your own.
To summarize: the best way to create a more socially fulfilling life is to have more fun!
Prioritize the things that bring you joy and meaning and put yourself in situations with other people to share that sense of joy and meaning with.
And remember, even if no-one in a specific setting feels appropriate to date, everyone has friends, coworkers and relatives. Awesome people tend to know other awesome people and will happily introduce them to you!
So shift your ambition from finding “the one” to finding your joy and your tribe. Make an effort to find out what joy, meaning, passion and connection means to you. Then do more of it to find people to share it with, and go from there. No swiping required.