Does anyone love the dating apps besides those looking for a quick hookup? Anecdotally, the answer is no.
I talk with singles every day as a relationship coach, and one of the most consistent refrains I hear is that online dating sucks.
The reasons vary, but generally the gripes center around a few key ideas: Online dating and the swipe apps like Tinder are impersonal. They are just about sex. They flatten the experience of finding someone and become primarily about looks. They don’t have high-quality singles.
The whole online dating thing is “icky” for most people, I’ve found. The problem is that there’s no seeming alternative. Dating apps are the only game in town.
But there is an alternative. You can meet people in the real world. It still works.
The trick is that you must put in the work.
And there is work to be done; finding a good long-term partner through the traditional approach of meeting them in person does not happen by wishing it. Successfully finding your partner in the real world, in the romantic way we all dream about, requires actually going out there regularly to meet new people through events, social outings and random connections. You also must lay the right foundation so you meet and connect with eligible singles when you do find them.
The first part, getting out there, we know. We just don’t always do it.
When I coach someone who is looking for love and not actually going out there regularly to meet other singles, the next step is pretty easy: We figure out what fear, belief or scheduling issue is causing the inaction, then we address it and get to work having them meet people.
The second part is what gives singles more trouble.
If we are looking for love in the real world, we also need the right foundation. This means picking the right events and being ready for connection.
Having the right foundation means we have to attend events and focus on activities where there are other eligible singles we might want to date, not just people. There also must be an opportunity to talk with these people.
A Meetup that’s built around a presentation and has 20 guys but only three women attending is not the right foundation if you’re a guy looking for a girl. A hike where you stick with your girlfriends and there are only 10 people making the trek is not the right foundation for a single woman wanting a man.
Not all social situations are created equal for finding a partner, so you must lay the right foundation by choosing appropriate activities and creating moments for substantive interaction at these events.
Equally if not more important is creating the foundation for real connection with the people you meet. Finding good singles and dating successfully in the real world is easy if you put in the work of readying yourself for connection when opportunity presents itself.
Rapper and movie star, Will Smith, once told my cousin, an actor in Hollywood, that luck was the lesser part of success. Getting that big break mattered, no doubt, but only if you were ready for it. The more important part was putting in the effort before your big break so you knew what to do with the opportunity when luck did arrive.
The same is true for meeting the love of your life. You can meet this person at an event, through a friend, or even by sitting next to someone at a coffeeshop. And you will meet this right person, maybe several of them, if you put yourself in the world. Where you will succeed or fail, however, is what you do when you meet them. Do you exude authenticity and natural awesomeness? Do you invite an emotional connection and create a sense of “we” even on that first meeting? Is there a sense of possibility and an invitation for more?
These things create relationships out of thin air. They make your dreams possible. But they don’t happen if you’re not prepared, if you haven’t laid the foundation before your big break by learning how to open up and seize the moments as they come.
Laying the right foundation takes time, but it isn’t rocket science. Anyone can do it—and at any age. We teach these skills at Kowalke Relationship Coaching every day, so we know they work.
The only problem is that we can’t help everyone. So I’m exciting about the launch of our online program we’re starting in January, The Joy Love Club. And I’m inviting you to take part.
The Joy Love Club is a series of live weekly video events we’re holding online in January and February. At these live events, me and other relationship experts in the Kowalke Relationship Coaching universe will talk about dating today, and how you can get that lasting relationship that’s both strong and magical. We’ll be teaching you how to lay the right foundation—and for free.
More importantly, we’ll answer your questions and interact with you directly at these events so you come away with what you actually need for your own relationship journey. Books, articles and courses are nice, but they don’t specifically address your own situation. So at the events, you can ask and get answers that actually help you and your situation (and do it anonymously, in case you were wondering).
We’re really excited about The Joy Love Club, and I’d love you to join us. But space is limited because this program is intentionally kept small and intimate. So please enter your name and email address below for more information and to reserve your spot right now. I really would love it if you join us.
Meeting your future partner in the world is still a viable dating strategy. You just gotta put in the work and get beyond the idea that your only two options are luck or dating online. The work is up to you, but we can help set the right foundation for your relationship success if you’re ready to get beyond these dating apps.
Get more information about our live online program, The Joy Love Club, by entering your name and email below.
Peter is founder of Kowalke Coaching. He also is founding director of the Philia Mission, a small charitable organization. Contact Peter.