September 28, 2022
When we first tried digital apps in our late thirties, we were mesmerized by the bells and whistles of app dating. How deliciously exciting we found everyone.
On the face of it, there were so many gorgeous single people with dogs, beautiful lives, and fantastic interests. We had a niggling suspicion a lot of creativity went into these profiles.
You’ve swiped right, you’ve swiped left, you’ve Coffee-Met-Bageled, Hinged, and become Restless. Is digital swiping really how we’re supposed to find flings, friends, partners, and more? If you’re kind of into that sweet swiping sensation, you may be addicted, or you may be fatigued.
A few years on the apps and a sequence of meetups only reinforced my feeling of lack of reality. Somewhere between the interior designer (aka painter decorator) who turned up to date with a cat flap as we talked about my indoor cats. Then there was the McLaren driving guy I nicknamed ‘Mr Fifty Pound Note’ need I say more on that one. I began to grow tired of strange things, messages, and being ghosted. That was a few years ago, and, in the intervening period, I’ve deleted and re-downloaded dating apps every three months or so as my tolerance for weirdness has waxed and waned. And never was I more ready to delete them than after Covid.
I got to reading and agreeing with sex and relationship educator Ms Ruby Rare, author of Sex Ed: A Guide For Adults. “It’s rare that you stumble upon someone completely out of the blue.” She argues that dating without apps is as much about expanding our own interests as it is about meeting others. “I think wanting to meet someone can be quite fraught because there’s a lot of chance involved, so it’s good to focus on what you can control,” she says. “Take a class, join a club, do an activity that will enrich your life, regardless of whom you meet there.”
Expand and Explore
If the right person does present themselves out of the blue, she’s also a big believer in seizing the moment, “as long as you approach without expectation,” she says. “Striking up a conversation isn’t about persuading someone to go out with you, and you’ve really got to be aware of your presence and the impact it can have.
“I think wanting to meet someone can be quite fraught… so it’s good to focus on what you enjoy and place yourself in the right environments.”
Rare likes to approach with a compliment and see if it naturally leads to a conversation. “That way, even if the person isn’t interested, I can congratulate myself on having been brave enough to chat to someone,” she says. “If it does lead to a conversation, be tactful. I’ll say, ‘I’m really enjoying chatting with you. Would it be OK to have your number so we can keep talking? Absolutely no worries if not.'”
Feel confident to build a circle of new friends of both sexes, be honest and approachable.
Many lasting connections come from introductions and shared experiences, build out yours.
The Right Places
If I put myself in the right place, people will start talking at the right time. The right places include members’ clubs, Home House, Shoreditch House, gigs, sports meetups with a social aspect and pubs that aren’t too posh.
The Right Attitude
“Online dating shouldn’t take the place of real-world interactions, and it’s important to engage in offline relationships,” “We know that social support can be a protective factor against stress. So even if it’s playing sports with [friends] or spending a night, it’s important to take breaks from online dating and engage in real-time social interactions.”
If you feel like you need a digital dating detox, experts say the best way to meet people in real life is simply to get out and do the things you enjoy. The best way to meet people who will enjoy the things you do is to actually do them.
Of course, rarely one finds a future husband or wife on the first outing, and we recommend you come to at least three socials.
Rendezvous creates an environment where single professional people can meet without all the pressure of online dating. Each party has the vibe of an impromptu celebration. Our regular guests are welcoming, laid back, but lively. Instead of the usual chat-up routines, everyone engages in conversation.
Our small team helps introduce people, mixing up the crowd to create a relaxed environment where you can be yourself.
Louise is by day a Fintech marketer; her career has been defined by working for Bayer, Financial Times and Lexisnexis. She currently leads marketing for a US-based embedded insurance scale-up. Alongside her work, she supports Rendezvous with creativity and content. She is a familiar welcoming face at Events.