5 Ways to Meet More People Offline

When you see how sex is portrayed by the media and how our society has become more open to premarital sex, you’d think that dating and sex are at an all-time high. But according to a widely talked about article by Atlantic Senior Editor Kate Julian, the opposite is true. From Gen Xers to millennials, people are having less sex.

And this sex recession isn’t just happening in the US, but also in other developed countries like Finland, Netherlands, and Japan. It seems that people are getting more and more uncomfortable with real-world relationships. Finland’s study, for example, has found a declining intercourse frequency, but rising masturbation rates.

Sex Recession: What’s to Blame?

There have been a lot of theories as to why we’re experiencing declining sex rates. Factors such as economic pressures, anxiety rates, ubiquity of digital porn, smartphones, and health issues like obesity and effects of sleep deprivation have been mentioned to Julian while gathering data from experts.

There may be a lot of factors at play here, but one common theme that comes up when you ask single men and women about it is they find asking people out in real life painfully awkward and uncomfortable. What’s considered a dating norm 20 or so years ago is no longer typical today. Today’s generation finds the expectations from real-life relationships daunting. The internet and social media have also completely changed the way we relate to others, making face-to-face communication seem unnatural.

But does this mean you need to give up on the real-life dating game? Definitely not. There are ways to win at dating, even when you’re offline.

1. Decrease your screen time.

If screen time is preventing you from connecting with people in person, then it would make sense to reduce it drastically. Estimate how much time you spend on your phone, tablets, and laptop. If it makes up 50% or more of your day, then it’s time to let some of it go. You’re losing opportunities to go out there and meet people. With less screen time, you’ll also find it less awkward to start a conversation with others.

2. Try something new.

Whether it’s learning a new skill or starting a new exercise regimen like running, starting a new activity will force you to interact with others. It’s easier to connect with someone once you find a common interest or hobby.

3. Change your routine.

If life has become a monotonous cycle of waking up, going to work, going home, and staying glued to your TV or phone all night, then it’s time to make some changes here. Instead of going home after work, why not explore new places or join after-work activities?

Go to a coffee shop you’ve never tried before or visit an art gallery. Stare at a stranger for a few seconds and smile. Challenge yourself to strike up a conversation. Whether people respond or not, remember you’ve got nothing to lose. You just have more new experiences to gain.

4. Be genuinely interested in people.

Wherever you go, be communicative and expressive. Let’s say you’re at a clothing store and you find a guy who’s checking out shirts to buy. You can casually say, “Oh, that’s nice! Good choice,” while also doing some shopping on your own. People often respond positively to expressions of appreciation.

5. Go to a busy bar during cocktail hours—alone.

Wear clothes that make you feel great and desirable. Anything can happen at a bar, but the most important thing is for you to actually have fun and exude confidence because these attract attention. A little bit of alcohol (not too much!) will help ease your anxiety. Sip and say hi to the person beside you.

If you’re not used to approaching people, do a little practice beforehand. Try starting a conversation with a waiter at a restaurant or with the barista at your local coffee shop. It will help you get started.