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5 Places to Lose the Dating Apps for a Real-Life Meet-Cute

5 Places to Lose the Dating Apps for a Real-Life Meet-Cute

It’s rumored that many people once met without ever knowing what Tinder was. 

Image: Unsplash

Dating apps can be a good way to meet people, or they can seem like a purgatory where you are destined to have the same terrible first date with someone who also likes Mad Men (and has nothing else in common with you) forever. It’s easy to justify sticking around on the apps. The risk of rejection and embarrassment is minimal. There’s an addictive supply of adorable Instagram photos of people who look way out of your league but are replying to your messages anyway. Plus, you can do it all in your most disgusting sweatpants.

But what we all really want (or at least what I really want, I don’t know about you) is for a Carol to swoop in and forget her gloves on our counter. Since most of us don’t have an endless supply of lambskin gloves to leave around town every time we see someone cute, that’s probably not going to happen. But there are a few places you should put your phone away and be open to the possibility of an in real life meet-cute.

1) The coffee shop where you’re a regular.
If you become a regular at your local coffee shop, you’ll start to notice other familiar faces. It can be daunting to start a conversation with a stranger—especially if you’re someone who deals with weirdos and street harassment, and you’re concerned about making someone else uncomfortable. In general, if you’re concerned about making someone uncomfortable, you’re probably not going to come across as creepy. Compliment someone’s cool shoes, or ask about the cool looking book they have sitting on the table. Just don’t hit on the barista. They’re at work, and they’re obligated to be polite. If they’re really interested in you, they’ll let you know.

2) The food co-op.
[iframe allowfullscreen="" class=^{{"giphy-embed"}}^ frameborder="0" height="420" width="750"]Actual statistics that I just made up: 73% of food co-op shoppers are LGBT. Plus, most co-op shoppers come back weekly, so you’ll run into the same cuties every time you need to grab groceries. Joining the co-op (and actually putting in your work share hours instead of avoiding them like the plague) is also a good way to strike up conversations with other co-op members and customers.

3) A restaurant bar in a Gayborhood.
Bars are the obvious way to meet single LGBT people in real life, but don’t quite hold the same appeal if you’re sober or just burnt out on the bar scene. Instead, go out to eat alone, and leave your phone in your pocket. Sitting at the restaurant bar with other solo diners makes you seem more available for conversation. If it’s a restaurant in a Gayborhood, even better.

4) At the art museum.
[iframe allowfullscreen="" class=^{{"giphy-embed"}}^ frameborder="0" height="417" width="750"]Art museums can be a good place to meet people who have similar interests, but there’s also something to be said for meeting through mocking. Just hang out near a Jeff Koons piece and see who looks just as annoyed by it as you are. You can also go to an evening social event or the opening of a new exhibit. Because there’s so much going on around you, you won’t even think about your phone as soon as you step foot inside the museum.

5) The bookstore or library.
Frequent bookstore browsers and library patrons are usually up for a conversation about good books. Readings and book signings also offer the opportunity to run into someone that also loves your favorite author. The gayer the author, the gayer the crowd. 

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Cassie Sheets