Though dating apps are a common way to meet people these days, there are still many people who prefer to meet romantic prospects in real life for the first time.
According to a 2017 report by Statista, 61% of Americans aged 18-29 and 44% of Americans 30-59 are currently using a dating site/app or have used one in the past. However, a 2018 survey by polling platform The Tylt found that almost 84% of millennials would rather find love “in real life” than online.
"Meeting people ‘in the wild' makes conversations more organic and easygoing," Maria Avgitidis, founder of Agape Match, a matchmaking service based in NYC, told Business Insider in an email.
Avgitidis said that meeting in person provides an opportunity for exploration, curiosity, and a different kind of sexual tension. "More significantly, you're not hiding behind a screen and turning a soulmate into a pen pal," she said.
Here, 21 people reveal why they don't use dating apps — and how they meet people instead. The answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.
1. Charlene, 40
"I'd been in long-distance relationships up until a few years ago and had no desire to try dating apps since becoming single. My friends use them, and their complaints about the quality of matches, the dilemma of too much choice, and the buildup of chatting with someone for weeks only to meet in person and not have chemistry completely put me off of dating apps. Swipe and chat my day away on yet another app? I don't have time for that!
Luckily, I'm an extrovert who's OK with alone time, so being by myself and striking up conversations is my zone. Meeting men is easy because I'm living my life and doing what interests me and, luckily, since they're there, too, it's something they're interested in, as well.
I think men can sense that I don't have an agenda — I'm not focused on dating just to date or find 'The One,' but am interested in connecting with people and cultivating knowledge and building relationships (not just one Relationship with a capital 'R')."
2. Supriya, 29
"I am not a fan of dating apps at all! Though a lot of my friends use them and narrate the fun experiences they've had, the idea doesn't resonate with me — they're nothing but an algorithm.
I think the probability of meeting a person through friends or family at a party or a get-together is more convincing to me. Meetups for like-minded people with common interests sound great, too. Meeting someone in a situation like that sets the tone and a topic for conversation, whereas my friends who use apps get so nervous about how they'll be perceived on their coffee date!"