Online Dating

6 Ways to Meet New People Besides Dating Apps

Last updated
four friends laughing and talking in a circle

Tired of swiping left and right on dating apps in the hopes of finding meaningful connections? If so, you’re not alone. Nobody’s super stoked about playing Cha Cha Slide on their phones to catch a connection. *slide to the left, take it back now ya’ll*

swiper no swiping

All humor aside, where’s everyone hiding? Are we missing something? How do we meet people outside of work, university, or dating apps?

From making friends in a new city or securing a new bae in your current neighborhood, here are our top six suggestions for meeting people offline.

First, hype yourself up.

I'm ready Spongebob

There’s no right way to prepare yourself for meeting new peeps. Before heading to any event, prep yourself accordingly. It might be awkward, but who cares? Stay around long enough to break the ice, let it melt, and enjoy a cocktail with friends.

Whenever you see an event coming up, add it to your “Maybe” Calendar. It takes the pressure off having to attend a function you might not feel up to day of. You can see all your possible hangs in one place and plan your week accordingly.

And with that being said, here are six ways to make (or meet) new friends IRL.

#1. screenshot of events

Big fan of Boardgame Thursdays? Wine Wednesdays? Salsa Saturdays? No matter the hobby, party, or occasion– you’ll find your people on

Choose your city, timeframe, and event type from many options and load up your Maybe Calendar. This is such a cool concept when traveling from city to city or just missing people where you’re currently living. All the events are moderated by a host and low stress. Everyone’s in the same boat usually, so the awkwardness dissipates quickly.

Plus, there are some pretty neat events going on over at Truly and honestly, there’s something for everyone.

#2. Community Events

people meeting in park, meeting new people
This is easier said than done because you still need time to determine how your city publicizes community events. More than likely, you’ll find some upcoming business-hosted events through Facebook. Otherwise, we recommend checking the city’s website and subscribing to their email list.

You can also read the paper for events if that’s your thing– we love an old-fashioned queen/king.

#3. Nudge, the App

the nudge screenshot

Need a nudge to get out and about? Us too!

Nudge, the app is just that.

Created to take the pressure out of planning, Nudge sends out three suggestions per week in your area. From escape rooms to coffee networking events, the options are limitless. The best part is all the hidden secret locations you’ll find through the app. It’s relatively fresh off the press, so hop on now!


couchsurfing screenshot

Although Couchsurfing is meant to be used for traveling and couch surfing, the app still has its fair share of events that bring people from all over the world together.

Consider stopping by a Couchsurfing meetup in your city if you’ve got a travel itch; there’s a huge chance for you to meet your new international bestie.

#5. Creative Classes or Gym Group Workouts

No need to stop learning outside of university– there’s always something else to learn or experience. Plus, there seems to be some bonding magic that happens in between the awkward introductions and being bad at something you’re trying for the first time.

Whatever you’ve wanted to try– there is no time like the present to give it a real go! Just don’t burn the house down in a cooking class (been there, done that).

Working on your fitness? So are 20 other people from your local gym’s dance and workout classes. Sign up, get fit, and get friendly!

dont put me down for cardio

#6. Doing your Hobbies

people biking in a group, cycling club
Okay, you won’t meet a bunch of friends fishing in a secret lake or painting the next Mona Lisa in a scary, dimly-lit basement, buuuut if your hobbies involve people around, talk to them!

Need ideas? Check this list:
Cycling Clubs
Photography Meetups
Outdoor Adventure Clubs: Hiking, kayaking, climbing, etc.
Volunteer Work
Team Sports: Soccer, football, volleyball
Board Game Events
Book Clubs

Added to the Maybe Calendar?

marking dates on the calendar, making friends
That’s epic!

TBH– any real-life situation is a chance at a connection if you don’t take it too seriously. We’re all in the same boat; some friendships will sink, others will swim.

Try this list at least once, and if you feel super uncomfortable, consider a friendship app like Bumble BFF. Instead of meeting in a group setting, schedule a coffee hang or mini-golf outing– just make sure to test your social pics with Photofeeler first to attract your vibe soulmates!