I’m on a mission to help more people meet potential dates IRL (in real life). Online dating is an excellent resource, but every time you leave your house you have the potential to meet someone special.
That serendipitous meeting can be courted into your life by your actions, and of course – by your openness to it happening.
Attractive, accomplished, interesting and highly eligible singles tell me all the time that they rarely if ever meet people offline, or that they wouldn’t even know how to begin doing so.
Well, if this resonates with you, you’re in luck – I’m going to show you 3 unconventional ways to meet someone using your cellphone that are NOT online dating.
1. Airdrop him a photo
This one is for Mac users only (sorry, Androids and PCs!). If you’ve never used it, Airdrop is a feature on all Bluetooth enabled Apple devices, from iPhones to AirBooks. It allows you to send photos instantly and directly from your iPhoto into another user’s iPhoto (assuming they have it enabled in Settings) using Bluetooth. No text or emailing required, which means no contact information needs to be known or exchanged.
If you’ve ever used it, you’ve probably noticed that any number of devices might show up from strangers in your immediate Bluetooth range. At some point a couple of years ago I started sending complete strangers photos from my phone. First it was a picture of Kermit the Frog, then it was a full moon shining on a beach, and most recently it was a picture of the Manhattan Bridge.
You’re probably saying Huh? Why on earth would you do that? Well, I do it because it’s fascinating to me who decides to hit “Accept” from a stranger (most people decline) and it has resulted in such interesting encounters and conversations once I’ve deduced who the person is who accepted my photo.
There’s no way for you to target a particular person unless you happen to know their name is John and you select “John’s iPhone” or you’re the only two people in the room. So it really is an act of random faith – a way to court serendipity! If a person is open minded enough to accept your photo, they’re probably open minded enough to have a conversation, which could lead…. anywhere!
Some creepy/predatory people – OK, creepy/predatory men – use AirDrop to send dick pics or pornographic images to unsuspecting women. Obviously, don’t do that! That’s not the kind of party I’m endorsing here.
2. Ask him to take your photo
My brilliant friend Amy Van Doran says on the topic of meeting someone IRL: “It doesn’t really matter what you say, as long as you say something.” Asking someone to take your pic is an easy thing to say because it’s so common it’s unlikely to come across as strange – not that I have anything against strange, because I don’t!
This request accomplishes a few things:
Most people, especially men, enjoy the chance to be useful to a woman, even in such a small way. You’re giving him that opportunity.
If they’re available and interested, they are likely to capitalize on this moment of connection.
If they’re not available or not interested, it feels less vulnerable for you – you were only asking for a photo, not a date!
If you’re in a cool or scenic place, you can offer to take one of them, too, furthering the interaction and increasing the chances that a longer conversation may result.
You might get a really good photo that you can use on a dating app to meet someone else! (Hey – there’s always a silver lining!)
3. Show him a cool app
I love the night sky. So I have an app on my phone called Sky Guide (there are other night sky apps, this just happens to be the one I use) that shows real time GPS of every known planet, star and constellation in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. So for instance, if you hold your phone up to the sky you can see exactly what the the sky looks above you, above the clouds and light pollution. If you point it down you can see the night sky beneath our feet on the other side of the earth. It’s beautifully illustrated and it’s cool to look at.
I so love this app that I have felt compelled, multiple times, to show it to a complete stranger so they too can see the entire universe hiding right above our heads. Once I showed it to a guy in a bar, and as we sat gazing up at my phone, he remarked that it was a romantic moment. And he was right – it was. I wasn’t romantically interested in him, but if I had been, it would’ve been perfect. Even as it was, we had a lovely moment and a nice conversation. Zero downside!
The night sky app is great because it’s something that most people can appreciate – even if you don’t know Orion from Corona Borealis, it’s undeniably beautiful. Maybe something like that appeals to you, or you’re looking for the person who wants to see a tarot-card-a-day or who wants to play against you on the latest word game app.
At this point, you’ve obviously noticed that I am a different from the average person when it comes to my willingness to talk to strangers (I met my boyfriend on a corner on Sunset Boulevard, where he happened to waiting for an Uber and I happened to be walking by).
But since I’ve done all these things, that’s why I can tell you they work! You might not fall in love with every stranger you encounter (that would get inconvenient real fast anyway), but it only takes one. And there is zero downside to practicing talking to strangers in anticipation of one day meeting your special someone.
Serendipity is a real force in the universe, and like most things, the more you expect it to happen, the more likely it is to happen and for you to notice when it does. Start getting excited about who you might meet and where that connection might take you. It might not be romantic, or you might make a new friend, like I did recently via Airdrop encounter. And who knows who you might meet because of your new friend? It could be the start of a great love story.