Forget Online Dating, Says One Expert: "Go To The Grocery Store"

Forget Online Dating, Says One Expert: "Go To The Grocery Store"

You have to get offline and get out of the house. 

By Delaina Dixon

Thumbs exhausted from swiping left and right? If you’re burned out with your search of meeting potential mates with a dating app, why not try meeting someone in person. According to a 2016 study by the Pew Research Center, 88 percent of people actually meet their significant other offline.

Since you can no longer sit in your PJ's to try to find a date, where can you start your search for Mr. or Ms. Right?

“It’s not so much the where, but what you do in everyday life – consider every outing an opportunity to meet someone,” declares relationship expert Fran Greene, author of the upcoming book Dating Again with Courage and Confidence. “Always have to have your green light on with body language that says you’re approachable and make sure you look presentable, which will boost your own self-esteem.”

Here are a few places to put away your smartphone, and strike up a conversation with the people next to you.

Waiting on line: Whether it’s a coffee shop, grocery store or DMV. “Talk to anyone and everyone -- you never know where it’s going to lead you,” Fran says. “When you are spontaneous, you have a chance to connect with someone who could make a great future friend or mate.”

Grocery shopping/bookstores: Is that a banana in your basket? If you’ve ever been to Whole Foods in New York City’s Shops at Columbus Circle on a Friday evening, you’ll find the grocery emporium is stocked with single men looking to get a few snacks for the weekend.

“You can strike up a conversation about what’s in their basket, and you’ll already know how he eats,” Fran states with a chuckle. While there aren’t many bookstores anymore, the ones that do exist usually have cafés where you can sit and take in the scenery. “If someone catches your eye, you can approach them and ask an open-ended question about what they are browsing through.” And bookstores are making their comeback. Amazon Books is opening a location in – where else? – Columbus Circle (just add hanging at the mall, eighties style, to your list.)

Communal restaurant tables: Instead of you and gal pal sitting alone wonder where all the men are, ask your restaurant if it offers a communal table. “There’s nothing more pleasurable than breaking bread with new pals,” Fran says. Forget dining home alone. “Hit your favorite grub pub and sit at the counter or bar, where there is bound to be some other solo patrons to talk with. Look to your right and left and start chatting.”

Networking groups: Professional organizations are great places to meet people with like-minded life goals. Have a hobby? “Meetup has been around for a while, and it’s still a cool way to connect with people who have similar interests,” Fran shares. “If you love glass blowing or growing an indoor herb garden, there’s certain to be others locally who share in your passion.” While there are plenty of dating meetups, “bypass the dating meetup groups and go to things you actually enjoy doing. You’ll be guaranteed to have a good time, even if you don’t make a love connection.”

Jury duty: There is no better place to find single, straight men who are off from work in a confined space for two days.

“The first day I went to jury duty, I was wearing sweats, and there were so many handsome men in the room,” says Erica, a PR associate from Manhattan’s Upper West Side. When she went back for day two, “I put in a little effort and brought a business card. And yes, a few numbers were exchanged.”

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