Mai Tai Group

Here we discuss the highs and lows of meeting people in real life (IRL) even if you’re a busy professional.

Online dating can sometimes be a trap. There are so many platforms to choose from and messaging back and forth is so easy, we can forget that signing out of the app and meeting people in real life is the end goal.  And then there’s good ol’ fashioned meeting straight-up offline. It’s something we don’t hear so much anymore as the prevalence and ease of dating apps have made us squeamish about approaching strangers.

Romantic Rejection

Life would be way easier if we weren’t so scared of rejection. There are few people in the world that don’t fear and hate it and they seem to be on a different planet or vibrating at a different frequency (or maybe both). The rest of us mortals live our lives in fear of being laughed at, scoffed at or given the cold shoulder. Rejection doesn’t kill but it sure does hurt, and when we’ve made ourselves vulnerable in a potentially romantic situation that feeling is exacerbated to the max. And then 100x more if we’re in a public place with people around and no smartphone screen to protect us. With that in mind, it’s not hard to understand why we do less of the IRL stuff when we have access dating apps that buffer the dent to our ego. I'm as shy as any of you but if there's any advice I can give about approaching someone IRL it would be:

  • If you get an ‘I’m not interested’ try not to take it personally - when we get rejected it’s usually not because we did something wrong so don’t let that get to you. As this HuffPost article says, ”When we begin to believe there is something wrong with us, or that the other person is out to get us, or worse, that the harsh judgment being passed on is right, the world can begin to feel isolated, cold and restrictive.” Try your best not to succumb.
  • A cool response is better than an angry one - Apologize if you think you may have overstepped any boundaries and don’t take offence to their indifference. Who knows, they may very well come around and approach once they get comfortable with the idea of talking to a stranger.
  • Get positive reinforcement - Rejection can be terribly destabilizing. Don’t hesitate to contact your friends (or us) for a morale boost.

Dinner Parties, Running Clubs & Meet-Up’s

If you have the emotional bandwidth and time to socialise outside of your usual friendship circle then I totally suggest you meet people offline. That’s the best way. If you don’t have the emotional bandwidth and/or time and/or the desire to meet strangers you can outsource the search to us. This is the second-best way. If you have the emotional bandwidth, time and are OK with strangers, take up a new hobby. This is the third-best way. If you have plenty of time to spare but don’t want to meet strangers IRL you can use dating apps and online dating platforms. This is the last-best way because it’s emotionally draining, requires a tonne of your highly valuable and irreplaceable time, and your return on investment is paltry because few quality dates actually materialize.

Meeting Singles In Real Life

The beauty about meeting people IRL is that you won’t get judged severely for your looks. The reason why Mai Tai was set up was to eliminate all of the preconceptions and crazy expectations that are formed from a short profile. I’m sure you’ve seen our hashtag #MeetThePersonNotTheirProfile but it’s still really hard. We are visual creatures and I can’t fault anyone for that. But when we meet IRL we see so much more than just your face and outfit. By meeting offline we can get a feel for how you ingest and digest information, how you communicate your feelings or thoughts, and what those feelings and thoughts might be. People don’t just communicate with words; we communicate with the way we say the words and our mannerisms. In the future I don’t want to have profile photos for Mai Tai but profile videos only accessible to potential matches where I ask you a question and you’re recorded hearing it, thinking about it, and answering it. There’s a lot happening in those few seconds and they speak volumes.)

Where Can I Meet Singles In London If I’m Not Out Clubbing?

But where to meet? A lot of people will tell you to go where you enjoy yourself. That’s a bad idea. If you are a woman who wants to meet a man and you enjoy taking flamenco and baking classes, hanging out at the spa, and going for afternoon tea – guess what? – you’re going to be out of luck because men rarely do those types of things. You are also out of luck if you’re a straight man who wants to meet a woman but doesn’t have social hobbies that are also frequented by women. You need to go where the people you want to date hang out. Think about the Attraction Venues that will work for you. There are four types:

  • Public Settings: This includes the park, supermarket, bank or post office.
  • Singles Venues:  Such as singles bars and dating events.
  • Interest groups: These places allow you to meet people who share similar interests.
  • Passion Settings: This is where your chances of connecting are very high because people who share a passion already have a great deal of deep connection around a subject, which can evolve into a lot of common ground for the first dates.

Passion settings include your place of worship, favourite charity or a social cause you believe in. Remember: If you're awesomely single keep on being awesome but if you're terribly single...don't just stand there; do something!

Happy Dating xo