Dating without Dating Apps: Places to Find Long-Term Relationships

Dating apps are said to make the dating process – or the search for your forever partner – easier. But those who have actually been around the dating scene and “painted the town red,” so to speak, know that this isn’t true.

When you’re dating with the goal of marriage or a long-term relationship, it can be exhausting to swipe through those looking for casual short-term flings. And even those claiming to look for long-term relationships can end up being incompatible with you or not what you’re looking for in a partner.

But who says dating apps are the only way to find long-term relationships? Remember what dating was like before apps like Tinder and OkCupid ruled the dating scene? These options are still available – and they’re still effective in meeting people who can potentially seal a long-term relationship with you.

For dating app fans, discover these real-world options.

Matchmaking Services

Think of it as a premium dating app, but instead of you doing all the work of sifting through a list of potential dates, you have executive matchmakers doing it for you. All you have to do is sit down with your matchmaker for a few interviews to let them know the type of partner you’re looking for. Then you wait for a scheduled first date between you and your potential match.

It comes at a price, depending on factors like the quality and experience of the matchmaking company. But if you really want to skip the trouble of searching and shortlisting potential matches, the cost of a matchmaker is worth it.

In Public or Your Place of Interest

Not to sound like an older person reminiscing on the pre-digital age, but do you remember when people would build meaningful relationships by going outside and socializing with strangers? As the saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea, and immersing yourself in social events can help you eventually meet the right one.

It doesn’t have to be a singles bar, a speed dating event, or any event that specifically targets meeting someone. It can happen in some random public place, where you’re doing something else that’s not dating-related (such as having dinner with close friends). Around 37 percent of people say that they’ve met their partner in a bar or any public area. As long as it’s in a place you can socialize, even if you’re not actively looking for a partner, there’s a good chance you can meet a potential candidate in public.

Our recommendation? Try hanging out in areas that reflect your interests if you want a better chance of finding someone you can click with. If you’re an artsy type, you might find a kindred spirit in a gallery or a museum. And if you’re an avid fitness buff, you could eventually meet your other half in a gym, beach, or a biking group. The more you socialize with others, the more you’re likely to find the right one.

Let Your Friends Set You Up

If you’re not comfortable with going out with strangers, meeting people through your network of friends can help ease your worries. Your truest friends can understand what you’re looking for and can link you to someone they think might match your expectations in a partner.

Apart from expanding your social interests, having friends set up a date for you was a popular way to meet a match in the era of pre-dating apps. Having a mutual friend can make you feel at ease with your potential date, but take note of the dos and don’ts of arranged dates.

Your friends can make mistakes, too, so don’t force yourself to like your date just because a friend vouched for them. And don’t constantly lean on your mutual friend when it comes to your date – if it’s meant to be, it will work out.

Finding that one person you can have a long-term relationship with doesn’t always have to be on a dating app. There are multiple valid options for finding the one outside of the internet. As long as you know where to look or who can help in your search, you can manage without a dating app.