Let’s think outside the box and apply some creativity to your love life with these five fresh tips!
1. Express yourself visually on dating apps
Scrolling through profiles on dating apps can get very boring. Here are some ways to be a bit different.
Some dating apps, such as Tinder and Hinge, now allow videos as part of your profile. For example, a video that shows you chatting with a friend or two could show your conversation skills AND confirm that you have friends. (You can read more tips for creating a video here.) Displaying trustworthiness, authenticity and warmth are all essential factors for getting messages on dating apps. (Make sure it’s clear which person is you in the video, that you have permission from your friends, and don’t be like this woman from eHarmony or end up like her on this video.)
You don’t get many words to describe yourself on dating apps these days. But you can upload plenty of pictures. Why not express yourself or your dating needs by creating a mind map, poem or picture?
People are looking for profiles that stand out and are memorable, and research shows the profiles that are most likely to get attention from compatible people are ones that are similar but distinctive. So if you want someone who likes walking, don’t just say you like walking, provide a photo of a particular walk. Asking readers to guess where it is will also make your profile interactive and give people an easy way to send you a message! You could even include a short, fun quiz (saved as an image) as a profile picture. (Let me know if you try this and how it works.)
2. Use social media adventurously
People are now meeting dates through shared interests on social media, including Twitter and Instagram. As well as connecting with like-minded people, why not try setting up a group conversation on Twitter at a set time using a hashtag like #makenewfriends or #singleschat? Or perhaps you want to find singles who are interested in something specific, such as science. Use a combination of hashtags, such as #science and #dating, and start a conversation on the definition of love or the nature of reality!
You could also connect with other singles by joining in conversations about dating, such as a recent one started by Twitter user Andie Dyer about bad dates. (You can read these hilarious bad date stories plus some advice from me about bad dates here.) Just search for hashtags such as #dating. You can also comment on and interact with others on the social media accounts of the dating apps.
Facebook dating has also now arrived in the UK, and works by matching you with those interested in the same or similar Facebook events and posts as you. So make sure your Facebook account is up to date, especially with your best photos. Check which posts you have made public and private and change if necessary, in case potential dates are browsing your feed.
3. Socialise creatively
If you want to be proactive, you could create your own Facebook event, or create a Facebook group for singles in your area to chat and arrange to meet at a local cafe or pub. You could create a niche interest event, such as a tennis tournament for singles or a book discussion. Or it could be a more general “make new friends” event in your local pub. Advertise it honestly, saying you’re a single person wanting to break away from online dating and meet like-minded others.
You can also use Meetup in the same way: set up or join a local group, then arrange to meet up for local music gigs, comedy nights, book clubs, charity events, or whatever else is already being organised, rather than going alone. When you go out to the theatre, ask the staff if you can put up a sign suggesting anyone who wants to meet new people joins a particular table (where you are waiting with a couple of friends) to discuss the play or just to chat. Or arrange this (perhaps with the venue’s agreement) on social media beforehand, posting comments on Facebook events or tagging the venue in a tweet? Organising meetups like this will make you feel empowered in your dating too.
And if you want to go to a particular music gig or a comedy night, why not put that on your dating profile and see if anyone wants to come along? If you’re chatting with someone online, rather than just asking them if they want to meet, be specific and say “I’m thinking about going to this exhibition – maybe you’d like to join me?” This has the added advantage of reducing the pressure for it to be a romantic experience with more focus on the activity.
Could you organise a way to meet your friends’ single friends, the single friends of those friends of friends (and so on) by throwing a party where everyone has to bring at least two single friends or work colleagues? These kinds of connections are most likely to link people up with those holding similar values and goals. And has anyone organised a singles event through LinkedIn yet? (There are dating apps that require a LinkedIn profile.)
Voluntary community work is another great way to meet local singles. You could help arrange or set up a festival, sports event or community lunch, or join some community gardening or park support group. Religious and political organisations are good places to get involved in local community activity with like-minded people, too, if they reflect your values and beliefs.
4. Organic dating: meet people in real life
If you haven’t yet been to a Smudged Lipstick event, give one a try! They have an imaginative range of events, from Jenga to salsa to comedy nights where people tell their dating stories.
And check out these other ways to meet in real life: Bored of Dating Apps, The Single Boss (Thursday nights in Oxford Street, London – I’ll be speaking at their event on October 6 2022), or Thursday in person events with the Thursday dating app.
There are lots of speed dating events around the country, such as the inclusive award-winning Speed dating in London for all ages and several preferences, and more: Naturally Dating, City Swoon speed dating for ages up to 45, gay and straight, Date in a Dash and True Dating, who guarantee that if you don’t meet at least one person you like, your next event is free.
There are thousands of meetup groups holding regular events all over the world for different age groups with interesting people, to suit every interest from philosophy to games nights to tennis. Remember, even if you don’t meet a romantic interest at an event, there are indirect ways to benefit: once you have made some friends by attending regularly, they may have other single friends or invite you to other social events with more single people.
Here are a few meetups in London:
Salsa classes for everyone is for all ages and abilities and at the moment has lots of men and needs more women!
Singles Meetup Group has free social meetups, speed dating nights, parties, club evenings and dance nights, dinners, weekends away and holidays all for adventurous singles and anyone looking to make a great set of new friends.
Contact Singles is a very friendly and caring organiser of singles events who will make you feel safe and comfortable, for making friends as well as finding love; they also run an online dating site on the website.
Meetup group for over forty-fives is one of many for older daters.
International friends social events offers regular social events for singles.
Fun and unusual events in London offers regular socials for singles of varying age ranges in London.
London European Club has great cultural events and lovely people.
Ken’s Walks are always very well attended.
There are numerous dinner dates for singles organised around the country, including www.dinnerdates.com and www.thedinnerclubuk.co.uk.
Go along to a museum late with a friend and look out for others to chat with, or attend talks, lectures, workshops and evening classes. Join walking or cycling clubs, exercise or dance classes, a choir, meditation, or the local library. Sign up to all the local mailing lists for pubs, cafes, theatres, museums, festivals and community events. Try something new and talk to everyone there!
5. See yourself differently
Almost everyone on dating apps has the experience of not getting many messages, messages rarely leading to dates, first dates hardly ever leading to second dates, and so on. See yourself as part of a dating community by participating in dating events, such as online workshops, or through reading. Get the support of various groups of friends and fellow daters, have some coaching to build resilience, self-care and self-compassion, and train yourself to think positively! Most of us have so many good things in our lives that we take for granted. Make your dating conversations upbeat and appreciative, and think creatively about what a date is for: it can be about getting to know people different from you and learning from them, having fun doing an activity or learning more about yourself, as much as finding a new partner.
Being comfortable with who you are, feeling attractive and good about yourself and what you have to offer are all essential for enjoyable, healthy and successful dates. If you can be proactive and creative with your dating, taking it into your own hands rather than being a passive consumer of dating apps, you’ll feel more positive about yourself as a dater.
Get in touch to discuss your creative dating ideas!