If your local watering hole was your primary method of meeting women, it’s safe to say that COVID-19 has not been kind to your romantic life. Currently, many bars are still closed in the United States, which means that your options for connecting with women are likely almost entirely limited to the virtual world.
Then again, online dating was the norm even before Coronavirus forced us inside. According to a 2019 study from Stanford, it’s now more common for singles to meet romantic partners online than through their personal connections.
The reason is obvious. We live in the time of Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and other dating apps that make finding love (or more likely, a hookup) easier than ever. But online dating is still not easy, especially not for guys facing stiff competition.
Unless you have all the winning traits—good hair, clear skin, nice teeth, six feet tall—you’ve probably found dating apps to be one frustrating experience after another. If you’re fed up with the dating app scene, here are a few ways to meet women online that don’t involve swiping right.
If you prefer to have a wingman help you meet the ladies, you’re going to love the Houseparty app. It’s exactly what it sounds like: an app that lets you throw a virtual house party where you can connect with friends (and friends of friends) via video chat rooms.
The beauty of this app is that it works much like a house party IRL. You can literally “crash” into a gathering at any time and proceed to awkwardly introduce yourself to your buddy’s attractive friend, just like you would at a regular party.
If you end up meeting someone special and want to have a private conversation, you can lock the chatroom. This way, your thirsty friends can’t drop in and ruin your shot at romance.
Compared to dating apps, meeting women through shared hobbies and interests feels far more effortless and organic. After all, you already know that you have at least one thing in common!
If you want to meet women through shared interests, check out the Meetup App. Originally created for in-person events (think: co-ed kickball and pub trivia), the app has been encouraging event organizers to move their meetups online in response to COVID-19.
These days, event organizers are hosting their online events through video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Google Hangouts or Jitsi. If someone catches your interest on the Zoom call, consider shooting them a message and talking casually through the app. Let love bloom from there.
Reddit is yet another app that allows you to connect with other like-minded people with shared hobbies and interests. Described as a social news aggregator and discussion platform, the social networking site makes it easy for users to explore virtually any interest or topic through “subreddits,” its online niche communities.
Reddit is a fun place to kill time, talk with like-minded users and even fall in love. In fact, there are plenty of anecdotal stories of redditors meeting on /r/r4r, which stands for “redditor for redditor.”
It’s also a surprisingly popular place for online daters to seek out dating advice. According to research from Georgia Institute of Technology, many users on OKCupid and Tinder head to Reddit to help them navigate the complex world of online dating.
4. Multiplayer Online Games
Gaming gets a bad rap. Sure, you can potentially get addicted to video games, but research shows that’s a small minority. Gaming is a fun way to pass the time in quarantine and can even help you find that special player two for your life.
It’s not unheard of for gamers to find love on World of Warcraft, RuneScape and other massive multiplayer online games. There’s something about joining a guild and going on epic MMO raids that must ignite a burning passion between players.
Try joining a guild and work on building positive relationships with your guildmates. Even if you don’t meet your soulmate, it’s still a cool way to bring an otherwise unlikely group of people together.
If you’re familiar with Slack, then you’ll no doubt have an easy time figuring out Discord. The group chatting platform was primarily built for gamers so they can talk while they play, though it can also be used as a virtual gathering place for people to congregate and socialize.
Discord supports video, voice chat and text, allowing users to communicate in multiple ways. If you have a specific interest, you can create a public or private “server” where multiple users can meet, hang out and discuss the topic.
Whether you’re into gaming, health, Netflix or cryptocurrency, there’s a server out there for everyone to join. You never know who you might meet!
6. Facebook Groups
Facebook has long been the social networking site where you can find potential love interests through mutual friends. One of its more popular features is Facebook Groups, a place where people with common interests and passions can come together to express their opinions, photos, interesting new articles and anything else you can possibly think to share.
Facebook Groups is also a low-key way to learn more about women who may interest you. Many of these women are also on dating apps. The only difference is that they’re no longer reduced to a boring profile. They’re engaging in discussion, sharing tidbits about their personalities and painting a clearer picture of who they are.
With tens of millions of groups on Facebook covering all sorts of topics, you’re bound to meet someone who tickles your fancy. And if Facebook Groups isn’t helping you connect with women, there’s always Facebook Dating.
Putting Yourself Out There (While Staying Inside)
There’s no doubt about it: Social distancing has thrown a major wrench into everyone’s dating lives. Whether you like to do things the old-fashioned way or simply hate dating apps, these dating app alternatives may be the better route to go, depending on your end game.
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