Singles Are Reverting Back To A Tried-And-True Way To Meet Others In 2023

If life was a movie, you'd be bringing the main character energy, and surrounding you would be a cast of your favorite people. There'd be your trustworthy sidekick, a quirky (yet totally loving) family, and, perhaps most importantly, a swoon-worthy love interest. But if we're being honest, modern dating isn't as romantic as the love stories in the movies. Research shows that most couples now meet online rather than through friends or in their communities. And a romance initiated with a "nice profile pic" text just isn't that exciting to watch on the big screen — or to experience in real life.

Despite being popular, dating apps also tend to have a negative reputation. One survey by SurveyMonkey found that 56% of adults have an unfavorable view of the apps (although respondents who had actually met a partner online were more likely to rate them positively). Even if dating apps have dominated for the last few years, singles may be ready to return to the kind of dating you see in the movies. Here's how finding love will be different in 2023.

Daters are ready to find love offline

If online dating has never been your thing, or if you're tired of swiping for love, you're in luck. Dating experts told The Knot that singles will be embracing more IRL meet-cutes in 2023. Merriam-Webster defines a meet-cute as "a cute, charming, or amusing first encounter between romantic partners," often seen in romantic comedies. Think of two strangers running into each other and striking up a spontaneous, flirty conversation or a character in trouble being rescued by another before they inevitably fall in love with each other.

These random encounters can be more than just a movie trope — they can become a reality as long as you put in a little effort. "More people are realizing that love won't just happen to them," dating coach and writer Kirstie Taylor told The Knot. "So if they want to meet someone off of dating apps, they need to create situations and moments where they can meet someone in-person. More people will be intentional about meeting and introducing themselves to people they see in real life, because they know that love can happen in unexpected ways."

Online dating fatigue may partially be behind this shift. Being ghosted or breadcrumbed repeatedly can get old quickly. And according to Therapy Group of NYC, dating apps can impact mental health, from lowering self-esteem to triggering trust issues.

How to strike up a meet-cute

To start meeting others the old-fashioned way in 2023, consider deleting your dating apps, at least temporarily. "You'll be less tempted if you don't have access to your favorite apps," therapist Sophia Reed told Marie Claire. "And even for those times when you are tempted, you'll think twice because you'd then have to download it again." Then, focus on being fully available and present wherever you are. Being in the moment, not buried in your phone, will make it easier to connect with others around you.

What environments are ideal for initiating a meet-cute? Because these encounters are usually serendipitous by nature, anywhere you enjoy hanging out is fair game. Consider a coffee shop, a bustling neighborhood in your city, or a foreign language class. Traveling is another great way to find a meet-cute while hopping on the wanderlove trend.

Love Panky also suggests creating a meet-cute by immersing yourself in group activities or spending time with friends who could introduce you to a potential match. And once someone has caught your attention, don't overthink approaching them — meet-cutes are meant to be light-hearted, after all. Shan Boodram, Bumble's Sex & Relationships Expert, told The Knot, "People used to ask, 'Are you looking for something serious, or are you looking for something fun? [...] But why can't looking for something serious be fun?"