No matter how old you are, how outgoing you can be or what your track record is, meeting people can be a difficult task. Forget the fact that we're all on our phones and not even communicating face-to-face much anymore — instead opting for swiping and cellular conversations over the real thing — but, as we age, finding both women and men to roll with isn't easy.
The acronym "IRL" — in real life — is actually appropriate when talking about this topic. It's as if we've all just accepted that we have a real life and a fake life. There’s the persona we have on social media, and the person we are in social settings. The person we are at work, and the candidate we are on LinkedIn. The perceived idea we are online, and the real person we are IRL. We’re all so caught up in our screens that we've lost touch with the art of meeting people organically. And, because of that, meeting people in real life is pretty damn hard to do!
From as far back as the MySpace days — when the downward angle and teenage angst were all the rage — meeting people on the Internet has been a play. Today, we’re so absorbed by this whole sliding into DMs thing, right swiping or story posting culture, that it’s almost hard to remember what it’s like to have a conversation with a person face-to-face; unprovoked. There's just no guarantee that you’ll get a friend request or like out of it, but, instead, just a real conversation. They’re a human like you’re a human, and they’re right next to you. So we turn to the interweb for human interaction. We're all just so damn socially awkward.
For every story of couples finding love on Tinder, Hinge, Bumble or one of the other (seemingly) millions of dating apps out there, there are hundreds of horror stories. It’s easy to tell physical attraction in a split second, but does your crazy mesh with her weird? That's the underlying problem. And the person we portray ourselves as online isn’t necessarily the person we are in the real world. So it’s hard to gauge until you meet up.
When you do finally meet this stranger — this random Tinder date who you’ve been texting a bit back and forth with — you almost always instantly notice something. Do they look how you thought they would? Probably not. You show up to dinner only to find out she’s a magician, or a certified nut, or watches the Kardashian’s. You find yourself, again, covering the bill and asking why’s it so damn hard to meet someone!
Meeting people just to be friends can be even harder, because a friend app would just come off as desperate. So, you either settle in, or you bond with the people you're forced to see everyday, like coworkers or neighbors. Or maybe you head on a hike, hope one of the hippies is down to earth and maybe wants to share their pot with you. Or maybe you search Craigslist for a new roommate and pray it works out for the best. Honestly, outside of your direct vicinity, how else is anyone supposed to meet people?
Well there is this one place...
It can be loud or quiet, packed or relaxed, it just depends on your vibe. Which you choose says a lot about who you are, what you like and what you believe. Everyone is instantly friendly once they pass through that door, and you won’t remiss of a good time. I'm not talking about Church, I'm talking about the bar. And you see, the beautiful thing about the bar is that, there's only two things people there are doing — either looking for a drink, or looking for the thing that happens after some drinks.
It's easy enough to offer someone next to you a cocktail, yet, still loud enough to not have to be 100 percent invested in a conversation. And, if all goes south, you can be standing at a new bar talking to someone new in a manner of seconds. Yeah, so the bar is where you need to go. You know what, now that I think about it, meeting people in real life can be pretty damn easy after all.
Lead image via Getty.