Dating is hard. Like, really hard. The apps have suffocated us with an endless number of options and the paradox of choice, and it feels like more and more people these days are giving up on finding love (at least, online). And while that may be the vibe, it’s not necessarily the majority of young people’s experiences. Dating apps are exhausting but there’s another way to meet your prospective match: in the wild.
According to a 2020 YouGov survey, only 13% of 18 to 24-year-olds and just a fifth (21%) of 25 to 34-year-olds met their partners online, with the rest meeting through friends and family, at work, at school, at a bar or restaurant or anywhere in the world, really. There’s definitely hope out there for those who are apps-averse and if you’re looking for some inspiration (or just a sign that you’re on the right track), then look no further. Here, eight readers dive into exactly how they met their partners in the wild.