How can I meet new people online? What’s safe? What’s dangerous? Which sites have more people falling victim to phishing scams? How do I find singles in my area interested in the same things as me? These questions and more spring to mind if you, like many others, are trying to meet local singles, and find some cool people online who want to do some of the same things as you.
We’ve always got you covered with online dating safety tips, and you’re probably aware that online dating and “singles meetups” you find online often have the potential to compromise your security. But that doesn’t mean you need to be lonely forever! If you’re interested in meeting people near you, we’ll break down what we think the four best methods for doing so are:
- Method 1: Sign up for online dating
- Method 2: Try a service that puts on local events
- Method 3: Use a website that facilitates ‘meetups’ based on interests
- Method 4: Get more involved in online social media
We’ve got the scoop on what you need to know about these methods, how safe they are, and how likely you’ll be to have success meeting new people. Read on to learn about the best ways you can meet people online for free.
Method 1: Sign up for online dating
Online dating sometimes sounds like a scary thing if you’re new to it, but it’s a great way to meet people in your area who are looking to meet others too. Dating apps have also gotten a lot more sophisticated in recent years, matching you with more compatible people who are looking for the same type of relationship that you are. All you have to do is visit a site or download an app, fill out some basic information about yourself, and then you’ll be able to see your matches.
Many dating sites and apps aren’t free – or at least, aren’t completely free. The app or site you choose, and the amount you want to spend should depend on what type of relationship you’re looking for. Here are some of our top recommendations to get you started:
- Match.com – If you’re looking for compatible matches for a variety of new types of relationship.
Match is a nice middle ground because it offers a variety of people looking for different stages of relationships. You still must answer questions about yourself to get matches, but it won’t take nearly as long as eHarmony to get set up.
- eHarmony.com – If you’re looking for a serious relationship.
eHarmony is a site like Match, but it forces you to fill out an extensive questionnaire before you can view your matches, so this won’t be a quick and easy way to meet people. However, because of the depth and detail of their questionnaire, the matches you get will be far better for forming a lasting relationship. In general, the people who use eHarmony are looking for a more serious relationship.
- Tinder – If you’re looking for a casual relationship with people in your area.
Tinder is, and always has been, a fairly casual dating app. That’s not to say, however, that it hasn’t created its fair share of lasting relationships – it has. However, it’s main goal is to match you with people in your area (who are physically closest to you) and judge them based almost solely on physical attraction. If you like someone, swipe right – if you don’t, swipe left. Your matches will do the same, and if you agree – you’ll be put in contact with them. The next move is up to you.
If you want the app, download them all here:
If you want to learn about a few more options, check out our article on which free online dating apps are the best.
Why It Will Work: Online dating is one of the best ways to meet people in your area who are actually interested in starting some kind of relationship. If someone has signed up for a dating site or app, they are looking to meet other singles (like you!) as well.
Method 2: Try a service that puts on local events
Services that offer admission to local events and gatherings are a great way to meet singles in your area, and today, many of these events are advertised exclusively using social media, and other event-organization and promotional platforms. Some of the great features of these sites are that they organize events in public, they sell real tickets or verify admission in some way, and an organizer is responsible for the success and safety of the event.
One great website for finding these kinds of events is Eventbrite. Eventbrite helps you get tickets to events going on in your area, so you can choose where you’re located, and search for events that interest you. You can even organize your own Eventbrite event if you want to plan a fun gathering for singles in your area!
Why It Will Work: Local events are the best way to meet singles in your area, and are usually low-pressure. They also happen in public spaces, with others around, so they are safer than private dates.
Method 3: Use a website that facilitates ‘meetups’ based on interests
Another great way to meet local singles is using a website or apps that organizes events based on shared interests, and facilitates meetings of single people in safe, public spaces. These services require you to create an account with some basic information, and then allow you to search within your area to see what’s going on. You can find groups that meet at times that work for you – evenings, weekends, and so on – and gatherings that help singles meet one another.
Common events include meetings at bars or coffee shops, board game nights, hiking, wine tastings, mini golf, paint nights, salsa dancing, happy hour, and other low-pressure group activities that will allow you to meet some new people and ideally, connect with someone.
One great service that offers this is Meetup. Meetup allows you to join a group in your area that usually holds regular meetings (once a week, once a month, etc.) for an activity you enjoy, and many Meetup gathering are organized specifically for people looking to meet other singles. Check out some of the events going on in your area on Meetup.com, or download the app (Android | iOS). If you’re interested in Meetup and want to learn more about how it works and how to use it, check out our free Meetup course.
Why It Will Work: Meetup-style groups help facilitate meetings in public places where you can enjoy an activity you mutually enjoy, without the pressure of a one-on-one date.
Method 4: Get more involved in online social media
One easy way to meet more people online that requires minimal effort and offer few opportunities for compromising your privacy or security is becoming more active on social media platforms. One great way to find friends of your friends you might have met in passing is by using Facebook. With Facebook, you can connect with the friends of your friends, and even meet new people. Facebook also has Facebook Events, which can help you find cool things going on in your area, especially events organized for singles.
Other great sites and apps you can check out to put yourself out there more are Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Snapchat. If you’re interested in learning more about social media and how it can help you meet more people online, check out our great tutorials and articles on social media and networking sites and apps.
Why It Will Work: If your aim is to meet more people online, most likely, you’re going to need a social media presence to do so. In addition, many people use social media to “check out” people they meet to learn more about their interests and what they do – it’s a good idea to give yourself an online appearance so people feel comfortable meeting up with you.
We hope that helps you in your search for finding compatible singles online. If you’re looking for more tips, check out our other free and helpful articles and tutorials about online dating.