In the movies, people have romantic “meet-cutes” all the time. At the grocery store. At a coffee shop. Literally anywhere. Usually, a fun pop song or alternative/indie tune is playing as it happens.

These days, it seems like if you want to find love, then you have to physically search for it — and apparently, the only way to do so is through your iPhone. “It’s okay,” you tell yourself. “Everyone’s online dating. No one meets in person anymore. No big deal.” In the back of your mind, though, you hate swiping left and right on random faces, wondering if anyone is going to message you (or even answer your messages), and pretty much wishing that you were doing anything else.

But maybe it’s not true that you can’t date IRL. Maybe you really can meet an amazing person in the non-cyber world and finally delete your Tinder/Bumble/Hinge accounts. In fact, it’s possible that you already know the person that you’re totally meant to be with. We’ve got 17 pretty solid reasons that you should stop swiping and start thinking about meeting people offline.

1. Dating Apps Aren’t Always Used For Actual Dating

This one’s kind of a no-brainer. If you’re just looking for a one-time hookup — that’s great! You do you! Tinder might actually be a good place for you to find it. But if you’re looking for more, it takes a lot of swiping to find someone who is searching for the same. I’m sure we’ve all messaged with someone who is “just looking for fun”/”doesn’t have time to commit”/”is just looking for friends.” It’s confusing AF. First of all, HOW can we get the message across that dating apps aren’t for friendships (that’s what BumbleBFF is for).

If you’re looking to meet someone that actually wants to go on several dates with you and consider the idea of a serious relationship, then you’re probably better off going on the hunt in real life. Sure, it’s awkward to put yourself out there and allow a chance for face-to-face rejection, but I can’t be the only one who’s sick of the inevitable “DTF?” Tinder message.

2. You’ve been on enough creepy Tinder dates

If just the thought of another Tinder date doesn’t fill you with dread or make you feel like you’re starring in your own horror movie, then congrats — you’re one of the few. For everyone else, it’s the scariest thing in the world. You’ve definitely been on more than your fair share of awful dates and so you might as well ask out that cutie that you always see in the elevator or consider that friend of a friend you met at a party the other weekend. It’s not like you haven’t gone on 100 online dates at this point. You’ve been there, done that, and you can try something else. You know what you’re missing (and it’s not much).

3. You will find the kind of person you actually want to date

Of course, there are some good people using dating apps and that goes for both guys and girls. And it’s definitely a way that a lot of couples have met. But the problem with using dating apps is that it’s pretty difficult to find someone that you can be sure you really click with IRL.

Sure, you can grab a few beers and make small talk with anyone, but you might not have an actual conversation that means something. It takes a long time and a lot of dates to find someone that you can really talk to and if you’ve got a life outside of dating then the trial and error will leave you exhausted. If you draw from the pool of people that you already know and friends of friends, you up your chances of hanging out with someone that you really want to spend time with since you know you already get along.

4. You will have common interests

The pool of Tinder users is so vast that it means swiping through a thousand people who you share nothing in common with just to find one human who shares your love of Football games, true crime podcasts or Sushi. But when it comes to pulling from the pool of people you either know already or meet naturally for your next date, you already know that you have at least one thing in common — even meeting someone in a bar can suggest you have similar tastes in music or what you both like to do on Saturday nights. Knowing what you have in common right off the bat also ups your chances of having a better first date. If you met at work and are both creatives, then that indie movie screening is right up your alley. If you met at the gym — then perhaps a rigorous hike would be a good way to get to know each other. It just works better that way.

5. It’s Stressful

Being single is stressful enough. You worry that you’re never going to meet anyone and going to parties by yourself gets really boring after a while. When you add online dating into the mix, it’s pretty much the worst. Dating someone that you already know is a great way to kiss your dating apps goodbye and have some fun being in the real world for a while.

Best case scenario, you’re going to meet someone awesome who just might end up as your partner for the long-haul. At the very least, you will see that there’s more to life than staring at your phone. It’s going to be refreshing.

6. You already know the person so it’s not awkward

How many times have you sat down at a bar on a Saturday night a few minutes early, waited for your date, and then when he shows up, you have basically nothing to say to him? It’s like you don’t even know what a conversation is, let alone how to have one, and it’s definitely not a fun experience. If you date someone that you already know, it’s not awkward at all, and you can actually have a good time. You don’t have to worry about saying something stupid because he’s not going to judge you the way that a stranger would (although any guy who judges you is a jerk, of course). Doesn’t that sound so much better?

7. You can forget the dating rules

Sure, it’s 2017 and a lot of the old-school dating rules are totally over. A guy doesn’t have to wait three days to call you… because he wouldn’t even be calling you, he would be texting. When you’re online dating, you still feel like you have to follow some dating rules. You don’t want to show interest too early or come on strong — especially because you don’t really know what they’re looking for and you don’t want to scare them away. If you’ve been friends with someone for years, or you’ve got a friend group in common, you’ve got a better idea what they really want from your relationship and don’t have to worry about “scaring them off” with the mere possibility of wanting a long-term relationship out of the deal.

8. There are too many choices online

People love to complain about all of the choices that exist on dating apps. At this point, it’s kind of a cliché. When you watch a rom-com like You’ve Got Mail or 500 Days of Summer, you don’t see the characters acting like they have 500 people to choose to date at any given time. Nope. They meet one person, they like them, and they go out with them and see how it goes. Sure, these are romantic-comedies which don’t always give the most accurate depiction of real life, but then you really think about it you realize that offline dating is a much easier, more humane way to date.

9. You will figure out if there is chemistry much faster

Online dating is complicated AF. You always wonder if you want to see a guy again because you really, genuinely like him or if it’s just because he’s nice enough and you really want to date someone. It can also be tough to tell if you’re just hanging out as friends or something more. When you date a guy that you already know IRL, you pretty much know ASAP whether you’ve got a major thing for him or you just see him in a platonic way. You’re not going to spend hours trying to figure out how you feel about him or text your BFF a million times asking her opinion. (Okay, you still might do that.)

10. What you see is what you get

A guy that you know from work or your gym or who’s a friend of a friend is not going to lie to you. He’s not going to fabricate his background or interests on a dating profile, use an old profile picture, or pretend to be someone that he’s not. There’s literally no danger of getting catfished. People are more genuine and act more like themselves when you’re meeting them in person. That’s a really good thing, especially if you’ve been burned before by guys who didn’t tell you the truth about their living situation or job or anything at all.

11. Meeting organically is less forced

Even though dating is still, well, dating, IRL dating is so different from looking for love online. There is literally nothing more awkward than a first date where you met the guy online. You both know what you met via a dating app and it’s like it’s all you can do not to blurt out, “This is so weird!” When you meet a cute guy at a party, it’s super simple to just chat naturally and get to know each other. If you want to see each other again and you do, it’s going to be something that you can look forward to, not dread.

12. You might share friends which makes your social life easier

Your friends aren’t always going to love the guys that you love. It sucks but that’s just how it goes. Although you want your best friends to adore the guy that you’re crazy about, they might not want to hang out with him, and you’ll have to separate your social life from your love life. If you’re already in the same friend group as your crush or you know the same people, just think about how easy it’s going to be. You’ll get invited to the same parties and there will be a lot of group hangs. It’s a totally different dynamic.

13. You can really focus on the person vs. just wanting a relationship

You’re single and you want to find love, so of course, you use Tinder or OkCupid or any app of your choice. Sometimes, it can feel super weird since you’re basically looking for a boyfriend. When you meet a guy IRL, you can focus on getting to know him and seeing where things go. You don’t have to go into the first date thinking “I want a relationship.” If you make it to that level, then things will progress naturally, and it won’t feel as forced as it does when you meet digitally. Online dating just makes things awkward. There’s really no way around it.

14. You won’t get your hopes up then get disappointed

Here’s the typical scene: it’s Friday morning and you have a date that night. You spend a day freaking out/getting excited. What if this guy is The One? What if he’s so awesome that you never have to swipe left or right ever again? The thought is almost too much for you to handle. Then Friday night arrives… and the date is so boring, you can’t even believe what is happening. The worst part is, this has been you on at least 50 different occasions. When you already know the person that you’re going out with, you’re not likely to get quite so disappointed. It’s much more guaranteed that you’re going to have a good time.

15. There won’t be a disconnect between what someone is like online and in real life

There are people who can be super funny and charming over text messages and then be the exact same when you spend them with them IRL. Those people are rare AF. Most people who you meet when online dating are great texters but pretty much fail at conversation when they’ve got to put their phones away. You could’ve been having the most thought-provoking chats over the app but are struck by silence when sitting face to face. Not going to lie, this just might be worse than having a terrible blind date — because at least then you didn’t have high hopes for your connection.
When your first time talking ever is in real life, you’ll know right off the bat whether or not this person can hold up and conversation and keep you interested. If they can’t, you don’t have to waste hours of your life on a date with someone you find to be quite boring.

16. Do you really want to tell your future grandkids you met on a hookup app?

There’s no more stigma around online dating and if you do meet your boyfriend that way, you definitely don’t have to lie. If you tell your best friend that you met someone via Tinder, she’s going to be like, “Of course.” While there’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, the simple truth is that having your version of an in-person meet-cute is a much better story to share with your friends now — and with others down the line. Just imagine describing the concept of these so-called dating apps to your children? It just might be a bit awk.

17. Most of the cool people have quit Tinder already

Tinder has gone through a real evolution. A few years ago, it was known strictly as a hook-up app, and then came the stories of couples who swiped right on each other and found love. You figured that you might as well give it a try because everyone was using it. These days, there is a real Tinder fatigue going on. You’re probably super sick of swiping through so many people, and the fact is — you’re not alone. Most people worth meeting on Tinder have already quit the app feeling as though they’ve either struck out or gotten over it. Some have moved onto Bumble or some other hot apps/dating websites-turned-apps but the fact of the matter — many have just realized that dating IRL is where it’s at and they’re willing to wait a bit longer to find their person.

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