this is the fourth edition of Help me, Randa! the monthly hot singles advice column. you can ask a question via this form. the next hot single comes out on friday.
last week, i asked hot singles instagram followers to share their biggest dating challenges. nearly half the responses had something to do with being tired of apps and wanting to figure out how to meet people offline. so today, i’m sharing some meet-cute stories sourced from the hot singles community. maybe they’ll inspire you to approach a stranger too…
stay hot 🥵
How do I approach someone IRL?
Something is happening to all of us who came of age when dating apps started existing. In 2013 or so, Tinder was kinda a joke. To go on a Tinder date was sort of an ironic, at best, dangerous, at worst, activity. But now we’ve all done it except for the steadfast (sometimes volcel) luddites, with wide-ranging results.
Those of us who have been at it for years talk about dating apps like veterans who’ve been through war. To think of going back on the apps incites feelings of being drafted back into some kind of involuntary work that we first thought was the right thing to do but now triggers something close to a PTSD response. So we’re resolving to do something different, and meet people tHe oLd FaShIoNeD wAy.
But we’re left wondering how the fuck to even do that. Two contributing factors seem to have rendered us all socially inept: COVID and fear of seeming creepy for doing something normal like approaching a stranger. And there’s always social anxiety and fear of rejection. For those of us who are willing to put ourselves out there, I’ve asked a few friends to gives us some meet-cute inspo:
send them soup
Don’t send them a drink. Send them whatever they’re eating. Or even something they aren’t eating. Send them the weirdest thing on the menu.
get lost and ask for help
We’re always on our phones when we’re walking around outside, and especially when we’re trying to follow directions to get somewhere. If you let yourself get lost and look up, maybe you’ll find somebody who can help.
I was on my way to this obscure yiddish concert and had to go through this bus station. I had no idea where I was going or what I was looking for. The station was huge and mostly empty. I was about to give up when I saw this guy wandering, also looking lost. I walked up to him and asked him if he knew where this thing was. He said yes he was going there too but he was lost too and we sort of wandered around together looking for it and at some point he’s like “I’m Alex.”
look at their phone
On the flip side, a stranger’s phone can be an entry point into a conversation. Take a peek next time you’re on the subway.
I noticed that the person sitting next to me on the subway and I were both listening to Donda (the day after it came out so everyone on that subway car was probably listening to it), and I tilted my phone to show him my screen. We both had headphones in so I figured we'd just silently laugh in acknowledgement, but he got my name and Instagram handle (lol) and we exchanged numbers later that night. We actually did end up meeting up a few weeks later and started hanging out.
leave them a note
Ever had a cute neighbor? Don’t let them slip away. Find their door and leave them a note.
and lastly, an idea to try from Reply Guy: