Talk to an expert from Relationship Hero for personalized relationship advice

10 Ways To Get A Relationship When You Hate Dating

Disclosure: this page may contain affiliate links to select partners. We receive a commission should you choose to make a purchase after clicking on them. Read our affiliate disclosure.

You’ve got a problem. You’d love to meet someone and develop a strong, lasting, loving relationship. But you really, really hate the classic concept of dating.

You can’t think of anything worse than sitting across from a total stranger clutching a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and trying to make polite conversation with them.

And you’ve given it your best shot. You’ve tried dating apps and have been setup on dates by your friends. You’ve endured the awkward silences. You’ve even had some dates that you thought went well but then you never heard from them again.

No one can accuse you of not having put yourself out there on the dating scene.

But you’ve realized that, hard as you might try to enjoy dating, it’s just not for you. You’re not willing to put yourself through that anymore.

You’re here because although you can’t face another dating app or forced conversation in a hipster bar, you haven’t given up on the idea of finding a relationship yet.

Quite the contrary. You’d really love to meet someone, and you know there has to be a better way to go about it.

And there certainly is. Much as it might seem like there’s only one way to look for a partner, you can find love in the places you’d least expect if you’re open to it.

10 Tips For Meeting Someone When You Hate Dating

Here are some tips for meeting people if you hate dating in all its traditional forms.

1. Be optimistic about meeting someone.

If you keep telling yourself how hard dating is and how tough it is to meet someone, then that’s always going to be the case.

That’s just how the mind works. Your negative mindset sets you up for failure before you even begin. You’re not open to the positives and don’t recognize the opportunities that come your way.

If you tell yourself you hate dating, you’ll never enjoy a date.

So, it’s time to think positive. Try to be optimistic about the new approach to dating you’re going to take.

2. But don’t go out expecting to meet someone.

Although you should be positive about your chances of meeting someone when following the advice below, you shouldn’t go out with the expectation that today will be the day you meet your soulmate.

If you believe you are going to meet the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with, you won’t be able to enjoy whatever it is you are doing. You’ll be too self-conscious and too watchful for potential matches that you won’t be yourself.

And when you finish the day or evening and you haven’t connected with anyone even remotely compatible, you’ll see the whole thing as a failure. This will only demoralize you and make you believe that it’s not worth the effort.

Just aim to enjoy yourself without the pressure of finding ‘the one’ whilst you’re at it.

3. Say yes to invitations.

You aren’t going to meet anyone sitting on your sofa, especially if you aren’t comfortable with dating apps. You need to get out and about, even if you’re introverted by nature and this fills you with dread.

Make a point of saying yes to things that come your way. Yes to evenings out, parties, random events, and trying new things.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with social activity, as you’ll only burn out. And don’t do anything that you feel uncomfortable with, as you’re unlikely to meet someone you have things in common with at an event you hate.

But make sure you’re going to be somewhere where there’s at least a chance of meeting new people (regardless of gender – they could have friends!) at least once a week. This gives you the opportunity to expand your social circle and potentially meet someone interesting.

4. Work on the art of conversation.

If you’re not outgoing by nature, you’ll need to work on your conversation skills. Don’t assume that if you turn up to social events that people will come to you.

Work on striking up conversations with people you don’t know. If you’re naturally shy then this will be a hard thing to get used to, but it gets easier with practice.

Don’t just speak to people you find attractive, either. You’ll find it easier to start off with people you have zero romantic interest in, of all ages and genders.

That way you’ll be able to perfect your conversation skills with no pressure. And you never know who you might meet through the random new connections you make. 

Work on coming up with topics of conversation, no matter who you’re talking to. You may dislike small talk, but it really helps get the ball rolling with people you haven’t met before and those you don’t know well.

If this is something you find difficult, challenge yourself to initiate an interaction with a stranger once a day for a week, or once a week for a month, to prove to yourself it’s not as scary as you might think.

5. Campaign for a good cause.

Is there a cause you’re passionate about? Or a political party you feel strongly about?

Whatever’s important to you, search out the people that are working toward it or campaigning for it and see what you could do to get involved.

Having a shared purpose with the new people you meet will give you things to talk about and activities to do together which will help you get to know each other.

Shared passions or political leanings will generally mean similar values. This is a good thing for a strong and healthy relationship should you pair up with someone you meet this way.

6. Join Meetup groups.

There are Meetup groups for absolutely everything out there, and chances are there are plenty in your local area.

If you speak a second language, go along to practice it at an exchange event. Or join an organized hike near you.

The great thing about this is, like helping out with a good cause, you automatically have something in common with the people you meet. The connection between you and others will already have a foundation that you can build upon.

Browse what’s on offer and then go along to an event. You might have to force yourself into it the first time, but putting yourself out there will get easier with practice.

7. Learn something new.

It might be a bit of cliché, but going to an evening class is a great way to meet people, as well as expand your mind and your horizons. You’ll meet the same group of people multiple times over the course of the class which gives you ample opportunity to build up a rapport with them and perhaps an even closer bond with one lucky person.

As well as evening classes, talks in your local area or open lectures at your local university are also great things to go along to. They naturally spark conversations afterwards so you won’t feel so awkward trying to approach people.

Get your brain in gear by learning something new, and you never know who you might meet whilst you’re at it.

8. Take up a new sport.

If you’re sporty, then branching out into a new sport is another great way to meet new people. If you’re brave enough, you could try something a bit outside the box, like an extreme sport.

Look around and find the communities of people that are already into your sport of choice (you’ll be amazed at how much there is going on) and get involved.

9. Walk a dog.

If you’re a dog lover that can’t have a dog of your own, then you can always borrow other people’s. There are apps that will help you find owners with pets in need of exercise near you.

It’s amazing how having a dog with you makes it so much easier to strike up a conversation with other people, especially other dog owners. Plus it’s great exercise, so you can’t lose.

10. Be yourself.

If you want to find a relationship but you hate dating, then the most important thing is to be true to yourself, and never put on an act when in social situations.

Some people feel pressured when they’re dating and end up wearing a mask, behaving the way they think the person they’re sitting across from wants them to behave.

And that’s never going to work. They’ll be able to tell you’re not being authentic and you’ll always have to show your true colors in the end. 

So wherever you are and whoever you’re meeting, just be your own marvelous self.

3 Date Ideas For Those Who Hate Dating

Unfortunately, there’s no getting around going on dates if you want to get to know someone.

Because only by spending quality time with someone can you get under their skin, figure out if the two of you are compatible, and start to build an emotional connection.

But the good news is that the time you spend together doesn’t have to look anything like your stereotypical dates. Here are some ideas for dates that won’t feel like dates at all.

1. Help them out in the garden.

If you’re both green-fingered, you could suggest that the two of you get together to do some work on your garden, or on theirs, or both!

Having a job to do really helps take the pressure off, and if you’re not great with eye contact you can focus on the plants instead.

Conversation will naturally turn to topics other than gardening but it will feel more relaxed than on your standard date. Even better, there won’t be any awkward silences because you’ll both be getting hands on with the task at hand.

2. Volunteer together.

If you share a passion for a good cause, why not agree to volunteer together? It could be a one off thing, or even something you start doing together on a regular basis.

That way you have the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing something positive, and a chance to calmly get to know the person. Chances are it will involve other people, too, so it will feel less like an awkward date and more like a wider occasion.

3. Exercise together.

Exercising is a great way to establish a bond between you and another person.

You could go on long walks together, go out running, go climbing, kayaking, swimming. If they’re really into a particular sport, then they could teach you, or vice versa.

It doesn’t really matter what form of exercise you do together, but just getting active together will give you lots of time to chat.

You can always tack on a more traditional kind of date at the end of your exercise session. Once you’re already feeling relaxed in each other’s company, a drink or bite to eat won’t feel like such a big deal.

You may also like:

About The Author

Katie is a writer and translator with a focus on travel, self-care and sustainability. She's based between a cave house in Granada, Spain, and the coast of beautiful Cornwall, England. She spends her free time hiking, exploring, eating vegan tapas and volunteering for a local dog shelter.