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There are tons of dating guides out there that tell you how to handle pretty much every situation. Hey, we’re not knocking them — after all, we’re the ones who are out here trying to help with your dating life. However, one thing that doesn’t seem to be out there is how to meet people in real life.

We know, it sounds ancient, right? How on earth is it possible to actually brak the ice and meet someone at a grocery store, or a coffee shop, or a bar or… OK, you get the point. With so many people reliant on online dating apps these days, we’ve all become a little bit socially awkward and shy, prohibiting us from confidently approaching a girl and charming her pants off.

Since we want to see you put down the apps and rely on your personality more than your dating profile, here are some ways to legitimately meet a girl in real life. We know it can be scary, but, trust us, it’s possible.

Branch out

Sure, it’s great to feel comfortable in every situation you go into, but it’s more fulfilling to step out of your comfort zone and see success. For instance, rather than continue to go to the same bar every single weekend — where all the baristas know your name and vice versa — don’t be afraid to go elsewhere every once in a while. It’s important to mix up your spots and see a diversified group of people, which will allow you to meet girls you may have never seen before.

Find hobbies and the people who like them, too

Personally speaking, to be my happiest, it requires finding the things I enjoy the most, and giving my time and attention to them regularly. Once you know what you enjoy, it should be easy to get involved in activities that can lead you to meeting new people in real life, too. For instance, as someone who loves playing soccer, joining an indoor league this winter on a team of complete strangers is something new for me. Not only will it be fun and something I like to do, but those people, presumably, feel the same, so it’ll help bring you together with new folks.

Lean on a friend for an intro

You’ve got friends for a reason, guys, and, when you’re trying to meet someone in person, there’s no better time than now to get a little referral for a girl you’re interested in. Seriously, as many dating guides are out there about what to do in certain situations, having a friend break the ice for you is the best way to meet someone in real life, and, to this day, should always be your de factor No. 1 option if possible. For so many reasons this makes most sense.

Make eye contact and smile at who you’re interested in

We’ve talked before about how important body language is when communicating, and, when you’ve got your eye on a girl in a coffee shop or bar, it becomes even more critical. Look, we all want to think we’ll have enough confidence to approach a girl in public and charm them like the guys in the movies do, but that’s just not the case. So, rather than sit there and just stare around at all the girls, focus on the one(s) you really think you’d want to talk to, give off some nonverbal signs and then see how she responds. If she smiles or looks back, it’s time for you to go talk to her.

Don’t be afraid to roll solo

While you may be most comfortable and confident with a friend alongside you, rolling solo in certain situations isn’t a bad way to go either. Trust us, it’s much more intimidating to talk to a girl in person when you’re alone, but it can also help you focus on what to say without distraction or potential embarrassment in front of friends should she turn you down. Whether it’s while shopping, at a coffee shop or joining a club, trust yourself alone when trying to meet girls.

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