Meeting In Real Life

Start Living Your Life Like a Romcom: Mastering the "Meet Cute"

February 25, 2023
▪ 4 mins read

Are you hating your dating life? With these five tips for meeting men in real life, you can master the meet cute and transform your dating life into your favorite romcom.

Wouldn’t it be nice if your dating life was a little bit more like a romcom? More "meet cutes" in quaint coffee shops, and less disappointing dates on dating apps? 

Now, online dating can be great, but if you’re a woman who’s feeling disempowered (and definitely unmotivated) in your dating life, then you’re missing a trick if you don’t invest time in meeting men IRL. If you don’t know me by now (queue Simply Red song playing in the background) I love to teach women the art of meeting men in real life: I’m so into it we run practical workshops called Secret Place on how to do it. 

Here are 5 quick tips on increasing the level of meet cute in your life.

Tip 1: Focus on the process, not the place.

The question "where are all the good men" is misleading, it makes you think that if you could just find the right app, or the right bar, that everything would be easy! 

But by focusing on WHERE you can meet him, instead of HOW, you may have accidentally just fallen back into that old narrative that the "right" guy will intuitively seek you out, if you just find yourself in the right place. 

Whilst there’s definitely some locations that are more "fruitful" than others (hello Apple Store!) whether you get the meet cute, really comes down to how you interact with men in those locations. 


Tip 2: Keep the openest of open minds!

Whilst it would be nice if you and a (imaginary single version of) Ryan Gosling reached for a gluten free brownie at exactly the same meet cute moment, in reality don’t hold out for your "perfect guy" or the "perfect moment" to act. 

If you do wait to see someone who’s just your type, in just the place you imagined meeting someone, trust me you will feel overwhelmed when it comes down to it, and FORGET THE PLAN. 

Instead, focus on becoming more socially open. Engage with the idea that a moderate daily dose of flirtation might actually feel nice, even if you don’t want to take it any further. 

Also it is highly possible that one of the many men, who you can click with, doesn’t look like how you expect him to on paper. 

So, stay open, curious, and chat to people, as you begin to become the master of your own flirtation signals.

Tip 3: Stay tuned into abundance.

There’s also a purpose to casting your net a little wider.

This can feel counter intuitive as you’ve probably spent years honing your instincts for who you like, but (trust me on this) a narrow vision of who you want to end up with doesn’t always serve you. In fact it can send you all in after someone who appears to be just what you want, instead of scoping out potential suitors. 

Being open to the meet cute isn’t going on the hunt for the perfect guy, instead it’s about cultivating options and opportunities. 

I can also guarantee that if you start to experience more abundance (which you will when you can meet a great date during your lunch break) you are not going to stand for lame excuses and bad behaviour from your dates.

Tip 4: Stand out to each other. 

When you meet someone in the normal way (dating apps) and go on your regular date (some drinks or a coffee) it’s not really all that surprising that neither of you get excited about the prospect of getting to know one another better. 

(Sidenote: This doesn’t mean you give up on your dating app dates altogether, but do consider how you can go on more original dates.) 

If you find a date by having a meet cute moment, then of course both of you might feel a little bit more excited (and invested) in the idea of a date. This means less flakey dates, and more opportunities for the spark. 

Tip 5: Don't get put in a box.

When we look for someone online, a lot of apps give us the option to be very specific about what we want in a partner. This is useful, because if you’ve got a strong preference for a particular relationship style (i.e. commitment) or a social preference (i.e. veganism) you might be able to search for that, and only be shown people who fit your preferences. 

But (and this is quite a big one) it also means that we can filter each other out based on characteristics that might not be quite so important to us, if we met someone in real life and had a connection.

The most obvious example of this is age. Someone will set their dating app filters to cut off at certain points: 29, 35, 39, etc. If you fall just 1 lousy year outside of these parameters then you may not get as many matches as you’d like. 

Now we can talk about ageism, and sexism, and the general unfairness of certain aspects of being a woman, but in practical terms what can you do about it? 

I think you can meet people in person, be your amazing self, and then find that a lot of people don’t care that you’re not quite their perceived ideal age. 

Also on dating apps we could all do with being flexible and double checking that we have the right perimeters in place. 

Anyway, if you’re struggling with motivation to date, consider switching it up to try to master the meet cute. 

Next steps

If you’d love to learn some real life skills associated with this, then come to the next Secret Place Workshop! where my team of dating coaches will teach you the art form of meeting him IRL. 

 We will be going hard on how to meet men in real life, it's fun, supportive, meaningful and I would love to see you there!  

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About the author

Hayley Quinn is a leading dating and relationship coach, with 3 million views of her TEDx talk and 18 million YouTube views. She is spokesperson for Match, a columnist for Cosmopolitan, a regular contributor to international media, and has been published by Harper Collins (“The Last First Date”, 2022) and Simon & Schuster (“Do This, Not That: Dating”, 2023).

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