Camille Virginia is an award-winning writer, founder of Master Offline Dating, and author of The Offline Dating Method. She helps single women ditch the dating apps and attract great men in the real world. She is passionate about helping people create a more fulfilling life across every aspect: friendship, career, family, and romantic. Learn more about Camille and her mission in our recent interview with her.
1. With online dating being so popular, what advantages do you see to moving away from that trend and toward your model of "offline dating"?
"Popular" is an interesting word…it makes me think of the "popular" kids in middle school, who were well-known, but not necessarily genuinely well-liked. I feel like online dating and apps have gone a similar route - people are using them, so they're getting a lot of attention, but at this point, many people don't genuinely like or enjoy them.
I think the honeymoon period of online dating has come to an end for many people, and what was once a fun option to meet new people and get a date without leaving the house has morphed into a dangerous dependency on technology making the biggest decision of your life: finding your future partner. Going even deeper, people have become so reliant on online use for their social lives that they're starved of actual in-person human connection. But for many, they're so out of practice with how to truly connect with another person, it's overwhelming to know where to even start.
2. What top dating challenges do you often help clients overcome in your coaching engagements?
Most of the women I work with are successful in many aspects of their life - they have a good career, supportive friends and family - but they're stuck when it comes to meeting men and / or attracting the right ones into their life. I can completely empathize because I struggled with not only meeting the right men but just social skills in general for many years.
After mastering the art of real life conversations, I had to clear the next hurdle of making sure all the people I connected with were the people I wanted in my life.
The biggest reasons behind those problems are not having the social confidence to know how to connect with people, as well as knowing how to screen for the right aspects of who you want your future partner to be - which has nothing to do with how he looks!
3. What is one thing that every single person can do to boost their chances of meeting someone in an "offline" setting?
Start connecting with everyone. Not all the time of course - I'm an introvert, so I enjoy keeping to myself many days. But start small, casual conversations with everyone as you go about your day to warm-up your connection skills.
Ask your pharmacist how his day is going and truly mean it as you say it. Ask your waitress where she got her beautiful scarf. Tell an elderly gentleman he looks dapper in his suit and tie. Start talking to people who you aren't attracted to, to get into the habit of making connections. This way when you run into that cute guy in line at the grocery store, your skills are all warmed-up and you know exactly how to handle that conversation!
If you already talk to people throughout your day but still find it challenging to meet men, you're likely keeping your chats too surface-level. Instead of staying on icebreaker topics like the weather, or the song in the elevator, ask where someone is headed, how their day is going, or what the best part of their day is. This allows the other person to answer with as much or as little information as they want to, but it's already a much more personal topic than the latest game score, and creates the opportunity for a real connection - as well as an "I'd love to continue this conversation, could I have your phone number?"
4. What impact have you seen offline dating opportunities make on the longevity of a relationship? Or, what do studies show?
Studies show that meeting someone in the real world (i.e. not using technology) still accounts for the majority of relationships (link). Going further, studies have shown that meeting your partner offline increases the chances of longevity for your relationship (link). Plus it's so much more fun! Imagine going into the dry cleaners to drop off your clothes and coming out with a date for the weekend. Yes, please!
5. What advice would you give someone frustrated by the dating scene and ready to give up?
I'd say look at what about the process is frustrating you. There are people who genuinely like online dating and apps because they don't take it so seriously, and are usually meeting potential partners other ways outside of technology, so they aren't dependent on it. But if you have tried online dating or the thought of doing it brings up bad feelings based on what you've heard, listen to that and try an alternative.
Grab my new book The Offline Dating Method and try just one of the hundreds of simple tips I provide in it - whether that's mastering eye contact, chatting-up strangers, or mastering the art of meaningful conversation (which is my secret to getting a man to ask you out). After applying that one tip a few times you'll start to find your connection groove and see results, which will inspire you to try another tip, and another - and have a lot of fun in the process of finding the love of your life as you simply go about your day!
About the author:
Camille Virginia is an award-winning writer, founder of Master Offline Dating, and author of The Offline Dating Method. On her journey to overcome social anxiety, Camille mastered the art of meaningful connection, which led to being asked on dates by hundreds of men - with zero use of technology.
Camille has taught more than 100 live workshops, worked with clients across six continents, been featured in more than 50 international media outlets, and has followers from over 100 different countries. Grab her new book The Offline Dating Method September 17!