If you don't want to invest much time initially and you want to physically meet someone, speed dating is a quick, face-to-face alternative to online dating. A speed-dating event is usually facilitated by an organized group or a dating service. A registration fee may be required. Locations may include a hotel ballroom, bar, restaurant or cafe. Participants are paired for no more than 10 minutes, engage in conversation, then switch. At the end of the evening, preferences are given to the organizer. If it's a match, contact information is swapped and you pick up where you left off.
Once popular, traditional dating services have been around for decades. Patti Stranger, founder of the Millionaire's Club, star of the hit TV show Millionaire Matchmaker, and author of the book Become Your Own Matchmaker, has made it trendy again. Not a millionaire? Affordable traditional dating services are available nationally. Applicants are screened and you meet in person or over the phone.
Another alternative to online dating is to receive a personal referral. You may know a family member, coworker or friend who knows someone to connect you with. The benefit to this strategy is that the "matchmaker" knows both of you. You can also get a personal referral by joining a group or organization of interest to you. As you get to know the members you will be able to find out who has single friends, and perhaps you will even consider dating one of the members.