If you are single or know someone who is, you'll have heard the phrase "dating apps suck" approximately 7,578 times.
In many ways, they're an amazing invention - essentially online shopping for a bae - but they get demoralising hella fast.
We all know by now that people act very differently on the Internet than they do IRL, and the spectrum of just how bad that can be ranges from 'has time to Google jokes that make them seem funnier than they are' through to 'is a catfishing psychopath'.
Even aside from the weirdness of talking to strangers online, things get SO repetitive. There's only so many times you can see a Hinge prompt that asks "change my mind about…" followed by "pineapple on pizza".
Amongst the throng of men posing with fish and sedated tigers, you'd be forgiven for deleting the apps in a fit of despair - and many of us do. But if you're still on a mission to find love (or even just a hookup) what's a gal to do?
Now listen, I can't do maths, so I'm not going to try - but by my calculations that means SOME PEOPLE DO STILL MEET IN REAL LIFE. Obviously, there's a little luck involved, a dash of confidence needed and some faith in the universe.
To get some inspiration, I went to the place where all good stories are told - Reddit.
Check out these stories from people who met their date, lover or life partner IRL:
"I met my fiancé at a festival in 2018. He was camping alone and fell asleep on his camping chair when it was freezing. I helped him into his tent and we've been together ever since."
"I spotted my fiancée at the gym from afar. Made eye contact but didn't approach her because I know (often) women don't like being approached at the gym. Always had the mindset that if I ran into her again it was meant to be. Literally 2 nights later I was at a bar and she walked in with her friends. I knew this was the moment I told myself I was waiting for. Went right up to her and she was equally excited to meet me, exchanged numbers and planned to go out. The rest is 5 years of history and we get married in October."
"I went to a mechanic for a tire that my warranty wouldn’t cover and he helped me out and gave me a spare until my new tires were ordered. He was so kind and I saw such a light in him that on the last day, I braved up and gave him my number. We’ve been together six months now!"
"Me and my last date met when we both fainted at the blood bank LMAO."
"Met at a public piano in a train station in London. There was a group of people queuing up to play. We started chatting, had sex and are now happily married."
"My boyfriend and I met at a local running club, we had both joined the 'Couch to 5k' programme. We were really good friends for about 6 months (during which time he asked me out twice and I said no both times as I didn’t want to lose him as a friend)… after that, I finally realised I was being stupid and told him I had feelings for him too. We’ve been together since!"
"We met at the dog beach! My advice is to take care of yourself, be happy doing what you like doing, and interact with people… you never know what someone that you run into could become to you, or who they may introduce you to!"