Seven Types Of Dating—Different Ways To Meet Your New Match

Updated May 31, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Dating can feel overwhelming at times, especially if it has been a while since you’ve pursued a romantic relationship. Whether you are just getting out of a relationship, want to have a casual romance, or are ready to settle down long term, you might be looking for the best ways to meet a new match.

There are many different options when it comes to meeting a potential partner, and each method can lead to good results. The method you choose will depend on your personal preferences, location, and intentions. To help you get into (or back into) the dating scene, look at these seven ways to meet people and explore the option that might be best for you.

There are more types of dating than you think

Seven ways to try dating

Do any of these situations apply to you: 

  • Has it been a while since you’ve dated or are you trying to date for the first time? 

  • Are you leaving a long-term relationship or marriage? 

  • Are you looking for long-term monogamous relationships or a friends-with-benefits situation?

Whether you’re looking for a serious romantic relationship or a summer fling, you might be wondering how you’re supposed to find someone who wants the same thing as you. These seven common ways to meet people can help:

  1. Online dating

Online dating is extremely popular, with around three in 10 adults in the U.S. saying they’ve tried online dating, and more than 40% saying it’s made dating easier, according to Forbes Health. 

Many people use apps and online dating sites to find other singles who are also interested in dating. There are many popular dating websites to consider, and they all have different features depending on what you are looking for. For example:

  • Some are primarily photo-based, while others will match people based on their answers to questionnaires. 

  • Some sites specialize in different things, like LGBTQIA+ dating, polyamory, short-term flings, marriage, or a certain religious affiliation. 

Most of these top dating sites also offer apps for use from your smartphone or tablet.

Online free dating sites and apps can be a great way to build a connection with someone and get to know them through messages before you even go on your first date. Dating apps can be incredibly convenient because you can meet new people anytime and anywhere, so long as you have a free minute and an internet connection. 

However, using caution when meeting individuals through dating apps and sites is important. You can’t always be sure who is on the other end of the screen, and some people may try to scam others through dating websites or apps using fake photos and information.

Below are some tips to keep you safe while online dating.

  • If you match with someone on a dating app, it may be a good idea to ask for links to their other social media platforms. This way, you can learn a bit more about them and get more assurance that they are who they say they are. If they give you their social media handle, you can look for indicators that their profile is real by looking at their engagement, number of friends, or how long their profile has been active. 

  • Consider chatting via video call before meeting in person so you can further confirm their identity (and potentially see how well you get along).

  • When you decide to meet for the first time, choose a public place and ensure you have safe transportation to and from the date.

Not sure if you’re ready to try online dating? You could try downloading the app without feeling obligated to talk with people. 

  1. Double dates

Double dating with friends can be a great way to potentially meet someone new. Double dating involves two couples going out together for dinner or to enjoy a fun activity. 

If you have a friend who is in a relationship, you can see if they (or their significant other) have a single friend you may potentially get along with. If you get nervous about dates or tend to be shy, having another couple there, especially friends, can provide a great buffer while meeting someone new.

  1. Group dates

Group dates are like double dates, except with more couples or singles. In a group date scenario, a group of people will hang out somewhere and get to know each other. 

Having friends around on a date is often helpful as they can play a support role while you’re trying to connect with someone you may be interested in. If you happen to hit it off with one of the people on the group date, then you can exchange contact information and potentially go out on a one-on-one date sometime.

  1. Speed dating

Speed dating events can be a fun way to meet a lot of different people in a short period of time. The concept of a speed date is that you will have several dates consecutively that each last a few minutes. You might get five or ten minutes with one person, then a buzzer will sound indicating that the time is up, and you’ll get the chance to chat with another person. 

If you like the idea of meeting many potential matches in one night, then speed dating may be quite appealing and could increase your odds of meeting someone you’d like to have a longer date with. 

If you want to be successful when speed dating, it will likely be beneficial to make the most of the time you’re given and try to get to know someone as much as you can in the allotted time. Some people feel like this is too much pressure and don’t enjoy the structure of this type of dating. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s right for you. 

On the other hand, speed dating can be a low-pressure way to meet potential partners if you feel anxious about a long one-on-one date with the wrong person. It’s only a few minutes, so even if you have nothing in common you won’t have to worry about how to talk to each other all evening.

  1. Blind dating

Blind dating is a type of dating where you go out with someone you don’t know yet. In some cases, you might not know what the other person looks like until you meet up, hence the term “blind date.” 

Situations like this usually occur when two sets of friends try to set two people up that they think would be a good match. You might be told to wear a certain color and sit at a certain table at a restaurant to make you identifiable, or you could already know each other’s faces from pictures. For some people, this may be an awkward form of dating, while others may find it exciting, mysterious, retro, and fun.

  1. Casual dating


Casual dating is a common form of dating for many people, whether they’re trying to figure out who they want to get involved with or are simply having a good time hanging out with different people. This is a situation where you may be consensually dating multiple people without anything ever being too serious. When you’re casually dating, you may not be committed to one person, and you’ll probably be free to see other people if you would like to. Some people call this kind of low commitment dating a “situationship.”

Most relationships start as casual ones and then transition into something serious as two people begin to bond. Casual dating may be a great way for an individual to make connections, have fun, or find someone they match well with.

Finding people for casual dating can be straightforward. For example, you might explain your intentions in your bio on dating apps, or you could tell people during speed dates that you’re not looking for anything serious at the moment. For most people, it’s just important that you’re upfront and honest about your intentions from the beginning. 

  1. Serious/exclusive dating

Exclusive dating occurs when partners in a relationship decide to only date each other. It often involves a long-term commitment. This is the end goal of dating for many people and frequently leads to more serious commitments like marriage. Some people may not enjoy casual dating and want to find a person they can be in a committed relationship with. Some people choose to only date exclusively. You should be sure that you’re ready for something a bit more serious before deciding to date exclusively.

Using online therapy for dating anxiety

If you are facing difficulties finding someone or experiencing challenges within a current relationship, you’re not alone. Therapy can be an invaluable tool that can provide you with support and guidance on how to improve your relationships and overall well-being.

 Regain is an online therapy platform that connects people with licensed individual and couple’s therapists. Many people find that online therapy can be more convenient and affordable than in-person therapy, and research shows that, on average, online therapy can effectively address challenges like anxiety and depression in 1/5th of the time required to get the same effects from in-person therapy. 


Getty/Luis Alvarez
There are more types of dating than you think

From online dating to speed dating events, there are a wide range of ways to meet like-minded people! If the thought of dating causes you stress, or if you haven’t had success with dating in the past, you might want to consider working through your thoughts and feelings with an online therapist.  

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