We all know you can meet gay guys on Grindr. However, Grindr is known for being hookup-oriented, so if you’re looking for long-lasting love or just an awesome date that doesn’t involve sex, you’re more likely to have success if you try other outlets.
So how can you meet gay guys without Grindr? Here are your 5 best options:
1. Online Dating Sites
There are a lot of great dating sites out there for gay men, and, in our expert opinion, Match.com really is the best one, even if it’s not strictly a gay dating site. With more than 1 million homosexual members paying for the service, Match is #1 in our eyes because it has the quantity and quality. Men who are willing to pay to be on a dating site are more likely to be serious about the process and less likely to flake on you.
Here are our top 4 choices for the best gay dating sites, including Match, and why we picked them:
2. LGBT Volunteer Groups
Volunteering is a great way to meet gay men who share similar beliefs and passions to yours. You can help make a difference in people’s lives and maybe even find someone special along the way. Examples include the Human Rights Campaign, political offices, and gay youth group organizations.
I’ve been asked to speak pro-bono at gay community centers and to youth groups, and I found it brought me into contact with other individuals who share comparable values and interests. It’s been great for me in terms of making new friends and networking contacts. And, for some of you out there, this might be an excellent way to meet other single guys who could make good boyfriend material if the spark is there.
The key is to put yourself in settings that resonate with your value system and philosophy on life. I’ve had clients who’ve had success meeting others at charity drives, church functions, and animal rescues all because they took the time to volunteer for worthy causes. They were unexpectedly rewarded with broadening their social circles and dating opportunities with like-minded people.
3. Parades & Events Catering to or Sponsored By the Gay Community
Attend community happenings and events where gay men will be represented in greater numbers. These include things like gay pride parades and parties, talks, groups, and other activities that are held at LGBT community centers.
For example, in Chicago we have a summer festival called Market Days where the local gayborhood is filled with booths featuring crafts, not-for-profit organizations, commercial businesses marketing their services and products, and an entertainment stage with singing acts and other performers. It’s an interesting way to mix and mingle with passersby on the street while getting a fabulous tan and learning more about what the community has to offer.
Check out your local newspaper or gay publications to learn what events may be popping up in your community in the near future so you can participate.
4. Speed Dating & Other Activities Specific to Gay Singles
It’s really easy to meet gay guys at gay-specific events, and while that may seem obvious, it has to be said. Gay speed dating events, drag queen shows, workshops and classes with gay topics, gay sporting leagues, MeetUp.com gay groups, gay support groups, gay bars and lounges — you name it and the gay men will be there.
Individuals who are on the shy side or struggle with social anxiety do well in these settings because they offer a built-in structure that takes the pressure off having to spontaneously mingle in an unfamiliar and potentially uncomfortable environment.
Whatever context strikes your fancy, just show up, be yourself, and don’t be afraid to initiate conversations with others. Develop the mantra “no more missed opportunities” so you can meet as many dating prospects as possible.
5. Through Your Friends or In Public Places
By building your gay support network and friendship circle, you’ll also be expanding opportunities for people to introduce you to others. I met many of my past dates from attending parties thrown by friends because someone always ends up bringing in someone new.
And you can always meet guys while you’re just bebopping around living your life, such as at the bank, the mall, or the coffee shop. You’ll just have to hone those “gaydar” skills in these venues without the luxury of knowing sexual orientation status in advance. I’ve known many men who met dating partners on the subway or waiting in line at a restaurant during their lunch hour. Being visible, open, and receptive everywhere you go is the key element here.
Grindr isn’t the only way to meet gay men, so don’t limit yourself to that. We’ve given you several better ways to find exactly what you’re looking for — whether you prefer doing that in your day-to-day life, through friends, or via online dating sites. Now all you have to do is get out there!
Photo sources: businessinsider.com, time.com