I have a close friend who goes to Boston every summer to visit her aunt. She’ll usually spend a week touring the city, visiting wineries, shopping, relaxing by the pool, eating at great restaurants, and hanging out with her aunt’s friends. One guy, in particular, became more than a friend during one trip. A hurricane was coming, so everyone decided to stay at her aunt’s big house to party and ride out the storm together. Things are bound to happen when you’ve got funny, attractive people cooped up in close quarters and drinking.
While a relationship never formed between my friend and the guy, they still see each other every now and then when she goes to visit, and she speaks of that trip very fondly. Boston provides numerous ways to meet singles, not just through family members. In fact, we’ve found 10 other good options!
Boston Dating Sites
As our lives get busier, more technological advancements emerge to help take some of the burden off our shoulders. For example, stores will deliver groceries right to your door; an app will let you start a load of laundry even if you’re not home; movie theaters will let you pick the perfect seat ahead of time; and dating sites will find a compatible date for you. The first step is to pick the best dating site for your needs. Luckily, we’ve chosen five sites in five different categories to satisfy any single — no matter what their interest or price range is.
Best Singles Site
If you want to meet singles in Boston, there’s a very good chance they’re on Match — as it’s one of the largest dating sites (more than 42 million signups to date and currently 13.5 million monthly visitors). The site allows users to filter by age, gender, sexual orientation, and appearance, among others. But, most relevant to you, it also allows them to filter by location (even by the mile range).
Best Site for Professionals
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2.7 million people have non-farm jobs in Boston, and we’re guessing most of them work more than 40 hours a week. Which explains why dating is often pushed to the back burner, but it doesn’t have to be thanks to Elite Singles. This dating site is dedicated to helping single professionals find serious relationships, permanently matching more than 2,500 a month.
Elite Singles is the premier dating site for educated professionals. Most members are upper-income with college degrees, and its impressive Fraud Detection system ensures no-nonsense dating. Full Review »
|Gender Ratio||M: 43% | F: 57%*|
Over 50 & Senior Site
When you’re over 50 and looking for someone with whom to reminisce about the past, share the present, and plan for the future, your options hardly get any better than OurTime. Since the site is only for mature daters, meeting your dream match is as easy as flipping on a light switch… or creating an account. It’s free to do so as well as browse, receive compatible profiles, and flirt.
For Black Men & Women Only
Slightly more than 24% of Boston’s population is made up of black men and women, and the percentage of those who are single is even smaller. You could put your faith in your friends or family to find you someone, or you could put your faith in BlackPeopleMeet. The site sees over 1.4 million black and biracial visitors every month, so the odds are ever in your favor here.
Hookup & Sex Site
Looking for a date? No? How about a relationship? Nope, not that either? How about a hookup? Now we’re on the right track! Adult Friend Finder is the site for you. With a free membership, 77 million members, and live chat and forums, Adult Friend Finder helps members get down to business. And make sure you check the Who’s Online Now section because it’ll show you horny Boston singles who are also logged in, so you can get your sexy on ASAP!
Popular Dating Apps
You don’t have to choose between a dating site or app — all the top choices offer both desktop and mobile experiences to make sure your journey to love is as smooth as possible. In particular, the three apps below take the cake. Some of their most impressive aspects include that they allow you to sync up with your social media profiles, offer completely free memberships, and have highly respected reputations.
Zoosk is the number one app for finding dates, and if you sync up your Google+ or Facebook account, you can have a profile in seconds. The app has 38 million members and will deliver matches to your inbox on a daily basis based on your behavior such as who you search for, like or don't like, and message. The Carousel is another section for matching (tap the heart if it's a yes and the X if it's a no).
|Gender Ratio||M: 48% | F: 52%*|
|Available On||iOS, Android|
Available via the App Store and Google Play, Match is a fantastic app for dates and relationships. With a user base of 30 million singles, Match is where you'll have a high chance of success. It's free to download, create a profile, search for and receive matches around the corner and across the world, find missed connections, "like" people, as well as send and receive winks.
|Gender Ratio||M: 49% | F: 51%*|
|Available On||iOS, Android|
Commitment-minded, professional daters will feel at home with Elite Singles, which can be downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play. Not only is everyone looking for a long-term partner, but 80% of members hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree. Elite Singles sees 210,000 visitors and 2,500 users finding love every month, so it's one of the fastest growing and most reputable apps.
|Gender Ratio||M: 43% | F: 57%*|
|Available On||iOS, Android|
Boston Singles Bars
For decades, bars have been the quintessential meeting place for singles. They’ve got the crowds, the music, the lights, the games, the snacks, and, most importantly, the liquid courage. Few things are as intimidating as approaching a cute stranger at a bar, but once you get over that hump, it really is worth it. For this section, we referred to the Improper Bostonian to learn more about the watering holes locals and visitors can’t get enough of:
1Trina's Starlite Lounge
Esquire Network has called it one of the "Best Bars in America;" Bon Appetit has named it among the "10 Best Places for Fried Chicken;" and Boston Magazine has said it has the "Best Weekday Brunch" — there are no lack of accolades for Trina's Starlite Lounge. And it's easy to see why. The cocktails are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients (e.g., the raspberry fizz and rosé sangria), and its food is made with both carnivores and vegheads in mind (e.g., pork belly tostada and tofu hot dogs).
Open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Backbar has a mysterious, speakeasy vibe that draws people in. Located behind an unassuming door, Backbar offers libations such as the Pimmsy Whimmsy (their take on the British classic), the Crystal Ball (a cross between a martini and a negroni), and the Guava Lava Ding Dong (made with Avuá Cachaça). Small bites include spicy caramel popcorn, parsnip fries, and a rotating charcuterie board. "Definitely come here to impress your friends or just to relax!" Amy T. gushed on Yelp.
3The Publick House
People have said the Publick House is the best bar in Brookline, Boston, the United States, and the world, so it had to make it on our list. The well-versed beer menu includes sours, wits, ciders, IPAs, and lagers, to name a few styles, so all palates should be satisfied. If you're more of a wine drinker, Publick House has your back as well with international whites, reds, champagnes and proseccos, and, of course, rosés. The bar also provides a ton of lunch and late night treats when your stomach comes a callin'.
Anchovies, located in the Historic South End, strives to provide an experience no patron will forget — whether they're having a happy hour with coworkers on a Tuesday, meeting friends on a Friday, or getting their flirt on on a Saturday. Here, you'll find classic drafts (such as Sam Adams and Guinness), craft bottles (such as Delirium Tremens and Stone IPA), and beloved wines (such as pinot noir and riesling). Anchovies offers traditional bar food, like buffalo wings and steak and cheese subs, but also upscale dishes like veal saltimbocca and linguine with mussels.
Drinking Fountain is the dive bar of dive bars, and that's what Bostonians love about it. The Fountain, as it's also called, has a 4.4-star rating on Facebook, where Keybler Arkey Taylor shared her experience: "I've had great times in the Fountain. The people I had fun with were a blast. The drinks were good and affordable. I would go back." Head to Washington Street to see for yourself!
When you're having a drink at the Hawthorne, it feels like you're having a drink in your own living room. The decor, set up to look like someone's house, puts patrons at ease while still creating a special atmosphere. According to its site, the Hawthorne endeavors to "be a part of the continuum of bar, saloon, and tavern as a hotbed of revolution, intellectual discourse, and romantic pursuit." We'd recommend the Bee's Knees, El Diablo, Samaroli Panama, or the 14 Thomas George Chardonnay.
"Genuine food and drink" has been the Gallows' motto since it was founded in 2010, and the team achieves that by providing a creative menu that has everything from infused liquors to local beers to poutine and lobster po' boys. This South End neighborhood staple is open every day of the week (11 a.m. at the earliest and 1 a.m. at the latest) and is fondly known as "loud and welcoming."
Located in the Harborside Inn, Harborside Bar & Luxury Lounge is great for singles who enjoy the finer things in life — like top-shelf drinks, stylish furniture, and people dressed to the nines. The venue hosts weekly events, like Jazz Wednesdays and Throwback Thursdays, complete with DJs, dancing, and drink and appetizer specials. Thamara Gomes wrote on Facebook that Harborside Bar is a "good place, good drinks, and beautiful people. It's the best place for [an] event in Boston!"
Hojoko, a Japanese tavern between Yawkey Way and Ipswich Street, seats up to 200 people, and its offerings include wine, Japanese beers (like Sapporo and Kirin), sake by the glass and bottle (not to mention bombs), and mixed and frozen drinks (like Tokyo Tea and Ooooh Mommy Grasshopper). The Dinner and Midnight Munchies menus feature Funky Chicken Ramen, Spicy Tuna Roll, Tofu Poke, and Crispy Local Cod — which you can enjoy while listening to music from bands such as Grandma's Basement and Abbie Barrett & Band.
The Field calls itself "your favorite local pub, located in the heart of Central Square," and that's definitely the vibe we get from online reviews. On Yelp, Luke W. said, "Come for the drinks, stay for the vibes, take the food in stride, and, if you see me, say hey!" The Field is a cash-only bar, but the drinks are very reasonable, including $3.50 Narragansett tallboys. Patrons also love the outdoor patio, especially during the spring.
Boston Speed Dating
In “Speed-Dating,” a movie from 2010, two best friends named Dog and Beaver have the worst luck in terms of meeting women. Everything seems to go wrong for them — it doesn’t matter what they’re doing or how hard they try. One night, another friend named Too Cool invites them along to a speed dating event, which totally changes their approach to dating. I won’t spoil the rest of the movie for you, but it showcases this often-forgotten venue for singles: speed dating. For men and women in Boston, Speed Boston Dating is one of the companies you should definitely try.
Boston Singles Events
Breaking the ice just got easier thanks to Amazing Singles, a site with a comprehensive list of events just for singles in Boston. From coffee gatherings to cruises to dances to golf tournaments to wine tastings to brunches to camping trips and volunteering opportunities — Amazing Singles offers event details (time, location, pricing, etc.) for singles with all kinds of personalities and lifestyles.
Boston Singles Clubs
YellowPages.com has about 294 listings for clubs in Boston, and TimeOut magazine is a fantastic resource for narrowing down those options. Every music genre and dance style is accounted for on TimeOut’s list of the go-to clubs in Boston, so you should find one that piques your interest in no time.
Boston Chat Rooms
If you’re like me and are better at getting your thoughts across by writing than speaking, singles chat rooms should be in your dating tool belt. Not to mention chat rooms are a huge time-saver — it only takes a couple of seconds to create a username, add a photo or avatar, and start a conversation. Most chat rooms even have niche sections based on what you’re looking for (e.g., a hookup or relationship) and what you like talking about (e.g., movies or politics).
Craigslist, which was founded in 1995, is probably the most famous personals site, but today the web is full of them. How personals sites work is simple: You’ll post a short headline about yourself and your ideal date or partner, using acronyms like SWM (single white male), A/S/L (age/sex/location), and NSA (no strings attached). Then you’ll wait for responses to come in while you browse through personal ads yourself. Once you meet someone who catches your eye, and you catch their eye, take things to the next level by messaging and eventually arranging a date. We’ve compiled a shortlist of personals sites that are dedicated to bringing Boston singles together.
Take Part in Pro & Non-Pro Sports
In Boston, liking the Red Sox is as common as breathing — it’s just something that comes naturally. If you’re a diehard fan, why not use your love for the team to help you find love for someone special? Attend games with friends and talk to the people sitting next to you or who are also standing at the bar. It should be super natural since you already have something to talk about. Or go to events for fanatics, such as fundraisers, picnics, and concerts, or sign up for a local baseball league to get in on the action.
You don’t just have to be a baseball fan or player to enjoy sports and meet people in Boston. You could be into whitewater rafting, yoga, cornhole, street hockey, or practically anything else. Check out SocialBostonSports.com for more information.
Join Your College Alumni Group
For single college and university graduates, seeking out your alumni group is a go-to for improving your love life. Alumni groups, like those for Boston College and Boston University, hold monthly and/or quarterly meetings and events that are good for mingling and allow you to do something good for your alma mater. You already have something in common with everyone there, so you don’t need to be as worried about approaching someone as you might be in a bar or club.
If you didn’t go to college in Boston, usually you can still find a local chapter or club for the school you attended. On Google, we found clubs for Penn State and the University of Michigan, among others. Do a search of your school name and the words “alumni” and “Boston” and see what results you get.
Singles, It's Time to Get Down in Beantown!
My friend always looks forward to her annual trip to Boston — not just because she gets to see her family but also because it’s a thriving city for singles like her. Boston is a significant place in her life, as it is for its 673,000+ residents. We’ve given you 10 ways to come together with your fellow Bostonians, so it looks like all that’s left for you to do is to start working your way through the list!
Photo sources: umassalumni.com, baseballessential.com, partybyjohnlee.com, meetup.com, bestspeeddating.com