“A thousand electric cars could run on how you feel when you know that the person you like likes you back,” wrote Emma Mills, one of my favorite young adult authors, in her first romantic novel “First & Then.”
Years ago, Emma caught my attention as Elmify, a quirky vlogger living in Indianapolis and filling YouTube with her struggles as a 20-something single girl. She described her life in Indiana in poetic terms, hilarious anecdotes, and wry comments. And she’s not the only contemporary author writing love stories from the Midwest. John Green, author of “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Looking for Alaska,” also calls Indianapolis home. Perhaps the city’s 358 square miles gives romantics room to ponder the ways of the heart.
Of course, reading about love isn’t as satisfying as actually finding love. So if you’re still looking for that someone who likes you back, we’ve brainstormed 11 ways you can meet new people and make a love connection.
Indianapolis Dating Sites
Today’s youth tend to believe the internet has the answer to any problem. So it’s no wonder that online dating has become the go-to place for singles looking for a date. It’s a prime dating spot because it’s so rich with possibilities. You can browse through a self-selected group of people who share the same interests, values, and desires as you do. Whether you’re looking for a hookup or a relationship, we recommend the following popular dating websites.
Best Singles Site
Basically, Match is the best singles site because it’s been around forever — since the early days of the internet in 1995. The site may be old, but its membership is primarily young. About 32% of members are millennials and 39% are Gen-Xers. The platform’s in-depth profiles and premium communication features ensure that everyone chatting on this dating site is serious about finding the real deal. In fact, Match boasts that it has led to more dates, relationships, and marriages than any other dating site!
Best Site for Professionals
If you’re interested in wooing a white-collar man or woman, Elite Singles is the dating platform for you. This dating site caters to well-educated professionals seeking a romantic partner to fit their lifestyles. More than 90% of members are over the age of 30, and more than 80% have earned at least a bachelor’s degree. All in all, EliteSingles is a serious dating network for high-caliber daters in Indianapolis.
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
OurTime provides a mature and user-friendly platform for daters of a certain age. Anyone over the age of 50 will find this dating community to be just their speed. The dating site features a simple interface that’s ideal for older and less technologically-inclined singles. Personality-based matching helps you narrow down your search for a companion who is truly compatible with you. By signing up to OurTime, mature daters can start again and find new friendships, romances, and relationships blossoming in no time.
For Black Men & Women Only
Indianapolis is becoming a more diverse city every year. According to the 2010 Census, the black population has been steadily growing in all parts of the city so that now almost 30% of Indianapolis-Marion County residents identify as African American. For anyone looking to date within the black community, BlackPeopleMeet provides an easy channel to a new love interest. This niche network has over 1.4 million black and biracial singles, so you can join the ranks to start chatting with attractive men and women with similar backgrounds, cultures, and interests.
Hookup & Sex Site
On Adult Friend Finder, singles seek out one-night stands and no-strings-attached threesomes in a sexually charged dating environment. Here, attractive adults enjoy the freedom to come right out and say what they want: straight-up sex. AFF members can watch hundreds of live broadcasts and browse millions of hot photos on this raunchy dating site and app. AdultFriendFinder invites millions of daters to embrace their fetishes and fantasies by using a hookups-only site.
Popular Dating Apps
Today’s active daters only need to have three things to date successfully: A good opening line, a fair amount of patience, and a reliable dating app. Innovative dating apps are springing up all the time, offering location-based matching, fast filtering, live messaging, and other creative features. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know which apps are the real deal and which are all talk. That’s why we’ve picked out our top three favorite dating apps with complete reviews to let you know what the mobile dating experience is like.
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|
Indianapolis Singles Bars
Maybe online dating isn’t for you. No shame in that. People have been dating and falling in love in person long before the rise of the internet, so there are plenty of other flirtatious options to meet people. Going to a bar is probably the most popular IRL dating strategy. It’s a tried-and-true way to mingle with an attractive (and maybe slightly tipsy) crowd of locals. To help you land a date in Indianapolis, we’ve picked out the eight best bars in the city. Enjoy!
1The Slippery Noodle
Ranked at number one, the Slippery Noodle is our favorite bar for singles in Indianapolis because of its bluesy vibes and tasty drinks. The downtown venue's weekly drink specials and frequent live music performances give daters a reason to turn out and have fun any day of the week. The Slippery Noodle originally opened in 1850 as the Tremont House. Over a century later, it is the oldest continuously operating bar in the state of Indiana. The Slippery Noodle a relaxing and easy-going place to sip a drink and pick up a date. The setting is ripe for flirting — the rest is up to you.
2Libertine Liquor Bar
The Libertine Liquor Bar is a classy gastropub meant for singles and couples over the age of 21. From the basement of Pizzology, a skilled team of bartenders offer craft cocktails, craft distilleries, and boutique wines to a hip crowd of adults. The bar's high-end menu includes tasty morsels like squash fritters and buffalo chicken livers to pair with your drinks. Tempted by the ever-changing menu, many Indianapolis locals come to drink and mingle at this upscale bar.
3St. Elmo Steak House
Most Indianapolis residents know St. Elmo Steak House as a great place for fine dining. But it's also a great place to pick up a fine date at the bar and lounge. A fully stocked bar offers elegant martinis and classic drinks. The signature cocktail, called the Elmo Cola, mixes bourbon, cherries, and Madagascar vanilla beans with Coke, which just sounds straight-up delicious. You can also order a juicy New York strip or Gouda mac-n-cheese to go with your drinks. The quiet, fire-lit atmosphere encourages visitors to spend hours in conversation at the bar or in cozy armchairs.
Known as Indy's premier cocktail lounge, Nicky Blaine's is a swanky place to spend your evening. The full-service nightclub and lounge offers a retro downtown experience in Indianapolis — with a stocked scotch bar and decadent dessert menu that satisfies people of all tastes. Tastefully furnished, Nicky Blaine's is a favorite date-night spot for locals looking to enjoy a martini, cigar, appetizer, or just an intimate evening on the town.
5The Sinking Ship
The Sinking Ship's staff loves to joke around with customers and get people talking about the original drinks and food on their menu. Known for "service with a smirk," this working-class bar focuses on two things: beer and hockey. The Sinking Ship's artisan ales draw in an eclectic crowd of barflies. Plus, the late-night kitchen serves food until the wee hours of the night. If you want to meet people in a lively setting, come during a trivia night and order a brew for someone special.
6The Ball & Biscuit
The Ball & Biscuit boldly proclaims itself the original cocktail bar in Indiana. Every night, it serves up fresh, homemade craft cocktails to keep up its stellar reputation in Indianapolis. The creative ingredients in these concoctions will keep you coming back for more night after night. In the bar's fun, hospitable setting, you can introduce yourself to singles in the neighborhood and order sweet specialty drinks to add some zest to your evenings.
Since the doors opened in 1994, music lovers have flocked to the Jazz Kitchen to enjoy top-notch entertainment in Indianapolis. This bar's calendar is always jam-packed with musical performances from local talent. There is a $15 food and drink minimum during the show, so you can sample the menu of seafood, pasta, and vegetarian dishes while the music plays. Whether you enjoy a Latin dance party or a live salsa band, you can find your dating rhythm by becoming a regular at the Jazz Kitchen.
8Alexander's Mixology Lounge
The Alexander is a 157-room hotel with a killer bar and lounge. You don't have to be a guest to enjoy a drink at this premium spot. The Alexander's Mixology Lounge is a great place to socialize with out-of-towners and make a date with someone new. The bar serves irresistible artisan cocktails and small plates of local favorites (including fresh, regional cheeses) and adds a contemporary flair to time-tested classics.
Indianapolis Speed Dating
Not everyone has the time (or patience) to go bar-hopping in search of a date. I get that. Sometimes you’re on a tight schedule, or you’re burnt out on online dating, or you just don’t have the energy to waste another night in a lackluster dating scene. Speed dating is a great solution for singles who value their time and want to get a date sooner rather than later. A dynamic speed dating event can help Indianapolis singles meet dozens of date prospects in one evening. Pre-Dating has recently expanded into Indianapolis, and the company has invited hundreds of singles to start networking at fun events.
Indianapolis Singles Events
Singles events combine the in-person action of a bar with the targeted dating network of a dating site to give local singles an evening of flirtatious fun. These parties introduce you to a dating-friendly social scene with drink specials and finger foods to help the night go smoothly. Indianapolis Lock and Key Events are great for meeting new people because the theme breaks the ice for you. Who knows? In a roomful of available singles, you just might find someone who has the key to your heart.
Indianapolis Singles Clubs
Sometimes singles don’t want to swipe on dates or prowl through bars. Sometimes they just want to dance the night away. A club is a fabulous place to let loose and meet new people. On the dance floor, you can attract date prospects without having to say a word: your dance moves can do the talking for you. Indianapolis has a number of thumping clubs to hook singles up to a good time. Check out Foursquare’s recommendations by clicking the link below.
Indianapolis Chat Rooms
Chat rooms offer a low-pressure way to meet new people online. No need to swipe, match, dance, or buy anyone a drink. You don’t even have to leave home to start a conversation with someone. You’re just chatting, so there’s little commitment and few inhibitions, which is great for daters who want to skip the small talk and make a fast connection with someone. Below, you’ll find the most popular local chat rooms for Indianapolis daters of all ages, orientations, and backgrounds.
Long before online dating, singles tried to find dates by paying to have classified ads printed in the newspapers. These personal advertisements were a good way to attract the attention of local daters and find the kind of relationship you wanted. These days, the practice has gone digital. Online dating personals now work like a straightforward dating site where a keyword search helps you sift through thousands of available date prospects.
Attend the Indianapolis 500 to Rev Up the Romance
When people think of Indianapolis, they often think of the Indy 500, an automobile race where drivers complete 200 laps, covering a distance of 500 miles. It’s an impressive sight that draws an impressive crowd. Every year, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts over 300,000 auto enthusiasts in a heart-pounding day of racing.
The Indy 500 is the largest single-day sporting event in the world, so it’s a great place to go out and strike up a conversation about your favorite drivers or racing traditions.
This is a lively event to take a date or meet new people. As you watch the racers fly around and around the track, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment. Since 1911, thousands of fans have come together every summer to cheer on professional racers and enjoy the world-famous event.
Join a Club Based on Your Interests
The fastest way to connect with someone is by sharing common interests. That’s why clubs are such a fantastic venue for making new friends and building relationships. Whether you feel most comfortable on a team of sports lovers or in a book club with fellow literary buffs, Indianapolis has a lot of fun groups anyone can join.
If you’re the creative type, you can join the vibrant art community in Indianapolis
by going to an exhibition or joining an art group. Know No Stranger is a wacky collective of artists putting on shows, charitable events, and other unconventional extravaganzas. Check out these performing artists to add a bit of color to your social calendar.
Not so into improv? No worries, there are tons of other active interest-based clubs to join in Indianapolis. You can find your sort of people in a simple search on Meetup. You can search for whatever you’re interested in, from pottery lessons to hiking groups, and find people with similar interests looking to meet up.
Give Back to Your Community at Volunteer Events
When you volunteer with a community effort, you can do something good for the world and your social life at the same time. Indy Do Day is one of the most popular service events supported by committed residents and organizations across the city. Every September, people work together to improve their neighborhoods by volunteering at schools, parks, food banks, and other nonprofits.
You can search for volunteer opportunities by category on IndyHub. Simply find a good cause that speaks to you and get involved to meet good-hearted people in Indianapolis.
Steer Your Way Into a New Relationship at the Crossroads of America
Located in the heart of the US, Indianapolis has its fair share of hopeless romantics dreaming of a fairy-tale love story. Emma Mills is spot on in her description of young love, but fantastic funny people don’t always land in your lap during high school. Sometimes you’ve got to grow up and make it happen for yourself. Hopefully, our list of the 11 best ways to meet new people in Indianapolis has given you ideas about where to start and how to make that emotional connection in person or online.
I’ll leave you with a quote from another Indianapolis author named Kurt Vonnegut: “There is love enough in this world for everybody, if people will just look.”