About a year or two ago, one of my closest friends moved from Florida to Memphis to be with her boyfriend as he pursues his career as a university professor. It was a big leap, but she loves him very much and wants to support him in every aspect of his life. He feels the same way about her. Not too long after the move, he proposed, and now they’re getting married in a couple of months.
Memphis has become a significant part of their love story, and they could brag about that city all day, every day. For good reason, too. It’s the Birthplace of Rock and Roll, the BBQ Capital of the World, and the second-largest metropolitan area in Tennessee, just to name a few accolades and facts. While my friends are living their happily ever after, not everyone has found that special someone yet. In this guide, we’ll show you nine ways you can connect with other single Memphians that are fun and that won’t break the bank!
Memphis Dating Sites
Memphis has a population of 684,400+ people, and for singles in that mix, dating sites are the best way to meet. Not only can you specify the city you’re in (and even a preferred mile range), but you can also specify the types of people you’re looking for (e.g., age, gender, sexual orientation, education, and hobbies). Our experts and I have taken the time to hone in on five dating sites that we think are the top in their niche. Read on to learn more:
Best Singles Site
Match.com is in the business of helping all singles, no matter their background, lifestyle, or culture, find what their hearts desire. It could be a couple of casual dates a week, it could be a long-term relationship, or it could even be friendship. Since 1995, Match has created more of these connections than any other dating site, so you’re in good hands.
Best Site for Professionals
Elite Singles’ niche is highly educated, busy, commitment-minded men and women. Eight out of 10 of its members have a college or university degree (at least a bachelor’s), and all of them are looking for a lifelong partner. If you’re over 30, you’ll also feel at home on Elite Singles — as nine out of 10 members are at least that age. Below is a graph for more info:
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
Mature daters are sure to have success on OurTime because the site was created specifically with them in mind. Now that you don’t have to narrow down profiles by age, you can dedicate your time to areas that you find more important. OurTime has one of the cleanest, most intuitive layouts of any dating site, so your technological ability doesn’t really matter.
For Black Men & Women Only
About 63% of Memphis’ population is made up of black men and women, placing it among the US cities with the highest percentage of African-Americans. That doesn’t mean dating is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel for black or biracial singles, and that’s where BlackPeopleMeet.com comes in. The site has 1.4 million monthly users who come from various branches within the culture and ethnicity.
Hookup & Sex Site
When you’re horny and don’t have/want to take the time to sort through people with dates and relationships on their mind, Adult Friend Finder helps you get right down to it. This hookup site has over 77 million singles and couples who are constantly thinking about casual sexual encounters. Once you put in your zip code, Adult Friend Finder will show you how many of those 77 million users are from Memphis and online at the same time!
Popular Dating Apps
Most dating sites, including the ones above, have an app or a mobile version, which means you can take your dating life on the road (or just to the couch without a laptop). With their free downloads, large user bases, location-based matching, advanced features, and high success rates, Zoosk, Match, and Elite Singles are making huge strides in the dating app space, and we know you’ll be happy with at least one, if not all, of them.
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|
Memphis Singles Bars
So the adorable couple I was telling you about earlier actually met at a bar. It seemed like an ordinary night for both of them — they were just going to have some drinks with friends. Then fate took over, as they like to say. They locked eyes across the bar, and that was all it took. Today, they have a fish named Lillian (after the bar where they met) and a dog named Stella (after the beer Stella Artois, which they had that night). In this section, we’re showcasing nine Memphis bars where the drinks are flowing, the food is sizzling, and the singles are mingling.
"The night isn't over until we say it is" are the words that greet you on Alchemy's website, and we've got to say it comes off as exciting, not intimidating. This Memphis bar strives to create an environment that's fun, interactive, arousing, and addictive. The cocktails (including the Strawberry Basil Smash and the Midtown Sunset) and the food (including the truffle deviled eggs and shrimp and pork stuffed quail) play a big role in accomplishing that mission.
On Yelp, Chuck B. said, "Alex's Tavern is a place which should be celebrated by Memphians and other humans alike," and we'd have to agree. People can't get enough of the burgers, fries, ribs, gumbo, and chicken drummies — not to mention the beer, the juke box, and the big-screen TVs on game night. Founded in 1953, Alex's Tavern has been called "a Memphis tradition" and "the oldest and finest tavern in Memphis."
The Cove is a cocktail and oyster bar located on Broad Avenue, and it takes inspiration from "the types of dives that used to exist on every corner in New Orleans" but with a Memphis flare. You must be 21 or older to enter, and most nights feature live music such as bluegrass or jazz. In terms of the drink menu, you'll find classics, like the Sazerac (ingredients include rye whiskey and absinthe), and new creations like the Woo Woo (made with vodka and peach brandy). In terms of the food menu, you'll find oysters on the half shell, of course, but also gyros, pizzas, and salads.
4Earnestine and Hazel's
Earnestine & Hazel's is named after two sisters who turned the former pharmacy into a cafe. Sunbeam, Earnestine's husband, owned the music venue nearby, which attracted the likes of BB King, Tina Turner, and Aretha Franklin. After a long night, they'd head over to Earnestine & Hazel's for some good food, good talk, and good times. Now known as one of the best dive bars in the country, Earnestine & Hazel's motto is "ragged but right" and serves up PBRs, Miller Lights, and the like.
5Mollie Fontaine Lounge
The Mollie Fontaine Lounge has 4.5 stars on Facebook and TripAdvisor and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. until "the spirits go to sleep." In addition to delicious drinks (Uptown Gin and Juice Refresher) and shareable plates (avocado tempura, steamed mussels, and mini steak fritte) — Mollie Fontaine has weekly events, including DJ dance parties, themed nights (goth, '80s, and '90s), and holiday celebrations.
Bar DKDC's focus is on specialty libations and international street food, made by Chef Karen Carrier and her team. Some items that caught our eye include the Jamaica Ting, Blue Suede Tini, Dark N Stormy, mac and cheese with bacon, pork banh mi with Sriracha mayo, and sliced fish crudo with ponzu butter. Almost every day, Bar DKDC provides entertainment from local bands, like Devil Train, and solo artists like Dave Cousar.
7Wiseacre Brewing Co.
Wiseacre Brewing Co. lives by the five Bs: Boom, Bliss, Beanergy, Brightness, and Beast. Its menu includes all-day beers, such as the Tiny Bomb American Pilsner, seasonal beers, such as the Tarasque Saison, and specialty beers, such as the Avast Pirate Porter. Going strong for over 10 years, Wiseacre Brewing Co. has won awards, including the gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in American Stout the Terminal, and Best in Show from the Chicago Beer Society for the Moo Moo Jitter Juice Coffee Milk Stout.
8The Buccaneer Lounge
Also known as the Bucc, the Buccaneer Lounge hosts some of the best shows in the city — from punk to country to pop and DJ sets. The crowd is equally diverse. Hipsters, locals, older folks, jocks, professionals, you name it — they all frequent this unique dive bar. All the pretenses are dropped at the Bucc, where you’ll find the usual beers and liquors at very reasonable prices. Plus, smoking is allowed, which can be unusual for most bars nowadays.
Boscos is “the Restaurant for Beer Lovers,” offering up casual dining (for lunch, dinner, and brunch) and more than 60 styles of beers (from 11 a.m. to midnight every day). Try a Hot Chicken and Waffle, Wood Oven Planked Salmon, or Smoked Pork Chop and wash it down with a Boscos Bombay IPA, Isle of Skye Scottish Ale, or the award-winning Hefeweizen. The Boscos website says this is Tennessee’s first brewpub, founded in 1992.
Memphis Speed Dating
On the blog the Hairpin, writer Rease Ruben shares a story about her favorite time at a speed dating event. It was for single Jewish professionals aged 22 to 33, and about 30 people were in attendance. She hit it off with an attorney/semi-professional boxer right away, and, at the end of the night, he was the only one she wanted to see again. He felt the same way, only choosing to receive her contact information and no one else’s. The rest is history. Eventbrite, the popular event-finding and event-organizing website, has a page dedicated to speed dating events in Memphis, and who knows — you could find that special someone like Rease did!
Memphis Singles Events
Let’s say you’re single and your passion is running. You run practically every day, participate in marathons every month or so, and constantly read up on the latest running news and products. The exercise is great, and you really feel like yourself when you’re hitting the pavement. Now imagine you could meet someone while running — someone who’s just as passionate about it as you are, someone you feel you’ve been waiting for your whole life. Well, you can! Thanks to singles events, no matter what activity you’re into, you can meet people who are into it, too. LiveMemphis.com is a great resource that we’ve found for singles in Blues City.
Memphis Singles Clubs
My friend and her fiancé love to dance — it doesn’t really matter what kind of music is playing. They go to a club or bar in Memphis at least once a week where they can not only show off their moves, but grow closer together emotionally, mentally, and, of course, physically. Dancing is a sexy way to connect with someone, and 10Best.com, a site created by USA Today, goes in depth about Memphis’ club scene — highlighting every style from salsa and line dancing to Beale Street and Shelby Crossing.
Memphis Chat Rooms
Approaching someone in real life can be awkward and, to be frank, terrifying. To get some practice in before putting yourself out there like that, you could test out a few opening lines and conversation topics in a Memphis singles chat room. If it doesn’t work, there’s really no harm, no foul. You’re not face to face with person, and there are millions of other Memphis singles online who you can talk to. If it does work and you start chatting with someone (or someones), try to transfer that swag over to your offline game. We’ve selected five chat rooms out of the dozens on the web that work extremely well for doing that.
Personals is somewhat of an outdated term — it was used a lot before dating sites were invented, and it’s an ad a single person would buy in a newspaper to find a date or partner. In the 21st century, personals are basically synonymous with dating profiles. On sites like DateHookup.com (which you can learn more about by clicking the following link), you’ll sign up for an account, provide a username, and create a pretty substantial profile. Then the site will find matches for you, and you can search on your own. On sites like Craigslist.org or ClassifiedAds.com (also below), profiles tend to be shorter, focusing on short, descriptive headlines, age, relationship status, and appearance preferences. You’ll search through the online ads yourself, and reply to ones that catch your eye.
Join Networking Groups
Networking isn’t just a good career move — it’s also a good move for your love life. You never know who or what situation will turn into an opportunity. You could meet someone who doesn’t work out professionally but maybe they do romantically. Or maybe they become a friend and introduce you to someone you end up dating or marrying. The more people you know, the better your odds!
Memphis has dozens of networking and young professionals groups, including Mid-South Tech Corner, Leadership Memphis, New Memphis Institute, Cowork Memphis, and Memphis’ chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Being Single in Memphis is Exciting — Not Frustrating!
I can’t wait to go to my friends’ wedding and celebrate their love — they’re good people, and they’re an inspiration to others, like myself, who haven’t found their lobster yet. Memphis is a wonderful city to be in love, but it’s also a wonderful city to be single. We’ve given you nine tips for taking advantage of the city’s single offerings, but if we missed anything, let us know. Now get to it!
Photo sources: themaneater.com, pinterest.com, 10best.com, twicopy.org, bandsintown.com, theculturetrip.com, nytimes.com, thrillist.com, ilovememphisblog.com, yelp.com, bestmemphisburger.com