Thomas Jefferson called Delaware the Diamond State because of its ideal location on the East Coast. It’s a small slice of beach beauty and urban activity. Wilmington, resting by the shores of the Christina River and Brandywine River at the tippy-top of the state, is a shining example of what the Northeast has to offer.
Named after the Earl of Wilmington, the city of Wilmington was the first Swedish settlement in North America. Today, it has the distinction of being the largest city in the second smallest state in the US. Wilmington is home to more than 71,000 people, according to the 2010 census, and measures 17 square miles — 6.2 square miles of which is water.
In a place as compact as Delaware, it’s easy to feel like everybody knows everybody. Which is great for neighborly families but poses a problem for daters who didn’t manage to meet their soul mates while in school. Adult singles may feel out of options in Wilmington’s dating scene, but we’ve brainstormed 10 ways to get out there and meet new date-worthy people in the Corporate Capital of the World.
Wilmington Dating Sites
These days, online dating is simply the best way to meet new people and make a date on the fly. You can sign up for free, browse local profiles, and find a compatible person within a few minutes. Wilmington daters who find the social scene confining can unlock thousands of possibilities within a few clicks on a dating site. For your convenience, we’ve ranked the best dating websites by category so you can quickly find the right platform for you.
Best Singles Site
Most of Match.com‘s members were still in school (some weren’t even born!) when the dating site launched in 1995. The time-tested dating platform has come a long way since those early days, but it has remained true to the personality-based matching that singles have come to trust. Today, Match is a giant in the industry and absolutely the best place for relationship-oriented daters in Wilmington to make a new connection.
Best Site for Professionals
Delawarean daters often have high standards for their long-time partners. As they should. Settling is for pilgrims, not modern daters. Professional singles in Wilmington can use Elite Singles, a niche dating site, to find available dates who are educated and well-spoken. On Elite Singles, grown-up singles seek a high-quality relationship based on common interests and backgrounds. Over 90% of the membership base is over the age of 30, and over 82% have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, so you won’t have to settle for someone below your level.
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
Once singles reach a certain age, they’re often dissatisfied by the high-speed chatting and flaky young daters active on general dating websites. Hurrying from first date to first date isn’t as fun for someone who’s been down that road before and wants more substance out of life. Thankfully, OurTime, a senior dating site, slows down the matching game and lets mature singles get to know one another online. The user-friendly tools and simple sign-up process make it incredibly easy to join this time-tested senior dating network and make a date in Wilmington.
For Black Men & Women Only
Wilmington is actually one of the few cities in the US where black people make up the majority of residents. According to census data collected in 2010, 58% of the city’s residents identify as African American. With such a strong cultural base, BlackPeopleMeet has a growing appeal to Wilmington’s dating population. The black dating site has become an increasingly popular way for young black and biracial singles to meet one another. Since it launched in 2002, thousands of people have logged on to BlackPeopleMeet and found lasting friendships and relationships.
Hookup & Sex Site
Some daters don’t care about race, income, age, or personality traits — they just want to get laid. Adult Friend Finder invites hot singles to get down to business and find a sexy partner in the world’s largest online sex community. You don’t need a lot of fancy matching tools to arrange a hookup online. A location-based search will do the trick just fine. Adult Friend Finder has straightforward chat and browsing tools so nothing stands between singles and a one-night stand.
Popular Dating Apps
Delaware has always been a forward-thinking state. Famously, in 1787, it was the first state to ratify the Constitution and join the union. When states started levying sales taxes in the 1930s, Delaware’s government adhered to a no-sales-tax policy that has since driven enormous business growth. Today, Delawareans continue to push the envelop by exploring the latest dating tools: mobile apps. On a dating app, you get all the features of a dating site in the palm of your hand. The location-based searches can help you pinpoint a date in real time faster than ever before! Check out our favorite dating apps for Wilmington singles.
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|
Wilmington Singles Bars
While shooting “Dead Poets Society” in Wilmington, Robin Williams said he found the town’s downtown area dull because it “shuts down at five o’clock at night.” That was back in the ‘80s though, and a lot has changed since then. Today’s Wilmington has an active nightlife that stays open well past 5 p.m. In the heart of Trolley Square, young people coalesce and offer a world of dating opportunities for outgoing singles. Below, we’ve ranked the best bars for Wilmington locals to enjoy.
Catherine Rooney's is an Irish pub established by two Irish families who wanted to bring a bit of Gaelic charm to Delaware. They were so intent upon making the bar feel like a home away from home that the founders named it after their mothers. Talk about good children! The tall, dark beers and traditional Irish fare invite guests to stay a while and make friends over a cold brew. The spirit of Catherine Rooney's is welcoming and pleasant, ideal for intimate date conversations punctuated with laughter.
The Dead Presidents Pub and Restaurant is an all-American hangout decorated like the Oval Office. The bar features daily happy hours so you can try their craft beers and premium cocktails while staying on budget. It's a terrific place to whet your whistle. The kitchen's international and seasonal dishes satisfy the taste buds of locals and travelers alike. Dead Presidents' menu offers an eclectic sampling of pub fare, including artisan cheeses, make-your-own omelets, and braised short rib. Pull up a stool and dig in!
3Kelly's Logan House
Touting itself as the oldest Irish bar in Delaware, Kelly's Logan House has quite the reputation on Trolley Square. Since 1864, this family-owned establishment has helped thousands upon thousands of daters have an enjoyable evening. Every St. Patrick's Day, they really roll out the green carpet and delight bar goers with live entertainment, festive decorations, and delicious drink specials. Anyone 21 and older is welcome to hang out at Kelly's and make a connection at the bar.
Bar XIII (formerly known as Mojo 13) stands out in Wilmington's bar scene because of its emphasis on live music. They tout themselves as "Delaware's home for original music and strange people." And, believe me, that is a reputation the staff takes seriously. Local rock bands pump up the crowds at special weekend events, while triva and open mic nights encourage people to socialize during the week. Bar XIII's spacious bar, dance floor, and stage helps singles let loose and mix things up at a totally original venue.
Since 1989, Scratch Magoo's has served as a cozy retreat for Wilmington's social butterflies. The bar's name derives from a popular cartoon character who managed to always look on the bright side of life no matter what random misfortunes befell him. The owners hoped to convey an optimistic whimsy to bar flies around town. Today, the extensive menu of beers, appetizers, fried foods, and "Magooey" cakes puts a smile on the face of everyone who stops by. On the bar's backyard patio, daters can mingle in an open and casual atmosphere under strings of pale lights. Scratch Magoo's is a delightful place to nurse a drink and make a friend.
68th & Union Kitchen
At the corner of 8th and Union is Wilmington's favorite gastropub, which is conveniently named 8th and Union Kitchen so residents don't forget where to find this hidden gem. The rustic wooden bar serves up juicy burgers, Pan-Asian comfort foods, and specialty cocktails. This award-winning kitchen blows people away with beautiful and scrumptious cuisine using only the finest ingredients. At 8th and Union Kitchen, daters can get to know one another while sharing a plate of crab dip nachos or a flight of tequila. Sounds like a winner to me!
7Iron Hill Brewery
On the Christina River, the Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant tempts bar flies with refreshing glasses of beer and mouth-watering American cuisine. The menu hooks you right away with the words, "There's beer in our food." From beer-battered fish tacos to lager-infused barbecue sauce, the Iron Hill Brewery's original dishes definitely deliver on flavor. Plus, the in-house, eight-step brewing process ensures that all beers and ales travel less than 65 feet from grain to glass to you. Now that's quality!
8The Nomad Bar
Jazz enthusiasts come together at the Nomad Bar to relax and enjoy live performances by local talent. The place has an old-timey feel with friendly and laid-back bartenders treating all comers like neighborhood friends. The cozy setting and handcrafted drinks set people at ease while saxophonists, trumpeters, and other musicians improvise swinging tunes. Nomad Bar offers great drinks, fun beats, and a cool atmosphere for singles seeking an escape.
Wilmington Speed Dating
North Delaware, unlike the Slower Lower, is all about speed and efficiency. The area is known for having some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. For time-conscious singles who want their love life to be equally as efficient, we recommend speed dating. Wilmington residents don’t have to put on the brakes and wait around for a date at a speed dating event. Dozens of date prospects come to you so you can make many worthwhile connections in one night.
Wilmington Singles Events
Little known fact: “Fight Club” is actually set in Wilmington. The town’s motto, “A place to be somebody,” certainly fits the tone of the movie, and you can see a Wilmington zip code on Tyler Durden’s business card. Lonely Delawareans don’t have to gather in a basement and knock the snot out of people to make friends in real life though. A singles event will do the trick. Wilmington singles events help daters get out of their shells and mingle in a date-friendly zone. The first rule of singles events? Have fun!
Wilmington Singles Clubs
Wilmington residents enjoy a mixture of small town vibes and big city life. You can live in a peaceful suburban community while still being within a few minutes of a pulsing downtown scene. If the nightlife calls to you, you can visit one of the many nightclubs along Market Street to bust a move and meet smooth singles in your area. The hippest clubs can be found in a tight cluster along the river, so it’s easy for Wilmington singles to walk from drag show to upscale lounge in a single night.
Wilmington Chat Rooms
Delawareans love to talk. Just meeting Joe Biden is proof enough of that. Wilmington is full of proud and outgoing people who enjoy shooting the breeze in person or online. You can up your flirting game and get practice talking to people in a chat room for Wilmington singles. If you want to meet local date prospects in a low-key setting, a singles chat room is a safe bet. You can log in, join a local group, and see where the conversation takes you.
Sometimes the best way to get what you want is just to ask for it. No tricks, no stratagems, no waiting. Just ask. Online dating personals offer singles the chance to clearly state what they want on a free platform. You fill out a profile, describe what you’re looking for, and see if anyone online wants the same things. Whether you’re seeking a local friend or a romantic affair, Wilmington personals let you stop beating around the bush and be upfront about your interests and desires.
Go to the Largest Jazz Festival on the East Coast
Every summer for the past 140 years, Wilmington’s Rodney Square has hosted the largest jazz festival on the East Coast. And it’s free! You don’t need to buy a ticket or pay a cover charge to attend this five-day jazzy extravaganza.
The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival pays tribute to musical icons and invites the nation’s best trumpet players, singers, and dynamic entertainers to come out and strut their stuff. The outdoor festival is a great place to dance, sing, and experience the powerful ways that music can connect people of all backgrounds.
Jazz not really your thing? Don’t like going outside in summer? Not to worry, Wilmington has plenty of musical festivals and concerts going on all year round. Sophisticated music lovers can go to the Grand Opera House to enjoy performances by well-known composers, comedians, bands, and other artists. During intermission, you can make small talk with other attendees, and you might just find you have a lot in common.
Taken as a whole, the vibrant musical culture of Wilmington truly lives up to the city’s slogan, “In the middle of it all,” and puts people right smack dab in the center of an artistic hub.
Spend the Day on the Bike Trails or Picnicking at a Park
Wilmington is a fantastic place for outdoor enthusiasts who also enjoy urban life. The big city has 552 acres of parkland, which include many jogging trails, picnic tables, and the Brandywine Zoo. Singles can visit these outdoor spots to enjoy the day and become acquainted with the local scene.
Engaging in a recreational hobby can be a fast and fun way to get to know local people who share your interests. Whether you enjoy horseback riding or biking, there’s something for everyone in this town. In fact, the League of American Bicyclists named Delaware the third-most bike-friendly state in the US.
Wilmington: A Place to be With Somebody Special
Wilmington is a diamond in the rough for daters looking to connect. From online dating tools to popular jazz performances, you have so many options to make a splash in the dating scene and have a good time in this riverfront city. Singles can increase their dating prospects by getting out of their comfort zones at Wilmington’s bars, clubs, events, chat rooms, and other date-friendly spaces.
By getting out into the city and playing the field, you can liven up your love life and discover just how many people are coming and going in this busy city. Delaware is a small wonder, full of beauty and opportunity for anyone willing to roll up their sleeves and look for it. Hopefully our suggestions can help you expand your social circle, get you off on the right foot, and meet that special someone. Good luck!