How to Meet Gay Guys (Without Grindr)

Gay Dating

How to Meet Gay Guys (Without Grindr)

Brian Rzepczynski
Brian Rzepczynski Updated:
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We all know you can meet gay guys on Grindr, the most popular gay dating app, like, ever. However, Grindr is known for being hookup-oriented, so if you’re looking for long-lasting love or just an awesome sexless date, you’re more likely to have success if you try other outlets.

Grindr isn’t the alpha and omega of the gay dating scene. Some guys don’t like how superficial it is or prefer flirting in person.

So, how can you meet gay guys without Grindr? We’ve ranked and reviewed five of your 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 online dating service, Match is #1 in our eyes because it has the quantity and quality.

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Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

Match System: Browse by zip, age, appearance, more

Our Experts Say: “Match.com has a massive and extremely active gay user base, as over 1 million gay, bisexual, and curious men use the site to find dates and partners...” Full Review »

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As you can see, Match has a lot to offer gay men, but if you want to tailor your choices even more and mingle in a sophisticated dating pool, then you may want to snag a membership on Elite Singles.

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Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “Not only is EliteSingles exclusively for educated professionals, but it also has a diverse user base made up of millions of gay and bisexual men...” Full Review »

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Over 80% of Elite Singles members have graduated from college, so you won’t find many duds or dummies here. This premium dating site can satisfy gay guys with high standards and serious relationship goals.

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Match System: Search and get match recommendations

Our Experts Say: “Gay, bisexual, and curious single men love Zoosk because it's quick, easy, and really successful...” Full Review »

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Want to dive into a huge gay dating pool? Then Zoosk should be on your radar. This gay social networking app has over 40 million users worldwide, and it offers a lot of free communication tools to get something going.

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4.4/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is a fantastic option for gay, bisexual, and curious single men age 50 and up, as the site's user base is very active...” Full Review »

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Finally, if you’re a gay man over 50, then this is your time, so join OurTime. This senior dating site  offers advanced search filters, smart matching, and some free chatting opportunities, and it has millions of gay men in its database.

All four of these dating sites will give gay men the best chances of meeting a person of value. All of them are free to join, but they charge a little extra for unlimited chatting. That’s a good thing, though. 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.

2. LGBTQ 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 values 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 LGBTQ community centers.

Photo of gay pride parade

Events held by the gay community are great ways to meet all types of single people.

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.

Photo of gay men meeting at coffee shop

Being visible, open, and receptive is key when meeting gay men while out and about.

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.

Meeting Gay Guys Can Be Really Fun Without Grindr

Grindr isn’t the only way to meet gay men, so don’t limit yourself to that fast-paced, sex-obsessed dating network. 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

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