9 Ways to Meet Singles in Durham, NC (Dating Guide)

Durham, NC

9 Ways to Meet Singles in Durham, NC (Dating Guide)

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks
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When a 30-year-old woman moved to Durham, North Carolina, she had difficulty making inroads in the social scene. So, like any millennial, she went online for the answer to her problem. “Interested in finding a social circle and making friends,” Monkeymanda posted on Reddit. “This stuff gets hard after your early 20s!”

Dozens of people posted in reply to Monkeymanda. Some made jokes. Some suggested local hangouts. Some shared stories of their own difficulties meeting people in Durham.

Socializing and dating as an adult can be challenging, but it becomes much easier once you know where to go. If you’re looking for ways to meet date-worthy people in Durham, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together an organized list of resources to help singles of all ages make friends and find dates in Bull City.

1

Durham Dating Sites

Online dating exploded in popularity so quickly that some singles got left behind and missed the swiping train. Don’t worry, though, because you can easily get back up to speed by joining a user-friendly dating site. These platforms have search and matching features designed to introduce you to eligible dates in your area. We’ve reviewed some of our favorites to help you jump on the online dating bandwagon.

Best Singles Site

Match is the #1 dating site for anyone seeking a long-term relationship. Since 1995, Match.com has made a name for itself by pairing up countless couples and facilitating dates in 24 countries around the world. Its intelligent matching system can recommend compatible dates in your area.

★★★★★
4.9/5.0

Relationships: Friends, Dates, and Relationships

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

Our Experts Say: “Match has facilitated the most dates and relationships of any dating site, and its large audience and high success rate make it our top review...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Best Site for Professionals

It’s no secret that Durham is a well-educated city. It’s the home of Duke University, after all. Tens of thousands of young professionals live, work, and go to school here, and these smart and ambitious folks need a dating site that’s on their level. EliteSingles aims to be that dating site. This platform caters to singles over 30 who have earned a bachelor’s degree (or higher) and want to find a romantic partner.

★★★★★
4.6/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “Elite Singles is a leading dating site just for busy, single professionals. More than 80% of members have earned a college degree, and most are looking for a serious commitment...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Over 50 & Senior Sites

When you reach a certain age, meeting new people, much less date prospects, becomes increasingly difficult. Your social circle is pretty much set in stone, so you have to go outside your usual haunts to meet people. Going online is a good place to start. OurTime provides a safe and friendly dating community where singles over 50 make up the majority. You can create a profile for free and browse for matches by age, location, interests, lifestyle, or appearance.

★★★★
4.4/5.0

Relationships: Dates and Relationships

Match System: Search by profiles by zip and more

Our Experts Say: “OurTime is well-known in the over-50 dating crowd, particularly because it has a ton of helpful search features and an easy layout...” Full Review »

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For Black Men & Women Only

Nearly 41% of Durham’s population identifies as African-American. Singles in this thriving community can use BlackPeopleMeet to connect with one another. Thousands of black and biracial singles have signed up for this dating site in search of romance and love.

★★★★
4.0/5.0

Relationships: Deep Relationships or Just Casual Dates

Match System: Search by location, age, more

Our Experts Say: “BlackPeopleMeet.com is the one of the largest and most popular dating sites for black and biracial singles, and the site is used by more than 5 million people a month...” Full Review »

Browse Free: View Photos Now

Hookup & Sex Site

Not everyone is seeking a one-true-love romance online. Some are just looking to get laid. These open-minded singles would do well to join Adult Friend Finder, which supports the world’s largest sex and swinger community. This hookup-oriented dating site allows users to stop being coy and cut right to the chase in the dating scene.

★★★★
3.5/5.0

Relationships: Hookups Only

Match System: Search by location, interest, more

Our Experts Say: “Make no mistake: this site isn't about making friends, it's about short-term "hookups" and affairs only. Note that a basic account costs $14.95/month, but it's well worth it if casual sex is your goal...”

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2

Popular Dating Apps

As of 2014, Durham had an estimated population of 251,000 people, making it the fourth most populous city in the state. That’s a lot of people to sift through in search of a date. Fortunately, you don’t have to go door to door looking for romance — you can simply download an app and swipe from profile to profile until you find a match.

Zoosk

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Zoosk

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Casual Dates, Relationships
  • Match System: Search for and receive matches
  • About the App: 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).
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Match.com

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Match.com

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Fun Dates, Serious Relationships
  • Match System: Browse by location, age, interest, and more
  • About the App: 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.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

Elite Singles

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
Elite Singles

Available on: iOS, Android

  • Relationships: Deep Relationships
  • Match System: Search by education, lifestyle habits, age
  • About the App: 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.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now
3

Durham Singles Bars

High-tech dating solutions aren’t for everyone. Some singles prefer to go the more old-fashioned route and meet potential dates face to face right from the start. If that’s the case, the bar scene offers a world of romantic possibilities. Durham is a college town, so you won’t find a shortage of bars, breweries, speakeasies, and other watering holes here. Here are our picks for the top bars in the area.

1

Arcana Bar and Lounge

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
331 W Main St • Durham, NC 27701 (919) 973-1675 Visit Website
Arcana Bar and Lounge

The Arcana Bar and Lounge is an underground, tarot-themed bar with a mystical and intimate vibe to it. The menu celebrates the arcana of herbalism with cocktails infused with healing herbs and natural flavors. Arcana welcomes artists, spiritualists, and free thinkers of all types. Its quiet basement facilitates conversation, and its live performances always make a memorable impression. The bar offers tarot readings every week so singles can find out what the cards say about their romantic futures.

2

Bar Virgile

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
105 S Mangum St • Durham, NC 27701 (919) 973-3000 Visit Website
Bar Virgile

Located in the heart of downtown Durham, Bar Virgile is a go-to bar for many singles out on the town. Its in-house team concoct delicious craft cocktails and seasonal dishes. The bar's bustling and sophisticated atmosphere can satisfy singles looking to meet a friend for an evening. Bar Virgile has one of the largest spirits collections in the city, so you can explore an exciting drinks menu while exploring the social scene.

3

Alley Twenty Six

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
320 E Chapel Hill St • Durham, NC 27701 (984) 439-2278 Visit Website
Alley Twenty Six

If you're looking for a swanky night out, Alley Twenty Six is the place for you. This cocktail bar delights the senses with upscale food and drink pairings that are both beautiful and delicious. The menu includes fruity frozen cocktails as well as classic mixed drinks served with a twist. Plus, Alley Twenty Six offers an indulgent late-night menu from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m., so you can satisfying your craving for a juicy burger topped with bourbon bacon jam. This bar is always crowded with hungry patrons and makes for a fun date spot.

4

Pour Taproom: Durham

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
202 Corcoran St #200 • Durham, NC 27701 (919) 251-8985 Visit Website
Pour Taproom: Durham

Beer lovers will be in beer heaven the moment they step into Pour Taproom: Durham. The bar has a wall of over 60 taps where patrons help themselves to a cold one. This pay-by-the-ounce taproom offers a fun and affordable way to sample a variety of craft brews, ciders, and wines. In addition to its rotating taps, the Pour Taproom also has a selection of snack boards and sandwiches available. The communal seating and shareable appetizers can help singles make fast friends at the Pour Taproom in Durham.

5

The Atomic Fern

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
108 E Parrish St • Durham, NC 27701 (919) 908-8662 Visit Website
The Atomic Fern

The Atomic Fern isn't just a bar — it's a social club for locals who love board games and beer. This unpretentious hangout offers an evening of laughter and fun playing games and chatting with people. One local on Facebook called the Atomic Fern "one of the most chill and comfortable bars ever." If that isn't a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is. You can come alone to this low-key bar and see if there's a game of Cards Against Humanity or Settlers of Catan that could use an extra person.

6

Dain's Place

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0
754 9th St • Durham, NC 27705 (919) 416-8800 Visit Website
Dain's Place

The friendly atmosphere at Dain's Place is positively contagious. This bar attracts many regulars because of its extensive beer selection and chatty staff members. You can even find the owner mingling with the crowd on most evenings. Dain's Place is one of those old-fashioned, low-key joints where you don't have to put on a suit to blend in and make friends. Plus, many locals say Dain's Place serves the best burger in town.

4

Durham Speed Dating

Durham Speed Dating

Don’t have time to wander around hoping a date will fall in your lap? Then maybe you should look into speed dating. A speed dating event can present you with dozens of potential dates and help you weed out the undesirables and focus on dates who share similar interests, backgrounds, and goals. You can spend a fun evening chatting up a storm with local singles and walk away at the end of the night with a promising list of mutual matches in your pocket.

5

Durham Singles Events

Durham Singles Events

Singles events are like speed dating events in that both attract a targeted demographic of date-worthy folks — but singles events don’t pressure attendees into conversations with one another. It’s more of a casual atmosphere where people form relationships organically. You don’t have to decide right away if you like someone at a singles event. You could easily go the friends-first route and attend regular meetups with locals who get along with you.

6

Durham Singles Clubs

Durham Singles Clubs

Durham is home to a diverse musical scene. Many talented artists, from rapper G Yamazawa to banjo player Jim Mills, have called this city home over the years. Today, its dance clubs reflect a rich tapestry of musical history and celebrate the people’s right to bust a move. Singles can head to a local nightclub to mingle in a crowd of laughing, cheering, singing, and dancing people. The dim lighting sets a romantic mood and helps singles bring out their wild sides.

7

Durham Chat Rooms

Introverted singles can sometimes get tongue-tied when meeting a love interest in person. The pressures of making a good impression can leave these singles at a loss for words. If that rings true for you, then perhaps it’s time to leave the face-to-face dates for later and start building relationships in online conversations. A local chat room can offer a much-needed break for daters tired of navigating the bar scene or club scene. You can take things slow and choose your words with care while chatting up singles.

8

Durham Personals

Dating personals have been around since 1695 when eligible bachelors would place an ad to announce themselves in need of a wife. Nowadays, the practice has gone digital. Dating personals sites appeal to casual daters who don’t want to complete a lengthy bio or questionnaire to get a date. You only need to share your name, age, location, and relationship goals when creating a profile on a personals site.

9

Get Involved in Volunteer Activities in Town

Durham’s nickname is the City of Medicine because so many doctors, nurses, medical students, and other healthcare professionals live and work in its borders. These people have dedicated themselves to healing and helping others, so it’s no wonder that the city has a long history of volunteerism.

Photo of volunteers in Durham, NC

Volunteers can make a friend while making a difference in a cause that matters to them.

The Triangle Nonprofit and Volunteer Leadership Center is a nonprofit volunteer hub that supports over 1,400 charitable causes. Since 1972, this group has created a network of more than 15,000 giving people in Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill. The organization highlights opportunities to get involved in local fundraising events or volunteer days.

You can search the Triangle Nonprofit’s website for a volunteer event by need, date, distance, agency, qualifications, and other criteria. You can even specify that you prefer to work in a team, so you can meet people who share your values. You can build tight bonds with your fellow volunteers while working together to give back the community.

Now Get Out There & Make a Date in Durham

Meeting people and building relationships can be difficult, especially if you’re new in town like Monkeymanda, but all it takes is a little knowledge and a little effort to get something positive going. Locals in Durham can take advantage of the college town’s engaging cultural scene to make a friend and make a date in no time.

Whether you’re creating an online profile or attending an event, you can put your best foot forward in the dating scene by seeking out the most popular platforms, venues, and hangouts in Durham. Hopefully, our list of the best ways to meet singles has given you some great ideas to increase your chances of meeting someone special. Good luck!