10 Ways to Meet Singles in Grand Rapids, MI (Dating Guide)

Grand Rapids, MI

10 Ways to Meet Singles in Grand Rapids, MI (Dating Guide)

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks
Updated:

I’ve only been to Grand Rapids once, and it was by accident. My family had planned a trip to Yellowstone, but the travel agent got turned around somehow and booked flights to Grand Rapids, Michigan, instead of Rapid City, South Dakota. Yeah, it was a mess.

When we landed, my parents were looking for a connecting flight that didn’t exist. Then it dawned on them that we had reached our destination. We ended up staying in town for a couple days while the airlines sorted out a new itinerary, and it was actually pretty fun. We had food vouchers to spend on pizza and desserts (my parents drank quite a bit of wine to take the edge off), and I got my first look at Michigan.

Sometimes life takes an unpredictable turn, and you just have to roll with it. Maybe you didn’t intend to be single in Grand Rapids, but you can make the best of your circumstances by taking advantage of the dating resources in Michigan’s second largest city.

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Grand Rapids Dating Sites

Online dating used to be stigmatized as the last resort of desperate singles, but not anymore. Now it’s gone mainstream, and active online daters no longer feel a need to hide how they got a date or where they met their boyfriends/girlfriends. Meeting online has become increasingly common — in fact, it the was the most popular way The Knot brides said they met their spouses in 2017. Modern dating sites feature search tools that empower you to pursue local dates or international romances with the click of mouse.

Best Singles Site

Since 1995, Match has basically dominated the online dating space. Millions of singles have joined this international network, and the site takes credit for facilitating more first dates and relationships than any other platform. Match is a general dating platform, so singles of all ages, backgrounds, and orientations are welcome here.

★★★★★
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

Every eight minutes, EliteSingles makes yet another love connection using its intelligent match algorithm. The high-end dating site caters to well-educated singles seeking a long-term relationship. If you’re looking for the real deal in Grand Rapids, we suggest creating a profile on EliteSingles and upping the caliber of your dating experience.

★★★★★
4.7/5.0

Relationships: Serious Relationships

Match System: Search, Receive Partner Suggestions

Our Experts Say: “EliteSingles 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 »

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Over 50 & Senior Sites

Since its launch in 2017, OurTime has brought a fresh perspective to senior dating. The niche dating site encourages mature singles to make the most of their golden years and experience the thrill of falling love all over again. It’s free to join OurTime and embark on a dating adventure with people in the same age bracket.

★★★★
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

BlackPeopleMeet is the premier dating site for black and biracial singles in the U.S. The diverse network is a breath of fresh air for singles who find themselves in the minority everywhere they go. Nearly 21% of Grand Rapids residents identify as African-American, so if you want to bump that number up to 100%, log into BlackPeopleMeet today.

★★★★
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 »

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Hookup & Sex Site

Maybe the typical straight-laced, play-it-safe dating site just doesn’t do it for you. Maybe you thrive in a more sexually charged atmosphere. Then Adult Friend Finder is the place for you. This hookup site encourages singles to let their freak flags fly and engage in sexually explicit conversations online. You don’t have to play coy on Adult Friend Finder because everyone on this site is looking for no-strings-attached sex.

★★★★
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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Popular Dating Apps

Dating apps are basically dating sites you can carry in your pocket. What’s not to love? These apps boil down the essential features on dating sites (matching, chatting, and profile editing) and deliver a quick and convenient dating experience to singles on the go. You don’t need to be very tech-savvy to get the hang of using a dating app. Check out the following top-rated apps to get started.

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).
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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.
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EliteSingles

★★★★★
4.9/5.0
EliteSingles

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 EliteSingles, 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. EliteSingles sees 210,000 visitors and 2,500 users finding love every month, so it's one of the fastest growing and most reputable apps.
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3

Grand Rapids Singles Bars

Grand Rapids is also known as Beer City U.S.A., so it’s safe to say the city has quite a few bars, breweries, and pubs. Singles often use the casual atmosphere of a neighborhood bar to pick up a date. These low-key, fun-filled spaces make it easy to create a romantic connection in the course of an evening. We’ve reviewed our favorite Grand Rapids bars where you can order a round of drinks to start a conversation and see where the night takes you.

1

Stella's Lounge

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
53 Commerce Ave SW • Grand Rapids, MI (616) 742-4444 Visit Website
Stella's Lounge

Stella's Lounge, home of over 250 whiskeys and 16 vintage arcade games, is a no-brainer for the top of this list. You're bound to have a good time here. All games cost only 25 cents a pop, so bring a bag of quarters and prepare for a nostalgic night of Tetris, Pacman, Galaga, and Donkey Kong. Plus, the award-winning food at Stella's Lounge scores major points among locals. We're talking juicy stuffed burgers, beer-battered avocados, and bacon fat popcorn. Every Monday night, the bar opens its doors and welcomes local comedians, singers, and poets to get on stage and strut their stuff.

2

Grand Rapids Garage Bar & Grill

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
819 Ottawa Ave NW • Grand Rapids, MI (616) 454-0321 Visit Website
Grand Rapids Garage Bar & Grill

The Grand Rapids Garage Bar & Grill offers happy-hour prices all day long. Need I say more? Patrons can guzzle down $2 drafts, $3 wells, and $4 glasses of wine every day of the week. Since 2014, the bar has aimed to run a good good party for locals, and that means offering plenty of liquor, including Sunday Funday shots. The Garage Bar & Grill is also known for its generously sized meals and strong Bloody Marys. You can kick back and make friends by playing a game of pool or ordering a large appetizer to share with people at the bar.

3

HopCat

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
25 Ionia Ave SW • Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616) 451-4677 Visit Website
HopCat

HopCat began on a mission to serve good beer to good people, and the bar has become a statewide sensation thanks to its tasteful ambitions. The bar offers regional, global, and Belgian beers with 49 taps, a firkin (monthly tappings), and a 250-bottle list. The beer isn't the only draw. You'll also find live bands and savory foods here. HopCat's famous Cosmik Fries will make your mouth water and have you hankering for more. You can order the fries (or any of HopCat's shareable plates) as a way of catching the eye of people at the bar and winning someone's good favor by asking, "Want to split some pizza rolls?"

4

Flanagan's Irish Pub

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
139 Pearl St NW • Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616) 980-0705 Visit Website
Flanagan's Irish Pub

Established in 1981, Flanagan's Irish Pub is a longstanding Grand Rapids institution. The bar offers live music four days a week and affordable drinks seven days a week thanks to its daily specials. You can expect great company and delicious pub fare whenever you stop by Flanagan's, but the truly best nights to visit are during major holidays. The bar's New Year's shindig and St. Patrick's Day celebration are legendary and give singles the chance to party, flirt, and revel in a fun atmosphere.

5

SpeakEZ Lounge

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
600 Monroe Ave NW • Grand Rapids, MI (616) 458-3125 Visit Website
SpeakEZ Lounge

Though the SpeakEZ Lounge was founded in 2012, the inspiration for the bar sprang from the 1930s. This old-fashioned speakeasy invites young flappers to dance, drink, and party like it's 1933. Whether you're sipping artisan cocktails or listening to smooth jazz, you'll feel transported to another time while you hang out here. The bar's inventive cocktails include the Vampire Lestat, Bergeron Punch, and Limoncello. The SpeakEZ Lounge motto is "Come as you are; leave happier than you came," so stop by anytime you need to recharge.

4

Grand Rapids Speed Dating

Grand Rapids Speed Dating

If you had a suite on the top floor of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, would you walk up all 29 flights of stairs to get there? Of course not. You’d take the elevator straight to the top. Speed dating is like the elevator of the dating scene. Instead of wasting time and energy going on one date at a time, you can zip straight to your ultimate destination. Participants fly through dozens of mini-dates in one evening, and they mark down which singles they’re interested in seeing again. It’s a fast and fun way to get hot dates on the calendar.

5

Grand Rapids Singles Events

Grand Rapids Singles Events

If you want to get a date, the strategy is pretty straightforward. You need to find a social setting where date prospects are plentiful and singles share similar interests and outlooks. A singles meetup fits the bill and provides ample opportunity to local daters hoping to meet new people. You can search on Meetup for singles events taking place near you. Many of these events revolve around a fun activity or hobby, so it’s easy to dive right in and start flirting.

6

Grand Rapids Singles Clubs

Grand Rapids Singles Clubs

The River City is home to several private colleges and public universities, including Aquinas College, Calvin College, and Cornerstone University, and its youthful population often lets off steam in the downtown area. On any given Saturday night, you can usually find singles bar-hopping and living their best life on the dance floor. This is a terrific opportunity for singles to come out of their shells and pick up a date by showing off their dance moves.

7

Grand Rapids Chat Rooms

Chat rooms offer a world of social activity that’s available 24/7. You don’t need to wear designer clothes to make a good impression here. Just start chatting. Your conversational style will attract singles to you. Many people log into local chat rooms out of boredom or curiosity and end up finding a stimulating environment where they can feel free to be themselves. Anyone over 18 can sign up for the following chat rooms and make a new connection on the web.

8

Grand Rapids Personals

Dating personals may look like traditional dating sites on the surface, but they have a few key differences in how they pair singles up. For one thing, personals sites don’t do any pairing. No match recommendations, no compatibility ratings, and no algorithms tracking your dating preferences. It’s just you and a list of possible date candidates. Another difference is the profile setup. Dating personals have ads instead of profiles, meaning singles briefly state who they are and what they’re looking for and leave a little mystery for the chat.

9

Attend a Communitywide Event or Festival

Grand Rapids supports a tight-knit community, and you can see its unique flavors come through during public events. These events can feature an array of sensational sights, sounds, and tastes. You can sample craft beers, watch street performers, support local artists, and generally have a fun time seeing everything the city has to offer.

Photo of the Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids

Over half a million people show up to the annual Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids.

The Festival of Arts has taken place on the first week of June every year since 1970. The three-day extravaganza is the largest all-volunteer event in the U.S., and over 20,000 people pitch in and make sure everything runs smoothly.

Local nonprofits run dozens of food booths scattered throughout the square, and the street fare includes everything from hamburger sliders to elephant ears. Anyone who has a taste for eclectic foods is going be well-served at this iconic festival.

“One of my favorite things to do is sit and watch people,” said Jaime M. in a Facebook review. “It is heartwarming to see folks of all colors, races, religions, preferences, etc. in an inclusive environment, enjoying treats, art, and music!”

10

Put Your Heart on the Line by Volunteering

Finally, volunteerism can lead to deep, worthwhile connections because it gets to the core of who we are and what we believe in. When you volunteer for a charitable cause, you are supporting good values and putting positive vibes out into the world. And that’s pretty attractive.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way offers many volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups. You can work alongside animal shelters, environmental groups, culture centers, and other nonprofit organizations to make the world a little brighter and happier.

Volunteer activities tend to involve teams of like-minded individuals working toward a common purpose, and that makes a good starting point for a relationship.

Discover a Grand Romance in Grand Rapids

Look, it’s easy to get turned around on your way to your desired destination, and sometimes even the best-laid plans go wrong, but you don’t have to let a single mistake be the end of the story. You can make the best of any situation by being adaptable and transforming bad luck into an unforgettable adventure.

A series of accidents led my family to Grand Rapids, and now the memory of that crazy vacation makes us all laugh. It doesn’t matter where you are — as long as you have the right attitude, you can turn any situation into an opportunity to have some fun and make something good happen.

The official motto of Grand Rapids is “strength in activity,” so get active, and you’ll soon find your dating strengths. Whether you’re meeting people offline or online, you can expand your horizons and reach your dating potential by seizing the moment and using the dating resources we’ve listed here. Good luck!