10 Ways to Meet Singles in Norfolk, VA (Dating Guide)

Norfolk, VA

10 Ways to Meet Singles in Norfolk, VA (Dating Guide)

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks
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In 2011, NomadInVA boldly proclaimed “the Norfolk dating scene for men is awful” in a local discussion forum. The 30-something single had a steady job and a good sense of humor, but he hadn’t had any luck in the love department for over a year. He asked for guidance, and many single guys sympathized with his plight.

“Sorry nobody warned you before you came to this sausage fest,” wrote Mikado in a reply. “Norfolk has 109 men to every 100 women, which is abnormally high.”

These and other comments validated NomadInVa’s pessimistic attitude without offering many solutions — besides moving somewhere else. Well, we don’t agree with that. Even if the male-to-female ratio isn’t exactly equal, Norfolk still has a lot to offer singles seeking a date. To prove it, we’ve come up with 10 ways to meet singles in the second most populous city in Virginia.

1

Norfolk Dating Sites

At the top of the list is online dating — aka the best way to meet singles everywhere. Joining a dating site allows singles to take a targeted approach to the dating scene and filter a city full of date prospects down to the most desirable candidates. You can join most dating platforms for free and browse the database for an unlimited period of time. Below, we’ve ranked and reviewed some of the best options for Virginia residents.

Best Singles Site

Virginia may be known as the Mother of States, but Match is known as the mother of dating sites. Launched in 1995, it is the longest running dating platform in existence and often sets the bar for other dating sites and apps. Match.com is a pioneer in the online dating scene, and it has helped millions of singles find loving relationships.

★★★★★
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 »

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Best Site for Professionals

EliteSingles is an upscale dating site designed to satisfy the single professionals of the world. If you work at a Fortune 500 company on Hamptom Road, you should feel right at home in this network of highly skilled and well-educated singles.

★★★★★
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 »

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Over 50 & Senior Sites

With a median age of 30.2, Norfolk is a relatively young city where mature daters can have difficulty meeting age-appropriate dates. That’s why having a membership on OurTime can come in handy. This senior dating site connects singles over 50 using easy-to-understand search functions and matching tools.

★★★★
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

Over 43% of Norfolk’s population identifies as African-American, making it a fairly diverse dating environment for local singles. However, it can’t hurt to up the odds of meeting someone special by joining a network where close to 100% of members are black or biracial, and that’s what BlackPeopleMeet offers on its niche dating community.

★★★★
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

Finally, Adult Friend Finder is our number one pick in terms of adult-friendly dating sites, if you know what we mean. This is an X-rated platform that facilitates hookups between singles and couples looking to spice up their love lives.

★★★★
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

Dating apps provide all the utility of a dating site and all the convenience of chatting on your smartphone. It’s ideal for singles who want to meet people while they navigate the city. Most apps support the swiping system we all know and like/dislike, allowing users to very quickly sort through the dating field and cultivate mutual matches. We recommend giving the following mobile-friendly dating platforms a try.

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

Norfolk Singles Bars

If you feel like you’ve exhausted your virtual options, you always have the local bar to fall back on and help you find a date. The casual atmosphere is ideal for singles seeking date-worthy folks around town. You can easily order a drink, maybe some dinner, and make conversation with interesting people at the bar. Maybe you’ll make a new friend, or maybe you’ll pick up a date — either way, you never know where the evening will take you. Check out the following Norfolk bars to take the dating scene by storm.

1

The Birch

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
1231 W Olney Rd • Norfolk, VA 23507 (757) 962-5400 Visit Website
The Birch

Norfolk's The Birch is famous for its craft beers, rich ciders, and grilled cheese sandwiches. The bar stays open until midnight Tuesday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, so it's a perfect place to grab a late-night snack, and maybe invite someone to split a cheese board with you. This is a great place to try exotic brews and cheesy meals to your heart's delight. "The grilled cheese itself is straight perfection," said Lydia in a Facebook review. "Perfect place for a low-key celebration!"

2

Hershee Bar

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
6117 Sewells Point Rd • Norfolk, VA 23513 (757) 853-9842 Visit Website
Hershee Bar

For over 35 years, the Hershee Bar has proudly claimed the title as Hampton's most beloved lesbian bar. The Hershee Bar comes alive during its weekly karaoke nights and daily happy hours. This quirky spot welcomes people of all ages, orientations, and backgrounds, and many regulars hang out together under the sparkling purple lights. You can invite someone to play a game of pool or order a plate of spicy wings at the bar. The Hershee Bar also showcases local talent in live musical performances, drag shows, and other spectacles.

3

Gershwin's

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
332 Granby St • Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 226-0814 Visit Website
Gershwin's

Walking into Gershwin's is like stepping back in time to the 1930s. You almost expect Frank Sinatra to saunter up and take the stage. This is a classy joint. The servers all wear tuxedos and the cocktails are as enjoyable to look at as they are to drink. What really cements this place in people's hearts, however, is the live entertainment. Gershwin's hosts musical talent every Wednesday through Saturday night, and it's even been known to host a drag show on occasion. You can sit back and enjoy a swanky evening out at this upscale piano lounge.

4

No Frill Bar & Grill

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
806 Spotswood Ave • Norfolk, VA 23517 (757) 627-4262 Visit Website
No Frill Bar & Grill

The No Frill Bar and Grill is a down-to-earth bar that keeps things simple. When the owners chose such a straightforward name, they made a promise to the Norfolk community not to put on airs or try to be anything other than a good place to order a drink. This classic American bar and restaurant welcomes people who are who they are and don't want to be anything else. Since 1987, this bar has wowed patrons with juicy burgers and homemade desserts. All in all, No Frill Bar and Grill is a quality-driven hangout where singles can just relax and be.

5

AJ Gators Sports Bar & Grill

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
9575 Shore Dr. • Norfolk, VA 23518 (757) 228-5857 Visit Website
AJ Gators Sports Bar & Grill

Established in 1996, AJ Gators Sports Bar & Grill is a well-known, locally owned chain restaurant and bar in Virginia, and it has been around so long for good reason. The sports bar serves wings dripping in flavorful sauces and extreme nachos piled high with toppings. Anyone looking for good old-fashioned bar food won't be disappointed here. Just remember to save room for the funnel cake sundae. You can't help but have fun here. Throughout the week, AJ's hosts special events, including live musical entertainment, that gets people talking, laughing, and cheering.

6

Press 626 Wine Bar

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
626 W Olney Rd • Norfolk, VA 23507 (757) 282-6234 Visit Website
Press 626 Wine Bar

Located at 626 West Olney Road, Press 626 Wine Bar delivers a first-class dining and drinking experience for Norfolk locals. People gush over the bar's knowledgeable staff, superlative wines, and delicious food. This wine bar places a high premium on politeness and cultivates an air of Southern hospitality in the historic Ghent District. Whether you stop by for Sunday brunch or an expert wine seminar, the bar's eclectic menu will keep you coming back for more.

4

Norfolk Speed Dating

Norfolk Speed Dating

Speed dating is a great option for singles who just don’t have time for all that swiping and chatting. At a speed dating event, you can meet dozens of date prospects in one night and select the most likely matches of the lot. It’s a time-efficient way to find compatible folks around town. Plus, most speed dating events are theme according to age, ethnicity, or other personal factors to give singles that much more in common. Look on Eventbrite to see if a speed dating event is taking place in or around Norfolk.

5

Norfolk Singles Events

Norfolk Singles Events

Singles events can provide all the romantic potential of a speed dating event — but with less of a time crunch. You can attend a singles event to meet people at your leisure and form more organic relationships with like-minded folks. Everyone is pretty approachable because they’re all there hoping to make a connection. The easiest way to find a singles event in Norfolk is to look on Meetup. You can search by keyword to find a group that suits your interests and relationship goals.

6

Norfolk Singles Clubs

Norfolk Singles Clubs

Norfolk is the home of blues singer Gary U.S. Bonds and crooner Wayne Newton, as well as many other noteworthy musical artists. The city’s musical tradition has shaped the downtown scene, which comes alive at night. If you’re looking to let loose on a Saturday night, the club may be your best bet. Singles can mingle among a crowd of willing dance partners at Norfolk’s nightclubs. You can bust out your best dance moves and hopefully catch the eye of someone special while the music plays.

7

Norfolk Chat Rooms

Chat rooms may seem a little old-school, but they’re still relevant resources for singles online. You can always find someone to talk to on this friendly and accessible platform. You don’t need to fill out a complex profile to get started either. Just log in and start chatting. It’s easy to jump in and meet people here. And, hey, if you don’t like where the conversation is going, you can always exit out of it. Chat rooms provide a low-risk way to expand your social network and meet a variety of people online.

8

Norfolk Personals

One of the primary differences between online dating personals and online dating is the seriousness of the singles who join. It can take a long time to create an attractive profile on a dating site, whereas it takes only a few seconds to put up an ad on a personals site. You don’t have to go into great detail about yourself — just make sure you put down your name, age, location, and what you’re looking for, and you can fill in the rest of the blanks later. Online dating personals put singles on the fasttrack to romance with simple tools and a straightforward interface.

9

Give Your Time at a Volunteer Event

Sometimes the best thing you can do to help your love life is to stop spending so much time thinking about and worrying over your love life. Getting out of your daily routine and doing something for someone else can not only improve your mood — it can also introduce you to a new society of friendly and giving individuals.

Photo of Norfolk volunteers

Norfolk’s local food bank welcomes volunteers of all ages and backgrounds.

We recommend volunteering with a cause you care about if you want to meet new people and nothing else on this list seems to be working for you. Norfolk has plenty of volunteer opportunities to choose from, and almost none of them require any previous experience or advanced skills.

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, for instance, works to eliminate hunger by doling out free, nutritious meals throughout the community. If you can wield a spoon, you can volunteer.

By spending your time at a pet shelter, a nonprofit organization, or a conservation society, you can expand your horizons among a team of like-minded people. Sharing a common cause with folks helps you create an unbreakable bond that could lead to something really special.

10

Head to a Public Park & Take in the Sights

Last of all, you can head to a local park during the day to meet outdoorsy locals. Norfolk has a variety of zoological parks, botanical gardens, and recreational spaces that become hot spots of activity when the weather is nice. Local dog parks are particularly great places to introduce yourself to fellow dog lovers because you have a built-in conversation starter: “Which dog is yours?”

Whether you join a friendly soccer match or splash around at the beach, you can get active in the social scene at a public park.

Downtown’s Town Point Park frequently hosts festivals and celebrations that bring the community together. These events provide a wonderfully casual atmosphere if you’re ever looking for some family-friendly entertainment.

Norfolk Dating Becomes Much Easier When You Know Where to Go

Many people in the great “Is Norfolk dating awful?” debate of 2011 pointed toward the unfavorable gender demographics in the city as evidence that straight single men would have a tough time finding dates. And there’s some merit to that. However, men can game the system and target female-friendly places (like pottery classes or volunteer events) to up the odds of meeting someone special.

Throwing up your hands and blaming the city isn’t going to get you anywhere. You have to take action in the dating scene and seek date opportunities online and offline. We’ve recommended multiple ways to meet folks around town, and we hope our readers take advantage of as many of these resources as possible. Instead of bemoaning your single status, why not get out there and do something about it? It may take time and patience to build relationships, but it’s so worth it in the end. Good luck!