9 Ways to Meet Singles in Richmond, VA (Dating Guide)

Richmond, VA

9 Ways to Meet Singles in Richmond, VA (Dating Guide)

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks
Updated:

A few years back, a 25-year-old single professional moved from Washington, D.C., to Richmond, Virginia, because of a job opportunity in the finance sector. He didn’t know anybody outside of work, so he soon found himself bored and alone on weekends. He tried going to bars, hiking on trails, and reading local blogs, but he couldn’t find his niche in the social scene.

“I am having a major culture shock trying to adjust to the Richmond lifestyle,” he said on a discussion forum. “It seems like it’s really hard to meet new people.”

The 25-year-old tried asking locals on City-Data.com for help. However, the conversation quickly derailed into a debate over how close-minded Richmond residents are, and no one really had a comprehensive answer for newcomers interested in meeting people. That is, until now. We’ve put together a list of nine ways to meet Richmond singles and expand your social network in this historic city in the South.

1

Richmond Dating Sites

Online dating is by far the fastest and most effective way to meet singles these days. You can create your profile, set your search parameters, and start chatting within minutes. It doesn’t take long to sort through the online dating network and identify local singles who meet your match criteria. All of the following dating sites are free to join and give you the opportunity to flirt with singles who are exactly your type.

Best Singles Site

Match is our top-rated dating site because it has been around the longest (launched in 1995) and has the most success stories to its name. It has stayed popular and current through all these years thanks to its smart match algorithm, which uses personal data to pair up compatible individuals.

★★★★★
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

Richmond is home to eight Fortune 500 companies and naturally attracts ambitious and career-oriented singles in the finance sector. Such singles often outsource the search for a companion to a high-caliber dating site like EliteSingles. This platform fosters a network of relationship-minded professionals around the world.

★★★★★
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

OurTime is the dating site of choice for singles over 50. The site’s easy-to-understand search setup appeals to a generation of singles who didn’t grow up swiping and messaging. You don’t need a degree in computer science to figure out how to meet people on OurTime. Once you complete your profile, the site will automatically recommend date prospects in your area.

★★★★
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

According to the 2010 census, 50.6% of Richmond’s population identifies as black or African-American. That means you have pretty good odds of finding a black or biracial date in town — especially if you use BlackPeopleMeet to kickstart your search. This niche dating site has thousands of black singles in its database.

★★★★
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

If you’re more interested in short-term fun than long-term relationships, you should consider creating a sexy profile on Adult Friend Finder. This hookup site encourages daters to stop being coy and start arranging steamy encounters with singles and swingers. The real-time messaging tools help singles flirt and find sexual partners on demand.

★★★★
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

Smartphone technology has changed the way we live, work, play, and date in fundamental ways. You no longer have to find a computer to access your dating profile and respond to incoming messages — you can download a dating app and stay in touch wherever you go. Dating apps use location-based searches and match algorithms to streamline the process of meeting someone special. We recommend Richmond singles download the following dating apps to take their love lives up a notch.

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.
  • Browse Free: View Profiles Now

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

Richmond Singles Bars

In 1935, Richmond became the first city to produce canned beer commercially, and people loved it. This was only two years after Prohibition had ended, and drinking beer had never been so easy and affordable. Nowadays, you can still find plenty of folks settling back with a cold one at a local bar and celebrating their right to a good time. Singles head to Richmond’s most popular bars to meet new people and pick up dates over a few drinks.

1

Rogue

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
618 N 1st St • Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 477-3456 Visit Website
Rogue

Since it opened its doors in 2013, Rogue has become the preeminent cocktail bar in Richmond. Just one look at the drinks menu is enough to turn anyone into a fan of this place. The mixologists frequently introduce new craft cocktails to pair with the bar's seasonal cuisine, and their creativity has won them the good favor of many locals. If you're not sure what to order, pick a flavor (fruity, floral, savory, bitter, spicy, etc.) and ask for the Dealer's Choice. They'll whip you up something memorable to get the juices flowing.

2

GWARbar

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
217 W Clay St • Richmond, VA 23220 (804) 918-9352 Visit Website
GWARbar

GWARbar stands out from the crowd by paying tribute to the heavy metal collective formed in Richmond in 1984. The bar is actually right around the corner from the place where the band met, and its colorful, gruesome, and blood-spattered atmosphere celebrates the music, passion, and grittiness of the metal community. You can order a chicken-and-waffle sandwich, cauliflower nuggets, or a towering gravy burger on GWARbar's blood-spattered menu, and you'll always leave with a good story.

3

Penny Lane Pub

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
421 E Franklin St • Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 780-1682 Visit Website
Penny Lane Pub

In 1979, the O'Neills' Penny Lane Pub brought the flavors of Liverpool to Virginia. This chummy two-story tavern is open until 2 a.m. six days a week (and until midnight on Sundays) and attracts local singles looking for a friendly pint, a classic English meal, and maybe a game of darts or pool. As a family-owned establishment, the Penny Lane Pub makes everyone feel welcome. From the red telephone booth to the die-hard football (soccer) fans, the pub makes you feel like you're in the U.K. and relaxing with old friends.

4

Rosie Connolly's Pub Restaurant

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
1548 E Main St • Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 343-1063 Visit Website
Rosie Connolly's Pub Restaurant

Rosie Connolly's Pub Restaurant is an authentic Irish pub named after the owner's grandmother, who grew up in Ireland and dreamed of moving to the States one day. In 2004, Tommy Goulding fulfilled his grandmother's dream and opened a pub in Richmond. Today, the pub serves good old-fashioned Irish comfort food, 18 Irish whiskeys, and 12 pub drafts. Locals also know Rosie Connolly's as a go-to place to enjoy karaoke nights and live musical performances. It's easy to linger here for hours enjoying the pub's friendly atmosphere.

5

Wonderland

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0
1727 E Main St • Richmond, VA 23223 (804) 643-9233 Visit Website
Wonderland

Wonderland is a whimsical bar full of personality. This unpretentious dive bar is a colorful and casual place to grab a cheap drink and kick-ass meal. The chicken wings and waffles dish is reason enough to stop by. You'll have to go off-the-beaten path to find this hole-in-the-wall establishment, but many first-time visitors like it so much that they become regulars. This is the kind of bar where everyone is chatty with one another, and a lively and courteous staff makes sure everyone has a great time and drinks their fill.

4

Richmond Speed Dating

Richmond Speed Dating

Richmond built one of the world’s first electric streetcar systems and sped up people’s commute time from one side of the city to the other. It was a pretty big deal in the early 20th century. Speed dating has done something similar for today’s singles. These fast-paced events get men and women where they want to go much quicker than the traditional date-one-person-at-a-time strategy. You can quickly find someone who’s relationship material by going on dozens of mini-dates in one night.

5

Richmond Singles Events

Richmond Singles Events

Singles events offer a targeted environment for building long-lasting relationships. Active daters can use these mixers, meetups, and parties to scope out date prospects and build friendships with people who share similar interests and goals. Richmond has a fair number of social groups for singles of all ages, beliefs, and backgrounds. You can search Meetup to find the group that’s right for you.

6

Richmond Singles Clubs

Richmond Singles Clubs

RVA has produced many iconic musicians, including Jason Mraz, Chris Brown, and Fighting Gravity, and it’s also home to GWAR, a heavy metal band with a rabid following. Whether you’re interested in soft crooners or hardcore shock rock, you can find just about every kind of music playing in Richmond’s downtown area. The nightclubs host a diverse audience, but many of them are single and hoping to make a connection on the dance floor. You can check out Yelp’s reviews to find the most popular places to rock out in your neighborhood.

7

Richmond Chat Rooms

If you’re not comfortable talking to people in person right off the bat, a chat room may be your ideal dating ground. It’s low-key and low-pressure, and you can mingle at your leisure while staying at home. The anonymous forum provides a flirtatious atmosphere where singles can be direct and honest as they share personal stories and form online friendships. You don’t need to complete a lengthy profile to sign up to a chat room, so it’s easy to jump in and jump out of these conversations.

8

Richmond Personals

A lot of people confuse online dating with dating personals, but they’re not actually the same thing. Dating personals remove a lot of the bells and whistles dating sites are known for and stick to the basics. You have a brief profile (they call it an ad), a messaging system, and search filters for age and location. That’s about it. Dating personals don’t use match algorithms to recommend particular profiles — they leave all that to you. This straightforward process appeals to singles who are eager to get down to business and arrange a date quickly.

9

Volunteer With a Cause You Care About

Volunteering can be a fantastic way to meet caring people while doing something you care about and making a difference in people’s lives. Richmond has an active volunteer community, and it’s always accepting new members, so you don’t need any pre-qualifications to jump on in.

Photo of volunteers in Richmond

Richmond supports many volunteer groups that help out in various ways.

Richmond’s official website lists neighborhood volunteer opportunities to inspire locals to get involved. These teams work together to make the world a little cleaner, healthier, and happier. You can make good friends while tackling major volunteer projects across town. It’s best to choose volunteer work that you’re passionate about so you can share that passion with others.

Most people think of picking up litter or spooning out soup when they think of volunteer work, but it can include a lot of fun activities as well. The RVA Street Art Festival relies on volunteers to help plan, set up, and police its event every year. You can join the team to support the art community through this nonprofit effort and educational event.

Go With the Flow & Meet People in River City

Moving to a new area can be challenging, especially if you’re single, but the right resources, events, and friend groups can help people adjust into their new lives. Richmond is full of opportunities to meet singles who are open to building relationships and having fun experiences.

Hopefully, our list of ways to meet people can answer the concerns of singles, like that 25-year-old from D.C., who just don’t know where to go to make friends and find dates. Ultimately, any action you take to put yourself out there is a step in the right direction, and Richmond is a wonderful (and totally open-minded) place to get started.

“I understand your culture shock, and you will likely have to put more effort in here,” said one Richmond resident in the discussion forum. “I’ve also heard people talk about people in Richmond having their circle of friends, but I don’t buy that (from my experience). I’ve found that when I meet people while doing productive extracurricular activities, I meet people very easily.”