Best LGBTQ+ Dating Sites
Author Emma Stockton
Author Emma Stockton
One thing that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation can agree on, is that dating can be a real nightmare. This usually applies regardless of which method you choose. But if you’re like most people, you eventually turned to one of the many online dating apps.
This is especially true if you are gay or LGBTQ, who according to experts is twice as likely as straight adults to have used a dating site or app. A study from Stanford in 2019 showed that online meetings have become the most popular way for couples to meet – especially for gay couples. In that study, 28% met their current partner online (compared to 11% of straight couples).
But gays face a unique set of challenges that make online dating particularly challenging. Unfounded questioning of sexual history, harassment and fetishization – where most come from straight people.
As a result, many regular dating apps have taken steps to become more inclusive. What is even better, however, is that new dating apps for gays, in particular, are appearing all the time. So to help you meet your match, we have compiled some of the best dating apps.
This is one of the most famous dating sites out there. Match.com started up already in 1995, so most people have heard of it or used the service at some point.
Like most regular dating sites, Match.com does not allow you to do much without registering, creating a profile and paying a subscription fee. This is the first thing you need to do before you can get started. Your profile contains your personal information, interests, lifestyle, values and other information. They also ask you to indicate what your perfect match is, depending on, for example, eye colour and smoking preferences.
Unfortunately, dating sites are also targets for scammers. It is not difficult to create a false profile, as those responsible do not carry out very many checks. Unfortunately, many users of Match.com have noticed the proliferation of fraudsters on the site.
In theory, Match.com should help you find your ideal man or woman, but in practice, it does not seem to work so well. Users have complained that the location settings are not sufficiently selective, even though it was the primary matching factor. In addition, many users state that they were matched with singles based on their zip code rather than interests and things they had in common.
Another problem with Match.com is that the site does not filter out users who have not uploaded any photos, even if you have explicitly adjusted the settings to prevent those users from contacting you. We can directly compare this with other dating services, which match users based on complex algorithms rather than zip codes.
Many also believe that for dating as gay or LGBTQ, the service is quite useless. This is because it all feels very heteronormative and you only have two genders to choose from. Furthermore, you can only choose “men” or “women” you want to date, or both. Other services (see below) have a more extensive selection.
This is a dating site aimed at well-educated singles who want to meet like-minded people. However, the site has no income requirements or the like. Elite Singles is often ranked as one of the better dating sites/dating apps in the UK for you who are looking for a serious relationship.
The range of gay singles is relatively large, and everyone is usually looking for someone to share their life with. So they take their search for love and a life partner seriously. Elite Singles also has a team that verifies all profiles, which reduces the risk of fake profiles.
However, there are two major disadvantages to this service: 1) Premium membership is required to send messages. 2) The number of users in some cities can also be quite small. If you live in a big city, you have a greater opportunity to meet a partner.
It is completely free to register on Elite Singles. But as with many other dating sites, you need to have a premium membership to get full access to the entire site. At Elite Singles, you also need to have this to be able to interact with other members. Unfortunately, the prices are also quite high.
The platform has two memberships, Premier and PremiumPLUS. Here you can filter your searches, make a detailed profile and get more matches every day. These subscriptions have proven very popular in gay dating lately.
Elite Singles also has an app that is very easy to use. In summary, Elite Singles is a good dating site for you who are well-educated and want to find like-minded people. You will find almost exclusively members with the same goal – love and a serious relationship.
This is a dating site for gay men. The focus is mainly on casual and sexual encounters, rather than long-term relationships. The service was launched in 2003 and is a pioneer in the community for gay dating online.
According to the administrators, the site has acquired over 10 million members since its launch. The site has completely free features thanks to revenue from ads, paid movies, donations and other income-generating projects.
The site targets a broad demographic and welcomes all types of men from the gay community. Whether you are gay, bisexual, metrosexual, a twink or still in the closet, you are welcome to join. Regardless of your age, ethnicity or cultural background, you can sign up for an account.
The majority of Adam4Adam’s members are in the United States, but there are still many others who are based in different parts of the world, including the UK. 53% of Adam4Adam users are non-white, making it the most multiethnic gay dating service at present.
Adam4Adam has a very comprehensive list of search filters. You can either be very specific (if you have special standards) or far too general (if you are someone who likes to be surprised). As a free user, you are entitled to at least three saved searches. If you want more, ten searches to be exact, you need to take advantage of the premium membership.
However, Adam4Adam’s mobile app lacks both features and design. In the app, they seem to have removed at least half of the special features that made Adam4Adam unique. But what the service lacks in the app, it compensates for in the mobile browser. Most of the features are in the mobile version (not the app), the design looks more streamlined and it is generally a better experience. Adam4Adam has lots of unique features that suit the very sexual purpose of the service. There are movies to watch, sex toys to buy and sexual encounters to plan. This is an app that in other words fits very well if you are only looking for a sexy flirtation and a casual meeting here and now.
This is another app that meets the needs of gay men. Grindr is known to be the largest dating service for gay men, and also the most used. With an average of 3.6 million daily active users in 196 countries, Grindr is the largest mobile social network for men in the world. Since its launch in 2009, the app has grown to become a fundamental part of users’ daily lives around the world, competing – and perhaps even replacing – gay bars and online dating sites as the most effective way for gay men to meet.
Grindr was a pioneer in the true sense of the word. It was the first geo-social app ever launched in the iTunes App Store. Positive reviews circulated through gay blogs and users’ testimonials, and by 2012, the app had reached 4 million users in 192 countries – with 1.1 million users online daily.
Grindr’s base product is a free, ad-supported app that uses location technology in iOS and Android devices to directly connect men with other men in their area. For a small fee, users can also upgrade to Grindr Xtra, a premium subscription service, for an ad-free experience and access to additional features. The app is visually attractive and extremely easy to use. To register, enter your email address and date of birth, select a password and turn on the phone’s location services. Upload a profile photo, then select a display name and write a short “About Me” section to introduce yourself.
The most interesting details of the Grindr profile can be found in the “Statistics” section. The standard selection for dating apps is available to everyone – height, weight, ethnicity, body type, relationship status, what you’re looking for – but Grindr also adds sections specifically for its gay user base. Users can also specify a sexual position they prefer and which categories they belong to (Bear, Clean-cut, Geek, Jock, Otter, Poz, Twink, etc). In the “Sexual health” section, users can also view their HIV status and the dates they last tested.
A fun messaging feature is Gaymoji, a collection of over 500 LGBTQ-themed stickers. Use them to personalize the chats in the app or in the text messages you send on your phone. Grindr plans to add more emojis to the collection in the future.
While most things are positive, there are some things on the list of disadvantages. One is that potential matches are only shown via geolocation – users can not search for matches themselves. Although the simple profiles make it possible to look through them quickly, they do not go in-depth like other dating services. In addition, some users find that the technology in the app’s messaging system does not always work optimally. But Grindr is overall one of the best and most popular apps when it comes to online dating for gay men. The fact that the app has 3.6 million daily users speaks for itself.
Tinder was the pioneer of the now-ubiquitous sweep function, which revolutionized the world of online dating and today boasts 1.6 billion swipes/sweeps per day. You will probably see someone you work with within the app, which can be either unpleasant or exciting. But if you’ve exhausted your chances with all the queer people you know in real life, this is probably where you can find the highest number of gays in the local population – especially in smaller cities.
An app aimed primarily at straight people like Tinder does, must simply be followed by a cloud of heteronormativity. Unfortunately, marking that you only want to see men or just want to see women does not guarantee that a straight person will not slip through the cracks in your flow. Tinder is also a breeding ground for unicorn hunters, as well as male trolls who submit false complaint reports about trans women in the app. Unfortunately, Tinder also has a history of banning users who change their gender identity or, for example, support Black Lives Matter.
Despite all this, Tinder has made remarkable efforts to be more inclusive by collaborating with GLAAD to personalize sweeps (that is, “show me people with the same identity first”) and ensure that the platform meets the diverse needs of the trans community. Over 40 gender options are available, which beats Match.com, which in total only offers two.
Tinder is app-focused (available on both iOS and Android), but you can also register via the web on your desktop – however, this is not the preferred platform. The first step is to log in via Facebook or, if you do not want Facebook to have even more information about you, via an SMS to your phone. Once you have received and entered a verification code, Tinder will let you get started.
If you are looking for a nice casual encounter rather than a long-term relationship, the Tinder app is for you. However, it is not uncommon to find a life partner via Tinder, but the tip is to check out other dating services with a focus on more serious relationships. With that said, Tinder does exactly what it says it will do – help you find a quick date. In other words, it’s a lot of fun, and judging by its popularity, it can pay off.
Academic Singles is a matchmaking service that aims to help well-educated people find each other. With the help of a scientific matchmaking system based on a comprehensive personality test, you are only matched with potential partners who are compatible with you. The questionnaire determines your attitude, your wishes, expectations and opinions. Through your answers, you get an analysis of your personality and also of your ideal partner.
According to statistics, the majority of members (both men and women) are between 35 and 54. The gender distribution is reported 51% for men and 49% for women, which provides a really good balance.
However, you have the opportunity to become a member of this site regardless of education level or professional status, so the “academic” as a whole should be taken with a pinch of salt. But the vast majority of members are looking for a relationship, and someone to share their life with. If you are looking for a temporary meeting, this is probably not the platform for you.
The way you contact your matches is that you go to their profiles and click on the chat icon. For example, you can choose a pre-written question that is sent en masse to your matches, or write your message. Then you can choose from the answers and start communicating with someone you like. Even if you already talk to someone regularly, you can still choose to remain anonymous.
The app has the same look as the browser version. Some would say basic, while others would say streamlined. Like the browser, there are no ads in the app. Push notifications are available so you know immediately when you get a new match or when someone has sent you messages.
Surprisingly, most of the app’s users are from Taiwan, followed by France. The app is free to download on Google Play and the App Store.
This is a matching service for people over 50, a previously overlooked group in dating contexts. As the name suggests, the majority of users are people over 50, but when we search we can see that many are also in their forties.
The service works so that appropriate matches are presented to the users based on compatibility. This is calculated through the scientific personality test that you do at registration. And not only that, but users can also see a description of their ideal partner. With a streamlined website that only focuses on finding a long-term partner for members, Singles50 has had a staggering 41% success rate over the years. Since its inception, it has gained over 200,000 members.
The members of Singles50 are experienced singles who have been in the dating scene a few times, and who know exactly what they want.
Because all members are around 50 years old, they are on somewhat the same wavelength in life, they share some life experiences and would generally probably agree more easily. What’s even better, is that the relationship between male and female Singles50 members is almost perfectly divided in half. This gives both sexes an equal chance to start a conversation.
However, if you select “I am a man” it will automatically select “Looking for a woman”. Although this is heteronormative, it is not necessarily exclusive to LGBTQ individuals, as you can still manually set that you are looking for the same sex under the “Looking for” field.
OkCupid’s slogan is “Match on what matters”, and rightly so – especially for gays. Although both gay and straight people are welcome, the platform has managed to get rid of much of the worst heteronormativity that still plagues Match.com, for example. The whole thing is hip and current while maintaining a more serious atmosphere than Tinder. The dating app is free to use and also has a good reputation in the dating world. Over and over again, OkCupid dictates the direction of inclusion in the online dating world. In 2014, they launched 22 gender and 13 sexual orientation choices – many years before such changes became a priority for competing websites. From 2020, all users can also choose their pronouns. The commitment to social justice is also clear with the introduction of profile badges, for example for when you vote or for Black Lives Matter supporters.
OkCupid’s new design in 2017 went deeper than hiring a “millennial” as a graphic designer. The brains behind the operation understood that young people today take their partner’s political values more seriously. You as a user can clear away people who do not share your values by answering deal-breakers about questions such as weapons or vaccination.
Matches in the app are strengthened by an algorithm that selects matches based on how both parties answered questions during registration (questions about communication, previous relationships and political opinions). A compatibility point plus details about where you do not agree is a good basis when it comes to evaluating what differences you can not tolerate with a potential partner. You can also choose to only show your profile to gays, and hide it from straight – which is a big plus.
Today, there are more platforms and opportunities for gay dating than ever before. The selection is huge, and you can easily find the best site or app that meets your needs. No matter which one you use, you can set your criteria and find something that can either be a nice flirt or a long-term partner. This has made it much easier for homosexuals to find a partner, without being subjected to harassment or questioning.
However, some services are more focused on casual relationships, while others focus on love and a lifelong relationship with a like-minded partner. Many also have different location functions, which means that you can easily be matched with others who are in your geographical vicinity – this increases the opportunities for you to meet. However, it is a good idea to find out some facts about the particular app you use before you start, and what reputation it has. But the online dating services finally allow you to open your mind and venture out into the dating world – good luck!
Some things to keep in mind may be to find out as much as possible about the platform you intend to use, and its reputation. It can also be a good idea to upload new photos and talk to your match for a while before you decide to meet up.
It depends on what you are looking for. Some platforms focus on sex and casual relationships, while others focus on love and a long-term relationship.
It is advisable to talk to your match for a while before you meet. Once you meet, it can be good to meet in a public place. Please also ensure that your match has posted several pictures so that the person in question can be recognized easily and be truthful with who they are.
Many services have features where you can see if you are compatible. Other services only allow you to see profiles where you share values. But it can also be a good idea to talk properly first, to find out potential disagreements even before you take it all further.
There are several dating sites that target people over 50, such as Singles50. Even if you are over fifty, you can still enjoy the dating world, just open your mind and dare start.
It is possible. Many of the services above report love stories where users have met and where love has sprouted.
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