Introduction to Online Gay Dating: 6 Things You Need to Know to Ensure Success
When it comes to the world of gay dating, there are many things one needs to know. Whether you are wondering what to wear on your first date or are just looking for gay online dating profile tips, here is our list of the top 10 things to consider when you take the plunge into the world of gay dating.
1. Gay Dating Online Has Great Benefits
While gay dating online dating has numerous benefits, the most important is the ability to connect with someone on an intimate level. At a dance club or a smoky bar, you cannot enjoy simple conversations—the type that allow you to pick up on someone’s sense of humor or their general level of intelligence. Online dating allows you to take the time to get to know people.
Another great benefit is that you can easily reject people you have no interest in talking to. At the bar, some don’t accept being brushed off well (or they just can’t take a hint). On the internet, all it takes is a simple click, and you are on to the next guy.
2. Profiles Lacking in Content
While smartphone apps are extremely easy to setup and use, they leave everything to the imagination. Other than a few characters, maybe two or three sentences, you won’t get much information from browsing profiles on apps like Grindr.
Often, the desire to fill your profile with the minimum requirements is hard to overcome. You want to do as little as possible so that you can immediately start to see other users in the dating pool; however, take the time to properly fill out your profile so that you can connect with those that share your interests.
If you’re looking to date and make a love connection, stay off Grindr and try an online dating website like match.com.
3. Profile Pictures
Nothing is more disheartening than showing up to a date and finding that your date’s profile picture doesn’t live up to expectations. It is not fair to you and it wouldn’t be fair of you to do the same to someone else. Unfortunately, it’s a constant reality in the online dating world – one that you have to be aware of. Use a current picture. Do not photoshop your picture. And by all means, use an appropriate picture.
4. Online Dating isn’t Dating
We mentioned earlier that there were numerous benefits to online dating. While this is the case, it is important to remember that online dating is not the same as dating. Even though you may spend hours in deep, intimate conversation, this does not constitute a date. You have to get out, meet new people in person, and try new experiences. If you find someone interesting online, take the plunge and ask them out on a date.
5. Unexpected Money Conversations
A problem you might not expect to have in online dating is in regards to money. Because of the different dynamics that are present in gay relationships, there are often significant differences in assets and income. As many men are interested in relationships, career and personal finance questions are bound to pop up in conversation, so be ready to handle them appropriately.
6. The Number of Gay Online Dating Users is Growing Exponentially
A recent study published that 70% of gay couples are now meeting online. With numbers so high, it is hard to ignore the facts; online dating is the wave of the future. After reading the aforementioned nine facts--and given the simplicity of online dating--it is hard to fathom a future in which we don't all participate in online dating.
Whether this is your first time researching gay dating sites online or you are just dusting off the cobwebs after a long-term relationship, just remember to be true to yourself, be honest and open, and be willing to try new experiences. Often, the biggest obstacle in gay dating is getting out of your own way.
There’s no shortage of apps for gay men looking to find a partner. Whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or a one-night fling, there’s likely an app that will find you suitable matches. That leaves the choice up to you. If you’re looking to enhance your chances at finding someone, it could be time to invest in one of these top dating sites for gay men.
Best for: gay men looking for a highly compatible partner
- System learns your preferences
- 1 million gay users daily
- Swipe through matches selected just for you
- Photo verification for added safety
- User-friendly mobile app
Zoosk is a major player in the dating site world, with more than 30 million users—including 1 million gay daily users. Its “behavioral matchmaking” technology tracks your preferences as you surf the site, and uses that information to improve its match suggestions. The suggestions come to you by way of the “carousel” feature, an easy-to-use pool of profiles you can swipe through one by one, clicking yes, no, or maybe. This gives you a little taste of the fun you know from Grindr or Tinder, but on a more commitment-oriented platform.
You can send smiles or likes to other members, and you also have the option to spend a little extra money to purchase Zoosk coins, which can be used to buy presents for potential suitors—unless you think that’s coming on too strong.
With a free account you can browse the site and look at other users, but you won’t be able to contact anyone. You can get a 6-month membership for $12.49 per month, 3 months for $19.98 per month, or 1 month for $29.95.
Read the full Zoosk review
Best for: gay men looking to connect with someone with shared values
- The biggest dating site in the game
- Millions of gay singles
- 7 quick games to help you flirt with other users
- Mutual search helps you find people who share your goals
- Mobile app with sleek design
Match makes it easy to search for all types of gay singles. Better yet, you can cruise for guys with the “mutual search”—which looks for men with similar goals to you. You can also search with the reverse match, where you search based on specific criteria that you select. Whoever you decide to connect with, you’ll rest easy knowing that Match screened their profile to make sure it’s legit.
But what’s the point of meeting a single guy if you can’t flirt? Match includes 7 quick games that you can play to see who you’re compatible with. With names like “romantic rip-off,” “name that dance,” and “gut reaction,” the games are fun and a good way to learn a little bit about the person on the other side of the computer. If that doesn’t work, you can also attend one of the monthly “stir” events, to see if you have more luck in the real world, during happy hour.
You can create your own profile with photos with a free 7-day trial membership that will give you all the benefits of a paid membership. After the trial is over you won’t be able to contact other users without choosing a paid subscription. Paid memberships cost $12.99 a month for 12 months, $21.99 a month for 6 months, or $23.99 a month for 3 months. If you decide to go with the “bundle plan” which includes email read notifications, first impressions, and highlight profiles, you will pay $20.99 per month for 12 months, $23.99 per month for 6 months, or $27.99 per month for 3 months.
Read the full Match review
Best for: gay men looking for educated men in their league
- More than 80% of users have college degrees
- Personality test analyzes who you are and who you want
- 3-7 personalized matches daily
- Filter matches down to your specs
- Mobile app for serious singles
EliteSingles is the go-to for gay men looking to take some of the guesswork out of dating and meet career-minded, commitment-minded men. With Elite Singles you answer dozens of questions on a personality test designed to help determine which guys are the best match for you.
On EliteSingles you’ll receive around 3 to 7 matches every day, and the service allows you to easily reach out by text message. The guys you meet are a lot less likely to be scrubs—82% of users have a university degree. That’s the EliteSingles recipe—fixing up people who are at the top of their game, know they’re worth it, and want somebody to share it with.
EliteSingles has the sort of pricing options you’d expect from a service geared toward busy professionals. A single month membership runs $99.95, while a 3-month package is $59.95 a month, and 6-month packages are $39.95 a month. You can sign up for free, build a profile, upload photos, take the personality test, receive partner suggestions, and send smiles and likes to matches, but you won’t be able to send messages to other members without a paid membership.
Read the full ElitaSingles review
4. Compatible Partners
Best for: gay men who feel most comfortable on an all gay dating site
- Personality test finds matches that are right for you
- See who viewed your profile
- Guided communication to help you break the ice
- Secure phone calls
- Free mobile app download
Compatible Partners is a dating site for gay singles who are serious about finding a committed relationship, and not just looking for a fling. With a relatively high price tag and the amount of time it takes to sign up, it’s not for casual daters. But maybe you’re at the point where that’s a good thing?
When you sign up for Compatible Partners, you’ll need to answer a highly-detailed relationship questionnaire. After you fill it out, which takes about 20 minutes, you’ll start receiving matches on a daily basis. If you need some help cracking the code of first date small talk, Compatible Partners can help with guided communication.
You can use Compatible Partners for free, and browse member profiles to see what’s out there. Once you get a paid membership you can communicate with other members, see photos of your matches, browse outside your preferences, send and receive unlimited messages and see who viewed your profile. The Basic Plan costs $59.95 for one month, $39.95 per month for 3 months, and $29.95 per month for 6 months. The Total Connect Plan includes the RelyID feature, which verifies your ID and the plan also allows you to carry out secure calls with other users. The Total Connect Plan costs $44.95 per month for 3 months, $33.95 per month for 6 months, and $23.95 per month for 12 months.
Read the full Compatible Partners review
Best for: gay men over the age of 50
- Geared toward the 50+ crowd
- Daily matches based on your preferences
- Upload audio and video to your profile
- Simple, easy-to-use mobile app
Your 30s and 40s were fun, but if they’re a bit back in the rearview and you’d like to find something serious, maybe it’s time to check out OurTime. The site is geared specifically toward people over 50 and is all about putting compatibility first.
Compatibility matters, and OurTime lets you filter out matches based on your preferences, so you can put your likes and dislikes front and center. The site also lets you swipe through the potential matches, much like with apps such as Tinder and Grindr.
If you’re worried about safety, OurTime has implemented some serious security measures to protect you and your data. The site also offers important tips about dating safety.
The site is easy to use and has a customer service team that is very responsive. You can sign up to OurTime for free to start browsing gay men. In order to communicate with guys, you’ll need to choose a paid subscription though. Choose a 1-month plan for $29.95 or a 6-month plan for $17.96 per month.
Read the full OurTime review
Best for: gay men looking for hookups and casual sex
- Free to download and use
- Most established and long-running app for gay and bi men
- Around 4.5 million daily users
- Match with men in your immediate proximity
- Filter by “tribes” such as bear, jock, etc
- “Gaymoji” features over 500 LGBTQ-themed emojis
Grindr was a pioneer when it launched its location-based dating app for gay men back in 2009. Since then it’s spawned myriad copycats, racked up millions of users, ventured into media and advocacy endeavors, and weathered its share of criticism, praise, and controversy.
But it’s still going strong, as evidenced by the millions of gay men who use Grindr daily, typically, but not exclusively, for hookups and casual sex. Grindr’s appeal begins with its simple format: when you log on you’re presented by photos of men within close proximity. You can click on each user to view their photos, read a short profile, and see how close they are to you. You can narrow down your matches with filters such as age, body type, and “tribes” such as “bear” or “jock.” Sending messages is easy and includes over 500 LGBTQ-themed “Gaymojis” to make the conversation more interesting.
In addition to its free service, Grindr offers paid subscriptions called Grindr Xtra and Grindr Unlimited. Grindr Xtra increases your search and range options and allows you to scroll incognito, while Unlimited, at $49.99 for a month or $300 for 1 year, includes enhanced search filters, additional tribes, viewed me and message read receipts, and the ability to view unlimited profiles.
Read the full Grindr review
7. Gay Cupid
Best for: men who know what they’re looking for
- Simple and easy to use
- Exhaustive search options
- 100% gay dating site
- Good at weeding out fake profiles
- Free dedicated app for Android and iOS
Gay Cupid may look basic to you at first, but if you spend some time on the site you’ll realize that there’s substance where it matters—in its searching tools.
But first, the big picture. Gay Cupid offers everything you’d need in a dating site: ample profile space for photos and self descriptions, an easy to navigate dashboard, and in general an intuitive layout that will have you scrolling through men’s profiles in no time.
The matchmaking tools are not fueled by an algorithm, but by a few rudimentary questions you’re asked upon signing in. That’s why Gay Cupid is an ideal site for those who know what they’re looking for, and are fine with doing the searching themselves. While the matchmaking feature is more than capable of presenting you with suitable men, the search functions should be considered the stronger option. With advanced search filters, keyword searching, and a CupidTag feature that allows you to search by personality traits—and the ability to save an impressive 20 different searches—Gay Cupid makes the most sense for men who know what they’re looking for and are willing to forego algorithms and create their own custom searches.
Gay Cupid is free to join although functions are limited to searching and some basic communication. To flirt, message, and instant chat with other men, users will need to upgrade to the Gold plan ($8.33/month for 6 months) or Platinum plan ($10/month for 6 months).
Read the full Gay Cupid review
Best for: gay men on the go
- Quickly rising in popularity
- Meet men who identify as bear, muscle, and or other communities
- Plan vacations ahead of time to meet up with other men
Known as a sort of niche Grindr for the hairier, bear-ier set, Scruff combines Grindr’s geo-match approach with some of its own idiosyncrasies that have made it a huge success in the gay dating world. Though Scruff projects itself, in name and marketing, as a sort of muscular, bearded-man’s dating app, users have reported a more diverse representation than the name and graphics would have you believe.
Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that the app caters more to the scruffy type than any other. If that’s your thing, you’ll find plenty that’s familiar as well as some unique divergences. The app offers a grid layout of profiles that are easy to view, though when you find one you like you can send a “woo” or click on the “interest in meeting” option that serves as a conduit to further discussions and meetups. Users also have public and private photo albums, the latter of which includes photo and video and can be shared with special recipients.
One interesting and celebrated feature of Scruff is its travel tools. The Scruff Venture feature is essentially an interactive travel guide to over 500 destinations worldwide. You can use it to view other men visiting the area, browse events, and plan meetups.
You Don’t Have to Settle—to Settle Down
These days there are more gay dating site options than ever before, and they have the know-how and experience to help you make a meaningful connection. Whether by sophisticated matching algorithm or location-based app, by searching for your specific type and tribe or waiting to see who pops up on your screen, the options are making it easier for men to connect. All you have to do is figure out what you’re looking for, open your mind, and take the plunge.