Oh crap, is that a pimple? Seriously, being a gay man and trying to find someone to date is a real chore.
There are tons of hurdles to overcome that can make it feel like the deck is stacked against us. One major barrier can be figuring out where to meet someone. While bars can be a fun place to hang out with our friends, they are not always conducive to romantic connections. And let's face it—as time goes on, the inability to meet a quality person can take its toll on our confidence. After speaking with a number of formerly single gay men who are now happily partnered, I will now reveal seven places to find your next boyfriend that are not a bar.
What follows are seven suggestions for places for gay men to meet a potential boyfriend that do not include a bar or nightclub. You'll find suggestions you've heard before, some of that are unconventional, and others that may even be silly. But if you're trying to break out of the bars, you may want to give them all a chance.
I will add that this list is by no means exhaustive—please feel free to add ideas in the comment section at the end of this article. You may be thinking that using apps and websites seems silly, but many gay men have met the guy of their dreams by using these types of platforms. Popular ones include OKCupid and Gay. Some of these are free while others cost a small amount or charge a nominal fee for premium services. The great thing about apps and websites is that most all of them nowadays allow the user to input certain search criteria or filter out folks based on user preferences.
You can also check MeetUp for gay groups of common interests in your area. If you like outdoor activities, check out Gay Outdoors. If you are one of those people, you need to rethink this and do so quickly. According to recent research, there are 41 million people in the US who are currently looking to meet that special someone online. This statistic does not speak to the number of single gay men specifically, but we make up a fair amount of that number.
If you have tried dating using apps and sites before with no luck, consider using a different app.
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Scroll through your smartphone's options and pick something new. The idea here is to create change. Remember, dating is a numbers game. You have to put yourself out there in order to make it happen. And here is one final point on this suggestion—while Grindr, Scruff, and other apps are great tools for meeting people, keep in mind that some of these platforms are more sexually charged than others.
There is nothing wrong with this but if your goal is to date, using the right app is important. We are talking millions! There are a number of fan pages and groups on Facebook that are specifically designed for gay men who are single and relationship-ready. Remember, the people who are putting themselves out there are doing so with the same motivations that you are—to connect with someone for romance. Did you know you can search Facebook for people on your friends list that are single? You sure can! You might be surprised.
Of course, identification as single on Facebook depends on what the user indicates in their profile. But using this approach does allow you to see potential candidates. If they are an acquaintance, why not consider going out for a coffee? Later on the both of you might figure out that was your "first" date. Again, what do you have to lose? As a population, we gays are very giving. Plus, many of us like to get all dolled up and go to events, like fundraisers for the different causes we support.
Get rid of the wing-man. Why confuse folks? In this capacity, you help to fill the table by soliciting people for donations. As captain, you have control over who is seated at your table—which is a huge advantage for you! Plus, you get to network with others who may be single and thereby expand your circle of available men. Go to the fundraiser with the mindset of supporting the cause you care about, but be open to meeting someone new.
Attitude is everything. This particular suggestion has worked well for many gay men who were formerly single. Do you like photography?
What about painting, fitness, biking, aviation, cooking, horticulture, and so forth? One of the great things about about taking a class is the built-in advantage of a shared interest! Many classes are free or at little cost.
You can find them by doing a Google search using your hometown or county in the search terms and seeing what pops up. Chose a community class you are genuinely interested in and not just one where you think all of the hot men will be.
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Remember, it is only a shared interest if it is genuine. This particular suggestion is a twofer when you think about it. First, you get the benefit of giving the gift of yourself to a cause you care about. Second, you will undoubtedly meet new people. More than a few happily partnered gay men have reported that they met their man through this approach. And so if you care about the environment for example, why not contact your local Greenpeace? If your passion is supporting your local LGBT community center, why not call them to see how they can use your gifts?
Some people worry about the time commitment required to volunteer for an organization.
This is a very valid concern. It helps if you are up front about what you can and cannot do when you speak to the volunteer coordinator. Even if you can only be a greeter for an annual event or work the coat check, for example, it is something.
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And hey, a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing. Yep, you read that right! A professional organization to which you may already belong likely has a chapter dedicated for LGBT members. The point here is that whatever you do for employment, there is likely a professional organization with a gay-focused subdivision. Almost all of them hold events, including socials, mixers, and fundraisers. If you belong to one of these associations, great—your work is half done. If not, why not look for one that fits your particular background?
As mentioned earlier, dating is a numbers game. Some may recoil at this suggestion, but guess what? Many partnered men have reported meeting their husband at their local gay-friendly church or spiritual center. There are a lot of gay men who are deeply spiritual—and not just the bat-crap, self-loathing types that we often hear about, either. If you have a local place of worship or other community-based venue for spirituality and you identify with what is offered, why not give it a try?
More and more, religious organizations are recognizing that LGBT folks have spiritual needs.
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If you are one of those people who are not sure what you believe in, consider taking the Belief-o-Matic self-assessment. Did you know there are gay communities of Agnostics, Quakers, Pagans, Humanists, and so forth? There sure are!
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And there are gay atheists who congregate, as well. Take the self-assessment to see where you fit in. Obviously, going to a local gay-friendly church or spiritual center should be about your spiritual nourishment and well-being. Think about this first before you decide which venue for spirituality is best for you. The dream that one day, you will meet the guy of your dreams is a wonderful thing to dream about. But fantasizing and doing something to make it happen are two different things.