In the world of gay dating apps, Grindr has chalked up a rather unsavory reputation for itself. Sure, there’s no denying its importance as the pioneering location-based app to connect gay chaps. But over the years of its long existence, Grindr has become a cesspool of toxic men who perpetuate unhealthy body image ideals. Also, the fact that it is commonly used for hookups and not actual dates; thus, it’s pretty much impossible to find Mr. Right in the sea of Mr. Dicks that clog up the app.
A quick disclaimer before we proceed: we’re not saying that it’s impossible to find your boyfriend on Grindr, nor are we criticizing hookups. All we’re saying is that Grindr is not the most ideal place to find love, and you’re better off seeking romance somewhere else. But if hookups are your thing, that’s entirely up to you; this article is most likely not going to be the best read for you.
The good news is that Grindr has seen its fair share of competition pop up left, right, and center. In this article, we introduce 10 gay dating apps for you to try out to increase your chances of finding Mr. Right.
A dedicated app made by LGBTQ+ folk for LGBTQ+ folk, TAIMI prides itself on being the world’s largest LGBTQ+ platform. Mainly used by the younger crowd (18 to 24 years old), TAIMI is not just the place to find a potential match, but also make lasting friendships with people who share similar experiences to you.
Like other dating apps in the market, TAIMI lets you set your filters to ensure you only see guys you’re attracted to. Once you’ve matched with other guys, you can then begin to chat with them and spark a new connection, whether it be a friendship or a relationship.
2. Coffee Meets Bagel
Coffee Meets Bagel functions on a very simple modus operandi: it wants you to form meaningful connections with the people it matches you with. While it was originally made for straight women who don’t want to have vapid, meaningless conversations with men, the app is also open to gay men who share the same goal.
You can see the app following through on its mission with just how detailed it wants you to be in your profile. Based on what you’ve included on your profile, the app will give you a Bagel—or what it calls a potential match—at noon every day. You and your match then have 24h to start talking to each other and (hopefully) forge a lasting bond.
While Tinder is the hookup app for straight folk, it is the cleaner version of Grindr for gay men. Here, the chances of scoring a quality date minus the hookup are much higher, although you’ll still have to deal with guys judging you based on your appearance first and foremost.
Using the app is pretty straightforward too. You start by setting your preferences with filters and the app will show you a series of profiles based on what you like. From here, it’s a matter of swiping right or left to indicate your interest in a guy and (hopefully) get matches.
Astrology lovers, NUiT is the app for you. This app goes super in-depth into astrology, moving beyond the common star signs to analyze your birth chart and ensure you’re matched with guys who’ll make good partners.
NUiT’s Cosmic Connection Insights are divided into four major categories: Romance, Magnetism, Business, and Friendship—the parts of a relationship that matter the most. With such attention to detail, you can be sure that you’ll be set up on dates that won’t disappoint.
Unlike other heteronormative dating apps like Tinder, NUiT understands that gay people do not want to see or be seen by straight folk. You can be assured that when you have the right filters activated, you’ll only see men who are, like you, attracted to men.
Photo from Bumble
Bumble is an app designed for straight women in mind, encouraging them to break gender norms and make the first move in the game of love. But it can also be used by gay men, where both parties are given the push to initiate conversation and start the ball rolling. When a conversation is sparked, your match has 24 hours to respond or the connection will expire.
If you’re feeling a little shy or just don’t know what to say to your match, you can play the Question Game, where you ask each other questions to get to know each other better.
OkCupid is another one of those apps that were made for straight people, but have since opened their doors to the LGBTQ+ community. Specific to OkCupid, you can choose among 22 gender options and 13 sexual orientation choices in its filters to help you tailor the quality of the people whom you encounter on the app.
As with other gay dating apps, OkCupid functions on a mutual interest basis—you get to talk to someone when you’ve successfully matched with them. With an emphasis on the details you provide about yourself on your profile, OkCupid promises to find you matches based on your personality and quirks.
If you’re tired of answering a seemingly endless list of questions to build your profile, then Zoosk is the app for you. Simply connect your social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram to Zoosk, and you’re ready to go. If you’d rather keep your social media separate, then Zoosk isn’t the right app for you.
Zoosk uses a Behavioral Matchmaking mechanism that gives you matches based on how you use the app. So, factors like who you like, message, and wink at are closely examined; on your subsequent logins, you’ll find more potential matches that are tailored to your preferences.
8. Plenty of Fish
A clever play on the saying that “there’s plenty of fish out there in the ocean”, Plenty of Fish delivers on this point by being one of the most widely used dating apps out there.
There’re plenty of options for you to choose from, which is, well, both good and bad. On one hand, you can cast your net far and wide and increase your chances of finding a good match. On the other, the huge swath of choices may make it harder to land a quality match.
Regardless, Plenty of Fish is a good choice if you’re looking to start a relationship or just simply a friendship.
While Scruff is said to be the hairier version of Grindr, it’s not an app that is dedicated solely to hookups. You can use Scruff Match to only see guys who’re looking for dates or a relationship. According to its CEO Eric Silverberg, Scruff has helped many gay men find their boyfriends or even their husbands. This is definitely worth the shot if you’re looking for something serious. Of course, no promises there; remember that Scruff is a hookup app first and foremost!
Boldly proclaiming that it is an app designed to be deleted, Hinge seeks to be different from all its dating app competition, bidding farewell to the classic model of endless swiping. It actually wants you to find your Mr. Right and delete all dating apps, itself included, from your phone for good.
Your journey with Hinge begins from a questionnaire. Through this questionnaire, you build the most real picture of yourself so that potential matches know what to expect. If presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg could find his husband Chasten Glezman through Hinge, you can too!
Gay Dating Apps for Serious Relationships
As the apps we’ve covered in this article show, love is not dead in the gay community. You’re not alone in your quest to find Mr. Right and these apps are helpful tools you can use to find a life partner. We wish you all the best in your search for the right man to join your life journey.