The Best Dating Sites for Gay Men
There’s no shortage of apps for gay men looking to find Mr. Right – and especially Mr. Right now. If you’re looking to find something serious, or at least more than a spontaneous rendezvous, it could be time to get off the hookup apps, and invest in one of these top dating sites for gay men.
*Last updated: October 2017
Zoosk is a major player in the dating site world, with more than 30 million users in 80 countries and 25 languages worldwide – including a million daily users on the gay section. Zoosk is known for personalized, smart matchmaking that helps users find someone just right for them. Its “behavioral matchmaking” technology tracks users’ preferences as they surf the site, and uses that information to improve the suggestions it sends you. The suggestions come to you by way of the “carousel,” an easy-to-use pool of profiles you can scroll through one by one, clicking yes, no, or maybe.
Zoosk profiles aren’t loaded down with too much information, though it still provides users with more than just the eye candy you might be used to from hookup apps. Users can stock their profile with their “likes”—such as movies, TV shows, and music—which befits a dating site that started out as a Facebook app. This info is also put to use by the behavioral matchmaking, to get the right guys in your carousel.
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.
Users can sign up for photograph, phone number, and Facebook verification, which not only may help you avoid being let down by a bait-and-switch on the first date, but also adds an extra layer of security. Zoosk also features a handy safety guide, full of pointers for dating safely. You can also see who is online at any moment, and who has viewed your profile. The site is mobile-friendly, and has its own app for iPhone and Android.
Zoosk allows users to sign up for a free profile and search potential matches, but if you want to contact anyone, you’re going to need a paid membership.
Bundle package (access to all features)
Basic bundle package
*Last updated: October 2017
To many people, online dating is synonymous with Match.com. A leading dating site since 1995, it has tens of millions of users worldwide and some of the most extensive offerings of any dating site.
Match.com allows users to start out with a free membership, in which they can view other profiles, and send “winks” and mark other users as “favorites.” When you sign up, your profile will be sent out to compatible users, as part of the “first impressions” feature, which is meant to give your new profile a little push out of the gate.
If you want to send messages to other users, connect with other users on instant message, see who has viewed or favorited your profile, or attend live “stir” events, you’ll need to get a paid membership.
Match.com has extensive search options, allowing you to peruse potential partners through a “mutual search”—which looks for people with similar goals to you—and by reverse match, where you search based on specific criteria that you select.
Security is important at Match.com, where all communication between users takes place through an anonymous email network and no names or contact information is shared between users unless they decide to do so. Furthermore, Match.com staff screens all photos and profiles to make sure the content is appropriate.
A fun aspect of their matchmaking is the 7 quick games that users can play with one another, in order to see if they’re compatible. With names like “romantic rip-off,” “name that dance,” and “gut reaction,” they’re light-hearted and 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 with other users in the real world, during happy hour.
*Last updated: October 2017
EliteSingles is the go-to spot for gay men looking for a site geared towards busy professionals, especially ones who want to take some of the guesswork out of dating.
The company prides itself on the personality test it uses, which it says was developed with the assistance of experienced psychologists. It takes you through dozens of questions and should take at least 20 or 30 minutes to finish. It’s full of the sort of questions you’d expect to find on a job application, for example: do you agree with the following statements: “I’m good at analyzing problems”, “I’m a follower more than a leader”, “which one of these [landscape] photos best describes you,” etc. While it might not be the most romantic experience, it should help narrow down your potential matches.
It should be noted that while the company touts its “free service,” all that consists of is the ability to take the test and see some potential matches. In other words, if you don’t want to pony up any cash, you’re pretty much limited to a long multiple choice test and a quick look at some people you aren’t allowed to contact.
EliteSingles has the sort of pricing options you’d expect from a service geared towards busy professionals. A single month membership runs $99.95, while a 3-month package is $59.95/month, and 6- and 12-month packages are $39.95/month and $24.95/month respectively. If you opt out of profile verification, read receipts for messages and the personality profile, you can cut another $2/month off the bill.
What do you get for that price? EliteSingles says users receive around 3 to 7 matches every day, and the service easily facilitates your ability to reach out to them by text message.
Their biggest selling point though, is the clientele. According to EliteSingles, 82% of users have university degrees—it’s right there in the name, after all.
Bottom line, it’s a site tailor-made for people who are very particular about themselves and what they’re looking for, and want a service that can meet these standards.
3. Compatible Partners
Total Connect plan
*Last updated: October 2017
Compatible Partners is the only one of our featured sites that specifically targets the gay and lesbian community. Founded by eHarmony in 2009, it’s for people looking to make a real investment in their love life, and who are looking to make a serious commitment. When you sign up for Compatible Partners, you’re first asked to answer dozens of questions on a highly-detailed relationship questionnaire. After you fill out the test, which takes about 20 minutes, you’ll start receiving matches from Compatible Partners on a daily basis, with the site doing the legwork for you.
There are two ways that Compatible Partners recommends communicating with potential matches—guided communication and open communication. With guided communication, the site walks you through the small talk of your online “first date” with a potential match, almost a sort of digital Cyrano De Bergerac for those who may be a bit unsure of themselves. With the “FastTrack” option, you move directly to open communication with a match, who you can communicate with directly through private, anonymous messages delivered through the site. There’s no free option on Compatible Partners, but if you pay, you can see photos of your matches, browse outside your preferences, send and receive unlimited messages and see who viewed your profile.
Compatible Partners is very clearly a site for gay and lesbian users who are serious about finding a committed relationship, and not just looking for a fling. With its high price tag and the amount of time it takes to sign up, it’s not for casual users, but maybe you’re at the point where that’s a good thing?
The Bottom Line
Being single can be fun, but if you’re looking to settle into something more serious, these dating sites can help you make a connection more meaningful than your last fling. 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. All you have to do is figure out what you’re looking for, open your mind, and take the plunge.