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What is the best gay dating app?

Isaac Archuleta

best dating apps for LGBTQ


“Here goes nothing”, I think to myself as I once again find myself downloading the ever-daunting dating LGBTQIA+ apps that will either be a source of unparalleled happiness or spiraling doom. Dating is undeniably terrifying. The whole concept of meeting strangers and being vulnerable with them in the hopes that something comes out of that interaction, be that something a hook-up, a short or long term relationship or maybe just even a friendship, is overwhelmingly bizarre. But the potential of that “something” maybe happening is in and of itself a truly beautiful experience. 

I constantly joke around with close friends that I am ready for a relationship. I crave the emotional and physical intimacy that comes with one. My friends, being my most brutal advisors, always say the same thing, “Derek saying you want a relationship is worthless if you don’t put yourself out there. In order to find a relationship, you need to well, date.” And running the risk of inflating my friends’ egos, they’re right. The only way to find someone, is by going out to the battlefield we call a “dating pool” (my body convulsed a bit just thinking about it haha). With the diverse options available in dating pools, they are definitely a hit or miss, especially for the LGBTQIA+ communities. Our dating pools are drastically limited and difficult to traverse. That is not to say that dating is impossible, just that we have to work a little harder than other communities. Thankfully, (or grudgingly), accessing LGBTQIA+ friendly dating pools has been made easier by online dating. We can carry the entirety of our dating pools on our phones. The real question now is, which of the innumerable dating apps is the best one? The answer is, it depends.

Dating is defined differently by everyone. Some people define dating as the traditional going out on dinner dates and movies etc, while others define dating as meeting people to just hook-up. However you define dating or whatever your end goal with dating is, trust me there is an app for you. Channeling my inner Renee Rapp, “in the interest of time and you having a good and fun time” dating, I compiled a few gay dating apps and I divided them by target audiences and the different styles of dating. I will also give out some free and “unsolicited” advice on dating.

Gay dating apps

Dating Tips:

  1. Be upfront about your intentions! Whether you want a long term relationship or just a one night stand or a “friends with benefits”, communicate that to the person you match with. If you’re both on the same page, the interaction will flow much better. Reciprocity is key! If you’re not on the same page, ask yourselves if a compromise is possible and what it would look like. If not, then move on to the next match (you’ll find someone who wants the same thing as you, trust me) and in doing so you avoid hurting others and yourself.
  2. Dating is scary. For many, dating is the monster under the bed. Whether a casual or a long term relationship, reflect on any fears, obstacles or trauma wounds that might resurface and block relationships, result in the infamous act of “ghosting” and/or an impromptu trip to your therapist.  Identify hard limits and establish healthy boundaries from the beginning. 
  3. Heal, Heal, heal! We’ve all been hurt and failed before one way or another which is unfortunate. We may struggle with trust and love as a result of this but we have all the tools needed to overcome adversity.

App Breakdown:

  1. Grindr:
    1. Population: Gay, bi, trans & queer people
    2. Purpose: Casual hook-ups but relationships are a possibility , although a rare one.
  2. HER:
    1. Population: Lesbian, bi & queer femmes
    2. Purpose: Dating but lowkey also a social app sort of like X.
  3. Scruff:
    1. Population: Gay, bi, trans queer men
    2. Purpose: Dating relationships, apparently one of the safest LGBTQIA+ dating apps so kudos to them!
  4. Taimi:
    1. Population: Inclusive for all groups of the LGBTQIA+ communities 
    2. Purpose: Flexible and inclusive dating and sexual interactions
  5. Hinge:
    1. General population: General population (Best dating app statistically for meaningful connection) 
    2. Purpose: Content curated directly for maximizing long-term dating.
  6. Tinder (Honorary mention):
    1. Population: LGBTQ+ friendly but not necessarily its target population.
  7. Sniffies:
    1. Population: Gay, bisexual and bicurious men.
    2. Purpose: Anonymous brief sexual meet-ups. 
  8. Feeld:
    1. Population: Kink friendly and open-minded individuals.
    2. Purpose: Facilitates communication between people interested in ethical non-monogamy, polyamory, casual sex, kink, swinging, and other alternative relationship models and sexual preferences.

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