New Online Dating Trend: Group Dates
When you think of online dating, you probably conjure up images of two strangers sharing a drink or meal in an intimate setting. A new dating service, however, takes that idea and turns it on its head. It's called Grouper, and by using social media, it helps groups of single friends set up dates together, according to NPR. Let's take a look at some of the online dating facts surrounding this topic.
How Grouper Works
Grouper is targeted specifically at people in their 20s who may not be used to the traditional dating scene. People in this generation may find one-on-one dates to be intimidating or think going to a bar alone to pick up a date is too risky or embarrassing. The CEO of Grouper, Michael Waxman, argues that people in their 20s are accustomed to sharing every aspect of their life with their friends via social media. He told the news source, "For a generation of people who grew up with participation trophies, rejection is a hard thing."
Enter Grouper. Using the data you enter into your profile, Grouper sets you up with another single person. Once you've been selected, you recruit two other friends to join you, and your companion does the same. After that's done, the service sends you a time and a location, and after paying $20 to ensure everyone shows up (and cover initial cocktails), it's time to meet up.
Is Group Dating Right for You?
Match.com addresses the pros and cons of online dating in a group setting. Among the benefits are decreased pressure, a party-like atmosphere and the opportunity to see your date's true colors, as people are more likely to act like themselves in a group setting rather than one on one. The website doesn't mention this, but group dates may also make you feel more secure, as you'll be in a public, group setting. However, daters must remember that even with groups, there are still dangers when meeting people who are essentially strangers. If you do plan to use Grouper, be sure you list a virtual phone number on your Facebook page, or else leave your digits off altogether, as you may not want this information falling into the hands of people you've just met.
There are cons to group dating as well. Match.com points out that some people may be more intimidated by a group rather than an intimate setting. Additionally, with group dating, the rules are less defined, so it may be difficult to discern whether you're on a real date or just hanging out with a few potential friends. Lastly, you might think someone is charming in a group, but when you hang out with him or her one-on-one, you find that the spark fizzles.
Group dating is a unique twist on the online romance scene, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons beforehand!