Remember high school, or maybe college, when you’d go out with a bunch of guys and gals all together, and it was fun and relaxed? Even if there were couples within the group, it still felt like a group. Often sparks would fly and couples form within those casual friend groups.
Nowadays there is a resurgence of what is being called “group dating.” It is gaining popularity as a safe, low pressure, fun alternative to single dating. The one-to-some ratio is a little less nerve-wracking for some people than the one-to-one.
The idea is for a group of single men and a group of single women to organize a night out, with the hope of forming romantic partnerships. It is most popular in Japan, where it is known as Gokon, a group blind date typically used to form at least some friendships between two groups of single men and women. The US has developed and expanded the group dating concept with great success. Here are some examples:
Meet up Groups
From a Manhattan group of 8,311 members to a Seattle group of 7,466 and everything in between, singles meet in small and large groups for all types of activities.
Singles Dinner Parties
In cities and regions around the country, social organizers plan dinner parties of equal numbers of single men and women, typically a total of 6 or 8. They are matched by age range, interests and lifestyles. The only expectation is that the group dines together at an upscale restaurant and everyone is open to making connections. Rather than the challenge of a face to face situation with one other person, you can sit back, get to know people and enjoy an evening of charm and conversation. If you make a connection with someone, the organizer sets up a second date.
Professional Singles Networking Groups
Many people are interested in meeting people who are in similar fields, with similar schedules and professional drive. These networking groups help expedite the process. Local groups of single business professionals meet for an evening of professional networking, building friendships and maybe even updating their relationship status along the way.
Group dating is one way to go. It has several advantages.
- People looking for relationships, or even just a chance to date, are often more comfortable being in the company of friends during the early part of the process.
- If the social circle you spend an evening with doesn’t live up to your expectations, what have you lost? You’ve still had fun night out with your friends!
- The pressure is low in group situations, and you have not made a big financial or emotional commitment. The “weirdness” factor is alleviated by the casual, group dynamic.
- It is easier to create a good impression and be yourself when in a relaxed environment. You’re safe in a group. Unwanted physical advances are less likely to happen.
- There’s a lot to see when you observe others in a safe, social environment. You can get more information in many cases than on-on-one (though that part will come in time).
- Whatever happens, you have met new people. If you like them, they can become friends. If the first, second or even fifth time you don’t meet “the one,” you have still met new people you would not otherwise have known.
The group dating concept is part of a growing trend that is all about harnessing the power of friends. Most real-world relationships begin with the help and influence of friends and family, so there’s a good chance that when dating is a friendly affair, among friends, the outcome will be positive.