Group dating, the next singles phenomenon

If regular dating isn’t working for you, why not bring your friends along for the ride?

If regular dating isn’t working for you, why not bring your friends along for the ride?

The phenomenon of group dating, where one posse of single friends collectively goes on a date with another group of eligible singles, is gaining in popularity as daters realize the value of strength in numbers.

While the concept isn’t entirely new — meeting people while hanging out with your friends has happened for millennia — social networking tools like Facebook have made group dating much easier to organize and try. Many online dating sites are experimenting with group dating options and some, like recent entry Ignighter (ignighter.com), are banking solely on the fun, stress-free experience group dating promises.

Ignighter initially started as a Facebook application before branching out to a stand-alone site last August. Site co-founder Adam Sachs, 26, says unlike one-on-one dates, which can be tense and awkward, group dates better simulate the natural environment in which most daters meet new people anyways.

“You can meet people like you would in real life, in a safe and less awkward environment, with your friends around. It’s a great way to break up a nightlife routine,” Sachs said.

Dating groups create profiles including funny stories about each other and nicknames, alongside standard dating details such as personality traits, likes and dislikes. Other dating groups can browse and respond to your group’s profile and set up a collective date.

Sachs says user feedback from Ignighter suggests average groups tend to comprise of about three or four people and group dates often tend to be more adventurous.

“Something about (group dating) lends itself to being more creative. We’re not seeing a lot of ‘dinner and a movie’ group dates — think instead laser tag, karaoke, picnics and volunteering. These activities help you get to know the real person a lot better,” Sachs said.

 
 
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