Group dating, blind-style
If you’ve ever online dated (I have) you know that safety precautions are a must. You know the drill, tell your friends where you’re going, who you’re with, how you found him and his social security number (if you have it, as I bet some of you tech-savvy super sleuths do). But there’s no need to freak out that you might be going out with a future serial killer — or even to feel awkward about meeting the potential meet of your dreams blindly anymore thanks to a new online “social” club called Grouper. Intrigued? Read on…
Grouper is a new concept dating site that deflects the drama of dating strangers by suggesting you bring your friends with you — and not in a Spice Girls “If you wannabe my lover you’ve gotta get with my friends” way either. Though it started off in San Francisco and Washington D.C., the concept has caught fire in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia and Seattle.
Site founder Michael Waxman told the Huffington Post: “We’re trying to re-create the way that people meet organically, in casual social settings or through friends.”
The site works like this: You sign up in less than a minute, as information is pulled from your Facebook page. You then send an email inviting two friends to be your wingmen (or wingwomen).
Finally, you’ll answer five questions such as “Would you rather go to a dive bar or a fancy club or some place between those two?” or “Would you rather talk about Jersey Shore or philosophy or something more middlebrow?”
The catch: your matches identities are hidden and each of the six people involved in this big blind date meet up must page$20 each — though, thankfully, that $20 at least goes towards buying your first round of drinks.
Waxman, 25, founded Grouper in July 2011 after he moved to New York post-breakup and was looking to meet new people. He noted he met his current girlfriend at a Grouper get-together.
And if it doesn’t work out between any of the parties involved? Says Waxman: “If you don’t hit it off, you’re already with your buddies, you’re a round deep, and now you have a funny story to tell.”
True that. Brilliant idea, Mr. Waxman. So where do I sign up? Oh YEAH. Duh. Grouper.com. If anyone needs a wingwoman, just saying, I’m available….