The Art of the Group Date
If the idea of meeting a new person one-on-one makes you sweat, you’re going to love group dating: inviting someone new to meet some of your buddies and then having a grand old time doing something fun together.
How Does it Work?
You and a couple of single friends arrange a fun activity for a group of six to enjoy. Why six? Well, four would be a double date, and that’s so last century. More than six is basically a rave. So six it is. Each single invites a date, and you all meet up for some fun times together.
Why Do It?
There are a number of great benefits to teeing up a group date. Here are just a few:
- Some people are more at ease in groups than one-on-one
- When you hang out with your buddies your date will also see you in your natural habitat; you’ll be more confident and comfortable too
- Having your friends around keeps you honest; they’ll temper any urges to exaggerate or embellish
- If you’re tired of the same ho-hum dating ideas, group dating adds a fun new twist to things. At the very least, it’ll be memorable for all
- As they say, there’s safety in numbers, so those of you concerned about personal security will enjoy this benefit of the group date too
Reasons why group dating might not be the right thing for you:
- You wouldn’t be comfortable with the possibility, however slim, that your date might find one of your friends more interesting or attractive
- Dating is all about making a good first impression, so if groups make you nervous, stick to low-key dates for two
- You like your dates to get hot and heavy… fast. No one likes an audience, so if this is what’s on your mind, stick to something intimate
Decided you fall in the former category and want to take the group-date plunge? Here are some suggestions for great group dates that are not only perfect for breaking the ice with someone new but let you introduce your new friend to your old buddies at the same time.
How it works: Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray sure looked like they were enjoying themselves at their impromptu karaoke group date in the film Lost in Translation. Take a leaf out of their songbook. Find a karaoke bar or a pub offering a karaoke night. Drink to customary excess, sing like you’re on American Idol, embarrass yourself and humiliate your friends. Repeat.
Top Tip: Instead of nominating your own songs to perform, have your date pick a track for you.
Pot Luck Dinner
How it works: You and your date group converge at one person’s house — preferably the person with the biggest dining room or entertainment area. Each person brings a surprise dish to contribute to the meal, hence ‘pot luck.’ You can set a theme for the food; for example, a curry theme, or you might specify that each dish should come from the guest’s favorite country. Serve the meal laid out buffet-style and dig in.
Pros: This dinner option is easy on the wallet — each guest can prepare a dish that’s within their budget without the headache or awkwardness of splitting a restaurant bill.
Cons: Naturally, some people are better cooks than others so the quality might range from delicious to bordering on inedible.
How it works: Instead of taking over just one person’s house for your group date, this time you get to spread yourselves around. You and two friends will each host one course of a three-course meal, with your group travelling to three different locations through the evening.
Top Tip: The person with the biggest lounge area is the best choice for the dessert course venue, giving all guests an inviting and intimate place to unwind after a big meal.
How it works: Meet your group at a pre-arranged meeting point — a coffee shop is a good choice. Each couple in the group contributes a list of 10 things that must be searched for, hunted down or collected on the treasure hunt. Add all the lists together to create your master treasure hunt list. Make sure that each couple has a copy of the list and then let the games begin.
Arrange a time to meet back at your chosen venue where each couple then reveals how much treasure they were able to collect from the list. A pub is the perfect place for a treasure hunt de-brief and to drink to a successful group date.
If you approach group dating with the attitude that it’s a chance for a few singles to meet and mingle, you’ll have a great time with this group activity. And who knows, you might even meet your match.