Group Dating isn’t fresh in Japan, where compa or gokon parties have become a regular part of their dating scene. The word compa comes from the word companion and gokon is a combination of the words goudo (group) and compa (companion). It is said that this practice evolved from the difficulties of finding a fucking partner due to the pervasive shyness that exists in Japanese society.
Group dating gatherings usually take place at public venues such as restaurants where each attendee brings a duo of eligible friends. The thing that people seem to like best about this concept, besides the entire law of averages, is the fact that if all else goes wrong and you don’t find a match you still wind up having a good time out with your friends. (Traditionally, compa isn’t for one-night stands but obviously there are many that will seek this type of practice.)
The trend has become a cultural phenomenon, gaining popularity in the UK and now the US. Here are some popular online services that cater to the group dating/compa concept:
Ignighter is a fresh group dating service from the TechStars camp that hand-picks the top ten best startups out of four hundred entries they receive every year. You can use their free service on their site or via their facebook app.
The key to the service is the group profile that you create which is similar to the kind packed out on standard dating services, except this one describes everyone in your gang. Once two groups agree to meet up they just determine where they want to dangle out: Dinner and a movie, coffee house, glad hour, Tapas, ballgame, etc.
Team Dating concentrates on group dating. They claim to be different than the rest by not requiring as much profile information to get embarked. They also state that they require less private information which means more privacy.
Here’s a movie about Team Dating from the company itself:
Date-My-Mates Began in the UK in 2006 so its database serves that corner of the world. The same concept applies, just in a different area. Just because you don’t live in the UK doesn’t mean you can’t use this service. If you and your pals are planning a group journey to that region then this service could make the journey all the more joy.
Let’s Meet Out serves only the Fresh York City area at this time so it won’t be for everyone. However, NYC is one of the most popular places for tourists so you could make arrangements with your friends to meet another NYC group.
PlanJam has a slogan that says it all, “From your screen to the scene.” They aren’t actually a group dating site but they can facilitate such an event. Their event planner is outstanding as it can calculate what the entire evening will cost you in addition to gathering all of the details you will need to know.
I Am Free Tonight is wielded by eTwine and offers not one but two Facebook apps called Meet Fresh people and Are YOU Interested? The website looks like something from the late 1990s so it’s doubtful that much activity is taking place there, but I would venture to guess that a superb deal of activity is going on with the Facebook apps. I’d like to test it out myself, but the wifey frowns upon such behavior.
Group dating seems like a joy and useful practice. Marrying the technology of online dating services with the real world benefits of group activities is also a brilliant idea. The services that make the best use of social networking and provide the easiest interface will come out on top. Give these a attempt and share your practices in the comments area. Also share any other group dating services we might have missed this time around.