Traditionally, dating is a one-to-one affair. In middle school, you may need a chaperone or back in Sicily (aka the old country), your whole family accompanied you out on a date. Even in modern times, with online / mobile / internet dating where you can meet thousands of men and women in one evening sitting on, the end result is still to meet up by yourself in person.
Group dating is loosely defined as a modern pattern for dating where there are more than 2 people organise a night out together, with the hope of forming romantic partnerships. Apparently, it is most popular in Japan, where it is known as gōkon. So, are the Japanese once again onto something great or is it an acquired taste for eccentric people?
Pro: More fishes in the sea
On a regular date, you only have one person to interact with. More often than not, it ends in disappointment – either he is too quiet or she is too ditzy or etc. In a group date, both parties bring a friend or friends and now there are more choices to have.
Con: Conflict of interests
You and your buddies may end up vying for attention from the same person. Even the strongest friendships may not withstand this type of competition. This is probably best described and solved with the Equilibrium Game Theory.
Pro: Safety in numbers
There is nowhere to hide in one-on-one situations – when there is nothing to say, the silence is rather awkward. In groups, there will always be a quiet few while more vocal ones will keep the interactions going. Also, if the date is going south, you and your friends will have no problem just walking out together.
Con: Little to lose but little to gain
If the group is too big, there will be very limited interaction with the person you really came out to see. It will not be clear if there was a connection at all with anyone. The best that you can gleam is whether your target is sociable in a group setting.
Pro: Sharing is caring
All venues love big groups who spend more money, order more food plus make the place look lively while they meet and drink. There are group discounts, sharing platters, jugs of beverages and more to be shared. Also, splitting the bill with more people means enjoying more variety at a cut price.
Con: Subdued personalities
It is often said that on dates, you are meeting your date’s representative. We tend to put our best foot forward and hide our truer / uglier selves. This gets multiplied even more when trying to win the approval of many potential candi-dates.
Group dating has pros and cons – as do everything else. If you do want to give it a shot, here’s how to make the best of it.
- Choose a suitable date venue – pick an interesting bar/cafe/restaurant that is conducive to conversations with intriguing activities for the group.
- Make eye contact – with the one you like, try to catch a glimpse into the windows of his/her soul.
- Focus on your target – don’t be rude in ignoring everyone but put in more effort to listen to him/her speak or laugh at their jokes.
- Share private time – after making some connection, sometime in the night, try to separate him/her from the pack to have one-on-one time i.e. ask for accompaniment to get drinks from the bar.
- Give up when pointless – sometimes, nothing works. Everyone is quiet and/or boring so the evening is going nowhere. It is just the nature of dating, its a toss up. You can always call it a night and walk away.