New Yorker Dating Craze: Grouper


Redbrick Life&Style Article – 8th February, 2013 

To spice up Valentine’s Day for any singletons this year, I thought I would share with you the latest dating craze from across the pond, ‘Grouper’. Unlike traditional online dating tools this has become hugely popular with people in their early twenties in New York.

The premise is simple and amusing. You and two of your friends register through Facebook and are set up on a blind date with another set of friends that Grouper matches you with. You pre-pay for your first round of drinks online at a, probably very cool, bar in the city that Grouper has selected for you. This is the extra brilliant part: if the three friends you are set up with stand you up, they buy you an extra drink as Grouper has their card information.

This informal date situation has been likened to how you met boyfriends / girlfriends in secondary school – everyone hangs out in a group and then couples off with whoever they like best or is left over (ah, romance). The process of matching you sounds fairly questionable – they ask you three questions to do with your ‘fun-ness’ and then match you based on your “interests” while having access to your Facebook profile pictures (aka people get paired on similar “attractiveness” ratings).

While the general concept of online dating seems a little bizarre in your early twenties, something about Grouper seems genius. You go out for a drink with your friends at a fun bar and meet some new guys/girls. It’s not awkward as you’re with your friends (and may potentially be more funny for story-telling purposes if it IS awkward) but you may at the same time meet a new group of friends or potential boyfriend/girlfriend.

Having said this, it may only sound like a semi-good idea for places such as New York or London where it can be hard to meet new groups of people (see Yelp threads: ‘NY Dating sucks’ or ‘It’s impossible to find love in London’). I’m not sure whether this would work as students on a University level – a drink with three people you may have sat next to in a lecture or an ex of one of your friends in The Soak, does not have quite the same exciting ring to it. Nevertheless it is an interesting, modern twist to dating in your twenties!


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