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Modern Dating

New online dating service relies on threesomes: Bringing friends wards off Catfishing

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Group date
Grouper turns the first date into a big group date. Threesomes anyone? Courtesy of Dating 101
Grouper date founder
Grouper founder Michael Waxman grew sick of the New York bar scene. Courtesy of Grouper
Group date
Grouper date founder

Those who dread the anxieties of blind dates, Match.com and scouting the bar for potential mates can relax. A new matchmaking service takes the pressure off the modern dating experience by allowing you to take your two best wingmen along for the ride.

Grouper has now made its way to Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and 21 other cities across the United States. 

The innovative company relies on an algorithm to match users with similar interests via their Facebook profiles and a Grouper questionnaire. From there, Grouper's in-house matchmakers evaluate and OK the matches before arranging a bar meet-up between three guys and three girls.

 "When you're with your friends, they call you out on your BS and help bring you out of your shell."  

The unique service was launched by 26-year-old Yale graduate Michael Waxman after he moved to New York and became frustrated with the city's dating scene. Through launching and testing Grouper firsthand, he was able to meet his current girlfriend, whom he has been with for a year and a half now. 

"I started it as an experiment to see if Grouper would actually succeed. I didn't tell anyone who I was in the very beginning because I wanted to anonymously get feedback about Grouper's services," Waxman says.

"I found it so much more fun and successful than trying to meet someone online or at a bar."

Bringing friends along for the ride takes the pressure off daters and encourages them to be more authentic, Waxman argues. "When you're with your friends, they call you out on your BS and help bring you out of your shell," he says. "And because there's six people, you don't feel the need to pair off with anyone."

Grouper's services set up drinks at a bar between six people, with each person paying $20 to hold the reservation and pay for the first round of drinks. The two friends each Grouper brings along don't have to be single, and the two users aren't told who their match is before the date. The mystery actually makes the experience more fun, Waxman says.

After the first round of booze, the group is allowed to decide for themselves if they want to stay for additional drinks and/or exchange contact information. The day after the get-together, Grouper follows up with the two paired individuals and inquires how the date went. Their feedback is used for any future Grouper dates. 

People who find frustration with online dating forums and scouting the bar will find favor in Grouper's model, Waxman believes.

"We see ourselves as a deterrent to online Catfishing, and the good news is you start the night at a great bar talking to people who you probably have a lot in common with."

Once users sign-up for Grouper, there is a about a two-week waiting period before they are matched. For more information on the new dating service, visit their website

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