The Casual Downside to Group Dating by @OnlineDateCoach

Group dating is a phenomenon more commonly practiced among younger generations. Individuals who choose to participate in “group dates” are likely to be casual daters and may not be ready for long term attachment or just nervous to be around members of the opposite sex.

It takes one-on-one time to see if you are truly compatible with another person. If what you are looking for is a serious relationship with someone who’s ready for one, perhaps dating in a group may not be the best choice for you and your relationship goals.

The downside to group dating is it’s not real dating

Group dates are no different from any other function you may attend where there’s a chance for love to strike. Are you dating everyone in the group? I should hope not. Then we should call them what they are, “group outings” with an ever so slight chance for romance to occur.

There is one plus to “group dating” and that is, if you’re not really interested in the other person you can just hang out–in the group–and have fun.  You may even make some new friends but as far as romance is concerned, things tend to move slower in a group setting.

I once had a dating experience that started with he and I first going to a restaurant for a bite to eat. Shortly after we were finished there my date suggests meeting up with some of his friends to see what they were up to. I didn’t think much of it and agreed to go and check it out.

When we arrived at their location, his friends were sitting together and talking so we joined them. Soon after that my date went around to the other side of the table to speak with another friend of his. So I remained where I was and tried to get in on the conversation.

The conversation that his “friends” decided to strike up with me was, for the most part, them making fun of him and I began to feel awkward. It was starting to seem pointless for me to be there. Beside finding out who he likes to hang with, or maybe more importantly, how he acts when he’s with them, there was not much of an upside–for me or for him.

The whole situation possibly ruined any interest I had and I feel like if we would have just ended the date after the restaurant, it may have led us to a second date.

Group dating creates more competition around you

The people you choose to come along with you on a “group date” can literally dilute your presence there and throw a monkey wrench into a developing a relationship–not to mention the increased competition it can create.

A friend and I used to go everywhere together, including some group and double dates. Even though her and I were close, I would notice a competitive nature in her whenever there was a man around–she would always steel away the attention.

It took time before I was able to figure out why I always found myself in that situation. The answer is because I put myself there. What I discovered was I relied on my friend to take the pressure (or the attention) off of me, mainly because I was more shy around men than she was. But what I was really doing was putting my relationship goals at at huge disadvantage.

So to keep myself from competing with other people, and get my relationship goals back on track, I decided to only go on dates with individuals and stay away from the groups. As a result, my confidence level grew and my shyness started to disappear.

My advice is stay away from the group dating

If a guy asks you to go on a “group date” or if your date somehow changes into a group setting, it could be a sign that the guy either isn’t that interested in getting to know you or he’s just a little too nervous to be alone with you. But for the most part, singles who prefer to be in a group environment with their dates may just fear the risk of rejection.

Do your best to steer away from being in a group if you can. Assure your date that you would rather get to know him a little better before meeting his friends. This will send a signal to him that you want to see where things lead between you both and that you’re interested. It also sets a mature and a more serious foundation for the relationship to build on.

Once you’ve had a few dates together and you feel that there is a true connection, then you could start to incorporate in some plans with friends. But in the very early stages of a potential long-term relationship it is best to spend more time together with each other. Establish if you both want to become a couple before you throw more people into the mix.



{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mel October 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Great post! Very relevant, especially since just introduced their events this year (“The Stir”).

There is a lot of discussion about 1st/2nd/3rd dates on GirlsAskGuys, and how the group aspect can benefit or hinder the date. While it can take the pressure off of both individuals, it also sets an overly casual tone. When one party suggests a group date, the other wonders if they’re being “friend zoned” or avoided (since group dates aren’t exactly conducive to in-depth convos).

Many years ago, I actually had experience with this. A guy I met asked if I’d like to come to his place for a birthday party. I did. His friends were drunk, obnoxious, and weird, and he felt the need to show off in front of them. While he was busy throwing chairs in a pool, I slipped out the front door and made a bee-line for my car. Ha! Big fail. An extreme example of group date failure, I know, but a funny story nonetheless….

I will say this – for those of us that spend a lot of time alone (live alone, work from home, no family in town, etc.), the group events might be a nice way to get a little socialization time in. I suppose if you view it that way, you won’t be disappointed.

Great read, thanks for sharing!



Online Date Coach October 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Hello Mel,

Thank you for sharing your story about the birthday party. I found myself in those situations too and it really puts dating in perspective. If dating really is supposed to be like a job interview, why would anyone bring a new date into a messy party situation, especially if they know the group may become drunk and disorderly…. it never ceases to amaze.

You also bring up a great point regarding the new events. I do think the events will add a nice component to the site, mostly because it will allow for singles to meet and socialize off-line, in a safe and public atmosphere. The events should be viewed as a catalyst though, quickly moving new couples towards personal one-one-one dating encounters together.

Best regards,


Singles Warehouse February 5, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Group Dating should only be considered as a ‘starter’ date. You’ve got to spend time alone in order for the date to go anywhere.

There’s nothing wrong with it – especially is you get nervous, but remember most of the time you spend in a relationship will be just the two of you…


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