5 Things to Know About Group Dates with Collectively
A new Calgary matchmaking site says the more the merrier when it comes to dating.
Ever been on a date and wished your friends could step in to talk you up and ease first date tensions? Well, you’re in luck, because thanks to Collectively, a new Calgary group dating site started by friends Wilson Hung, Kevin Lee and Tamara Teofanovic, you can now bring two of your single friends with you on an organized three on three dating experience. Curious? Here are 5 things you should know about group dating through Collectively.
It’s Inspired by the Japanese
Co-founder Wilson Hung had the idea for group dating after a friend returned from a trip to the land of the rising sun and introduced him to the concept of gkon, a Japanese term referring to the practice of dates between two groups of friends.
They want to be your (Facebook) friends
As part of the process, Meet Collectively will “friend” you and your two friends on Facebook, which they say gives them a slightly less biased impression of your group as well as safeguarding against unfortunate matches. “We don’t pry too much,” says co-founder Kevin Lee. “The main reason we friend everyone is Calgary’s a small city; you don’t want to be dating someone like your ex or your sister.”
The dating is in the details
After you and your friends each fill out a basic profile and friend them on Facebook, the gang at Collectively parses through the data, paying special attention to certain niche interests which they say make for more interesting matches, such as whether people play Settlers of Catan, browse Reddit or enjoy going to certain music festivals.
There’s a one-drink minimum
Right now, all dates are food and/or drink dates, set up with partnering venues from Group 933 like Roosevelt, 80th & Ivy and 1410 Bier Haus. Collectively makes everyone pay for their first drink at the chosen location in advance to ensure that everybody shows up, and, one assumes, to help lubricate social interaction.
It’s awkwardness and algorithm-free
The people running the site do all the work of finding matching groups and setting up dates. “When [online dating] started, people were expecting these algorithms to spit out the perfect result, and going through the motions with that system is a little awkward,” says co-founder Tamara Teofanovic. “The best way to avoid that is to meet people for the first time in person.”
Sign up for your own group date at meetcollectively.com.