Dinner at eight dating agency

The groups often try activities a little more adventurous than dinner and a movie, perhaps because there is less one-on-one pressure to impress than on a traditional date.

Participants go bowling, take a hiking trip or try a night at the Philharmonic. "There's been a long history of group-dating in this country," says Beth Bailey, the author of "From Front Porch to Back Seat: Courtship in Twentieth Century America." "In the 1920s, people went to 'petting parties,' where young people made out in the presence of their peers.

Especially for recent college graduates who suddenly find themselves without the social anchors of a campus, going out on "a random," as Internet dates are referred to, is like jumping into a pool of sharks.

Ignighter.com, a free site geared toward 20-somethings (their median age is 24), was created in 2007 to solve these problems.

No, this wasn't a corporate morale booster, an alumni gathering or a charity event. Group-dating -- think of it as double-dating on steroids or as Facebook in the flesh -- is making a noticeable blip on the dating radar, as a younger generation turns away from such courtship rituals as the blind date.

Even Web sites like e-Harmony and have become passé.

Iam Free allows its 70,000 users to post double-date and group-date listings.

Meet New People, a Facebook dating application, has more than three million users who post when they are free to "hang out" and RSVP to group gatherings.

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The fourth series of the British reality dating programme Celebs Go Dating was announced in September 2017 and is due to air from 4 February 2018 on E4.Group-dating plays to the tastes of a generation that's become disillusioned with Internet dating sites, particularly the lies that users tell about themselves online; the futile process of trying to meet people at bars; and blind dates that feel like job interviews.Instead, these young men and women want to have their dating lives simulate the way they meet people in real life: through concentric circles of friends.It was a way of saying 'I belong to youth culture.'"While the sexual license of "petting parties" shocked Jazz Age parents, by the 1940s and 1950s group-dating was encouraged for reasons of propriety."Parents wanted to keep their daughters from being alone with a man, since having a child out of wedlock would ruin your life back then," says Ms. And, of course, many religious communities have continued to promote group-dating throughout the 20th century.

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