"It's mostly getting out of your comfort zone but having that safety net of having your friends with you.It's not just the people you're meeting, but they also pick pretty cool spots.AARP senior vice president Sami Hassanyeh says after the website approached the organization a year ago about a partnership, AARP decided to plunge in."I do not think we're late in getting into this," he says.
Grouper's Waxman says his site is aimed at simplicity, which appeals to the young adults it serves.When we have a match who we think is going to be good for you, we basically organize a time and place for two of you to meet and you are each responsible for bringing two friends along."Daniel Katz, 23, of New York City, isn't an online dater, yet says he has been on three Groupers."I'm looking to meet new people.If I met a girlfriend, I definitely wouldn't complain," says Katz, an account executive.I've gone to a lot of bars and restaurants I probably wouldn't have gone to otherwise."Other dating companies have all but bypassed the website approach and gone mobile with location-based dating, with smartphone apps such as Cupid Radar, based in Los Angeles, which launched this year.Founder Mehrdad Sarlak, 41, says he wasn't targeting any specific age group with his app, but he says he's done online dating and thought there needed to be a better way than the lengthy process that involves "e-mailing and then talking on the phone and then coordinating schedules and finally meeting.""Then you would meet after weeks and months and in a half an hour face-to-face realize it was not a good connection," he says.