Group dating

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(Redirected from Go-con)

Group dating is a modern pattern for dating where a group of single people organize a night out, with the hope of forming romantic partnerships. It is most popular in Japan, where it is known as gōkon. In the U.S., group dating is becoming a safer alternative to single dating (especially blind dating), which also helps to ease tension, because both parties will feel more comfortable having the company of their friends.[1]

Group dating is often recommended by parenting experts as more age appropriate form of dating for preteens than one-on-one dating.[2]


In Japan, a gōkon (合コン) is a group blind date, typically used to form at least some friendships between two groups that are each of a single sex. Generally, a single man and woman who know each other organize the gōkon in advance, each agreeing to bring three or four eligible friends. The typical venue is usually a restaurant, an izakaya or any similar venue that offers food and drinks and accommodates socializing with others.[3]

The term gōkon comes from the Japanese words konpa (a party for members of a single group, class, or club) and gōdō ("together", "combination"). Generally speaking, gōkon are not primarily intended to result in one-night stands (something more associated with nanpa), but rather for making new acquaintances and possibly forming long-term relationships. Typically groups of men and women will sit opposite each other and converse with one another, while simultaneously whispering discussions with their same-sex peers about which potential partners they find attractive. Sometimes games are played to reduce tension and encourage a convivial atmosphere.

Since the advent of mobile phones, texting on and showing it to others has become popular as an alternative to whispering.[4]

United States[edit]

According to an article in USA Today:

Group online dating, its creators and practitioners say, is safer than traditional Internet dating: With friends in tow, there's little fear that a date will spike your drink during a trip to the bathroom. It's more natural, akin to happy-hour mixing. Going out in groups improves your odds, at least in theory. And if the opposing social circle doesn't live up to its virtual profile, well, it's a night out with your gang."[1]

According to a San Diego Union-Tribune article:

[The Concept] is part of a growing trend in the lucrative online dating market – harnessing the power of friends. Several sites are tapping into the idea that most real-world relationships begin, like it or not, with the help and influence of friends and family.[5]

United Kingdom[edit]

Gōkon-style events have also developed independently at Oxford and Cambridge universities, where they are known as 'crewdate' or 'swap', respectively.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Barker, Olivia (March 9, 2006). "Invite the gang for a night of online dating". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-04.
  2. ^ "Dealing With Preteen Dating". Parents Connect. Archived from the original on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  3. ^ "Compa Parties". Japan for the Uninvited. June 23, 2006.
  4. ^ Azuma, Hiroki "Azzie" (9 September 2004). "Matchmaking parties, conquered by keitai". Keitai Log. Japan Media Review. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Online matchmakers ease pressure with group dates". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 2008-05-25. Retrieved 18 September 2011.


Further reading[edit]