"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.
By the end of this year, officials say the site will have hosted nearly 2,000 events with 150,000 singles. Plentyof Fish, a free online site, also hosts face-to-face events."I think what people have reached is a saturation point of wanting to do everything digitally," says Andrew Connell, president of Dinner Date, that launched in January.
"A lot of people were saying 'it just feels like work.' "Dinner Date currently operates just in San Diego.
He had tried a few online dating sites with "really terrible experiences."His date suggestion: "How about we start with coffee and end with wine.
It also conducts mixers for slightly larger groups."Our belief is the computer is a great way to process and meet people, but you can't beat natural human chemistry," says Connell.
Grouper's Waxman says his site is aimed at simplicity, which appeals to the young adults it serves.
AARP officials say members have been asking the organization to get into dating for several years.
Members have started 20 dating-related online groups (with names like "Single and Mingle") that have more than 6,000 participants.