Studies show that people in love tend to be healthier and live longer.
With that thought of better health with a big heart, I spoke with Polly Rodriguez. She is the head of matchmaking for Grouper which is a unique dating site for the twenty-something mindset.
After members request access to join Grouper Social Club, a personal concierge customizes each Grouper experience by ensuring a great member pairing, seamless communication with members through email and text before and during the outing and noting feedback to assure the success of each Grouper experience.
From there, each member invites two friends as his and her wingmen or wing-women and the night begins at a handpicked location. Grouper nights are filled with “get-to-know-you's,” spontaneous exploits and most of all, good old-fashioned face-to-face adventures.
“Groupers are such a great way for people to get out of their routine and meet new faces in their neighborhoods,” said Challen Hodson, Director of Membership Experiences for Grouper. “It’s a great way to sidestep tradition - whether that’s the dinner and roses or the ice cream in front of the rom-com route - and just enjoy being out with friends this Valentine’s Day.”
More so than ever, people are using technology to date and this is just one more way to find love or a great new place and a drink. See what Grouper's head of matchmaking had to say about the site and what it offers to the twenty-something crowd.
What are the best places for Groupers to take place or how do you pick the locations?
We want Groupers to take place in an environment where everyone feels comfortable, yet also open to adventure. Our locations are warm and welcoming but at the same time we want it to have the potential to get a little crazy (think: sexy piano bar). Beyond that, it’s about preference. We take a look at what neighborhoods our members hang out in and try to match them with a venue that fits their vibe. Whether it’s a swanky lounge or a dive bar, we send our Groupers to some of the best places in their cities.
What do you look for when putting together a Grouper?
We take matching very, very seriously. Overall, there are five main criteria we take into account, including: age, educational background, profession, interests and lifestyle. Our goal is to introduce our members to a group we feel that they would get along really well with. We do this partially by determining the compatibility of matches based on historical data of similar groups. We’re also always open to any direct feedback or suggestions from members on who they'd have a good time with. At the end of the day, our goal is to work closely with our users as possible, to understand what types of people they enjoy meeting and make it happen.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, how much of an increase will you see in Grouper dates?
We approach Valentine's Day the same way we approach any Friday night - another opportunity for an epic night out with your friends. With that said, we do think that going on a Grouper is fun alternative to the (*cough* boring *cough*) traditional flowers and chocolate filled Valentine's Day, and our members tend to agree. February 14th can actually be one of the best nights to go out, if you do it right by grabbing two of your wingwomen, throwing on your little back dress and heels, and heading out with the attitude that anything could happen. I have no doubt that Feb 14th will be another big night for Grouper.
What makes Grouper so different than other dating/mating sites?
Worst case scenario on a Grouper? You end up grabbing drinks with two of your best friends - a hard enough feat to organize in and of itself. Best case scenario? You meet three awesome guys that live in your city and want to hang out with you again. On top of that, with Grouper, we plan everything for you. We pick the guys, we make the reservations at local hotspot, we obsessively text everyone to make sure they're there on time, and we ensure the first round is already taken care of. Online dating is tedious work. Grouper is a fun party with your friends. So if you're a party girl like me, it's a no-brainer.
Polly Rodriguez - Head of Matching, Grouper.com
"St. Louis hoodrat. Econ enthusiast freed from the chains of powerpoint and consulting. Ponies. Drinks bourbon and lots of it."