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If you're single, you know that one-on-one dating in today's world is fraught with problems. It can be costly, not only in time and money but also in emotions. After a first date both people have to make a heavy decision: Will I date this person again? And if the answer is “yes,” then there will have to be another such decision after the second and third date and thereafter.

Unless this is the person you want to spend your life with—and he or she feels the same way—eventually the decision not to date again will have to be made. And whether that is after the first or 15th date, there will undoubtedly be some emotional price to pay for one or both parties.

There may be feelings of rejection, guilt, depression, sadness or many other negatives. If the dating has continued for some time before one of the parties calls it quits, the emotions are consequentially much stronger and the possibility of friendship may have been destroyed.

But making the decision to date again isn't the only burden one-on-one dating incurs. Putting a man and woman together in a romantic setting with wine and candlelight can push them into intimacy before they have established even a friendship. In our modern world, kissing and cuddling are a natural—if extremely premature—result of such romancing. And if there's been any intimacy at all on a date, the rejection that may come later will be even harder to take.

I would like to suggest another way of getting to know the opposite sex that carries far less risk of loss—emotionally, financially and ego-wise. Here is a list of some of the benefits. It provides:

1. A nonromantic setting that promotes friendship first.

2. Little chance of, and no expectation of, intimacy.

3. Less expensive occasions, and the monetary burden is shared.

4. A chance to get to know someone of the opposite sex with no strings attached.

5. No difficult decisions of whether or not you will date someone again.

6. No guilty feeling you are “leading someone on” because you continue to see him or her.

7. The chance to find out if the relationship is going to be “just friends” without hurting anyone.

8. A chance to get to know someone you might never have gone on a one-on-one date with.

9. The opportunity to serve others by introducing them to your friends of the opposite sex.

10. The chance to stay friends with all those you get to know, instead of leaving hurt and wounded parties along the way.

There are many more benefits that you will discover as you enjoy this way of “dating.” And that way is to group date. Whether teens or seniors, why not postpone dating one-on-one until it is obvious from group dating that there is a deep friendship developing and real compatibility? Group dating is the easy, comfortable and more enjoyable way to promote friendship first—which is the basis of all enduring relationships.

I know it works because my husband and I were very good friends through group dating long before we suspected we could be anything more. Try it and see!

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1 Psalms 133:1Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
American King James Version×

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