Group dates are growing more and more popular, and it’s a great idea – in theory. If you’re a little nervous about the dating game, why wouldn’t you bring along your best friend? However, if a double date isn’t handled properly, your night could end in disaster. Like everything in life, there’s a right way, and a wrong way. Read on to discover the right way.

DO: Make sure you and your date are comfortable enough to handle another couple.

DON’T: Invite your best friend and their fiance of five years.

A double date is a wonderful way to get to know someone better. Conversation with another couple opens the door for plenty of new avenues, and your date could reveal something that never came up between you. But this has its downfalls. Maybe after a few Jack and Cokes, your date will bond with your friend’s date over their wild partying days – not all new information is good information. And if you’re doubling with a couple who’s much more serious than you and your date, you could wind up comparing yourselves to them. Questions like, “Oh, how did you two meet?” suddenly grow awkward when your answer is, “Last night, in a bar. Your name is Mike, right?” So, if you’re going to go out with friends for a fab foursome, make sure you’re in similar stages of your respective relationships, or things could get weird.

DO: Pick a location that encourages conversation.

DON’T: See a movie together.

Seeing a movie seems like a great activity. But the moment you get to the theater, chances are good that the two women will sit in the middle, leaving the men on either side stuffing themselves with nachos as the two ladies chatter. Unless you all plan on going out for drinks afterwards, this is a very one-sided activity; hardly ideal for socializing. Instead, aim for plans that will give you all an opportunity to communicate – something like mini golf, or a trying out a new tapas bar. Sharing in a new experience is a great way to bond with people, and by trying out something interesting, like an exotic food or a physical activity, you and your crew will make the most out of your double date.

DO: Involve your date in the planning.

DON’T: Go out with your BFF, if their date is a jackass.

Just like you can’t stand that snobby girl your boyfriend’s BFF is dating, it’s not fair to drag your boyfriend to a dinner with your best friend’s man-of-the-moment. Remember that a double date is about pleasing as many of the guests as possible. Maybe your college friend is dating someone you think would have a lot in common with your date. Give everyone the opportunity to have a say in the situation, and ask your date what they would like to do. It’s not a chance to monopolize the evening, but rather, an opportunity for four people to enjoy themselves.

DO: Know when to call it a night.

DON’T: Force the festivities.

If everything goes according to plan, you and your date should enjoy a wonderful and amusing night with the other couple! But you know what they say about too much of a good thing. Don’t let the night drag out. Know when it’s time to go home, and tell your friends that the party will be continued in the near future. And even more importantly, if the group isn’t exactly clicking, relax. Group chemistry is impossible to predict, and you just can’t make people have fun. There are so many great couples out there, and not everyone is a match. Make the most of the night, and next time, make plans with another pair.

Janis Spindel is just 1 marriage shy of 1000, and she has been in business for 21 years! Specializing in pairing up upscale clientele who are well-educated, sophisticated, attractive professionals, including public figures and celebrities, this self-proclaimed Cupid in a Chanel suit is no-nonsense when it comes to the business of “getting people married.” For more info on Janis, check out
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