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09-Sep-2017 01:03

How many times have you gone to meet a new bloke and wished you could bring a pal along for moral support? Thanks to new 'social clubs' which match up two groups of three friends online and bring them together away from the computer screen for a night out on the town. Both sell themselves as an innovative way of expanding your social circle (and maybe finding love) without the pressure of one-on-one get-togethers or the hassle of online dating. If you shy away from any sort of organised fun then perhaps a Smeeting or a Grouper aren’t for you. Bear in mind groups are matched on the information they have on their Facebook pages. This sort of curated night out isn’t going to be for everyone – and we reckon the chance of finding ‘the one’ is unlikely – but we’re all for meeting new people and discovering great places.

Smeeters – started in Paris and launched in London in October – and Grouper, already running in 25 cities in North America and coming to the capital this month.

Lovestruck helps put you in touch with people who are near you – be it where you work or live – to save you precious minutes or hours travelling to and from a date. The experts say: Perfect if you are looking for love in the city and want to approach dating with an informal first meet in your lunch break or after work.

The site also hosts regular events which are a fun, relaxed way to meet people. It takes the travel out of dating especially with its tube station search parameter.

The love-gods at match also arrange singles events and provide online dating advice, so it’s easy to see what makes them one of our best online dating sites. It is well known and therefore attracts a wide demographic, allowing you to widen your dating pool or limit it with their advanced matching facility. Lovestruck helps you target potential partners according to location and it covers many of the major cities across the world.

It’s aimed at time-starved professionals, who due to busy work and social lives simply don’t have the time to date.

As Kristen Badal, director of international operations at Grouper, puts it: ‘We use online technology to bring our members offline and take conversations to where we think they belong – face to face in the real world.’ How does it work? Grouper’s founder met his girlfriend of 18 months on an organsied night out and there have been a couple of engagements. It could get competitive if you all fancy the same bloke. The idea of a group activity like bowling does sound suspiciously like a work team-bonding day. You might have different agendas; you’re looking for some new pals and the other group are after, erm, something else. Both have plans to expand to other UK cities soon but at the moment Smeeters and Grouper are just in London. As we all know sometimes profile pictures may not exactly reflect the reality…

You sign up for free via Facebook, fill in a short application form and invite two friends to join. Like the girl who went on a Grouper and landed a job in PR after staying in touch with one of her new acquaintances. Both clubs claim they ask people’s expectations before arranging dates but it’s inevitable people might have different ideas – particularly after a few drinks.

match is the most widely-used dating site in the world and has nearly 1.8 million subscribers.

Just sign up, do the test and get chatting to all those love-compatible people out there. Functionality is limited as the site is more geared up to helping you find a long term partner rather than flirting randomly with people you like the look of. There is also a specific gay version of the site for those looking for a serious committed relationship with a same sex partner.