Dating for 10 year olds
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.
"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.
Although he just turned 50 in September and isn't an AARP member, Ken Nicholas signed up with How About We this fall because he "liked the premise of taking it offline."Nicholas, a sales consultant in Los Angeles, was married for 12 years; he says it was difficult to get back into dating after his divorce was finalized in August.
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.
When we have a match who we think is going to be good for you, we basically organize a time and place for two of you to meet and you are each responsible for bringing two friends along."Daniel Katz, 23, of New York City, isn't an online dater, yet says he has been on three Groupers."I'm looking to meet new people.
If I met a girlfriend, I definitely wouldn't complain," says Katz, an account executive.
"Simply sign up and tell us when you're available to go.
We don't like to even call them dates," says Michael Waxman, 26, co-founder and CEO of Grouper, which launched last year in New York. "I did go on several dates and they're just not what they advertised themselves to be."AARP won't have a clear field for the older singles market.
The Our Time community, which includes Our Time.com, Seniors and Senior People Meet.com, has 4 million members, according to parent company People Media.
Older sites such as and newer ones such as Dinner Date, Cupid Radar and Grouper, all are focusing on the importance of a personal connection offline that just can't happen via technology.
This retro appeal is especially evident with Grouper, which organizes something like the old-style "double date," where a couple of friends go along for moral support.