Mention couples dating and many people's minds turn to the modern habit of swinging, or as it used to be known wife swapping, for sure a very minority activity.
In truth modern society has brought about a revolution in dating, that of couples seeking friendships with other couples. But why is this necessary, and who wants to do it and why you ask?
Couple dating is not a new idea, maybe you double dated a lot at one time, when 4 or more friends went out as two or three couples. Sometimes the date would be mixed with a few single friends too, a group date as it is often called.
Modern society is fast moving, people move about more and often loose touch with established friends, craving new friendships. Just because you are a couple, either married, living together, including homosexual and lesbian partnerships does not mean you are always fully content only with just each others company.
Singles dating on the internet has been popular for many years and millions of people are now believed to have met via online dating programs . However the need for matching couples is a smaller market place and there are limited web sites providing an efficient couples matching service.
What makes a good couples dating site?
New sites are always hard to launch as frequently free memberships attract unsavoury postings and give the site a bad name from the onset. Services who charge deter new members as potentially there are few members to match with. Many couples dating sites have failed as they offer international services whereas research shows that couples are more interested in people locally to their home and are unwilling to travel long distances or date internationally as many singles are.
It seems vital that new members are all vetted and approved by the operating web site, and a wide range of matching criteria are collected from the two parties in the partnership including;
# location by town, county or state
# age range
# hobbies and interests
# occupations, including the retired
# the type of relationship between the couple (married, living together, lesbian, engaged etc)
# a well written background to each couple
# photo of the couple or each partner
Singles web sites attract bigger numbers and individual vetting is impossible and, if the single site is free clearly uneconomic, hence single dating is a less safe place to seek a partner than the searching for couples to form friendships with. There is safety in numbers has never been more true than with couples dating sites.
Members can search and review prospects and ideally only communicate via a Personal Message Board, so that all personal contact details remain confidential. Later as the contact matures and a meeting is arranged both sides may feel comfortable enough to release limited contact details.
Members need to be able to block out contact with other members at anytime and report any strange requests or communications, which the site can investigate leading to suspension or cancellation of an errant member.
With a wide choice of potential couples as friends, and good control over who joins and how they conduct themselves online will ensure the success of some couples friendship dating sites, although clearly we shall see less around than the thousands of singles dating sites that exist internationally.
Maurice Clarke is founding owner of http://www.double-dinner-dates.com a UK based couples dating site which provides a range of options to find, chat and meet up with new locally based friends who share like interests.