Editors Note:  If you don’t hear from me after this, tell my mama I love her and pay off my student loans.

You go on a date. It goes well. Conversation is wonderful. You find out that you both watch Game of Thrones and hated Joffrey equally. Awesome. The bill comes. It’s not awkward. You even found out that your cousins both went to the same high school. Dope. You exchange pleasantries, part ways amicably and definitely plan to see each other again.

…If only it was that simple. You’re being watched. Truthfully, you’ve been identified long before you noticed the (:eyes:) emoji on the first picture you and #PotentialBae took.

In the context of Cuffing Season:

“The Group” is a collective of assembled friends and associates who are called upon to counsel, illuminate, and oftentimes act in the best interest of members who might be engaging with potential suitors for the first time. They are resourceful, powerful and seemingly have no limits to the ends they will go to ensure the success and flourishing of whichever member(s) are potentially being courted and subsequently wooed. They are faceless until they decide that your presence is, in fact, worth their time, at which point you can and probably will feel the full weight of their existence. 

Selected Group Member Profiles:

None of these are mutually exclusive, and oftentimes The Group membership occupy multiple roles based on the needs. These are also in no way gender-exclusive, but in my personal experience, I have dealt most notably with women in this general cast. Also anyone of substance has a circle comprised of people who are about their business, so everyone has a committee, they just function and operate differently.

The Turn-Up

During your first meeting, you realized that they might actually “Bust Your Windows” — and you don’t even have a car. They also kickbox to their personally curated “Get On My Level” Spotify playlist, so best watch your tone, posture and general gesticulations.

The Advocate

They are the closest thing you have to a friend here. They don’t have a reason to not like you, so you’re in a good space. They give you the benefit of the doubt and, generally speaking, are net-positive about most interactions.

The Ghost

Similar to their namesake from the hit show Power, they do their dirt by themselves, preferably masked up and hoodied down. It doesn’t matter if your entire life is on airplane mode, they will somehow always be in the same spot as you. And you’ll only notice 10 minutes before you leave.

The Scholar

Four stories below ground in a study cubby, the scholar resurfaces maybe once every  three weeks to catch up on the thousands of GroupMe messages they missed. They’re on their third degree, and might get another masters degree because “applied knowledge is wealth.” They always have wise quips and they generally give the group their undivided attention in five-minute increments.

The Wildcard

There’s nothing for you to do here. This can be a cousin, an ex or even a coworker. You won’t see them coming, which is the point. They show up and might show out — or not. It really depends on a lot of things that are completely out of your control.

The Voice of Reason

They generally lead the committee in breathing and mindfulness exercises during times of crises and high stress. When everyone else is listening to “Knuck if You Buck” and putting on war paint, they bring chamomile tea and gluten-free cookies for people to lower their tension. They even bought Bonsai trees to “help the team reflect and recharge in their own garden of tranquility.”

The Parent

Concerned with the well-being of the team at large, the parent makes sure that everyone is safe, well-hydrated and taking their vitamins daily. They’re also deeply concerned with your intentions with the committee member you may be interested in. Questions might include but are not limited to:

What are your intentions with my best friend?

So… this “movie” you’re going to see… is is at a “theatre” in your apartment? You prolly trying to just “Netflix & Chill,” huh?

Do you pay for these “dates” or nah?

What’s your full name? I want to find you on LinkedIn.

Key Facts:

Generally speaking, committee communication is always on. It can become heightened when a member is being actively pursued, and generally committees will form up like Voltron to address specific concerns.

It’s Never About You (Until it is)

They were here before you, so don’t take it personally. You don’t call on them. They request your presence.

Honor the Code

Like Fight Club, don’t talk about “The Group.” They talk to you. Yes, you’re being vetted. Absolutely your Instagram is being mined for data points. Your tweets from 2013 might get annotated. But only if you are in any way close to becoming a factor. Maybe.

Be cool with the pressure

You’re new here and you might not last, so don’t get crazy. You might encounter incredible shade, but you must never become petty because of it.

Good luck.


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