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Mon, 11 Mar, 2019Over60

Is it really possible to find friends and love online?

Is it really possible to find friends and love online?

Social interaction is a crucial component of our human psyche. We need other people to share experiences with, to discuss what is going on in our lives and in the world around us. Travel buddies, sports mates and close friends are a necessary part of our lives. Looking for new people and experiences to spice up your life?

Don’t count the days. Make the days count.
One of the best ways to meet like-minded people is to engage in social groups and activities. Join sports clubs, gaming groups, participate in a new class, or take up a hobby which will allow you to meet people with similar interests. Whether it is a language class, dancing lessons or a chess group, there is a never-ending array of opportunities for you to activate your brain and body, instil meaning into your daily life and meet people in your area with similar tastes and opinions. What’s not to love about that?

Why? Online forums and websites allow you to sift through multitudes of people to fairy quickly find individuals that fit your specific criteria. Here are four of the latest and most popular online resources that might help you meet your next partner, travel companion or activity buddy. Let us know what happens!

Stitch

Aim: To help mature adults find companionship
Use it if: You want to try a new and all-inclusive way of meeting like-minded people
Cost: Free starter plan, range of costs depending on your level of interaction (up to $29 a month for gold membership).

Stitch helps you to find a companion for every aspect of your life, whether you are looking for someone for travel, events and activities, love and romance or friendship. Australian entrepreneur, Andrew Dowling, created Stitch to help over 50s combat social isolation and find companions for friendship or love.

“When you’re younger, you have opportunities (to meet people) like going to uni, having kids, then when you get to a certain age your friends start to move away, you retire, you get divorced,” says Dowling. 

After launching Stitch in San Francisco in 2015, it grew to more than 3000 members in the first six months. This rapid success, combined with constant interest from his home country, meant that he knew it was time to bring the site to Australia. The site has launched in Sydney and now people from all over Australia can sign up.

Robin Miller from Sydney’s North Shore is a single mother who says she finds the prospect of meeting people ‘daunting’. She wants to connect with people who have similar hobbies and travel interests, yet she has found that dating sites want too much information. “One of the things about Stitch that I like is it’s aimed at older people,” she says. Then adds, the process is comfortable. “It’s not rushed, quite secure and I’m not competing with people half my age.” She says that Stitch’s group events take away the anxiety of one-on-ones and are based around an activity, so you already know you have a common interest. 

Stitch prides itself on its steadfast commitment to safety, guaranteeing users that no scammers or con-artists will be able to infiltrate the site. 

Elite Singles

Aim: To help you find ‘the one', not just anyone
Use it if: You are looking for a serious relationship
Cost: Free and premium service (from $22.95 per month)

Elite Singles caters to those who are serious about finding a someone special and genuine. They say they utilise a smart profiling system to assess members based on their personal characteristic and partner criteria to guarantee more compatible matches. Their aim is to match members with singles that suit each other’s values, interests and lifestyle, thus abiding by their mantra of 'quality over quantity'. The site caters to people from all walks of life, including options for professional dating, single-parent dating, over-50 dating, gay dating or Christian dating.

Elite Single’s staff say they manually check every user to ensure that every account is legitimate and safe. However, still please be aware that you must always be careful when meeting new people regardless of the circumstances. The site gets 18,000 new members every week and has a presence all over Australia and the rest of the world, with a global reputation for pairing compatible 'elites'.

Seniors Holiday Travel

Aim: To provide a free travel club with no minimum age requirement
Use it if: You want to explore the world with like-minded travellers
Cost: Free

Often one of the greatest barriers to travel is finding a travel buddy to accompany you. Although solo travel is often a cathartic and enlightening experience, sometimes it is fun to experience the journey with a friend.

Seniors Holiday Travel is a club for older travellers covering every aspect of trips. They provide travel agents with your specific needs in mind, a suite of deals, tips and promotions as well as a means for you to meet other like-minded travellers.

The site has a 'solo traveller club' with a co-ordinator who organises regular meetings and outings that allow club members to meet other travellers and find a suitable companion. If you have a destination in mind and are looking for someone with whom you can share the experience, simply notify the co-ordinator of your intended destination and they can match you up with another - or a few other - solo travellers.

Companions

Aim: Make friends, share interests, and meet new local people
Use it if: You want to find a new friend
Cost: Free

Whether you are in search of a tennis opponent, a confidante for your morning coffees, a fellow movie buff to take to the cinema or a like-minded person to discuss news and politics with, Companions will help you find a suitable compadre. 

Companions allows you to identify your interests, which can be as diverse as ‘Tarantino movies’, ‘intelligent conversation’, ‘ballroom dancing’ or anything in between. Joining is free and only takes a couple of minutes, plus members can search profiles, message, chat and discuss topics on forums at no extra cost.

Meeting truly compatible people often takes a lot of chance and circumstance, even if you have similar interests and live in close proximity. So why not take a chance to be proactive and make new friends with similar interests today?

What have your experiences been connecting with other people online? Let us know in the comments below.

Republished with permission of Wyza.com.au.

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