50 couples united by matchmaker
A WEXFORD based matchmaker has brought 50 couples together in three years.
Michelle Fletcher started Social Singles in 2015 and has been amazed by the response she has been getting.
Social Singles is an offline dating club with around 70 members from across the south east, but mainly from County Wexford. The club is aimed at people aged 30 plus who are single, divorced, separated or widowed. Social Singles offers regular fun group activities and a confidential one-to-one dating service.
Michelle, who previously ran a dating agency started by Adamstown man Tom Stafford, says that people find themselves single for all sorts of different reasons. 'I was single and I was given Tom's number. He was moving on so within a week I was running the business, Irish Singles Club.'
Michelle said many single people have become jaded of dating websites like Tinder and Plenty of Fish (POF). 'One of the ladies who joined Social Singles matched with her ex husband on POF and his new girlfriend rang her asking who she was. It turns out he was on numerous dating websites and created a false identity for himself.'
Michelle, who is a mother of two, said people can be very naive online, whereas with her group people meet face to face at group nights out. 'They may not have met that special person yet, through a relationship break-up, being busy with their careers and family life etc. The difficulty people face is how to meet similar people, especially if they are not into the pub scene. Being single can be very isolating and people can get stuck in a rut. '
Describing her service as a non-pressure, safe way to meet people for friendship, companionship or relationships, she said: 'What I do works. Over the past three years, there are over 50 couples in long-term relationships and many more people who have formed great friendships. I haven't had any engagements or marriages as people have been there and don't want to do it again.'
She said people need to step out of their comfort zones and take a chance.
'People are often afraid to get in touch but once they do there is no looking back.'
The group has nights out on a fortnightly basis with activities like bowling, murder mystery nights, meals and trips away.
Michelle, a Master NLP Practitioner, has years of experience in bringing people together. 'I strongly believe that for change to take place, action must be taken and Social Singles is the solution for a lot of people. All group activities and one-to-one meetings are handled in a discreet and confidential way.
'I don't guarantee people that I will find them their perfect match (this just isn't possible). However, I do guarantee that I will get them out meeting people.'
Social Singles is an offline group. Everything is done in person or over the telephone. If someone wants to become a member, Michelle meets with them face to face, discussing in detail the person's expectations from the group, and vice versa.
'When a person signs up for membership they have to provide some form of identification, as security and safety is of paramount importance.'
Michelle says she has found love with a neighbour and is in a happy relationship.
She said some people get worried that they will meet someone they know through Social Singles.
'It's never a problem as everyone is there for the same reason.'
She said: 'For change to take place you have to take action and step out of your comfort zone.'
The membership fee for six months is €180, excluding paying for nights out. Michelle can be contacted on 089 2537098, at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.socialsingles.ie.