A Unique Service
Just over half of all Canadian adults are single, according to Statistics Canada figures for 2007. That includes those never married, widowed and divorced. The vast majority of singles—80%—have never been married. But just because there’s no romance in your life doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be any fun. If you’re one of those singles who isn’t looking for love but who still wants to have fun, try a singles group rather than a dating service.
Singles groups come in many different forms. One of the latest and fastest growing singles groups on the Canadian scene, and which now has groups in eight major cities across the country, is Meet Market Adventures (MMA)
“Meet Market Adventures is the best way to try different things and do stuff you don’t usually do,” says one member, a 27-year-old student living in Montreal. “It’s a great way to meet people, whether it’s friends or the love of your life.” Most members, however, admit they are there for fun and adventure, not romance.
MMA is a social club for singles that’s quickly growing in popularity. It’s not a dating service because “there is nothing more painful than a blind date,” says founder Travis Hartley. “MMA takes the pressure away from the singles scene. Even if you don’t hook up with someone, you still have fun. If you meet someone romantically, it’s icing on the cake.”
MMA organizes events—adventures—for singles in their late 20s, 30s and 40s. Members can participate in activities ranging from hot air ballooning to trivia nights at a local pub. Simply sign up for free at www.meetmarketadventures.com, select the city you live in, and choose activities from an extensive calendar. The cost of adventures ranges from free to a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for a weeklong hike through Thailand.
The Key: Social Interaction
“People have a natural connection when they’re participating in activities they like,” says Derek Polcyn, President of Montreal’s MMA chapter, “and they immediately have something to talk about. Hartley concurs that “it’s easy to carry on a conversation about wine tasting or making sushi when you’re actually doing it.”
“When we meet people while doing something we enjoy, the pressure is reduced because we start off on common ground. This is typically an essential part of any relationship,” says Dawn Schooler, relationship expert and Clinical Director of Jericho Professional Counselling Services in Vancouver. She believes social interaction is especially important for singles, who may spend a lot of time alone. “Our current culture encourages too much isolation. We need to focus on connecting with others in more meaningful ways.”
Though it’s possible for singles to meet and marry through MMA, the club doesn’t track romances among members. Activities and friends are the main focus. “I love skiing, but it’s not a lot of fun by myself,” says Hartley. “Through MMA I can meet others who also love to ski – there’s a network of friends already built in.”