Tuesday Jun 24 2008
Social Singles transcends traditional dating services
By: Amy Holiday, Special to The Press-Tribune
Maybe the Beatles were right. Maybe love really is all you need. But in a world full of social networking sites and online dating services, sometimes the difficult part is finding love in the first place. But luckily for residents in south Placer County, there is a cupid among us. And it’s in the form of Sherece Sbado and her new company Social Singles. Social Singles, according to 27-year-old Sbado, provides the same basic services that other dating networks have, but it boasts something unique. “Social Singles uniquely solves the problems typically associated with online dating and matchmaking,” she said. “Online dating is often misleading and unsafe because users can remain anonymous. With Social Singles, members personally connect with a group of individuals, rather than a set of awkward dates.” Social Singles, according to Sbado, far transcends the typical stigmas associated with dating services. “It’s more than looking for a tall, handsome male with dark hair,” she said. Social Singles is rooted in the concept of group dating, group events and group socialization. It’s hinged on the novel concept that awkward first dates should not be part of the relationship equation. No more of the contracts and guidelines and interviews of other dating services. “The reason social group dating is successful is that the members choose themselves who they are attracted to or compatible with,” Sbado said. Part of what makes the company unique is the setting in which the group dates take place. Group events are scheduled that appeal to a spectrum of interests; there is rafting, barbecuing, dancing, dinner partying and traveling. The cultural events, according to the company, help dissolve some of the initial awkwardness that first dates tend to pose. Users must subscribe to the Social Singles Web site where, for a small fee, they can create a profile, browse the calendar of events, meet and communicate with other members and become part of the local single community. According to Philip Harding, whose company, Redefine Design, has partnered with Sbado to create the Social Singles Web site, it’s “an amazing site and idea.” The site has a lot of the same features as Myspace, but is more “geared toward event planning and meeting people,” he said. “It’s not supposed to be a dating site but that has become a byproduct of Social Singles. It’s a great deal and it’s really just a place for singles to connect.” Although Social Singles is open to anyone ages 21-60, Sbado said that a majority of subscribers are in their ’20s and ’30s. The age bracket is wide, but the underlying similarity – beyond the fact that members are single and all looking for social connections – is the local factor. “We are locally owned and operated; we live in the area and know it well,” Sbado said. “We care about the cohesiveness of the group and regulate the members. Our service is exclusively for the South Placer area.” And keeping the intimacy of the group and Social Singles community is a focus for Sbado. Although this is her first business venture, she has experience working for the city of Roseville in its marketing department. And the success that Social Singles is having so far reveals that this truly has been a labor of love. “The best part of owning my own company is the intrinsic satisfaction,” she said. “I want to be one of those people who can say, ‘I love my job.’ I don’t think there is a better job for me than making people happy and helping them have fun or meet someone special.” For more information visit www.thesocialsingles.com to learn about community events, group outings and more.