Lifestyle

CQ singles flock online - do they seek love or casual sex?

It's tricky to find 'the one', but one lady met her future husband in Gladstone

SINGLES living in regional Queensland are leading a surge in online dating, but are Gladstone residents more interested in casual encounters than long-term relationships?

Dating website RSVP has crunched the numbers and in the past six months, new regional members have flocked to sign up - leaving urban Romeos in their dust.

RSVP's Jayne Andrew said it might be because we're hopeless romantics.

"We know singles in regional areas can feel limited in their dating options simply because they live in smaller communities," she said.

Randy Rockhamptonites have boosted central Queensland numbers on the site by 11%, compared with just 9% growth in Gladstone folk looking for love.

There is also a national trend toward dating online, as it has become an accepted way for people to meet rather than the fringe activity it was considered only 10 years ago.

But younger locals are also resorting to new casual encounter websites such as Flingfinder.com.au - with 71 local blokes, and 39 ladies now on the website.

"Online dating communities are a good way for people in somewhat isolated areas to expand their social circles, where there might otherwise be a tendency to see the same people every day," Flingfinder founder Adam Hannah said.

"There is also a national trend toward dating online, as it has become an accepted way for people to meet rather than the fringe activity it was considered only 10 years ago."

Average age of Gladstone men on the site is 33.5, and women, 30.8.

"The overall site average is around 40/40/20, so in Gladstone men skew a little higher than average," Mr Hannah said.

"The male/female ratio is 58/42."

Gladstone's male population outstripped females by 3200 in the 2011 Census, but the number of temporary residents working on resource projects may skew that ratio higher.

RSVP's Date of the Nation Report surveyed 3500 people, and showed the average age of Gladstone members is 37.

The report also revealed that 48% of Australians will have sex on or before the third date - but a psychologist has warned that approach can be hazardous.

"It might seem like a great idea at the time, having sex before you know if you are really keen on someone can cloud your judgement," RSVP psychologist John Aiken said.

It's tricky to find 'the one', but one lady met her future husband in Gladstone

ROSE McClure had been in Gladstone for about five months, before she met the man who next year will become her husband.

Before that, she was happily living the single life in the city and gained an insight into its dating scene.

"In the sense of meeting someone, I think it's quite easy to meet people, because there are such a variety of people up here," she said.

"(But) everyone sort of comes and goes in Gladstone, so I don't know if someone was to meet someone, I suppose they would have to be on the same path in life."

Ms McClure, 23, said she has come across those in relationships who are unfaithful and those just looking for temporary meet-ups.

"Definitely casual encounters because a lot of people who are up here are up here for work and they already have family back at the Gold Coast," she said.

"A lot of people would just rather have that fling than get into a relationship.

"Especially if people are only up here for so long, not planning on long term living here."

Ms McClure, who met her partner at The Reef, said Gladstone lacked venues to meet people.

"It's sort of who you know, not what you know," she said.

"Some people introduce you to friends if you're out drinking with people. There are not many cafes or nice places to go."

Have your say on dating in Gladstone by commenting below! What do you think of the single scene in Gladstone? Where would you suggest people go to meet someone?

Topics:  gladstone, online dating, regional queensland, relationships



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