Looking for love close to home? A brand new dating website may be just what you need.
Kathy Klassen along with her husband Tony, launched www.love-tree.ca on March 28, giving local singles a chance to connect.
“We know a lot of people who are singles in the area, and a lot of them seem to be getting to the point where they’re desperate and lonely and really needing love,” she said.
What’s worse, is that many aren’t sure how to meet other singles in the region.
“A lot of people don’t seem to know where to look when it’s local and there’s a lot of people that can’t travel that far or aren’t willing to travel that far.”
“We just thought it was a great idea,” she added.
Initially Kathy hosted a Facebook group to gauge interest for a regional singles website, and it was immediately clear the interest was there. “We got a very positive response,” she said.
Although the site launched over a week ago, uptake has been slow, since Klassen said little to no advertising has been done at this time.
“We’re looking at about six or seven (new) people a day right now,” she said.
The name of the site (love-tree.ca) comes from a poem that describes two people coming together like intertwining branches, resulting in one beautiful flowering tree.
While there are hundreds of dating websites to choose from, there are a couple of things that set this one apart.
Local and clean
“We are gearing toward local people,” she said. “We do want to keep it a clean site.”
It’s also designed to be affordable.
“We have done our research on quite a few sites and we wanted to make sure that ours was not only more possible for those that don’t necessarily have $50 a month to spend on a membership, we also wanted to keep it a clean site.”
That means the site is not meant for hookups, but is intended to bring people together for friendship and relationships.
Filters on the site, prevent certain key words being used, including profanity. In fact, in the chat scenario, words from that list will actually appear as “oops”.
The site only has settings for single people, but Klassen admits they can’t guarantee everyone on the site is single.
“For people that choose to cheat, as much as we absolutely don’t want to have any part of something like that, as much as we don’t approve of that, it’s not our decision,” she admitted.
Klassen is hoping people will be willing to check out the site. Currently people can browse without joining or logging in, and a three day trial is available.
Klassen said the idea of the website actually came up a few years ago, but they held off, because it seemed risky.
“There is a little bit of criticism about sites like this sometimes, especially locally,” she said.
But it became obvious the upside far outweighed any negatives. “This is needed out here,” she said. “This is something that’s a really fantastic idea.”
While the site can be accessed right across North America, Klassen hopes to see people from southern Manitoba, including Winkler, Morden and Carman take advantage of it.
“The main goal is to keep it as local as possible,” she said.
Connecting new couples is the goal. “Me and my husband have been very excited about it,” she said. “It’s very exciting to think that a lot of people could actually be falling in love or getting married because we put this up.”
She urges people to take that one last shot at love.
A shot at love
“Everybody deserves to still have love and be loved,” she said. “We just remember the sadness and the loneliness that is very real when you just really want somebody and you can’t find that person.”
And it never hurts to try new things. “If you want a relationship, come have a look,” Klassen invites.