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Kotka Facebook group supports singles under pressure

A Facebook group set up for singles in Kotka has gathered a large membership in a relatively short period. The duo behind the group says the virtual community provides support for singles under pressure because of their status.

Kotkan Sinkut -ryhmän perustajat Vesa Kalliomäki ja Olli Suominen
Kotkan Sinkut -ryhmän perustajat Vesa Kalliomäki (vas.) ja Olli Suominen. Image: Maija Tuunila / Yle

An active online singles community has sprung up in Kotka since the summe, spawned by a Facebook group known as Kotka Singles (Kotkan Sinkut). The group now numbers about 700.

Founders of the group Vesa Kalliomäki and Olli "Opa" Suominen say the idea first arose as a joke.

"The purpose of the group was to just have fun together and to organise events," Kalliomäki explained.

The singles group also accepts so-called "secret singles" – or individuals who believe they are single, although others may have a different view of their status.

Singles may find it easier to meet new partners via an online community of like-minded folk, and some members have tried to hook up with others. However the duo said the aim of the community is not to serve as a dating service.

Singles still forced to defend their status

Although television programmes and silver screen features have portrayed the glamorous and carefree side of single life, singles very often still find themselves having to explain their lifestyles to others.

Both single for some years, Kalliomäki and Suominen don’t feel any pressure about their status, nor should others, they said.

"It’s up to each individual. If you want to stay out in the rain, then so be it," Suominen said cryptically.

"Of course at family gatherings the first thing I’m asked is whether I’ve found someone. The aim of the group is really to support others who feel this kind of outside pressure," Kalliomäki added.

The group founders say they plan to participate in the Movember campaign, which aims to raise awareness and funding for prostate cancer., and which involves men growing out a moustache.  In spite of the possible negaive impact on their search for companionship, the men say they’ll be shelving their razors come November.

"It might not be pretty to look at, but sometimes it’s important to make sacrifices," Suominen quipped.

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