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That's the concept Canadian entrepreneur Amanda Blain banked on when she launched the website Girlfriend Social, a place where women of all ages and backgrounds can go to talk, share and find new female friends.One of the largest social networking sites exclusively for females 18 and older, Girlfriend Social (GFS) enables users to seek out and connect with like-minded women in hundreds of cities and communities across the US, Canada, the UK and Australia.Judging from the number of entries posted in one week in Chicago (33), Seattle (27), Boston (3) and New York City (105), women all over the U. are finding it difficult to make the kind of steady, reliable friendships they've enjoyed in the past.

In comparison, a membership-based internet friendship site makes it easy and safe for women to reach out to each other and search for friends who would be most compatible.

Safety is a major concern for Blain and Girlfriend Social.

Since online dating services are a proven way for women (and men) to find romance, why not apply the same matchmaking principles to friendship?

Opportunities for women to make new friends are now just a mouse click away.

The demands of family life and career leave little time to step outside the ordinary routine, meet new people, and then go from there.

As Blaine notes, "Even if you take new classes, go for gym workouts, or start new hobbies, it’s still difficult to make that jump from acquaintance to friendship with the people you meet."Women who do not have a 'significant other' in their lives encounter additional friendship challenges.This isn’t as easy as it was a generation ago."She's noticed that many women seek out new friends once they enter the "M" stage—moving, marriage, or motherhood—because those life transitions can alter, strain and even sever existing friendships."Many women who go through these experiences find that their circle of friends change.Following in the footsteps of internet dating, websites designed to foster real-world female friendships are on the rise.Millions of women already flock to "mommy sites" that create community between expectant and new mothers, and the many niche motherhood sites for working moms, stay-at-home moms, even entrepreneurial moms attest to their success at establishing meaningful online relationships.Whether they are alone by choice, divorce, or death of a spouse, single women often find themselves out of sync with married friends who socialize as couples.

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