CONNECTIONS Are Key To Happiness

A recent 75-year study from a leading US university identified the key elements needed for a happy fulfilled life – first among the findings was connections with people.

Its findings were that good relationships keep us happier and healthier – science says so.

COVERED. looks at how these connections are made on the Northern Beaches.

The quest for finding a ‘happily ever after’ has changed over the years as society alters the way and the ages at which people choose to partner up.

More recently the digital arena has been the preferred method of ‘making connections’. 

Harvard’s Grant & Glueck recently published study tracked the emotional and physical wellbeing on 268 male graduates and more than 450 poor men growing up in Boston from 1939-2014 and involved brain scans, blood samples and surveys.

“The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period," said Professor Robert Waldinger in a Tedx talk.

The study talks about the quality, not the number, of relationships being what is important and advises people to take time to meaningfully connect with people.

Sometimes easier said than done. Relationships whether professional or personal, need time and investment to ensure a successful future.

But even making an initial contact can be tricky. People meet through study, work, friendship groups, community and sporting organisations and family. Now they also meet in cyberspace.

Health clubs, venues and even supermarkets can all be a location for, at least, initial interactions. One new business on the Northern Beaches is opting for the ‘old fashioned’ face-to-face contact by hosting singles dinner parties.

Wine & Dine involves people predominantly in the 21 to 38-year-old age group signing up to take part in roaming dinner parties hosted by either the men or women. The group of hosts cook a three course meal and the dinners stop off at different locations for the different courses, thereby meeting a variety of people.

The evening ends with an after party at a Manly location where guests have the chance to renew and further connect and build on relationships.

Shaun Daly, 27, one of the founders of the company, says similar events are held in the UK and other parts of Sydney but he and his friends couldn’t find anything on the Northern Beaches so decided to set up their own.

“It’s a great way to meet people and you are also with your friends so it’s a lot less nerve wracking,” he explains.

The groups are a maximum of four people and the company tries to group people by age and location as best they can. They leave time to get from one course to another so the hosts have time to prepare between courses.

Shaun, an engineer who runs the business with two friends in their spare time, says guests come from as far as Campbelltown and Penrith.
Wine & Dine has partnered up with local businesses like Manly Beach Health Club, The Dance House and Donny’s as well as forging relationships with Airbnb and Uber.

Their next event is on April 8 for more info contact


  • Wine and Dine
  • Gyms and fitness groups
  • Swim clubs like the Bold and the Beautiful
  • Speed Dating Events
  • Dog Parks – take a cute dog – borrow one


  • Yoga class and smoothie
  • Walk from Queenscliff to Shelly then eat out
  • Havana Beach- This Cuban inspired restaurant and bar is a great beachfront spot for a first date. Co-owner Matt says he can spot a first date a mile away. “I often tell them to order the wings as they are good and messy and break the ice as well as be a talking point.” He says first daters opt for the window seat and beach views or, in cooler weather the fireplace. “We now have customers who met their partner at Havana,” he adds.