Category Archives: Trends

Personal matchmaking agencies becoming more popular

With long working hours and the pressures of busy careers, many Londoners find it difficult to find love. Personal matchmaking agencies are on the rise and look set to become accepted as just another professional services – like using an estate agent to find a property or a recruitment consultant to find a new job.

Like online dating, using a matchmaking service has lost the stigma which used to be attached to it a few years ago. Instead of the sad thirty-something accountant still living with his parents and lacking the social skills to find a partner, you are more likely to meet an interesting, successful and social guy who has been too focused on building a career to date if you use a matchmaking agency today. Indeed if you want to meet a very successful man with a few millions in the bank you can opt for one of the high end agencies such as Berkeley International or Seventy Thirty, as long as you have a spare £6k to get you through their doors.

The past two years have seen a huge increase in membership of matchmaking agencies. One factor is the much higher chance of success of using an agency to find Mr or Mrs Right compared to online dating. This is due to the in-depth psychological profiling of all members together with informed intuition on the part of the matchmaker who looks at important factors involved in whether two people will get on, such as values, background, interests and aspirations. This removes risk and weeds out the many players who are only interested in no-strings sex, or in having a fling behind their partner’s back, who litter online dating sites, not to mention the weird, socially inept and unbalanced. Agencies will reject those applicants, together with those who are obviously a lot older or – dare I say it – heavier than they claim.

If I was single I wouldn’t think twice about signing up with an agency, finding that special someone is too important to be left to chance. Personal matchmaking is a safe and trusted alternative to meeting men in bars which, let’s face it, has definitely lost its appeal when you’re in your thirties and more interested in cosy dinner parties with friends!


Are Sugardaddie dating sites more honest than other sites?

Sugardaddie dating is apparently the hottest trend in online dating right now. Sites such as cater for generous benefactors with large bank accounts who are looking to pamper and spoil attractive younger single women in exchange for sex. The dating niche has been receiving lots of attention recently, with coverage in The New York Times in the U.S. and on the Richard and Judy TV show here in the UK.

As the sites make clear exactly who their target audience is, and what ‘Sugardaddies’ are offering women i.e. payment in the form of nice clothes, jewellery, etc in exchange for a physical relationship with no strings attached, there is less chance of false expectations and broken hearts. People who join the site know exactly what they are getting and there are no fake promises of committed relationships. Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to dating online. Perhaps we will see the launch of some ‘Cougar’ sites (see my blog earlier in the week) for more mature women with money to burn and a high sex drive to satisfy?!

Rising expectations

The LoveGeist Report 2009, which looks at dating and attitudes to love and romance in the UK, found that 52% of people questioned (around 11,000 men and women) said that they had become fussier in what they look for in a partner. Are people’s expectations becoming unrealistic or are we just growing less and less likely to settle for second-best? If this trend continues half the country’s population may be single in twenty years!

Sugardaddies V cougars

The term ‘cougars’ is very much in vogue – Madonna’s one, Demi Moore’s another. Not surprisingly cosmetic surgery seems to be a prerequisite for being a cougar and having a toyboy on your arm.

I watched a TV programme on older women and younger men the other night in which a founder of a dating website which caters exclusively for that audience talked with some of the site’s members about how they are solely looking for hot sex with a much younger man – a relationship didn’t seem to be on the cards.

The term is very predatory, and was first used in America as a thinly-veiled insult to single women over 40. Older men seeking younger women are often called Sugardaddies which has a warm, cuddly feel about it. Cougar implies that you need to stay on your guard or a woman may get her claws into you by her manipulative use of her sexual techniques.

Last week saw the debut of the new sitcom ‘Cougar Town’ in the U.S. with Courteny Cox playing an older woman, with a teenage son, who relentlessly goes after younger men as sexual conquests. She flashes a paperboy and eyes up a younger man with the words: “I’d love to lick his body.” To me she will always be neat-freak Monica from Friends.

I’m all for women being empowered but to portray all single older women as being sex-mad predators is more of a male fantasy than reality.

Prince William does it in the dark

It seems that dating in the dark is taking off – see my post on Sep 20. Dans Le Noir restaurant in Clerkenwell, London, must have cracked open the bubbly (with care) when Prince Harry walked through their doors again this week. The rather handsome royal took Kate Middleton to dine in complete blackness, apparently not the first time. An ‘insider’ (ie. tabloid journalist) told The Sun newspaper this week that, “William can take Kate along and know no one will see him. He’s actually very shy.”

As well as suiting bashful diners and people with eating disorders who hate people watching them eat I think dating in the dark provides an interesting opportunity for first-daters to get to know each other without writing each other off at first glance due to their partner not having the right colour hair, being too short, carrying a couple of extra pounds, having cheap shoes, etc. Yes it’s risky – you might accidentally sit on their lap or end up with half of your spaghetti in your hair – but where there’s risk there’s reward and it could make for a very memorable first meeting.

Fancy a farmer?

The first episode of the TV series ‘Farmer Wants a Wife’ – – last night was quite entertaining. Apparently the producers were inundated with responses from single female city-dwellers after they advertised for potential wives for several strapping farmers to take part in the reality tv series. 

Most of these were women who, having spent several years focusing on their career and enjoying cocktail-filled nights out with female friends, have realised that they are unlikely to meet someone unless they take action to get out of the ‘single trap’.

Farmers seem to be flavour of the month at the moment. I guess it’s all part of the general movement towards sustainability and learning to live off the land again, and – dare I say it again on this blog – getting ‘back to basics’.

This month sees Europe’s biggest annual singles event: the Ireland Matchmaking Festival. Willie Daly, a wonderfully eccentric 65-year old who claims to be Ireland’s last remaining matchmaker and is on hand to bring people together during the festival, believes that farmers are the hottest commodity at this year’s gathering.

“The farmers are back in vogue this year. The women place great value on the farming community and the likes of the building contractors would not be as popular as other years,” Daly told the Irish Times newspaper. “A builder could build you 100 houses, but at the moment, who would want them? But you can’t make an acre, there is great security in the land. At times like this, it stands out.”

According to the Matchmaking Festival’s website, “Willie has drawn on his extensive files, notebooks and ledgers, on his remarkable memory, and applied his highly attuned antennae to offer hope to the thousands who ply him with their details.”

The 150-year old event, which takes place in the southwest Ireland spa town of Lisdoonvarna, has this year drawn around 40,000 singletons, disillusioned with online dating and awkward, contrived ways of meeting people such as speed dating, in seach of love. Many travel all the way from the U.S. and Canada, as well as Europe.

With a ratio of nine men to every woman at the festival, luck may well be a lady in Lisdoonvarna this month. I guess it’s not that far from London…





No sex please

I was interested to read about the launch of a new website for people who are looking for non-sexual relationships. One of the benefits of PlatonicPartners,, stated on the site, is “freedom from having to ‘perform’ in any way”.

With a recent study showing that British men and women are the most promiscuous of all of the big industrialist nations and all of my male friends who use online dating sites, doing so for no-strings attached casual flings, I wonder how much demand there is for a dating site where no physical intimacy is on offer?

The research, carried out by David Schmitt, a professor of psychology at Bradley University, Illinois, measured one-night stands, total numbers of partners and attitudes to casual sex. Britain came out ahead of Australia, the US, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.

The website  has testimonials from several members including one from ‘JM’ who says:

“As a 40-year old man, fit and reasonably attractive, women run a mile when I say I do not want a physical relationship – however, now I have met 5 women in London to socialise with, and life has turned over a much happier leaf – thank you so much.”

Have some people grown so fed up with promiscuity becoming common-place in our society, with glamour models and their latest fling making the front-page of newspapers and the number of women having one night-stands now close to that of men, that they are turning to celibacy?