Do dating agencies work
The man calls you, the man arranges the date, the man picks you up, none of this ‘I’ll meet you at the tube at seven’ business. We didn’t go anywhere ridiculously expensive, for one date we went Dutch, for another he paid.It’s not old-fashioned necessarily – it’s nice.” As it happens – and this is probably more due to living in London than a lack of chivalry - both of my dates arranged to meet me in bars, rather than picking me up from my flat (although I’ve no idea how I’d have explained away the one-legged drunk who sometimes sits on my front wall if they had done. They were both much more interesting than I thought they’d be (for some reason, I was expecting a pair of soulless bankers who hadn’t left the office since the Royal Wedding).Both evenings ended at a civilised hour with a peck on the cheek – after which, Jo calls me with feedback – which is excruciating.I feel like I’m in the dating Olympics, and I’m going to get a row of zeroes from a panel of judges who will criticise my terrible small talk and the fact that I went to the toilet six times in three hours (tiny bladder).I assume when she mentions DNA she’s referring to genetic disorders, but I’m wrong: “They want to know what their kids are going to look like – they want to know what gene pool they’re going to be in. People put invest in it so they can meet someone like them. The birth of mobile phones, social media, tweeting texting and chatting online have changed human nature. And that culture has spread into the dating world – people want what they want.” The agency is designed for cash-rich, time-poor people who don’t have countless free evenings to spend scouring bars, or online dating sites, for a potential partner – they want to cut to the chase.
Like everyone I’ve become so used to virtual interaction, and to an ill-defined dating life characterised with shades of grey, that the whole experience felt quite alien. We cushion our interactions with the opposite sex with euphemisms and half-truths, lest we hurt their feelings or they hurt ours.Sometimes my love life feels like a late night trip to the fried chicken shop.Tinder, hook ups and one-night stands are the ultimate in fast food dating – fine if that’s what you’re in the mood for, but unsatisfying and guilt-inducing if not.Before I get ready to go on my dates, I meet Mairead to discuss my possible matches (Mairead deals with the international business, while the lovely Jo manages the London office and usually deals with local clients).“People are more discerning now – they care about wealth, family background, DNA,” she explains.
And – here’s the crunch – it costs between £10,000 and £50,000 to join.