First Dates and Compatibility

First Dates

First Dates 

And The Sense of Compatibility

The First Dates Channel4 show which opens its restaurant doors to love hungry singles is now in its fifth series of finding its diners love through first dates.  The matchmaking programme can even add a wedding proposal to its bow, albeit a whirlwind romance, nonetheless another success.  The happy couple met a mere three months earlier at the First Dates restaurant and have been inseparable ever since even moving in together just three weeks after they met.  During a First Dates Christmas Special hosted to reunite all its successful couples a nervous Scott got down on one knee and asked a shocked Victoria to marry him with a no expense spared Haribo ring to mark the occasion.  She now sports a diamond engagement ring and they have set a date to marry in the autumn of next year.  

During an interview on the show Scott said he would not have picked Victoria if she’d been on paper but he’s now so glad they went on that first date as it has changed his life.  Scott’s comment about not picking Victoria on paper is quite important and I will explain why so later on in this article.

Intrigued, as I had not watched the programme previously I decided to watch it on Friday 29 January 2016 and it didn’t surprise me as a professional matchmaker that three out of the five couples who took part in the show liked one another enough to want to meet for a second date.  That’s a 60% success rate which is very good.  So why is First Dates so successful?  Well put simply the people who take part in First Dates meet their dates face to face, in a safe environment, not knowing anything about them whatsoever so they have no preconceived ideas or high expectations which can sometimes result from speaking on the telephone prior to meeting.

Prior to the show the First Dates team sift through the applications and put their matchmaking skills to use by selecting the best possible matches who are then invited to take part in the show.  During this date, which in some respects is a chance encounter, the couples hit it off or they don’t.  Fred Sirieix, the Maitre D, is always on hand to lend a supportive word or comforting smile to those who feel nervous or shy.  It really is a heart-warming show to which I am now addicted.

However, the point of this article is to explain why just meeting someone your matchmaker recommends could be right for you and if you do why it can be so successful.

Here at South Downs Introductions we do use profiles which contain photographs.  The profiles tell our clients a little about the match we have selected for them.  On some occasions clients will view a profile and assume they won’t be compatible with the match we have selected because the match doesn’t tick every item on their dating shopping list or doesn’t have as many similar interests as them.  But surely you can tell from browsing a profile whether you would be compatible with a potential partner based on its content, I hear you ask?  The answer is no, you can’t.  Don’t take my word for it though – as a series of studies spearheaded by relationship psychologist, Dr Paul Eastwick has shown that you might think you’re making sensible decisions about who to meet and who is compatible with you when browsing profiles.  However research proves that you cannot get an accurate sense of romantic compatibility until you’ve met the person face to face. Read the Scientific American article here.  This is the principle that First Dates works on (meeting face to face) and that is why it’s so successful.

It also links very nicely back to the comment Scott made about him not picking Victoria on paper.  Had he turned down Victoria at the paper stage (viewing her profile) then he simply would not have met her, there would be no wedding, no children, no life together and no happy ever after with Victoria.

Our matchmaking service has a 65% success rate for couples dating and creating relationships.  Seven out of ten couples we match per week are now dating with a good number in long term relationships.  We achieve this because we ask our clients to trust us and meet everyone we recommend for a first date.  Those who do meet who we recommend get the most from their membership and very often leave us happy and in love.

Author: Tara McDonnell, founder and owner of South Downs Introductions.  Tara is a trained certified matchmaker from the Matchmaker Academy.  She is also a proud award winner at the UK Dating Awards 2015.

Dating Mistakes

Dating Mistakes

Dating Mistakes

Dating MistakesIn this article I discuss some of the common dating mistakes people make.

It’s that time of the year again when dating websites’ traffic soars as singles re-evaluate their situation and make a conscious decision to change it by embarking on a proactive search for romance.  The 4 January is now known as the Black Friday’ of the dating world as millions log on or sign up with dating providers in their quest to find love.

Whether you decide to use an online dating provider or a more personalised, professional and bespoke dating provider like us, one thing you really need to consider and be aware of are the pitfalls whereby you set far too stringent limiting criteria which automatically reduces your pool of eligible, potentially compatible partners.  Below I list some of the common dating mistakes that people make and believe me I made them too when I was single.

The List

Sometimes clients I meet with want to provide me with a list of must haves.  Some of the criteria can be very specific such as an exact height, salary, occupation and even hair colour.  So I tell them that I work with real people who are all intelligent, educated and interesting, furthermore I love working with them and that’s why they are members.  I cannot create a person and setting such specific limits on what you are looking for will not help you find who you are looking for.  In fact it will do the exact opposite because you will discard potentially eligible matches by refusing to meet them.  No matter how much you think you can determine whether someone is right for you by looking at a profile, you absolutely cannot.  In fact it’s well researched and proven by academics, Professors Eli Finkel and Paul Eastwick that you can only determine compatibility by meeting ‘face to face’.  

Here’s a little test that you can try out to prove the theory on specific criteria.  Ask your friends or family members who are in happy relationships if their partner ticked all their must haves.  I bet you they say no and I also bet they say they fell in love with them despite their imperfections.  You might even find that they never set any criteria at all.  Once you meet and attraction takes over there is no stopping it.

It’s important to have core values and qualities and to have a dealbreaker (such as you won’t date a smoker) but not a stringent list.  I am not suggesting that you settle for less or drop your standards but I am suggesting that you keep an open mind and consider someone you might never have thought of before because they just might be the love of your life.

To Google or not to Google

The internet is a fascinating tool, you can tell so much from a name, a telephone number or an email address.  You can access LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the list is endless.  Equally the internet is quite a scary place especially when your home address can be found with just the click of a mouse.  If you give out your telephone number the chances are the person you gave it to will check out your Whatsapp photo and it might not be one you’re proud of.  People are visual creatures and they will discount someone on a badly taken image.

If you give someone your email address which happens to contain your full name then the chances are they are surfing through social media and viewing your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.  Hmmm, not good if they decide not to meet you because of a post that your friend put up and tagged you when you were drunk on a night out looking worse for wear.

Think about it like this, if you were applying for your dream job and the potential employer viewed your social media profile, as they so often do, then you should not have posts on there that you would not want that potential employer to see.  Same thing applies for meeting a potential new partner, you want to be seen in your best possible light.  This is not putting up a false image, it’s presenting you in the best possible way.  After all you are seeking your dream guy or girl.

Don’t forget people on the internet are not always who they say they are and would you want a complete stranger to have your home address?  With our service we have already met all our members and anyone we introduce you to, so we know their name, address, date of birth, occupation, work address and what they like and dislike.  So we know them fairly well.  We never give out home addresses or last names as only our members choose to do that when they meet for a date.

So if you take nothing more away from this perhaps you may think about how your sensitive and private information can be easily accessed by strangers, people you have never even met.  So be careful about what you release and when.

Have fun dating and hope this helps to overcome some of the common dating mistakes.

Author: Tara McDonnell, founder and owner of South Downs Introductions.  Tara is a trained certified matchmaker from the Matchmaker Academy.  She is also a proud award winner at the UK Dating Awards 2015.