Yes, I’m engaged and we’re getting married next May. Did I know on our first date that I would want to spend the rest of my life with him? No I didn’t. In fact it took longer than a couple of dates and it really was a slow burn. If I can find my Mr Right then maybe I can help you find yours. I have found many great partners for my members. I am passionate about helping people find love and what’s more I am good at it. I am recognised as one of the best in the UK Dating Industry as I won the UK Dating Awards in 2015 and was nominated as a finalist in 2016.
My Path to Finding Love
My own path to finding love was not easy. A big relationship ended in my late 20s. I found out he’d cheated on me. Things changed between us and we took a break. Realising we were happier apart than together, we sold our flat and divided the assets between us. It was fairly straight forward. I recall the day I moved in to my new flat alone. I went to the estate agents and got the keys. I then sat on the beach in shock, thinking this is not how it’s supposed to be. I am not supposed to be single at 31 moving into a one bedroomed flat. But I was and little did I know it would remain that way for almost the next decade.
I dabbled with online dating on and off but I found it so shallow. People seemed to have this list of exactly what they were looking for and if you were missing one thing on that list then they dismissed you and moved on to the next profile. I remember one guy sent me a list of questions to answer which included what was my favourite colour? Really! I bet he’s still single and just waiting to find the girl who likes just what he likes, including his favourite colour. I found people lied about all sorts of things, such as age, height, even their marital status. Some dates were more like counselling sessions as they clearly weren’t over their ex. There was one guy I met online who I started dating long-term. We’d even been on holiday together when, much to my horror, I realised he was still online dating and had never taken his profile down. That was sickening and was also when I decided that online dating was not for me.
The years flew by and suddenly I found myself on a sleigh ride to 40 and I was still single. I was always the one at my friends’ weddings that never had a ‘plus-one’. In fact I refused to go to any more weddings after my brother’s.
I gave up dating when I turned 40 because there just didn’t seem to be any one on my wavelength who had the same values as me. I took up sailing and one day I went to see a friend’s boat. He introduced to me my now partner. There were no sparks or fireworks but I knew there was something I liked about this guy. I couldn’t call it attraction as I didn’t fancy him. Over the next few months we went sailing as a group. I realised I was starting to feel excited about seeing this guy. I was happy to be spending time with him and getting to know him. Then one night whilst away on a sailing trip with our group he told me he liked me and that he really liked me. I knew then I felt the same. After that we became more than friends.
On my birthday last Christmas he asked me to marry him. I am pleased to say I’m engaged to a wonderful, kind, gorgeous man who I trust implicitly. There are always sparks and fireworks these days. I look forward to seeing him every day and cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him.
What I want you to take away from reading this is that love can be a slow burn. Don’t expect there to be sparks and fireworks on a first date. There should be something to make you think that you would like to see the person again but don’t get too caught up in the elusive chemistry connection that everyone seems to be seeking. Sometimes it’s the second or third date that leads to finding that and it might be a slower burn for you, just like it was for me.
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.