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Glass of wine in hand, the man sitting opposite me in the restaurant was in full flow. While he was droning on about his work commitments, I zoned in and out, trying to work out how I was going to get through this first date. I had expected to meet an eligible bachelor, but he had turned out to be so boring that he made me want to stick asparagus up my nostrils. I thought it would be a higher calibre of human.
I was disappointed. Credit: Shutterstock. A couple of years ago, I too ed an expensive matchmaking agency. I had just come out of a seven-year relationship and was on the wrong side of I soon tired of online dating and receiving messages from overweight baldies who peppered their s with childish emojis.
I hankered to find Mr Right-for-me, a man who was suitably educated and a successful professional.
And so this Introduction agencies reviews how I found myself throwing money at an upmarket matchmaking agency in central London. I imagined my handsome date: cashmere polo neck, a bit academic and kind. We'd eat steak tartare and swap notes on our latest box-set find and favourite novels. The reality was an array of terrible matches, a growing sense of alarm and a flaming row in a flash restaurant in Chelsea.
The first indication that all was not as I had expected came when I met my personal matchmaker at a Park Lane hotel for "tea and an interview". We chatted about holidays in Spain, men with bad haircuts and my ideal date. I love people," she trilled. I told her how I loved folk music, my favourite film was The Deer Hunter and I enjoyed weekends in the countryside. So far, so banal. A few days later, she ed me with the details of W, "a successful entrepreneur who had travelled extensively and also liked folk music".
When I met him at a pub in Richmond, I was shocked. I was expecting a cultured and dynamic Introduction agencies reviews, instead I got a man in a pair of jeans, a moth-eaten jumper and the table manners of a modern-day Baldrick. And therein lies the rub. These agencies trade on their exclusivity, yet the men I met were far from the super-elite they promised. And the so-called "experts" were a group of ex-PR girls with swishy hair and ability to write up a nifty "press release".
The thing I found most unnerving, though, was not being allowed to see what my date looked like, let alone have a pre-date chat with them before we met. All so important if you are to get a feel of someone. It wasn't too much of a surprise, then, that they rarely got it right. There was the year-old American with a stunning property portfolio, who broke the rules and googled me, only to inform me that I was too old for him; the barrister who invited me to his St James's club, and turned out to be prickly and aggressive; and a man who sold jumpers, who took me to dinner in Fulham and told me I should have worn a clingier dress.
I was about to call it a day and demand my money back, when my matchmaker sent through the details of a publisher from Oxford. We met at a pub near his home. On date two, he said he really liked me and whisked me away to the Cotswolds. Not wanting to appear presumptuous, he booked two rooms. I was quietly hopeful. But very quickly the debonair man who had seemed laid-back in London morphed into a raging chauvinist in the countryside.
When I started to chat to a waiter in Italian, it became clear that my date was not happy. I tried to laugh it off, but clocked this was a man with a fragile ego. It is a tough time for midlife dating today, and there are a lot vulnerable, educated women like me who are so desperate for love they are willing to try and pay anything.
Yet, the quality of men was, I found, no different to those on online dating sites. My advice when it comes to dating is: trust your instinct and meet through friends of friends. It is bound to be more accurate. Oh, and it is free. The mediocre men you pay to meet at 'elite' dating agencies. Please try again later. The Sydney Morning Herald. By Kate Introduction agencies reviews August 24, — Save Log inregister or subscribe to save articles for later.
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