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Moving in the right circles
FEBRUARY: THE MONTH when rose plants treble and Valentine’s day offers many single people little more than another chance to dine out with a friend’s ubiquitously available second cousin.

With hardly enough time for work, finding time to cultivate a social life is becoming increasingly tough. Last month, a DTI survey found that nearly four in ten employees aged between 35 and 55 feel they spend too much time at work and across the age spectrum, 87 per cent want to spend more time away from work.

This would explain the proliferation of new-style dating agencies and social events organisers.

The doyenne of dating agencies, Mary Balfour, says: “People are much more fussy. All they’re lacking are opportunities to find enough people that they can sift through to find the right one.”

“We’re niche, niche and niche all the way down the line,” say Balfour, adding that all members are “better educated and in more responsible jobs – and that applies to the women as well as the men.”

For Drawing Down the Moon all member are interviewed and every match hand-picked by Balfour’s team. But this service comes at a price. Yet the dedicated personal services and the neat guarantee that anyone who can afford to pay membership is doing well for themselves has worked for hundreds of clients. Balfour also offers sound dating advice: “I’m a great believer in short first dates”, she says.

One needs to let things develop gradually and keep some small talk for the second date as well.