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Hardlife, The Matchmaker

Many incredibly attractive and articulate people living in London and the South-East. Most are graduates and are well-travelled or have been living, say, in Paris or New York.
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Sam Shaw 27, a French and philosophy graduate, worked in art galleries and at the Royal Academy before joining Drawing Down the Moon as an introduction agency consultant last year.

What’s a nice girl like you doing in a job like this?

Apart from joking with girlfriends, ‘Where are all the decent men?’ and wondering what to do about it, introduction agencies had never entered my life until I spotted a newspaper advertisement for the job.

It sounded great fun – I thought, I could do that.

Who are your lovelorn clients?

Many incredibly attractive and articulate people living in London and the South-East. Most are graduates and are well-travelled or have been living, say, in Paris or New York.

Attractive, articulate …and available. What’s their problem??

There just aren’t the opportunities for like-minded singles who are looking for a long-term relationship. Where do you go? Do you trawl bars? I can’t think of any friends who have developed a meaningful relationship with someone they’ve met in a bar or club. Just as people have personal trainers now, I think that in a couple of years it will be de rigueur to have your won personal introduction consultant.

Describe your day.

I get up at 8.30am and will be at the gym for 9.30am. By the time I rock up at work at midday, I’ve done a bit of shopping and had lunch. I go through the post, mainly photos and profiles which I assess to decide if they do the client justice and match people up. Ten women and one guy work here and he does the testosterone test – if we’re undecided about which photo of a woman is her best, he has the final say. I interview people between 4pm and 7pm and finish at 8pm. I meet friends for supper or go to a club. Clients hang out in the same places I do – I don’t say ‘Hi’ if they avoid eye contact.

Explain the deal.

After the first telephone call, you come in for a free, no obligation chat. We discuss you expectations and lifestyle. If I take you on, I show you details of those I think we can match you with. If you like the look of someone, you may send them your details speculatively or we can match you with those we think you might be interested in, as not everyone is a good picker. If they respond, you can arrange to meet; the rest is up to you. Sadly, we don’t take everybody.

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