Time Out

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The matchmaker -Mary Balfour

10am – Arrive at the office in Adam and Eve Mews and start sifting through applicants. Everybody is looking for the same thing – they think they look five years younger than they do and so think they can meet somebody in a younger age group who’s slightly more attractive than themselves.

What I do is tell people to be realistic.

Noon – Interview with client. I want to know about their relationships and why they broke up. If they pass with flying colours, I introduce them to members.

2pm – Send out phone numbers to clients. I advocate a domino effect: date as many people as you can, keep your boundaries clear for three or four dates and then decide if you want to take it further.

4pm – Date debrief. A lot of people come across as too needy. On a first date they’ll find they really fancy someone, so they’ll talk until 2am. All the dangerous territory gets embarked upon: why they split with their ex, custody problems, the biological clock. And that’ll kill it Always keep them wanting more. Finish the date after an hour, have your own transport and leave it open-ended.

5pm – One-to-one date coaching. We look at why they haven’t met somebody: are they writing off people too soon? Are they looking for a clone of a past love? Your eventual partner will defy many of, if not all, your preconceptions.

7pm – ‘Date Smart’ seminar. I give a talk to 100 men and women. People are wary of exploring potentials who don’t fulfil all their criteria, so most of the time you’re just trying to get them to relax and enlarge their circle of single friends. Your eventual love may have been a friend for several months before you spot the chemistry.

11pm – We answer the phone until 11 at night, seven days a week. We get lots of happy endings for people. I get invited to an awful lot of weddings.

Interview: Georgina Terry www.drawingdownthemoon.co.uk

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