Friday, 8 September 2017

The importance of good photos when dating

There is this old saying that a picture tells a thousand words. Really? At RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club, we've learned that a picture in a dating profile may ‘tell a thousand words’, but may have only tenuous connection with the person you are reading about. Furthermore, is a single photo always a true reflection of what the person in question looks like? 

Allow me to elaborate. Firstly, everyone has ‘good angles’ and ‘bad angles’. Then there is lighting - harsh lighting can age anyone. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are ‘face-tuning’ apps and Adobe Photoshop, which can enhance us quickly to have white teeth, bigger, wider eyes or even slim us down a dress size, whilst losing any spots of wrinkles. When was the photo taken? Ten years ago? Is it actually the person you're reading about? Was it taken by a professional photographer with lighting, make-up, etc? Or is it a holiday snap of you and your previous partner torn down the middle? I could go on. 

According to globaldatinginsights.com, a quarter of people who use dating sites and apps such as Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Bumble, eharmony, match.com etc, have admitted to uploading digitally manipulated photographs which are unlikely to be a true representation of themselves. And, who can blame them, when, with a swipe, you are history. This brings us back to the authenticity of a dating agency like RSVP, where we meet every single one of our members and make sure everyone really is who they say they are.

RSVP's long-held nervousness about photos in dating stems from the myriad assumptions we make when we view a photo of a potential partner, about who they are and their character, which could be completely wrong. Frequently, daters will act on these incorrect assumptions by not going ahead and meeting that person (it's always easier to do nothing), or arriving with completely fabricated preconceived ideas on the individual, so that it ruins getting to know the person on the date.
It is now estimated that one third of daters look up a person online before agreeing to go on a date with them. It is almost inevitable that, in this day and age, there is no shortage of photographs of us online, whether it is facebook photos, Instagram posts, a LinkedIn profile picture and WhatsApp profile picture. It usually wouldn’t take long for a person to find photos of us online. There are ways around this: set your social media accounts to private (always a good idea, anyway), upload a photo of a beach/flowers/cocktails as your WhatsApp photograph. However, sometimes it is unavoidable; so, if you must, here is some advice on photos for social media when you are looking to date:
-It is always obvious if it a picture from 12 years ago, use update photos from the last year.
-A good quality sharp photo, is much better than a blurry, pixelated, over-exposed picture.
-Zooming in on yourself in a group photo and cropping everyone else out doesn’t always work; the photo then lacks context and the proportions look a little odd.

-Too many selfies, can look a little self-obsessed, even if that isn’t the intention.
-Adding animal ears, crowns and bunny ear filters to photos isn’t really funny anymore; it is just a bit silly if you are over the age of 15.

-Fancy dress, although fun at the time, can look a little odd to people who don’t know the theme or didn’t attend the party.
-Overly enhancing a photo using a face tuning app is dishonest and usually pretty obvious.

-A passport-style head shot photo can look quite serious and rigid; a more relaxed photo taken by a friend is far more natural.

-Photos taken in daylight outdoors are (a) usually better lit and (b) more popular with daters. Get a tree in shot as well, if you want the best.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The unrealistic side to dating


Do you ever sit at a family gathering or on a day out, feeling like the only single person in the world? Everywhere you look there seem to be happy couples. And no matter how many dates you seem to go on, there always seems to be something that just doesn’t quite fit.

A recent article about an eligible bachelor looking for a drastically younger bride to give him an heir got me thinking. How realistic are our expectations when it comes to dating?
When we picture that perfect match, there are usually a handful of things that stand out as essential – maybe age, values or personality type. Then we start to think a little bit harder and more and more ‘essentials’ go on the list until eventually the scope for finding that perfect match is so slim, it’s almost impossible. You’ve set yourself up for guaranteed disappointment.
When left to find this person on your own it can often feel like finding a needle in a haystack (especially if you’ve a long shopping list). That bar that you’ve set for Mr or Ms Right is so high that somebody almost perfect could walk into your life and you would find something wrong with them.
At RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club, we often find that what people say they want in a partner and the partner they actually choose are two completely different things. After all, how many of your previous relationships have looked like or acted like your celebrity crush? My guess would be none.
RSVP’s experienced Dating Consultants meet every prospective member to get to know you and what you are looking for. With years of experience under their belt, they will take into account the things that are most important to you and open your eyes to the possibilities and potential matches that could be available to you – and also those you are inadvertently excluding. They are there to advise and support you and tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear in order to find that special person just for you.
When it comes to dating, maybe it’s time every so often to throw caution to the wind and go for somebody that on paper may not seem your type, because in the end you may just find that little spark you were missing.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Whatever happened to marrying for love?

RSVP dating agency and singles club’s team of expert matchmakers likes to do plenty of background research. As a result, I read an article in The Mirror recently that saddened me and got me thinking ‘does anybody marry for love anymore?’

In the article, a wealthy 70-year-old businessman was advertising for a bride to share his life and his two stately homes, but there was a catch – she had to be young enough to promise him an heir. Now as a matchmaker, this raised two key questions for me. What type of people is this method of promotion going to attract? How can you marry somebody knowing that they are only with you for the money and lifestyle that you have promised them?
Now while we can remain hopeful that this eligible bachelor will find what he is looking for and maybe even love, I can’t help but be sceptical when it comes to marriages of convenience. In order to make a marriage work there has to be an element of compatibility, and surely no matter how good the deal seems on paper, if there is no compatibility one or both parties will crack under the pressure after a while.
RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club members have shared with us their engagements, marriages and babies. Our experienced dating consultants have been there from day one providing the introductions and coaching them until they find the one that they would like to experience life’s greatest moments with.
At RSVP, we believe in love and so do our members. We take into consideration the things that matter most and work with you to find the perfect match for you. RSVP relationships are built on love and trust and not merely a relationship of convenience.
If you want to find out more about our services and the memberships that we can offer for you, please contact us here.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Online dating fraud causing surge in members at dating agencies

Last weekend, there was another report in The Mail on Sunday discussing how single people are leaving dating websites and joining traditional dating agencies like RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club. Last year enquiries went up by 27% for traditional agencies, and after hearing some of our members' horror stories, this doesn't come as much of a surprise. According to our industry trade body, the Association of British Introduction Agencies, one of the big reasons for this is an increase in fraudsters exploiting members of online dating websites using false profiles set up by criminal gangs to extort money out of genuine members simply looking for love.

In contrast to an online profile which isn't vetted, at RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club we meet every member for a face-to-face interview, requesting identification and proof of address. Our dating consultants are experienced at sniffing out when something is not quite right and it is critically important for us to have only genuine members with fib-free profiles.



So at RSVP we can offer you 100% confidence that all of our members are genuine, and like minded people who aren't time wasters. Like you, they're all genuinely single and looking for someone special. Our service is confidential and private we don't give out your surname and we do not put your photograph on the internet. At RSVP we pride ourselves in being professional and reliable, with an exceptional matchmaking team available 6 days a week. On our website you will see a small selection of the many RSVP success stories.

If you want to find out in more detail about our services and different memberships that we can offer you, please call us 01572 774884 or contact RSVP here.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Exciting singles events coming up at RSVP


At Dating Agency and Singles Club RSVP we cater for professional singles with both matchmaking and Singles Events. If you prefer to meet someone in ‘a natural’ environment, an RSVP singles event is undoubtedly the place to do this with up to 30 singles events every month!
With our singles events, we consider a variety of different tastes, budgets, lifestyles and locations. For instance if you are someone who enjoys relaxed fine dining in an intimate restaurant we have a variety of different meal dates coming up at hand-picked, award-winning venues.

Alternatively, if you prefer something more active, we arrange frequent singles activities such as driving days, climbing, bowling, tobogganing or flying lessons. Furthermore if a country singles walk and pub lunch is more your thing, you will find many singles walks in picturesque countryside locations in the RSVP singles events calendar to choose from.

You may have already heard about our famous RSVP singles balls - typically four per year - and they are always extremely popular, we have a masquerade singles ball in Northamptonshire coming up soon and tickets are already selling fast. If your dancing shoes are a little dusty, or you never had the opportunity to learn to dance, do not fear! Before the singles ball, we have dance lessons you can book on to, so you can dance the night away with confidence.

If you're a culture vulture we have a range of events that may inspire you; from a recent tour of Birmingham Museum, to a tour of the Houses of Parliament. As well as this, we have run culinary classes, tours of Wimbledon and we are currently in the process of arranging some very exciting RSVP Exclusive Experiences at new venues. 

We would love to see you at one of RSVP's singles events. If you are considering joining us and would like a more detailed taster of what Singles Events we offer, request a sample RSVP singles events calendar.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Is there such a thing as love at first sight?

As representative of RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club, that was the question I was asked on Jonathan Lampon's show on BBC Radio Leicester this week.

Me with Jonathan Lampon, BBC Radio Leicester
Of course we all love that feeling of butterflies we get when someone gorgeous looks our way, but can that be love at first sight?

Just catching sight of someone gives us no insight into the personality of the person we have just seen. Furthermore, we are constantly making subconscious lists of features we attribute to those people we have strong feelings about, both positive and negative.

That's why it's so easy to take an instant like or dislike when we meet people for the first time. But we need to be careful of falling into a pattern of only wanting to meet potential partners that are "our type". Let's face it - if you are single at the moment, chances are what you are doing is not working.

I would argue that you need to be more open to the elements in a relationship that have been proven to contribute to longer term happiness. Of course, sexual attraction is part of falling in love, but it is only part of the concoction which also includes friendship, shared experiences, trust and kindness.

That is why our RSVP matchmakers do not include photographs on our profiles sent to members. We want our members to look at the interests and hobbies, personality type and values when considering whether or not to meet up.

If you want to hear more about this topic, listen to my radio interview.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ask for Angela

Anyone heard of ‘Ask for Angela’?

Ask for Angela is a simple code-word campaign for people feeling unsafe on a date, originally trialled by Lincolnshire County Council. It encourages people on dates that have turned difficult or dangerous to discreetly ask for help by going to the bar and 'Ask for Angela' - a phrase aimed at alerting bar staff to the cry for help so they can help by calling a taxi or discreetly extricating them from the situation. Ask for Angela has been rolled out across the UK and is receiving global attention at present.

I am all for safer dating and anything that assists us stay safe in a world full of hidden dangers. Apparently, bar staff are receiving specialist training to deal with situations when they arise. But the publicity posters openly admit that it’s dates from Tinder and Plenty of Fish that are the main targets for help – free dating apps/sites where anyone can join and anyone does.

Much better in my book is to invest a little in your own safety up-front to make sure you don’t go out fearing what will happen on your date. That safety can come from using an accredited professional matchmaking service like RSVP. You’ll know that the person you’re meeting has already been met face-to-face by one of RSVP’s expert dating consultants. Attending some of RSVP’s hosted singles events is a sure-fire way of knowing that you won’t need Angela’s assistance, as you will have a host there to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Avoid Internet Dating Crime

Have you ever thought about how many people are part of the online community? Some people don’t remember a time before the internet; it is the ‘norm’ nowadays.

So, I found it interesting, if not a little surprising, that we let our guard down so easily, because we think that being ‘friends’ on social media equates to trust; after all, we see all the posts and pictures right?


Have you ever had that call or text (all in caps lock) from your parents or grandparents, saying that they have had an email or a call from the bank, asking for passwords or telling them that they need to make a payment, which of course they did, or they clicked on that strange link in the email? We have all had that ‘oh please tell me you didn’t’ moment.

Now, stop. What makes that ‘oh please tell me you didn’t’ moment any different when you decide to meet the person you have been talking to for days or weeks online.

At Dating Agency and Singles Club RSVP, even though we’re not into internet dating, we hear such horror stories all the time. No wonder the National Crime Agency (NCA) recently published a report that should be mandatory reading for all internet daters: http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/publications/670-emerging-new-threat-in-online-dating-initial-trends-in-internet-dating-initiated-serious-sexual-assaults/file.

One key statistic is that 72% of internet-dating-based sexual assaults took place in someone’s residence. Maybe this era of laid back keyboard dating is one of the culprits, aiding us to drop our barriers; after all, we are constantly warned of the dangers of being scammed out of money or possessions, so maybe these drown out other risks that lurk beyond the monitor. The key message from the NCA – and from RSVP – is: do not go to the home of someone you have never met – or invite them to yours. Always meet in a public place first – and probably on the second date too.

If this all sounds far too risky, don’t forget that traditional dating agencies such as RSVP offer a safe environment to meet potential partners – either one-to-one or at hosted singles events. You’ll only meet people we’ve already met and vetted. You can trust RSVP to minimise the risks, leaving you to enjoy the experience.