Tuesday, 10 March 2020

My Experience of Dating Apps

Before working at Dating Agency and Singles Club RSVP, I tried out a few Dating Apps. After all, in my age bracket, the most common way to meet someone is online. I had friends that had great success with dating apps and I thought it might be a fun, easy way of meeting people. However, the reality was very different and, whilst many people have met partners, there are many issues to be faced. Since working at RSVP, I have discovered that the process through a dating agency is so much better than app dating for a whole range of reasons. Here are some observations:

Firstly, I am going to jump right in and state the obvious: dating apps are over-saturated with users. You can create an account on them within minutes and delete an account even quicker. In comparison, joining RSVP requires investment; you have to invest your time in an meeting with a Dating Consultant and your money in the membership. This way, we know our members are serious about meeting someone. 

There are so many different dating apps and dating app users, which results in a large number of people to sift through, the focus usually being by swiping left or right. You can’t really set filters other than location and age, which is frustrating. It is worth noting that the age people display in their profile may not be truthful, it is very common for people to shave a few years off their age, because who is going to catch them out? At RSVP, when interviewing prospective members, we ask to see ID to get our members true age. 

You do have to put a lot of time into app dating, hours can easily be wasted away by swiping to find people of interest. You quickly find that you are in too many conversations with too many people, which naturally becomes overwhelming. Sadly I found that the conversations are often boring small talk and then didn't very often progress to a date.

Personally I found the behaviour on dating apps to be quite brutal; it is common to abruptly get ignored or ‘ghosted’ mid-conversation when it seems going well. Typically, you see someone you like the look of. 20+ other people probably like them too; they could be talking to 20+ other people too. Perhaps they like someone better that you and are putting all their attention into that, and just ‘bread crumbing’ you for back up. In all honesty, I have probably been both ‘bread crumbed’ and the ‘bread crumber’. You hope that you become their ‘first choice’ and they give you all their attention. 

It is safe to say that, whilst talking to strangers online, normal social graces and good manners tend to get forgotten. Dating apps must be the most transient and disposable method of dating. Everyone is looking out for themselves and you can quickly find yourself in a vicious circle of bad manners. You could have been having a really great conversation with someone and then bang; no reply after two weeks of messaging. Did you do something wrong? Did they lose their phone? Are they in a coma? No, I think the most likely scenario is that they have had a better option come up.

Profiles are important in whatever method of dating you are doing. At RSVP, our dating consultants write the members their profiles after a face to face interview. Some Dating App users create a profile filling it out with the maximum amount of detail; others don’t write anything at all. Pitching the profile right is important; if someone hasn’t taken the time to write anything about themselves, I view it as they aren’t really bothered and won’t have good conversation. However, at the other extreme, if someone has written an essay about themselves and their numerous hobbies, likes and dislikes, I assumed that they are only interested in themselves and probably wouldn’t have time to date me. 

This is probably one of the most talked about things with online dating: it is purely photos and appearance driven, where you are judged on a couple of photos and perhaps whatever you write in the profile. These photos could be old photos from years ago - suitably filtered - or, in extreme situations, may not even be a photo of the person whose profile it is!

Finally, we need to discuss safety. It goes without saying that there is very little accountability online and it is common sense to meet in a public place with lots of people. There are plenty of horror stories in the media about online dates ending horribly and I don’t need to add to this. I was never put in any kind of danger or felt threatened in any way, but safety was always at the back of my mind and I did feel the need to relay to friends where I was going and with whom.

In conclusion, I quickly discovered I didn’t want to spend all day on a dating app; it almost felt like a full-time job. I swiped through so many people, so many conversations were attempted and a handful of unsuccessful dates took place that went nowhere. Whilst there is undeniable success on dating apps, it is purely because of volumes. 

Since working at RSVP, I found that the process of dating offline, working with a team of expert matchmakers, is a safer and kinder form of dating. To find out more about RSVP and the different membership options, just fill out a few details and the helpful Enquiries Team will be in touch.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Is my relationship ‘status’: “Pre-Successful”?

This is the final piece in a series of posts commissioned by RSVP from Becki Coombe. When not date-hunting herself, Becki delivers a range of education and training courses. One of Becki’s main areas of interest is teaching people how to provide Mental Health ‘First Aid’ but even more pro-actively encouraging others to recognise and look after their own wellbeing. You can read more about what Becki does at www.thelearn2group.org.uk.

Let’s face it – we all love a label right?! What sex do we identify with, what religion are we and don’t even get me started on whether I am ‘allowed’ to tick the “single” instead of “divorced” box on a form?!!

But on a film I watched recently, I heard the term “pre-successful” being used by someone who was unemployed and I wondered – is this something that I could also lend to my dating situation?...

…so the pros are of course that it may be perceived as a more positive way of saying “yes, I am still single” and it may just baffle someone enough to then not carry on and ask that ridiculous question “how/why are you single”? (You have to have some singles in the world to keep RSVP single events and dating agencies like RSVP running)?! I also like that it infers that there is a successful relationship to come in the future.

…alternatively, there could be an interpretation that not being in a relationship is actually a failure/ being unsuccessful – which is simply not the case.

So even though I am not convinced by my thoughts enough to write to Facebook and ask them to add an additional relationship status category, I have had a moment or two confirm, that the way we perceive things may have an impact on how we choose to live from day-to-day;

- at this time of year for example, many people have made New Years resolutions. Why?!!! Every one of us has the capacity to make choices and changes at any first or middle date of any of the twelve months!

- when people comment that we look nice in something we often quickly reply with ‘oh I’ve had this years/I got it in a sale’. Why?!!! Every one of us can train ourselves to say thank you and acknowledge the personal compliment for exactly what it was!

- when people comment that they don’t meet new people (or dates!), then state that they don’t go to any local/community/advertised activities… why?!!! Every one of us has the capacity to Google local interests and get involved in a way that suits ourselves.

So as a closing comment from me in this series of blog posts about emotional wellbeing and achieving balanced nutrition; who do you want to be, how do you want to feel and how do you want to live – whether you realised it or not, the power is all in your own hands. So take it, cherish it and enjoy it!

If you want to get in touch with me, you can do so via my website: www.thelearn2group.org.uk.

Becki Coombe

Thursday, 9 January 2020

There Are Two People in Every Relationship

Recently the team at Dating Agency and Singles Club RSVP were discussing deal breakers within relationships. The typical things that come out usually are...

  • Not wanting to date anyone with children
  • Not getting married again
  • Not divorcing someone who they are legally separated from
  • Not wanting to be with someone who has a pet. 
So in theory, if they do find the person who is right in every other way…the deal breaker -such as something from the above - would write them off and stop them from entering into a relationship. So, there would be no possibility of somewhere down the line of you or they perhaps changing their mind?



The RSVP team of expert matchmakers know only too well how people can be damaged from past experiences and will form their relationship decisions based on their view of what the future holds. But the future is an unwritten book. There is always the possibility that you may find yourself in love with someone who holds different ambitions for the relationship than you do. Furthermore, as a couple, there has to be compromise and a willingness to meet in the middle, to achieve a relationship that is  healthy and evenly balanced.

If you have been single for a long time, it is normal that you become the centre of your own universe. In some instances, people overly trust their instincts to protect themselves from getting hurt, rather than using their brains rationally. Consequently, putting barriers up can be easily be damaging when entering into a new relationship. It is best not to allow the negative aspects of a past relationship affect a new relationship.

When you are embarking on a new relationship, it is crucial to be considerate of the other person and respect their expectations. It goes without saying that you should never compare a current partner to a previous one. If you are relaxed and have formed a trust with a new person, perhaps you will love them more and relax your rules and expectations. It is worth putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. 

For instance, what if your partner is desperate to get a pet cat and you don’t like animals? Does your love for that person outweigh your dislike of pets? Would you really miss out on a potentially great relationship for the sake of some - dare we say it - arbitrary preference? In life, nothing is certain and people can change...including yourself. We should not fear change, as it often brings new experiences and possibilities. People who are willing to evolve and build up a new life are likely to be those who will make the best partners.


To find out more about the different memberships for dating and singles events at RSVP, call a member of our team of relationship experts on 01572 774882 or complete an online enquiry form.

Monday, 9 December 2019

New Year, New You

This is the second in a series of posts commissioned by RSVP from Becki Coombe. When not date-hunting herself, Becki delivers a range of education and training courses. One of Becki’s main areas of interest is teaching people how to provide Mental Health ‘First Aid’ but even more pro-actively encouraging others to recognise and look after their own wellbeing. You can read more about what Becki does at www.thelearn2group.org.uk.

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume that you are in the midst of making Christmas lists and even thinking of resolutions that you may want to make for 2020? And this is, of course, is particularly relevant for members of dating agency RSVP, as some of us may have even put dating one-to-one or going out on RSVP singles events on our lists and resolutions?!!

In my previous blog post I posed the question “Are we where we want to be?” and I suggested that if we weren’t happy and satisfied in the three areas of emotional wellbeing, active lifestyle and nutritional balance, then perhaps we could make changes so that we can be content in our own skins and be confident that any future potential partner would therefore like us ‘for us’.

So to follow on, in this post I am going to focus specifically on achieving a nutritional balance.

Honestly, hand on heart, who has said (either to themselves or out loud) “In the New Year there’s going to be a new me”? For those who have, I am imagining that those thoughts have been matched with ideas of exercising, possible gym memberships and perhaps a type of diet?

If yes, I would now like to scream at you “STOP RIGHT THERE!!!”

1) We love the existing you!
Warts ‘n’ all, creases and laughter lines but most of all – what’s on your inside; your thoughts, wit and intelligence. So, if you are considering making any changes at all to your lifestyle and outlook I would recommend that you do it… FOR YOURSELF and no-one else!

2) Why New Year?!
Do you thrive on the pressure of a looming deadline or by ticking off jobs on a ‘to-do’ list? If so, you will know that when we actually action our tasks, they get done. For myself, I am likely to leave a job I don’t really want to do, I am not sure how to do, or I am not sure how successful I will be at – until a future date.

So, why not give yourself a Christmas present, put a plan in place to change your lifestyle and start it TODAY!?! 

3) Nutritional Balance isn’t about Dieting!
(and I have complete scientific proof for this...)

I follow a nutritionally balanced diet and try to stick to a more or less regulated daily calorie intake. I find nutrition, exercise and following my lifestyle interesting so I enter and read all of my data on an App called ‘My Fitness Pal’. I started using this App in June 2018 and continued to lose weight over the period of one year. My body shape and size changed and I became toned and looked healthy.

Since June 2019 my weight has (very gradually) increased, but my tone and body shape have got better if anything! Oh and the scientific proof I mentioned – my fat pants! Last week I was quite put out as I weighed myself for the first time in 2 months and (apparently!) I had put on 1.2kg. But, here’s the thing. All of my trousers are feeling extremely comfortable – with room in them AND my go-to fat pants fit absolutely fine – again with room! 

If you don’t own something similar yourself, the fat pants that I am referring to are a pair or trousers that at one time I only dreamed of being able to wear again – and I did think that would be quite unlikely! They are the trousers that don’t lie – they will very clearly tell me if I have put on weight (as with any additional weight I might not even be able to fit a leg in them, never mind my bum and actually do them up)?!!

So what I would very much like to highlight in achieving nutritional balance is, I believe food intake is not about dieting or feeling hungry and NOT about relying on scale weights to track your success.

In brief (get in touch if you would like to know more), my nutritional balance recommendations are:
- calorie intake should match (or be less than) calories you use in the day* (any more is stored as fat)
- protein makes you feel fuller and for longer* (it is recommended you have 30g of protein for breakfast)
- if something is ‘beige’ in colour, it is probably carbohydrate (vegetables are generally very low calorie)

*using an App like ‘My Fitness Pal’ (which is free) and entering all of your food and exercise (honestly with no cheating!) will really help you to learn what calories you are taking in and when, as well as what nutritional content is in the foods you like.

Many health plans relate to diets but, in just balancing your nutritional intake with your nutritional needs, you can change your body shape and create your ‘new you’… now!

This is the second of a series blog posts from me about emotional wellbeing and achieving balanced nutrition. If you want to get in touch with me, you can do so via my website: www.thelearn2group.org.uk.

Becki Coombe

Monday, 2 December 2019

The Power of the Second Date

A colleague of mine at RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club recently told me how a so-nearly-missed second date heralded a rewarding new relationship for him.

He told me of how, on an RSVP singles walk in Rutland, he met a lady he found chatty, interesting, appealing in so many ways and, above all, spontaneous. Walks provide such fertile ground for relationships to gently form without pressure, as you feel you are just ‘on a walk’ but, in reality, you are constantly walking and talking alongside different attendees. Our RSVP singles walks are very popular with members. We also arrange fantastic walking weekends a couple of times a year.
Eventually, after an appropriate amount of procrastination on the part of my colleague, the lady’s spontaneity won the day and a first date was arranged, which included a dinner. The dinner was…a little disappointing for both parties: conversation was somewhat stilted and matter-of-fact; there were a few awkward silences; there didn’t appear a lot of common ground or interests.
However, he remembered fondly the easy conversation he’d enjoyed on the walk and, feeling that was too good to let go, dived in with a prompt from the RSVP team of expert matchmakers to have second date. Because, after all, what’s the worst that could happen? The lady bravely said ‘yes’, again.
Both arrived at the second date with some trepidation, but this time the rapport was already there; they were relaxed; the conversation sparkled; they laughed, they almost cried, they vowed to do it all again and, afterwards, thanked the friendly RSVP team for the encouragement of a second date!
And that was three months ago. Since then, they have enjoyed many dates and days together, met each other’s families, been on a short holiday and, of course, walked for miles!

All of it so nearly missed, were it not for that magical decisive second date.
The moral of this tale is: even if there’s a flicker of something between you, go for the second date.

To find out more about our singles events, just provide us with a few details and our helpful team will be in touch shortly.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Are we where we want to be?

This is the first of a series of posts commissioned by RSVP from Becki Coombe. When not date-hunting herself, Becki delivers a range of education and training courses. One of Becki’s main areas of interest is teaching people how to provide Mental Health ‘First Aid’ but even more pro-actively encouraging others to recognise and look after their own wellbeing. You can read more about what Becki does at www.thelearn2group.org.uk. (Oh and incidentally, even though Becki classes herself as having an active lifestyle and being nutritionally balanced – she says she doesn’t have a line of dates waiting either)!! 

It always makes me smile when someone asks me “so what would your ideal man look/be like”?! And this is, of course, particularly relevant for members of dating agency RSVP, dating one-to-one or going out on RSVP singles events.

At the mature age of 40 I have concluded that there will probably be only one thing certain of someone that I have a relationship with – there is a mutual spark and liking of each other. The rest of the details – who knows?!!

When I swipe and click through dating apps and sites (honestly I’m not a serial date-hunter?!) I still, however, find myself drawn to a certain ‘type’. Without question there are always men that I feel I wouldn’t have a connection with, or that I feel wouldn’t be interested in me. Whether these decisions are justified or not, it does lead me to wonder if all date-hunters are in places in their life that would compliment their idea of an ideal match?

This could be emotionally (I’m starting to wonder if there should be a mandatory waiting period before you can ‘advertise’ yourself to date after coming out of a long and serious relationship?!!), but it could also be lifestyle factors such as activities or nutrition?

I was recently part of a conversation where some singles that were currently living a more sedentary lifestyle were complaining that they were not receiving invitations to date. It led me to wonder if us date-hunters are actually where we want to be – never mind us trying to select where we want others to be?!!

So if this resonates with someone you know, I have narrowed this down to three areas:

1) Emotional Wellbeing
Is the date-hunter in a place where they could explore a new relationship without drawing on the past or experiencing mixed emotions that may get in the way of getting to know someone?

2) Active Lifestyle
Does the date-hunter engage in activities that they may be able to comfortably share within a new relationship. For example if they like the idea of dating someone ‘active’, would they be able to enjoy a walk/run/game with their date – without dreading the idea or having an ambulance on speed dial?!

3) Nutritionally Balanced
Does the date-hunter balance their calorie intake with calorie outgoings. When you break nutrition down, the purpose of food is to build, repair and fuel our body. If we consume more than we spend the additional food nutrients will be stored in the form of fat ‘to be used at a later point’ – if ever needed.

Whatever the responses to each of the three areas are above, I believe that the date-hunter should be content with their conclusions or quite simply, make adaptations until they are! But, if the responses aren’t where they would like them to be, consider reflecting on what you are also telling and asking from a prospective date?

This is the first of a series blog posts from me about emotional wellbeing and achieving balanced nutrition. If you want to get in touch with me, you can do so via my website: www.thelearn2group.org.uk.

Becki Coombe


Can anyone be 'Self Partnered'?

Actress Emma Watson recently described herself as ‘self partnered’ rather than single in an interview with Vogue Magazine. This new ‘self partnered’ term has caused quite a stir and divided option. Last week #selfpartnered was trending on Twitter. Two members of the RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club Team discuss whether they are on board with the term ‘self partnered'.

‘Self partnered’ Why not?

My first reaction when I heard that Emma Watson described herself as ‘Self partnered’, was an eye roll. It reminded me of when actress Gwyneth Paltrow described her split with Chris Martin as ‘consciously uncoupling’. Then, after reading the interview in full, not just the media sound bite, I changed my mind. 

Watson discusses how, previously, she hated being single and found herself in consecutive co-dependent relationships. She is now embracing single life and embarking on her dating journey, resulting in her being happier in herself. Like many RSVP Dating Agency members she doesn't want to use dating apps. According to Watson, ‘self partnered ‘ comes from a place of confidence and empowerment that she didn’t have in her early twenties.
I conclude that, whilst I don’t see anything wrong with the term 'single', it goes without saying that to some it can be interpreted in negative ways. Is there anything wrong with coming up with a term to say that you are fulfilled and single? Absolutely not.

‘Self Partnered’ Definitely not!


Whilst I have no problem with Emma Watson being happily single, I really don’t think anyone can describe themselves as ‘self partnered’. It is needless to say that a partnership consists of two people, so one may wonder why Watson is putting two contradicting words together.


Not only do I find this term pretentious, but I don’t understand why she couldn’t simply say ‘I am happily single’. At RSVP, we work hard to make sure our members are enjoying their dating journey because we do appreciate it can be tough. Perhaps ‘self partnered’ comes from a defensive place, because Watson’s personal life has been brutally under scrutiny since puberty and she is trying to control the narrative.

Whilst I applaud Watson for being honest with how she is feeling and I am pleased that she is content with single life and dating, I really cannot see the phrase ‘self partnered’ taking off and becoming a mainstream term substituting ‘single’. 


Would you describe yourself as 'self partnered'? Or would you like to enter in a partnership with someone else? To find out more about how RSVP can help you on your dating journey, simply provide us with a few details about yourself and a member of our Enquiries Team will be in touch.