Wednesday, 11 September 2019

I Want To Date a Unicorn – Why it is Important to Stay Realistic When Dating

When dating, it is easier to fantasise about our ideal partner, rather than actively going out and looking for someone realistic. It is lovely to dream up a perfect wish-list and just sit back and wait for them to arrive at our front door, then they proceed to sweep us off our feet. Sadly, it is time to wake up from this and join the real world; after all, dating in the real world can be great fun, particularly with RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club.

From time to time, our Dating Consultants meet prospective members who have a shopping list or have an exact image of who they want in their head. (Sorry ladies, George Clooney is married; sorry gents, Kelly Brook is taken). However, if you are looking for like-minded, engaging, genuinely single people who are trying to meet their special someone you are in the right place. RSVP's team of expert matchmakers will urge you to approach your dating agency with positivity and an open-minded attitude. This will undoubtedly get you further than dreaming at home about handsome strangers and Hollywood happily-ever-afters. (See my earlier post on those).

An issue that really ties people up in knots is age. It really shouldn’t - after all ageing is a privilege. At RSVP, our friendly Dating Consultants interview every member and check identification, so we know every member is who they say they are and their true age. We regularly hear tales of internet dating profiles that confidently fib about age, which naturally leads us to query if there are any more areas of dishonesty. Sometimes, we all still think we are 21 years old mentally, but, sadly, this doesn’t match the age on our birth certificates. Every week we hear both members and prospective members say ‘I am a young <insert age here>’. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to be a ‘young <insert age>’. Whilst you may have a young outlook, or perhaps you are physically active, or possibly you look good for your age, it doesn’t mean that people twenty years younger will see this and want to date you. 

Did you know 5 foot 9 is the average height for a man in the UK? And that the average dress size for a lady in the UK is a size 16? Not everyone does. The natural assumption of what we want is the default average. But if you look at society as a whole, going outside your usual social circles, there is far more diversity in body type, background and ethnicity, than perhaps you assumed. On countless occasions the RSVP's matchmakers have been asked to look for a ‘type’, however the client has then gone on to meet someone at one of our singles events who is totally different to the 'type' our matchmakers have been searching high and low for. Once again, I urge you not to get caught up in a 'type' or lengthy criteria; it really won't help your dating journey. Of course, I understand everyone has deal breakers and preferences. Just don't write people off for the sake of a couple of inches in height or dress size.

To find out more about how a dating agency like RSVP can help you on your dating journey, simply supply a few details about yourself here and someone from our team of matchmakers will be in touch soon.

If I can leave you with some food for thought, enjoy this clip from the rom-com How To Be Single about dating in New York.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

27 Years of RSVP

It is amazing how fast 27 years goes, and how much changes in 27 years. Back in 1992, the internet wasn’t in every home, (forget wifi), John Major was Prime Minister, Bill Clinton was US President and Disneyland Paris had just opened. Also - and much more importantly, Dating Agency and Singles Club RSVP opened for business with dating and singles events in Northamptonshire. This was the brain child of recently retired Patrick McDonald; as a widower he struggled to meet like-minded single people. He wanted to combine both singles events with hand-picked introductions.

It may not come as a surprise to you, but this struggle still lives on for many single people today; many of our members hoped that the internet would help them find someone, but it's not as easy as it first appears. Over the 27 years, RSVP has expanded across different counties and the database of members has rapidly grown to over 26,000 lifetime members. 

So how did RSVP expand, from a one-man business in Northamptonshire to cover London, the Home Counties, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, etc? There are many answers for this; as the business built up momentum with successful matchmaking, the positive word of mouth from members helped growth through recommendations. The first adverts appeared in Birmingham Evening Mail and Birmingham Post. RSVP adverts also hit the airwaves on Heart radio.

In 1999, RSVP singles events had a revamp and, for the first time, there were different events taking place in different counties on the same day! We have continued this by hosting different events to offer our members a variety of choice in terms of distance and activity. Matchmaking was of course a busy area within the business and the RSVP’s Team of Expert Matchmakers steadily grew with the increasing member numbers.

Notably quite ahead of the curve in 1999, the first RSVP website went live. Only 13% of households in the UK had an internet connection at this time. The website was simple and concise with contact details and information about RSVP. Since then, the RSVP website has undergone several makeovers, most recently in 2017.

In 2000, probably the single biggest jump in RSVP’s enviable position occurred, with the acquisition of the Bedford-based agency, with which RSVP had enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial working relationship. At a stroke, RSVP added members in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.

The next few years were spent consolidating RSVP’s position as the largest independently-run Introduction Agency in the Heart of England, building up membership in the areas already covered and offering matching and singles events Nottingham and Derby, together with increasingly sophisticated matching techniques.

In 2005, Patrick decided to retire after 13 years of building RSVP and in came husband and wife team Anne Stringer and Roland Stringer, who retained the original team, including office manager Gaynor. They gradually modernised the business and rebranded in 2006. A new quarterly 36-page colour singles events calendar was introduced. Specialist matching and event management software was embraced and RSVP continued to pair together many brilliant couples.

By 2009, the RSVP Head Office had moved from Burton Latimer to Oakham, as RSVP built up the membership base through matchmaking and singles events in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

As the years have gone on, many people ask whether there is still a place for a traditional dating agency when ‘everything is available online’. Our response is that there is definitely relevance in a traditional offline agency, when the online alternatives can be casual at best and dangerous at worst. We find that people who join a traditional dating agency are likely to be:

  • Committed to finding the right person.
  • Prepared to invest time, money and effort in that process.
  • Less comfortable with having their face and personal details on the public internet.
  • Pleased that we meet every prospective member.
  • Relieved that every RSVP member really is who we say they are.

RSVP has built up excellent partnerships with venues and thrown many memorable Singles Balls, Valentines Dinners and Driving Experiences. We have proudly assisted in getting our member’s ‘back out there’ and we always look forward to hearing from our members. Some members who haven’t been active for over 10 years still get in touch with updates every now and then.

In recent years, RSVP Head Office has moved again to a more secure site on Oakham Enterprise Park. In 2017, our website had a fresh make-over, bringing with it an influx in new members. Last year we launched our bespoke RSVP Platinum Head Hunting service which has proved to be very successful. 

And, bringing us right up to date, we are testing a new Members Website and App, which will be going live in the next few weeks.

To find out more about RSVP, simply fill out a few details here and a member of our friendly enquiries team will be in touch.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Have Romantic Comedies Ruined Real Life Romantic Expectations?

At RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club head office, we were chatting about how invested in films, books and television series we become. Since childhood, most of us are exposed to films that subconsciously stay in our heads, shaping our mindset. From Disney Princes and Princesses, to the perfect dates on sit coms and then the fabulously cheesy romantic comedies that we frequently indulge in all lead us to wonder: ‘why do things like this never happen to me?’ We regularly forget that whatever film or TV show we are watching has been created for our entertainment and to manipulate our emotions.

Despite loving a good romantic comedy as much as the next person, I very often watch these films with a pinch of salt. Real life has taught us otherwise, but there is still the expectation that when we meet ‘the one’, our life will then measure up to the 'happily ever after' we see in the films. What happens next, after the ‘happily ever after’? Surely this is just the beginning.

Romanic comedies have provided us with many common clichés, such as the ‘public over-the-top gesture' or 'big act of love', a hypothermia-inducing kiss in the rain or perhaps a big confession that changes everything. Does this leave us hoping for this to happen in real life? Day dreaming about a bit of romantic drama like a singing and dancing proposal in an airport or a will you/won’t you make it to each other car chase is a harmless way to pass time. However is this to be expected when it comes to real life relationships and dating? At this point I feel the need to ask: would you feel comfortable with a big romantic act? In real life, might this seem a bit ... forced and unspontaneous? At RSVP, we believe everyday thoughtful little gestures mean far more than a show-stopping public romantic gesture at any time.

Obviously, real-life romance with its twists and turns, good parts and bad parts, doesn’t make the best television. Recently a film landed on Netflix called ‘Isn’t it Romantic’; a young lady called Natalie finds herself in a medically induced coma, where she finds herself trapped inside a romantic comedy, making her nauseous with all of the typical romantic comedy clichés. This movie feels very refreshing and provides an antidote to those shelves of overwhelmingly cheesy films.
Being a dating agency, at RSVP, we are of course big believers in celebrating the real life journey of love and everything that comes with it. If you'd like some expert help in finding your new beginning, just complete our simple form and a member of our team will be in touch.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Look For a New Love, Not a Replacement

Dating after you have met ‘your one’ or ‘the one’ who turned out not to be the one, is undoubtedly a challenge and something we understand very well at RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club. Everyone has a dating history and is shaped by past experience. On occasions, RSVP Dating Consultants hear prospective members describing their previous partner in a lot of detail or even show us photos of them, then requesting us to look for someone with either physical attributes or character traits that their previous partner possessed. It can be very difficult to move on from an ex, and it is natural to want to take the best parts of them with you.  However, this could be holding you back from seeing a new person’s personality and discovering their individual quirks. If you put an ex-partner on a pedestal and measure everyone else up to them, it is time to refresh your attitude and open your eyes a little wider.

At RSVP, we offer different membership levels to suit everyone. wanting to go offline dating If you need extra help in your dating journey, especially if you are trying to get over someone, our Platinum introduction agency membership will provide you with the one-to-one support with your own Dating PA. At RSVP, we meet all of our members and get to know them well. The Head Office team are there to help you on your dating journey.

When dating, it is important to think of a new person you've met as a person in their own right. It goes without saying that constant comparison to an ex could put a real strain on a new relationship. I am not suggesting forgetting the good memories of someone who was dear to you when there was once a lot of love; however, it is crucial to appreciate the differences between people and begin a new love interest as a completely new and separate chapter in your life. Learn to enjoy discovering this new person; don’t assume that they know your preferences for how you have your coffee or don’t remember that TV show that you and your ex-partner could quote back to each other. They may not immediately slot into your life and routine the way a previous partner did, but they can bring you joy and you can still enjoy a different kind of relationship. How about building new memories and traditions? Open yourself up to their life and the possibilities it could bring you both.

Don’t let your past hold your future hostage. If you are interested in starting journey with us at RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club simply provide us with some of your details and a member of our friendly team will be in touch.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

How Successful is RSVP?

At RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club, we are frequently asked what our ‘success rate’ is by prospective members. What a difficult question to answer and it doesn’t get easier in our 27 years of business. This completely depends on how you define success. It isn’t as simple as asking a driving instructor what their pass rate is. Typically, people who are enquiring to join a Dating Agency ask something along the lines of one of the below:
-How many marriages are you responsible for?

-How many couples have got together through RSVP singles events or Introductions?

-How many RSVP couples have started a family?

So why is it so difficult to answer those questions?

Firstly, whilst we always love to hear back from members who have met their partner through us, they don’t always tell us. However, some members do keep in touch and share their success stories. RSVP's teams of experts are always delighted to receive invitations to our member’s weddings, or just little updates such as receiving postcards, letters, photos and emails from members who have met partners through us. At our head office, we have an overflowing ‘Happy Board’ full of correspondence from satisfied members.

Recently, we received the below email from a member who is now in a relationship wishing to put his account on hold: 

"...Hi Michelle,
I'm e-mailing you to ask you to put my membership on hold because I have surprised myself by finding a girlfriend. I didn't meet her at RSVP, it was at my dancing group which I attend almost every Wednesday night.
However I want you to know that that if it wasn't for RSVP the relationship would probably never have happened. By attending RSVP events, reading your Matchmakers blog and being matched with some of your lovely lady members, I was able to regain my confidence and ask my girlfriend out on a date. That first date was two months ago and since then we have been seeing each other as much as possible.
I'm going to miss the RSVP events. They were always good and well organised. Well done to you and the rest of the RSVP team, you are all doing a fantastic job.
Bye for now David*..."

The other reason for us finding the answer difficult is that success is more than bringing couples together. On plenty of occasions, we have had so many members like David*, who have remarked upon how joining RSVP, speaking regularly to head office staff alongside attending RSVP singles events has guided and supported them as members, and has given them back confidence they had lost. Understandably, we know that dating can feel difficult after years of not dating; we do advise that the more you put in at RSVP the more you will get out of your membership.

So consequently, we don’t know the specifics and can’t give you an accurate estimate of how many couples we have directly bought together. Over the 27 years of RSVP there have been so many. But, more importantly, at RSVP, we are here to help you on your dating journey and to try and help you enjoy the route to ‘finding your one’.

And the most important thing I have learnt in the last year of working at RSVP is not to focus on the end goal too much, and to enjoy each step in the path on your way.

To find out more about how to start your dating journey with RSVP, provide us with a few details about yourself and one of our friendly team of experts will get in touch.

Friday, 29 March 2019

When true love becomes true crime

At the RSVP Headquarters, love and dating is always a topic of conversation; from personal experiences to the latest articles we have read, we love nothing more than analysing the facts and debating the topics. One particular thing that always gets us talking are TV programmes and series based around dating – and the latest hit from Netflix definitely caused quite a stir in the office.
Dirty John tells the creepy true-life dating story of a successful Orange County interior designer Debra Newell. After looking for love on dating apps following numerous failed marriages, Derbra stumbles upon the seemingly perfect John Meehan. Just two months after meeting him they exchange vows and it soon emerges how much of a mistake Debra has made in deciding to share her life with the terrifyingly calculated stranger John Meehan is a con-man, who has spent his life in and out of trouble with the law, tricking multiple women over the years, stealing money from them, threatening them and then disappearing to find his new victim.
For our expert Dating Consultants, stories of mistrust and betrayal from online dating are common. We regularly hear stories of disastrous dates and relationships with strangers that people have met online – but even they were shocked by this chillingly relatable story of love, manipulation and survival.
While we all have different opinions on the amount of trust she put into this stranger so early on and the speed of which the relationship developed, one thing we did all agree on was the shock and horror that this was based on true people and a true case, and the lengths that John would go to get what he wanted. After watching the series we all agreed that although there are merits to online dating by opening up your social circles to meet people who you may not have necessarily crossed paths with in everyday life, how well do you really know that stranger?
At RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer a safer alternative for dating. Every member that you meet on our hosted singles events or through our hand-picked introductions has been met by our expert Dating Consultants to ensure that they are who they say they are and that they are suitable to join our exclusive dating agency and singles club. Although no dating agency can promise you 100% safety, you can relax in the knowledge that we know who every member is and where they live.
If you want to find out more about our services and how we work, contact our friendly team.

Friday, 15 March 2019

RSVP’s New Events Calendar and What Members Say About Our Events

People often assume joining a dating agency and singles club to be a nerve-wracking experience. At RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club, we understand this, and do everything we can to make it as much a pleasant journey for you as possible. From interviewing and meeting every member, to arranging great hosts for each event and, of course, having a helpful team in the office available 6 days a week to talk to. Recently a member emailed our events team with feedback from her first event:

‘It was my first event and I was a bit nervous to say the least. But Trevor, the host, was great and I really did have a nice time.’ 
At RSVP, the team put together a Singles Events Calendar each quarter, packed full of different events. Each calendar features delicious singles dinners, countryside singles walks, exclusive grand singles balls, driving experiences, fantastic museum tours... and much more to suit the tastes of each of our members. Naturally, we recommend attending as many different events as possible, because you are going to meet a wider selection of people. A member who recently joined, and attended her first event, which was Virtual Airspace Flight Simulator experience, said : 
‘Jacqui was a very good host and for my first event it was a good ice breaker’

We also had very pleasing feedback from someone else regarding their first event:

‘I had a lovely evening, everyone was so friendly and welcoming and Jo was a fantastic host. I'm very much looking forward to my next event...’ 

After each introduction and singles event, we strongly encourage our members to feedback to us, not only so we know what type of events they are enjoying, but so we know how they are finding the process. Two members recently took part in our Country Pursuits day (archery and clay pigeon shooting) and kindly provided us with feedback:

‘The venue was fantastic, really lovely people....Can’t wait to see it in the events calendar again, as will definitely book on.’ 

‘...there was certainly lots of laughter during the activities and at the lunch afterwards in the pub. I hadn’t been to that pub for years but as it is on my doorstep it may become a regular location, a good choice. 

We always suggest trying something new. The RSVP April - June singles events calendar contains a variety of different events; this time we have including things like Swimming with Sharks  and  DTV Shredder driving ... not the typical things that people do every day!

Whether you start by booking on to an RSVP singles dinner at a tasty fine-dine restaurant or prefer to jump in and book on to our RSVP exclusive Spring Singles Ball, we can guarantee that you will meet like-minded single people who are looking for their special someone. You are also likely to have a really good some of the members from last weekend:
‘... I enjoyed the evening.  Jo is a very gracious and amusing host, and the others were really nice people who I could easily become friends with. The venue was nice and the food very good.'

Loved the venue, very trendy, great decor, great choice of food, good service, would go again!’

To find out more about RSVP Singles Events and Introductions, simply provide us a few details on our provide a few details and one of our friendly team will get in touch.