Thursday, 3 December 2015

Dating Fads don't last

We've all been there; dieting fads are the burden of our lives. Our friends join slimming world or start some juicing diet, we start to ponder on whether we ought to do the same - "does my bum look big in this?". Here at dating agency and singles club RSVP, we have noticed it's similar in dating.

From speed dating to internet dating, there are so many fads around. We've delved into the fads of dating and we have found that it is just like fad diets - they all come and go. It's all down to the bandwagon effect, whereby when people uptake the beliefs, ideas and fads, it's more than likely already been adopted by others. As more of us start to believe in something, our friends also tend to "hop on the bandwagon", blind to the underlying evidence. You can read more about the bandwagon effect on Wikipedia here:

Of course, given the option, most of us would go for free diets rather than diets we have to pay for, and it is the same with dating. But, what really works? If it's free it is only going to help you so far, where as if you pay for a service, you generally get that service don't you? So instead of losing 1lb a year, you've lost 2lb this week.

Your friend has just joined a free dieting service; she is so excited and makes it sound amazing! You join, one week later... What diet? You can go for free dating services - there are any number out there - and spend weeks of your precious life messaging people but never meet anyone, or you could pay for a service such as RSVP and meet new people at RSVP's hosted singles events or through one-to-one matches from our team of matchmaking experts! Plus, when something's free, anyone can join - and anyone does; but there's no guarantee they are who they say they are. By contrast, every RSVP member you meet or speak to are actually who they say they are. We know because we've met them; every one of them.

People disguise their identity and characteristics through the internet, making them seem more eligible than they really are! Men tend to lie about their height and send you older photos of themselves when they were a bit more trim and had more hair; women tend to lie about their weight and again, use older photos. At RSVP, we have met every single one of our members and prospective members, we know who they are, where they live and what they're like. And we prepare the profiles, so there are none of those fibs you get in internet dating.

A fad is a fad because it doesn't last. RSVP was established in 1992, so we've already outlived mot of the dating fads you'll have come across. Furthermore, RSVP memberships are lifetime memberships, lasting as long as you do. You could put an end to your list of dating fads if you join us here at RSVP. You could be meeting your Mr or Ms Right in no time.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Behind the scenes at the RSVP Winter Ball...

We all have our own expectations of our Mr or Ms Right. But who we fall for could be the complete opposite of what we initially expected. Here at RSVP dating agency and singles club, we looked at the results from our singles ball in Northamptonshire and found that people who had specified criteria that meant we wouldn't match them, actually coupled off at our Winter Ball. We know what you're thinking "How could I possibly match with someone that doesn't meet my criteria?". But we've seen it happen right before our eyes at our amazing singles events.

Our professional Matching Team found that people they wouldn't have matched due to their criteria, were actually attracted to one another.

We all search for people who match the perfect person we have made up in our heads, based on criteria we've created or what we have experienced. For instance, if one of your ex-es had a really annoying voice, you would try and find someone without that annoying voice. Or if one of your ex-es had really bad table manners, we search for someone with a good table etiquette. It's only natural to try and imagine this perfect someone to avoid everything that we have experienced and didn't enjoy.

Do we settle for people just because they match our criteria though? We've all had people in our lives that we (at the time) thought were most compatible. Imagine someone that fitted our height/weight/10 miles from my house/no annoying voice criteria. Yes! Perfect! I hear you say... But they haven't got things that we hadn't first thought of, such as a good sense of humour, the ability to make you laugh or the fact that you may get on really well with their children.

People at the ball who we may have never put together based on their criteria, actually did get on really well or exchange numbers! Sometimes we have to remember that we are only human, we can't stop appreciating people for all the beautiful qualities that they do possess. We had people asking us to change their criteria, we had members go on hold with other members whom they had excluded as a potential match due to their criteria, but, they found chemistry with one another.

The real learning point is that the shopping list of requirements you spent so long putting together may actually be preventing you meeting the perfect partner, because each time you specify something - no-one with beards; no-one with children, you name it - you exclude everyone with those characteristics, which in truth may not be that important. Give your matches a chance, make the call, go for a coffee; you never know what the outcome could be.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Finding love in Autumn

The bitter cold weather is coming, we are digging out our woolly jumpers and the leaves on the trees are changing colour. This can only mean one thing; Autumn is coming, and it's coming quickly.

Here at singles club and dating agency RSVP, we think that autumn is a perfect time of year to meet someone new, maybe at one of our singles events or through one of our hand-selected matches.

Coffee dates make classical first date options, and it means you will warm up in the mean time. It's less pressure than an intimate dinner, and depending on whether you fancy your match, you can make the date as long or short as you like! They are also a great way to meet people; everyone can chat over a coffee and a cheeky slice of cake. We hold coffee mornings regularly, meaning you don't even have to arrange your coffee dates; as always, RSVP's team of experts do the hard work for you. All you need to do is turn up and meet some new people.

Autumn has the best activities that you could do in pairs. Breaking the ice gently with things such as apple picking, carving a pumpkin, Halloween parties and not forgetting the classic stroll in the park with that special someone - perfect timing to lean in just that little bit closer, or wear their jacket when you need it. I can hear the crispy leaves under your feet now!

You are more likely to fall in love in autumn, due to your attitude changing as well as the seasons! In the summer, most of us like to kick back and have some fun. But once autumn comes around we all mature a little again and become somewhat more serious. More people get into relationships or become engaged in the autumn months.

The holidays are nearing. After you've finished taking down your Halloween decorations, you're more anxious to pair up with someone ready for Christmas and New Year. At the end of the day, who wants to be alone for the holidays? You could even book onto our events around Christmas time such as a Mix & Mingle or come along to our New Year's Even Gala Ball! Like I said, no one wants to be on their own during these joyous times.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your woollies and get out there! Enjoy a coffee with that special someone or help another with their apple picking - you could even get a crumble out of it. What have you got to lose?

Call me today on 01572 774884 - or fill in the contact form here - and we'll get things started.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Is there still a place for romance?

Lucy Worsley on Romance, copyright BBC
Lucy Worsley on Romance, copyright BBC
In her recent BBC documentary series "A Very British Romance", Lucy Worsley has treated us to details of romance in times past. But is there still a place for romance in the modern world of Tinder and the like?

Well, maybe. Here at dating agency RSVP, we still have plenty of romantics on our books, looking not just for love, but for the romance that goes with it.

In days gone by, men used to write poems in order to impress the ladies, using descriptive words such as 'blushing' or 'quivering' in order to make the women understand how they were feeling.

Here at RSVP, our members have moved with the times but managed to keep some of that traditional romance too. That ‘Good Morning’ text is far from just a good morning text – it’s thought of as the quickest way to let someone 
special know that, even across the miles, you are thinking of them. Similarly, a ‘Goodnight’ text is considered an intimate way of saying 'you're my last thought of the day'. 

Sometimes romance is getting an extra 'x' on a text message, making someone feel that little bit more special even when you're not at each others side.

I recall a phone call from a lovely gentleman - a Platinum RSVP member - who wanted to think out of the box; he didn’t want to make his third date the same as any other - a nice restaurant for a good meal, bunches of flowers or chocolates; he wanted to be the one who stood out from the rest, so with the help of one of our expert matchmakers, his next date, was a ‘Mystery tour’; they jumped in to his car with no plans except to drive for no more than one hour taking unknown roads until they spotted some place that took their fancy, chattering excitedly along the way, getting to know each other.

Another of our ladies called to tell us that, from the first call, she knew that the man we had matched her with was different, although the plan for the first date sounded normal enough - drinks; that turned in to a meal when neither wanted to part company so soon. The second date was a stroll around a stately home and gardens, where he surprised her with a home-made picnic - featuring
 Prosecco, champagne flutes and poached salmon - not a sausage roll in sight. 

Romance is action. Characterising people by their actions means we will never be fooled by their words. However, when feelings are mutual, the effort will be equalised; so, ladies, remembering to ask him how his day went goes a long way.

Dressing up to go out is an important aspect of romance for many RSVP members when they head out on RSVP singles events. Many will go to extra effort and get glammed up for our singles ball in Northamptonshire, this weekend.

So, in our view romance is still very much alive - it just takes a little effort - as it always did, in fact.

Friday, 2 October 2015

The science behind why love can enhance your senses

Love is a weird and wonderful thing, as we often consider, here at RSVP dating agency and singles club.

We are all actively seeking love, motivated by the wanting and the craving. Why? You ask. Because love is what makes the world 'go round'.

There is more to it than meets the eye. Love is the fundamental source of our bodily power. It is the human species equivalent to a super power - the closest you and I will ever get to being Batman or Superman!

Think about the last time you felt love, maybe with a significant other or your cat. When you look around you - everything seems to be in HD, colours are brighter, sounds are clearer, things you used to struggle with are no longer a struggle. When you have love in your life, you are a stronger you, the most amazing you that you can be.

And it's not all in your head! There are justifiable, scientifically backed answers for all of these ways that your senses become enhanced when you are in love.

Serotonin is a chemical in which we make in our brain. It is the voice of calm and helps ease anxiety. Although when you are in love, your levels of serotonin drop - which then makes you think more clearly and promptly. Which is why when we are in love, we can recall every single thing - from the sound of their voice or they way they hold your hand on the walk home.

Love banishes the negative Nancy in our heads. When dating someone, you tend to focus on the things that make them 'oh so great'. 

Your hearing naturally enhances because your brain is extra focused on your surroundings. It is your mind wanting to replay every last thing in which you are experiencing so that you can save it and think about it later.

As we said before, love can make you feel quite literally superhuman. Say hello to dopamine. Dopamine is what makes the feeling of love become your new addiction. It allows you to face your day to day worries with a positive you, rather than an anxious you.

So, science, you have wowed us with your powers. And, particularly, the Power of Love.

You could be the next one to experience your life in High Definition.With the help from our friendly team of matchmaking experts here at RSVP, you could be on your journey to feeling more like Batman or Superman.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Autumn singles events from RSVP

Why not brighten up the darkening Autumn days by attending one of our many RSVP singles events with the launch of our new calendar?

We have a vast range of events available in our new singles events calendar catering to a wide range of interests. From a tour of the Birmingham jewellery museum or a Ghosts and Treasures tour of The Tower Of London; right through to an Aerotow Launch or Space Flight adventure for the more daring!

The usual collection of Singles Dinners, Mix and Mingles and Singles Walks are also available to our members in a range of welcoming locations. Not forgetting our Exclusive RSVP Winter Singles Ball in Northamptonshire where we will be returning to the fabulous Highgate House for an evening of sophisticated glamour and dancing. You can even book on to our Pre-Ball Mix and Mingle Dance Lessons where professional dance tutors will show you the moves to impress!

As Christmas fast approaches why not get in the festive mood with a fun session of Tobogganing on real snow? After this fun adrenaline filled event, relax and enjoy lunch with a beer or glass of wine. You will even take home an Action Photo so you can remember this fun-filled day.

Or how about finishing the year in style at our New Year's Eve Gala Ball - another of our singles events in Warwickshire, arriving to a glass of sparkling wine and enjoying a delicious 4 course meal with wine all whilst enjoying the company of fellow RSVP members? With a live band and accommodation included, this black tie event is not to be missed!

If not already a member, join now and you too could be enjoying the benefits of our RSVP exclusive events and all the other brilliant hosted singles events and activities. Don't miss out on these fantastic singles events this Autumn!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Don't be a ghost

When it comes to the dating world, the matching team here at dating agency and singles club RSVP likes to keep up with any new and interesting developments. Especially when it comes to new trends and terminology, the way we date is always evolving. Though sometimes not all the changes are good...

RSVP values the privacy of their members, so when we set up a match, we only release the bare minimum of details to start with. Then, if both members are keen to go ahead, we pass telephone numbers in the expectation that they will have a nice telephone conversation followed by a date. This is why the new trend of ‘Ghosting’ is disturbingly destructive.

‘Ghosting’ is when, without any warning, one half of a couple cuts off all contact with the other half and goes into complete radio silence in response to all attempts of contact. A recent article in the Sunday Times Style Magazine points out that friends are also capable of ‘ghosting’ as well. The rumour mill also suggests that Charlize Theron may have done the same to Sean Penn after a year of dating and a potential engagement, so even more long-term (and high profile) relationships are at a risk of ending this way.

In our society where we are so reliant on technology to keep in touch with one another, suddenly cutting your other half off without any explanation is a brutal way to end a relationship. It can be very damaging for anyone’s self-esteem, no matter if it’s a long-term thing or just after a couple of dates. Therefore, RSVP’s expert matching team encourages RSVP members to always be polite even if they do not wish to meet someone again after one or two dates. It is much nicer to send a text or have a gentle phone call explaining that you’ve had a good time but you don’t think you’d like to take it further, than simply ignoring the other person’s efforts at continued contact. After all, nobody ever wants to be on the receiving end of a ‘ghosting’.

Monday, 3 August 2015

A professional match-maker’s take on ‘Married at First Sight’

The recent Channel 4 documentary, ‘Married at First Sight’ was watched with great interest by the professional match-making team at RSVP dating agency and singles club, the dating agency and singles club. We match on a variety of factors that are predictors of long term relationship success, ranging from personality, to shared interests and personal criteria; we found it interesting to watch the panel of experts make matches of a more permanent and arguably dramatic nature and see how the results unfolded.

RSVP members are genuinely single and, when they join, they are looking to commit to a long-term partner. However, chemistry and attraction are hard to scientifically predict, so even if a match appears great on paper, it doesn't mean that the couple will gel when they meet in person. This can also work the other way round with people you would never think of putting together, meeting each other at one of our RSVP exclusive Singles Events and getting on like a house on fire!
Therefore, we had mixed feelings watching the six people meet each other as strangers on their wedding day. The sociologist expert did suggest that the tradition of the marriage would trigger a psychological reflex to bond the couples together, but, of the three couples, only one pair actually made it to the end of the experiment. The other couple who made it down the aisle rode on a wave of adrenaline through the special day; but as soon as it came to an end, they went back to being strangers and clashed on the most basic of things, despite the panel thinking they were a sure-fire match.
This is why we encourage our members to take it slow with their matches, so they can warm up as times goes on. At RSVP, we do all the legwork of finding the match and exchanging the personal profiles of the people but then we suggest that the member send a text first to introduce themselves properly and to find a good time to speak over the phone. Hopefully after the phone conversation, they can set up a meeting. We promote the idea of meeting more than once before making a decision to start ‘dating’. This gives them a chance to get to know each other a little and, even if they are not immediately struck by love at first sight, chemistry and attraction can – and do – grow!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Ashley Madison: Be Careful What You Put Online

Here at RSVP Dating Agency and Singles club, our team of expert matchmakers likes to keep up-to-date with all the recent developments in the world of dating and research into the psychology of looking for love. It was therefore hard to miss the collective sharp intake of breath as hackers threatened to release details of users of Ashley Madison affairs website, including ‘profiles ... secret sexual fantasies ... real names and addresses’.

Whilst we’re unlikely to be condoning affairs as a way to a long and happy relationship, the whole episode provides a salutary reminder of what not to share online. It’s at moments like these that the privacy and protection of offline dating agencies comes to the fore.

RSVP offers members a completely confidential service. Thanks to RSVP's interview and selection process, you can rely on RSVP members being genuinely single. Members can also rely on us keeping their details to ourselves; they’re not published on any websites. We believe that looking for a relationship should be a private, reflective experience, and not something to be shared with all and sundry.

Our message to the millions of genuinely single internet daters out there is simple: if you want to be sure your dating journey will be kept private, trust it to RSVP. Ashley Madison users, regrettably, we’re unlikely to be able to help.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Men: How to make a first impression that gets you noticed

Preparing for a first date can be nerve-racking, but when you join Dating Agency and Singles Club RSVP, there is lots of help at hand. Whilst it’s what's on the inside that counts, first impressions are paramount when meeting a potential partner for the first time and it can be a challenge deciding what to wear! If you really want to wow a lovely lady, taking care about your appearance also shows that you respect her enough to make an effort. As this handy article emphasises, it is important to put some thought into how you present yourself to the woman who very well might turn out to be your life partner. If you expect the lady to make an effort then you should also be willing to do so in return.

Our friendly team of matchmaking experts are always willing to help with advice and tips about how best to impress the lady of your dreams but we also have our Image Coach, Sue Donnelly, on hand if you are after some more professional assistance.

For now, here are a couple of helpful pointers:
  • Dress for the occasion – Depending on the choice of date scenario, consider where you’ll be meeting and what you’ll be doing. If you are just meeting for drinks, as a lot of our RSVP Gold and Platinum members do then dressing casually but smart is the way to go. If you are doing something more active like a walk or a cycle ride, then it is best to wear something you can move easily in.
  • Be clean and comfortable – You don’t have to wear a DJ for a first date and it is definitely confidence-boosting to wear something that you feel comfortable in but do make sure that your clothes fit well, do not show signs of wear (such as loose frays or marks) and that both you and your clothes are squeaky clean.
  • Groom to go – On top of being nice and fresh, it is worth considering being clean-shaven and making sure your hair is neat and trimmed. Statistics show that women prefer clean-shaven men even if TV and films show otherwise. Also, make sure you don’t swim in after-shave as anything too overpowering may keep the lady at a distance – the opposite of what you want!
Now remember, dressing for a first date is important but don’t forget our RSVP Exclusive Singles Events too! You should treat every event you attend like a possible first date, as you never know, the lady of your dreams may also be attending!

Friday, 19 June 2015

A taste of RSVP Summer Singles Events

RSVP's Exclusive Summer Singles Ball on 13 June marked the beginning of a summer filled with lots of brilliant singles events and singles activities to keep RSVP Singles Club members happy and meeting many new single people in relaxed informal situations. With a plethora of lovely country singles walks to take in the sunshine and a host of singles lunches and singles dinners to keep everyone well-fed and watered, we've also included some RSVP Exclusive events - not generally available to the public - to make sure all our singles have lots to keep them entertained this summer.
  • If you’re an outdoorsy person who likes to enjoy the warmer weather doing something active and adventurous, then you should become a Tree Ninja for a day! Combining lovely countryside and beautiful views, this event takes in both low and high ropes through the trees and promises to be a lot of fun!
  • Things are heating up for history buffs, with a guided tour of the War, Plague and Fire exhibition at the Museum of London. Everybody needs a day out of the sun somewhere stimulating, so you can take in this interesting tour, which will surely give everyone who attends lots to talk about (and maybe a topic for Mastermind!)
  • If the way to your heart is through your stomach or you’re just someone who loves to cook, then check out our Bread and Pizza Cookery course! You will get to try some useful cooking techniques and hopefully woo some taste buds, including your own!
  • RSVP members looking for singles events in London can also enjoy the last of the longer days as well as a couple of interesting beverages on our Historical Pub Tour. Sate your thirst for knowledge and a cold drink at the same time, as well as making some nice friends in some of the most interesting pubs in London!

If you are interested in booking on to any of these great occasions, call us on 01572 774882 to get started – places won’t be free for long!

Friday, 29 May 2015

The power of positivity

At RSVP Singles Club and dating agency, we know how much time and effort people invest in finding a suitable partner. One big reason people join the RSVP dating agency is to save all that time and effort and have our savvy team of matchmakers do the hard work for them. But some people put all their focus on specifying this yet-to-be-found future partner at the expense of what they might do themselves to improve their chances.

Writer, Anne-Marie Wiesman has suggested a number of ways that you can attract healthier relationships. Her first four points are all about looking internally to make sure that you are ready for a new relationship; she feels that maintaining a positive self-image is key to a happy relationship and this can be nurtured by being prepared to treat yourself well and starting a kind inner-dialogue. Just by linking your idea of self-worth with positives and, most of all, letting go of any mistakes you have made in the past and not blaming yourself for them, you can open up to a new and positive relationship.

The matching team here at RSVP are all experienced in talking about relationships and happy to discuss any worries you might have, to help you build that necessary positive self-image. Platinum Dating PAs are able to really give some insight into romantic scenarios through their extensive knowledge about dating and from their nurturing of their personal relationships with their Platinum members. Additionally, if low self-confidence stems from a lack of self-belief regarding physical appearance, we can also refer you to our, Dating Image Coach Sue Donnelly, author of several books about personal image and how to improve it. Together, we can help you prepare yourself so that you’re ready for when that special someone comes along.

Friday, 8 May 2015

The soul mate quest

Here at dating agency and soulmate finders RSVP, we think everyone deserves that chance to find someone special. Our dedicated matching team and Platinum Dating PAs work night and day providing opportunities for RSVP members to meet other eligible singles, with the hope that one of them may be what is classically called ‘the one’.

Now, we realise that a lot of people have a very specific idea of what they’re looking for in a partner and sometimes find it hard to stay open-minded. We have learned through our many years of accumulated match-making experience that “the one” is rarely a carbon copy of the person someone has in their mind; instead, he/she is a living, breathing person with strengths and weaknesses, just like their own.

An article at The Power of Positivity says that the main signs you have found your soul mate are that they are supportive and share similar values and morals. Sharing those fundamental values – such as attitudes on family and finances – are much more important predictors of having found your soul mate than having a couple of hobbies in common. You may find that if your partner enjoys watching Rugby while you are more of a Wimbledon fan, you end up supporting each other and enjoying two different activities. One of the aspects of dating that some people find equally daunting and enjoyable is that you are often exposed to different interests; you never know, you may find that you start to enjoy something new!

The RSVP matching team are always on hand to offer advice about dating and a supportive word when our members need it. The quest for a soul mate can be a difficult one, but if positivity and open-mindedness are at the fore-front, it’s a quest with a high success rate

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Being different is good for your dating life

At RSVP singles club and introductions agency, many of our members have busy professional lives and are successful in the respective fields. To climb to the top of the career ladder, you have to be a forward thinking individual but does being non-conformist do anything for your love life?

A study recently published by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin was designed to test the assumption that women like non-conformist men while men like conformist women. In actual fact, it was found that both genders prefer partners who stick out a bit and voice their opinions rather than following the crowd. Mic commented on these findings in a recent article by illustrating how it is better to be like Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice than her complacent sister Jane.
Elizabeth is feisty and not afraid to speak her mind and is attractive in her happiness to do her own thing. Unlike other ladies of the time, Elizabeth was happy to trample through muddy fields by foot instead of taking a carriage.

In our modern times, muddy walking might not be seen as the height of individuality but it is a lot of fun! The 30 RSVP singles events every month feature a variety of activities, including a different Sunday walk every week, rain or shine where there is plenty of opportunity to get your boots muddy like Elizabeth Bennet! If that’s not your thing, we also have a range of adrenaline-boosting events from Helicopter Lessons to Indoor Skydiving, which surely give you the chance to stick out from the crowd, whilst being great fun at the same time. Request a sample RSVP singles events calendar today. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Voicemails and dating

As a responsible dating agency and singles club, at RSVP we always aim to equip our members with what it takes to get the best from dating. And, at some point in many dating scenarios, you’re likely to have to make contact with your potential date by phone.

If you type into your favourite search engine anything connected with “dating” and “voicemails”, you will find a multitude of self-help articles, forums and postings ranging from expressing anxiety to the simple how-tos. In this communication-savvy age of social media, it’s surprising that there is still so much worry about leaving voicemails, technology that has been around since the 1970s.
Perhaps due to the surplus of different methods of communication, the need to leave voicemails has declined, and this is even true in the business world, with many like Michael Brandenburg writing blog posts about the waning moon of voicemails and how phone calls are normally anticipated due to a preliminary form of communication coming first.

At RSVP we advise our members to manage that first contact with their matches. Once the RSVP matching team has selected the match and gained permission from both parties to give one of them a phone number, some of our new members may be baffled as to how to proceed, until they read our members guide. The advice we give is to always send a nice friendly text to the other person to introduce yourself and to arrange a good time to call. After all, many of our members are busy working professionals, and it is considerate to find a time when both people are able to give their attention to the phone call, which ideally would be the first of many. The other upside of this is that by texting first, you can avoid the dreaded voicemail!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Building rapport: science offers some suggestions

At dating agency and singles club RSVP, a necessary element in our introduction process is a first “meeting”. Our matching team and Platinum Dating PAs try to avoid calling  these meetings “dates”, as when you are meeting someone new for the first time, it can be difficult to stay relaxed and natural, without the added pressure of labelling it a date. So we tend to think of them as a precursor for a date that might follow if you hit it off with the other person.

But how do you hit it off with someone in a short space of time? And how can you increase your odds of it leading to a successful and happy relationship? These are big questions, but science has found a nice hint to starting those relationships off on the right footing.

In a recent article on, compliments might be a good basis for a happy relationship – whether romantic or platonic. The act of giving and receiving compliments genuinely increases your feelings of vulnerability, which in turn allows a deeper impact on each other and helps build intimacy. This has been supported in a study by Professor Janet Holmes who suggested that compliments allow people to address and appreciate things they value in their partners and friends, which deepens those relationships.

However, when you first start seeing someone, there is an art to making a genuine compliment and sometimes it is better to focus on complimenting actions and personality characteristics, in preference to those about appearance, which can sometimes be perceived as shallow and artificial. Telling someone that they make you laugh or they have a great opinion about something can be seen as more heart-felt and can be great way to build rapport at that very first ..."meeting".

Friday, 2 January 2015

Kindness and generosity make your relationship last

Feverish activity at dating agencies like RSVP across the land marks the start of a new year, when singles’ minds turn to love and the seeking of new relationships. It is also the time of year where the most engagements occur. Whether you’re seeking a new relationship or committing to one, what does it take to make a relationship last, so you can be one of RSVP's success stories?

Several studies have come up with an answer: that it comes down to sharing kindness and generosity. That might seem over-simplified; surely most people would prefer that the spouse were both kind and generous? But in the research of John Gottman and Robert Levenson at the University of Washington, it seems there is much deeper significance. In one of his most important studies, Gottman measured the physiology of newly-wed couples as they talked about different aspects of each other, both positive and negative:
  • Over the long-term, he found correlation between how couples that had either separated or were drastically unhappy after six years (he labelled them “Disasters”) seemed during the interview to be biologically ready to attack, producing more sweat with higher pulse rates, even if outwardly they appeared calm.
  • By contrast, couples who were still happy in marriages after six years had behaved physiologically more calmly at interview and Gottman named them “Masters”.
To account for these differences, the team theorised that Disasters were constantly on their guard, ready to attack or be attacked, which obviously isn’t good for a relationship. Gottman followed up this study by investigating why Masters were more relaxed with each other and why that led to more satisfaction within a relationship.

During another experiment with newlyweds, they observed couples attempting to make connections over a day with small “bids” for attention based on their own interests. This reflected on their relationship in how kindly their partner took up the bid or rejected it. If their spouse reacted with interest, this created an atmosphere of affection and intimacy that was much easier to sustain over time, whilst if they discounted it as unimportant or just ignored it, that added to a culture of unease and unwillingness to share interests in the long term.

Showing an interest in each other adds up in the long term, so it is important to be as positive and inclusive in those day-to-day interactions. And, for those of you approaching your new year's dating like a shopping expedition - must be over 6ft, must have a degree, can't have a beard, name can't begin with a 'K' - if you want a relationship that lasts, forget the lot and replace them with just two things: kindness and generosity.

If you need some help, talk to the friendly team of relationship experts at RSVP.