Oh, how we love a bit of romance! That intoxicating feeling of instant attraction – eyes meeting across a room, a look, a flutter in the tummy, a moment of such intensity that we understand what is meant by feeling ‘weak at the knees’. Many of us have enjoyed the experience of being ‘swept of our feet’ by Mr or Ms Wonderful – for some, it can be the beginning of something very special and long-lasting, for others, it is the first step on the road to heartbreak.
Watching ‘Holiday Love Rats’ on TV the other evening was a sobering experience. A genuine, down to earth, lady who, without wishing to be unkind, was no spring chicken and more than a little overweight, was taken in by professions of love from a 20 something Gambian on the first evening of her holiday to the extent that she ended up marrying him, in the belief that this would give her a new life in her beloved destination of Gambia. Of course, once married, all he wanted was to come to the UK, humiliate his wife and cast her aside, laughing. Another lady was targeted by an American claiming to be someone he was not, who also extracted money from her before finally becoming violent and being exposed as a wanted man. The distress this lady still shows, many years after the event, illustrates just how cruel people can be, playing on others’ emotions as they follow their own secret agenda.
For every story like this I am sure there are many happier endings – being a romantic, and doing the job I do, I have to believe that! So, how can we ensure that, when we get that feeling of instant attraction it does not turn into a nightmare? We have all heard about the dangers of meeting someone through the internet – we are aware now of the old tricks – people using someone else’s photo, or one of their own taken in the distant past – married people claiming to be single, and the worst, vile predators preying on vulnerable teens. But, as mature people, meeting someone ‘in the flesh’ should surely be safer? Not always. Some good tips to follow are to ask for a landline number – it’s too easy to hide behind a mobile, – they could be anywhere other than where they say, and call it to check arrangements. An address would be helpful, and you can tell a lot about a person if you get to visit them in their home – though not until some trust has been established, of course. On a first date, get a friend to text you so you can confirm your safety, or otherwise, and make sure someone knows where you are and when you should be home.
Meeting someone through an introductions agency can remove uncertainty over the person’s ID, though admittedly it also removes some of the romance of meeting someone in a more ‘natural’ way. The reason most of our clients come to us is to accelerate the process of finding a partner – you can wait for ever for Mr or Ms Right to pop up in your everyday life, or you can describe him or her to us, and let us make selections on your behalf, from the many people on a similar quest, who have also signed up. Just as you might meet someone on holiday who lives the other side of the country, you can give us carte blanche to search for the right person, wherever they live, or you can narrow down your area, and the number of potential matches, to find the ‘almost right’ person you can build a relationship with.
There are the exciting moments when, just seeing a photo, a client will say “YES, YES, YES!” – a great start, though compatibility doesn’t always follow, and there are those moments when the photo doesn’t instantly appeal – then we say “read the profile” – there is always a reason why we have made a selection for you, and going on to have a chat on the telephone is the best way to measure whether a meeting would be worthwhile.
A touch of romance should brighten your day, not ruin your life!