There are so many fabulous single women in London – sassy, fun, successful and beautiful and while some are happy to be footloose and fancy free, many others would love to find their own Mr Big and settle down.
‘I want to find a really decent, fun, lovely man’ is a thought that resonates through thousands of women’s minds in London every day. So where are all these guys? Do single versions of them even exist or have all the good ones already been snapped up by another lucky lady?
The reality is that London is bursting at the seams with single people – really amazing single people – both male and female. But in this vast metropolis, any one person can struggle to find their compatible match. Why? Because the city is so diverse, everyone is super busy and there is little mechanism for bringing people together.
At Belle About Town we have turned to psychologist and professional matchmaker Rachel MacLynn to give us regular advice and tips on dating and relationships. She has an insight to the singles scene in London which is a bit like sitting on a cloud, reading the thought bubbles floating over the heads of these frustrated individuals, gaining a full understanding of where they are going wrong.
In her first column, she explains the 5 key reasons why people remain single in London and how to turn it around.
1. Too shy to say hi
There are lots of single women in London on the lookout for their dream man, yet when they have one within their grasp, they sit and do absolutely nothing. Nothing! Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that women should take the lead and approach the man first, in fact, far from it. Instead I suggest that women need to become more skilled at noticing and responding to body language and gestures that encourage him to chat you up.
Turn this around when you are next in a bar or party. Once you spot someone you are attracted to, place yourself physically closer to him. Close the gap across the room by reducing the barrier of distance. Then think about your body language – take a slight step back from your friends and absorb what is going on in the rest of the room to show you are approachable. You will also notice if he is mirroring your tactic and delicately manoeuvring his way closer to you. There is then nothing more exciting than hearing his voice being directed at you and capturing his glance for the very first time when he says ‘Hi’.
2. Too successful in work to be successful in love
Ladies, I’m sorry to say that money does not earn you attractiveness points. In fact it can do the opposite. Power suits and your opinion of turbulence within the markets (and how you think you could fix it) are for the boardroom, not the bedroom. Quite simply, I am yet to meet a successful man who wants a ball-breaker wife. Don’t get me wrong; intelligence, ambition and strong-mindedness are all very admirable and traits sought after by many men, but they should be at least complemented by femininity, sensitivity and positivity.
Turn this around by recognising your different personas. Most hardened women in high-powered jobs are in fact inherently softer in nature when in the company of family and friends. THIS is the side of you that men want to see. Let your hair down, relax and allow yourself to be scooped up, hugged and adored. This is what men want.
3. Too busy living to fit in one of life’s greatest priorities.
London is like a live wire of energy. Work, travel, friends, parties, dinners, kids, shopping, hangovers. It’s relentless; if you allow it to be. Monday Pilates; Tuesday working late; Wednesday gym; then dinner with the girls; Thursday entertaining clients; Friday and Saturday filled with shopping, gym, and seeing friends; and then Sunday night all you want is a night curled up on the sofa. Fitting in a date, never mind sustaining a relationship seems an impossible task, yet it is often one of every woman’s key aims in life.
Turn this around by prioritising and learning to say ‘no’. We have all found ourselves cajoled into going for drinks after work with colleagues (when you could be spending that time on a date), or being lumbered with a deadline that quite frankly could wait. Business psychologists often chant ‘work smart, not long’. We have a point. Make time every week to focus on your key aims in life and don’t cave in. Whether it is dedicating time for the gym, or meeting your life partner, they should never be overlooked.
4. Too stuck in the past to think of the future
There are not many of us who haven’t experienced heartache. The churning pain that hits us the second we awake and lasts for weeks, months or even years. It distorts how we view both ourselves and the opposite sex and can hugely impact on how we deal with future relationships. Remarkably, many people who have been heart-broken seek a complete replica of their ex as a future partner. This is a fatal error.
Turn this around by listing everything that made the relationship work, from the physical, to personality, lifestyle, and outlook. Then repeat this exercise but list everything that did not work. Make an objective critique of your own relationship. This will help you to remove the rose-tinted glasses, and also recognise how you can fine-tune your wish list when looking for your next partner. What you really want, is a person who has some of the key attributes that made your last relationship work, but without the attributes that made it end.
5. Too unrealistic to make a relationship a reality
Partners are not ordered like a piece of bespoke furniture, with a list of measurements, fixtures and fittings. The selection comes from both sides and the more perfect you want your man to be, the more you will be seeking someone who also seeks perfection. Age and life experience bring changes in how we view relationships; our goals evolve. A 39-year-old holding out to meet a model-looking man who is the same age, has never been married, does not have children and would like a white wedding followed by a huge family, is holding onto the dream of a 29-year-old. Expectations should be realigned with age.
Turn this around, by asking yourself what really matters to you about a relationship. Shared values should be top of the list, not looks, and certainly not a bank balance. You need to look for a partner who is inspired in the same way as you and has a similar outlook for the future. List what is most important to you in how you want to live your life, both now and in the future. If being successful in your career features in your list, then you need to search for someone who will respect and support this. If you believe in having a solid family unit for raising kids, then you need to search for a partner who wants the same.