The Valentine’s Day Effect


Like it or not Valentine’s Day is a great big smack-me-in-the-middle-of-my-forehead reminder to singletons everywhere that they do not have a significant other. Thanks for that, Cupid! So the reality is that you have avoidance options which will have the reverse effect on making you feel worthy. These might include grabbing a magnum of Prosecco and singing All By Myself at home alone in your onesie, heading to your local Wetherspoons for curry night with fellow miserable singletons, or ordering pizza and watching a slew of highly improbable romantic movies that will further crush your self-esteem.

Well rather than dwell on the depressing, we thought it was about time we took the dating bull by the horns and faced up to facts about where we’re going wrong, and what we’re not doing quite right. Rather than wallowing in self-pity, why not face up to our relationship failures, and look forward to more productive, and satisfying, ones in the future? We consulted Rachel Maclynn, a chartered psychologist and founder of the award-winning matchmaking agency The Vida Consultancy on what she thinks are the major dating pitfalls we face as part of the Valentine’s Effect, and how we can avoid them.

Rachel told Belle About Town: “If you are a doer and a person with a positive can do kind of attitude, you might instead round up all of your single friends for a Valentine’s night of celebration of your singlehood and friendship with the caveat that everyone has to bring to the party their best tip real, funny or otherwise about what they are planning to do to be partnered for next Valentine’s day. Many successful people privately measure themselves against their peers, colleagues and friends and are able to manage their own line of PR and “press” statement about why they are single. Get them alone in a safe space and you find out pretty quickly that their lonely void is usually filled with being “busy” which brings about more success and a social whirlwind but does it really tackle the issue of singleness?!

“You can enter the dating cyber world but who hasn’t these days, if anything it has provided enough comedy material to populate any drinks catch up with close friends. Does it remind you of the bar scene from Star Wars perhaps? OR does it take 23 cocktails for the cyber date to actually begin to appear like their profile picture? Let’s face it you, have to meet people in person to really feel the spark.”

Rachel says this is why the very idea of having a personal professional and exclusive matchmaking service like VIDA Consultancy has become de rigeur for intelligent people. She adds: “We take the time to get to know the candidate, really know them, and not just rely on the completion of some random online survey. Then our approach to making the right introductions is one that is totally unique. We are the only matchmaking company founded by a Psychologist and all of our Senior Matchmakers follow strict training and guidelines to ensure we achieve a positive result.”

So, it’s Valentine’s Day….what pitfalls are we facing, and how can we overcome them?

Dating pitfall 1 – Not my type

Oh he/she’s not your type. Not your type? Men and women often have physical ideals about what they want out of a partner line up. This is a prime reason why cyber world dating does not always work as it is often immediately predicated on a visual. When you have a professional sifting the potential dating candidates you may be surprised about how a spark can be ignited where you didn’t think it was possible. Like everything in life you may have already made up your mind before you even try…..I would encourage you to try!


Dating pitfall 2 – It’s an interview

Successful people often stride into dates with size 19 boots on and trample all over the flowerbed of opportunity by embarking on interview mode. This often segues into rolling out your own success stats in an effort to impress which in fact ends up becoming a heinous turn off. It takes some effort to recalibrate your dating questions to things that are more fun and non-confronting. It can be worth running through the experience with someone first to ensure you avoid turning your date into a job interview.


Dating pitfall 3 – Highlighting your faults

It’s a misconception to think that being humble and pointing out your oversized tummy, hips, receding hairline, or worse is going to be endearing. Clearly you don’t want to come across as an over confident braggart, but at the same time you need to show up to a date with the mind-set that you are a wonderful person and would be a fantastic catch for someone. Bring the best version of yourself to the date in a totally relaxed way and you will likely be much more appealing.


Dating pitfall 4 – Social Media disaster

Have you taken a look at your Facebook profile online recently? What does it say about you? Are you proud of what you see, or do you think….OMG I hope no one sees this? Any successful person worth their mustard these days is going to google someone they are going to meet for a date. So does your account availability on Facebook lead to pictures of you draped over barmen in Ibiza, or clinging to a bottle of Corona and 4 bikini clad girls? Reality is you are who you are, but it’s worth thinking about.


Dating pitfall 5 – Bad communications

This is more about asking yourself some soul searching questions. Does it need to be said but is having your iPhone or Blackberry out on the table or checking it periodically for messages a nice way to indicate you are interested in someone else? Do you sit next to the person you are on a date with or create a barrier with a table between you? Do you talk negatively about past relationships, friends, work or family members? Do you think about fun and interesting questions to ask before you go on the date or do you just wing it and show up pole axed?

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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