The Valentine’s Effect


Like it or not Valentine’s Day is a great big smack-me-in-the-middle-of-my-forehead reminder to singletons that they do not have a significant other in their lives, thanks for that Cupid! So the reality is that you have avoidance options which will have the reverse effect on making you feel worthy. Perhaps these include grabbing a very large bottle of wine and singing all by myself at home alone in your onesie, or ordering pizza and watching a slew of highly improbable romantic movies that will further crush your self-esteem. What fun!

But 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 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 singledom?

You can enter the dating cyber world (who hasn’t these days?), which, if nothing else, 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. 

This’s why the idea of having a personal matchmaking service like VIDA Consultancy has grown in popularity and become de rigeur for many busy Londoners. These agencies take the time to get to know the candidate, and don’t just rely the completion of a random online survey. Vida is the only matchmaking company founded by a qualified psychologist, and all of their Senior Matchmakers follow strict training schemes and guidelines to try to ensure they achieve a positive result. So it’s Valentine’s Day….here’s what Rachel Maclynn, founder of VIDA, says are the most common dating pitfalls in modern society, and what we should do to avoid 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 like VIDA 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.

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. This is why have a professional matchmaker to coach you through the experience will help 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?

So with these pitfalls in mind, maybe Valentine’s Day won’t be so daunting this year for all the single ladies (and men) and maybe next year it will be completely different. Let us know how you get on!




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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