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Best of Money: single, dating and paying a very high price for it | Financial Times

I was drawn to the idea of a personalised service that would be discreet yet effective, so I used the web instead to search for a traditional matchmaker. Most matchmakers I came across were clearly seeking wealthy, international clients, typically with offices in Mayfair. The one I picked appeared more down to earth, its premises located outside central London.

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She was well spoken, in her early thirties, attractive and not pushy. Part of my brain began turning: At our first meeting, we discussed everything you might expect: Then, a house call. My matchmaker informed me that, to get to know me, she needed to visit my home.


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Exactly how all this fed into the matchmaking process, I never would come to know, aside from it perhaps confirming that I was good for the fees. Regardless, I set to work on defining Miss Right more thoroughly: She enjoys walking, family, socialising.


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I set an age range, attached photos of women I fancied and hit Send. Less straightforward was my attempt to get that profile memorialised in the contract somehow.

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Yet my matchmaker was very good at not using aggressive sales tactics. Take your time; look at other options, she advised, while emailing me teaser profiles: In any other realm finding a home, hiring a key staff member I would never entertain paying all of the fees up front, with no part contingent on the basic delivery of the service let alone a successful outcome.

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However, matchmaking is different. It deals in affairs of the heart.

A contrarian, non-commercial streak in me embraced the romanticism of it all. Certainly I was persuaded that it would be odd, and probably indeed impossible, to pay a financial bounty upon meeting a romantic partner. Moving in together, marriage? None of this adequately explains why per cent of the fees needed to be paid up front. This was never convincingly answered, perhaps because my agency never needed to.

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It would be unfair to call introduction services confidence tricks, but my role in the arrangement increasingly came to feel like that of the mark. There would be no close matches — not even a short-term relationship, let alone anything serious or marriage. One of the very first matches was the most promising: But a month later, her calendar miraculously opened up.

But then, finding love is a serious business, insists MacLynn. O nce a potential suitor has been identified, the matchmakers typically back off, though if requested, they can arrange the first date. We try not to be the overbearing aunt.

Wanted: life partner

But what happens when things get serious and the romance of jet-set dating gives way to mundate yet crucial considerations, such as where to set up a home together - or, should the patter of tiny feet follow, where the children go to school. How do you even countenance settling down when you are constantly on the move? Many of the women we deal with have the kind of skills and careers which mean they can work anywhere in the world.

The couple have been happily married for 18 months. It is perhaps unsurprising that the increasing flexibility and ever-expanding international business networks of the super-elite should have a knock on effect on their romantic relationships. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future.

Visit our adblocking instructions page. Home News Sport Business. The agency counter-sued her for libel and malicious falsehood in connection with two online reviews she wrote. Had Thomas explained to Burki that the database included active members, former members who still wished to be matched, and people who had been headhunted and had agreed to be put on the database in the hope of finding a suitable partner, she would have had little cause for complaint, Parkes said. Therefore, her remarks about us being a non-reputable and fraudulent company were deemed untrue and entirely without foundation.