Blind dates – love them or hate them?

Are you meeting somebody new? These days it’s extremely likely you’ll know lots about them before you get to the stage of meeting in person. Before you officially meet it will be likely you will have chatted about all sorts of different things via text, chats and even video calls. You’ll have a snapshot of their personality from their dating profile, if you met via an app, and their Facebook status may have even let you know what they had for dinner the night before. 

It might be hard, then, to imagine a date with somebody you truly know nothing about. But that’s the idea of an old-school blind date, where you are set up by somebody else. You can even resist the temptation to reach for your laptop to Google everything publicly available about this person. Instead, you are putting your faith in well-meaning friends and family who have decided they’ve seen something in each of you which suggests you’d make a good match. A true blind date really gives you a chance to form an impression of somebody without first judging their profile and deciding to meet based on what they’ve said there. You are just given a time and date to meet, as well as a description of who you are meeting from the person who did the matchmaking. 

However, if you find dating a daunting prospect in the first place, then the idea of meeting a total stranger you’ve never communicated with before might be too much for you. You’ll need to decide how much faith you have in your friend’s matchmaking skills and judge the risk of getting stuck in a dull date you’re desperate to escape. 

We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of accepting a blind date so you can decide whether it’s a strategy you’d ever consider. 

It’s an antidote to dating apps: It can tiring chatting back and forth with multiple people on dating apps, with many conversations fizzling out to nothing. It can save a lot of legwork to ditch the apps and let your friends take your dating life into their hands. Accepting a blind date can be helpful for people with busy lifestyles who struggle to have time to find potential love interests to meet. All you need to do is summon up the courage to show up and be open to whatever comes next. 

Blind dates widen the pool of people you meet: Think about how you approach dating apps – is there a certain type of person you tend to swipe right on? Or certain things in a profile that put you off instantly? Agreeing to a blind date could expose you to people who aren’t necessarily your type, but you may well find they are great in different ways. Even if romance doesn’t blossom, you may end up becoming good friends. If you trust the person who is setting you up, then what do you have to lose meeting somebody new? 

It might be fun: You may have been dreading meeting up and been left pleasantly surprised that you enjoyed the evening. It might not work out with this person but it’s the push you need to get back into the dating world if you’ve been in a bit of rut recently. You could always consider a double date so you can be introduced to somebody in a less formal way, which takes the pressure off if things aren’t going well. 

However, it’s worth bearing in mind…

You must be sure a friend is matchmaking for the right reasons: Even well-meaning friends get it wrong sometimes. Trying to match two people just because they both happen to be single does not constitute enough to make a match. It can be worth quizzing your acquaintance on the specific reasons they think you should meet this person and hear their thoughts on why you’d get on before agreeing to anything. 

It may not go well: Nobody looks forward to an evening of long awkward pauses and stilted small talk, but sadly dating doesn’t come with any guarantees you’ll hit it off. It does pay to keep the initial date short and sweet, perhaps agreeing to meet initially for an hour. Then there’s an easy escape point and if things go well, you could always agree to meet up again. 

Don’t forget any date can be the one that introduces you to the person you go on to be in a happy, long-lasting relationship with. So don’t be afraid to agree to new things as you never know where they might lead you. And if you want more control over your dating journey, then consider teaming up with a professional matchmaker. Working closely together, your matchmaker can learn what you are looking for in a new partner and make personalised suggestions of amazing people to meet. You can sit back and relax, knowing somebody is working hard on your behalf to help you achieve your goal of a committed relationship.

Our matchmakers are available to support you and offer advice at every step of your dating journey. Matchmaking offers a personalised search for love which is stress-free and enjoyable. Call our friendly team to find out more!


Navigating your first Christmas together as a couple

In those early stages of a relationship there are lots of firsts to navigate. First holidays, meeting each other’s friends, your first big fight and the box set you first binged together. Another that looms large on the calendar is the very first Christmas you’ll share as a new couple. It can be wonderful to spend the festive season with somebody new, enjoying all the traditions you’ll share and create together. However, there can be some challenges to navigate as you merge your Christmas plans for the first time.

Expectations for achieving the perfect Christmas can cause unnecessary stress, and you might find you both have totally different expectations of what the big day should look like. You may have only been dating a short while so you might be finding it tricky to decide if it’s too much, too soon, to have a full-blown Christmas together. 

To lend a helping hand we’ve shared our top tips for navigating your first Christmas together as a new couple. 

Decide how to split the holidays: It pays to be open and honest with each other so one of you isn’t left disappointed by how Christmas pans out. Ensure you communicate about the importance to you of seeing certain people and embracing traditions that you enjoy. Be prepared to compromise as well. You can’t be in two places at once so don’t add pressure by trying to keep everybody happy. Sit down with your schedules and see what works without exhausting you both and spending a fortune. It may work better to spend Christmas Day apart with your own families, especially if they live in a different area, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Make your plans and stick to them, rather than keeping your options open and risking disappointing family members at the last minute.  

Buying a gift for a new partner: Don’t go mad on lavish gifts for each other. It’s fine to set a budget for your presents so you don’t end up going about gifting in totally different ways. Fun presents that are tailored to your partner’s interests can work well for a low pressure first gift. 

Meeting your partner’s family: It can be daunting to spend your first Christmas with your partner’s family. Chances are you’ve met already but navigating Christmas can be a different matter, as you get used to everybody’s expectations around how the day will run. Remember to relax and be yourself and don’t forget that offering a helping hand is often appreciated. Throw yourself into their plans but don’t drink too much or spend the day comparing it to your (superior) traditional family Christmas. Don’t be afraid to take some time away from crowded family settings if it gets too much, perhaps taking a walk or retreating to phone your own family to wish them a merry Christmas.  

Plan time for just the two of you: The sheer volume of activities and family time can eat into your precious time together, which can lead to you feeling frustrated and disappointed things aren’t going how you had hoped. Ensure you schedule in some time for just the two of you, whether it’s a night off in front of the fire with your favourite movies or a long hike together if you are staying with family. If you are sharing the day with just the two of you, then make your own rules. Whether you want to forgo the cooking and have pizza for lunch, go to the pub, or eat a selection box for breakfast, it’s your Christmas so please yourselves! The key is ensuring you don’t let family plans monopolise your time, so you’re left with no gaps in your schedule to enjoy time together as a couple. 

We’ve love to hear your top tips for sharing your first Christmas together – share them on our Facebook or Instagram page! 

Our dedicated matchmaking team are ready and waiting for your call to help you with your search for love. Get in touch today to find out more!


The best Christmas date ideas in London

December is a fabulous time of year to seek out great date nights in the vibrant capital. People travel miles to seek out the attractions on offer at Christmas, so if you are based in London or nearby it’s the perfect time to capitalise on the wide range of entertainment on offer. It’s hard not to get swept along in the festive cheer at this time of year, so why not embrace it fully and treat the person you are interested in to a night out with a difference? 

The choice of things to get involved in is vast, but here is a selection of the best ideas that have caught our eye this festive season!

Eat tasty food 

Tuck into a tasty fondue at The Cheese Bar, a great venue that collaborates with a different restaurant every month for a twist on the traditional fondue format – though that’s available as well. Or check out Fire and Fromage, where you can enjoy 90-minutes of unlimited raclette around firepits overlooking the River Thames. You can even toast marshmallows afterwards. If you both love a good afternoon tea, there are plenty on offer with a festive twist. Biscuiteers offers a Christmas afternoon tea featuring its signature hand-iced biscuits in Belgravia and Notting Hill. Looking to really impress? Then book a table at Claridge’s for its Champagne afternoon tea, which includes Christmas pudding stirred by the whole pastry team as part of an annual festive tradition.  

Festive activities 

Outside ice skating goes hand-in-hand with the festive season but Alexandra Palace goes one step further with its themed Christmas Ice Discos. Skate to the sound of Christmas classics and experience the occasional snow shower! Cosy up for a festive movie in the stunning Battersea Arts Centre, an iconic Victorian Town Hall. You can choose from comfy sofas and beanbags if you want to make the experience even more romantic! 

Soak up the festive atmosphere

Head to London’s bustling markets to enjoy the spectacle with a mulled wine in hand. Covent Garden boasts world-famous Christmas lights in the Market Building which you can enjoy as you browse the stalls available in three different markets. Borough Market is always worth exploring, no matter what the time of year, and at Christmas it offers tasty seasonal food. South Bank’s Winter Market has traditional wooden chalets along the riverside serving drinks and tasty street food. You can also browse the Christmas gifts on offer and see the free outdoor Winter Light exhibition. Head over to Westfield to see a whole city constructed from gingerbread, built by more than 50 architects and designers. The Museum of Architecture’s The Gingerbread City exhibition features biscuit buildings decorated beautifully with icing and sweets – although nibbling is not allowed! 

See a show 

London’s theatrical offerings are guaranteed to get you in the festive mood. It doesn’t get more Christmassy than The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House or the London Coliseum.  The Old Vic has Christopher Eccleston appearing in A Christmas Carol or you can see The Snowman art the Peacock Theatre.  

‘Tis the season for festive drinks 

Before you head straight to the bar don’t forget it’s the perfect season for hot chocolate, with plenty of creations on offer that you’ll remember for a long time. Brick Lane’s Dark Sugars offers hot chocolate piled with layers of shaved chocolate, while Chin Chin tops their drinks with torched marshmallow fluff topping. One of the best things about this time of year is the twinkling rooftop bars that pop up around the city. Enjoy hot martinis on the roof terrace at Ham Yard Hotel and get comfortable with blankets and hot water bottles. The Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch has a cosy, heated wigwam, and outdoor fireplaces where you can enjoy Venetian-style food and stunning views. If you love everything to do with Christmas, The Churchill Arms in Kensington is a must-see – its exterior is adorned with around 90 Christmas trees and thousands of festive lights. 
Are you looking for somebody special who will truly understand you and share your values, life goals and aspirations? Your dedicated matchmaker is waiting to introduce you to some truly amazing individuals. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you with a safe and enjoyable search for love.