Rachel MacLynn

Rachel MacLynn

As Valentine’s Day fast approaches, we speak to psychologist and relationship expert and matchmaker Rachel MacLynn about surviving the dating game at this time of year.

What are some of the biggest obstacles in the modern dating game that people find daunting?

Dating can feel like ground-hog day. You turn up at the venue, wearing your swanky new dress and killer heels and dream that this will be it. Fast forward two hours and you are desperately trying to hold back the yawn while you politely listen to him describing his ongoing issue with cleaning cat fur off his sofa. Back to square one and yet another valued evening lost. It is no wonder that people give up after a few months.


The problem is that the single population approaches dating in the wrong way. We focus on looks first, then personality, and often take weeks or months to gradually assess someone’s values, attitudes and aspirations. Ideally, we would follow these steps in reverse order – which is what we do as matchmakers.


When we date we all want a positive outcome – most of us seek a steady relationship and to be in love. However progressing from ‘dating’ to ‘relationship’ is a very difficult transition. We are like kids in a sweet shop when it comes to dating. There is so much temptation, so we are always looking over our date’s shoulder for a better option.


Dating etiquette is another huge challenge. There is so much debate about equality and that women and men should pay equally. Men want to ‘treat a lady’ and make her feel special and women relish in this act of chivalry. However, the sentiment should be reciprocated, so women should offer to pay for dinner another time, or at least drinks. It’s polite and career women in London can afford it.  


Why is Valentine’s one of your most important times of year?

Valentine’s Day gets the whole of society talking about love. It is a celebration for those who are in relationships or dating, but can be a slap in the face for those who are single and looking for love. This is where we come in. Our clients feel safe in the knowledge that they have a team of matchmakers shooting their Cupid’s arrows in the right directions.

Why does New Year often spur people on to date?

New Year, new start. It’s over Christmas when people take that well deserved time off and start putting their personal life in order. Just like joining a gym and hiring a personal trainer, sometimes you have to take an active approach to finding a long term partner. People enjoy getting advice and help from experts such as matchmaking consultants. It is a time of year where people have the most resolve, and really consider what they want and need for the year ahead.


How do matchmakers differ from dating websites?

When I set up Vida I listed all of the common complaints people make about internet dating…it’s mainstream, people fabricate information on their profiles, photos aren’t an accurate representation, there’s no proper background checking, and it’s difficult to assess someone’s character etc. It’s a numbers game and a very time-consuming one at that.


At Vida, we strive to address all these issues to create the ultimate dating experience. Matchmaking at Vida is a bespoke, personal service and completely offline, catering for a specific type of clientele. We offer our service to high achievers, who are attractive, fun and intelligent but simply do not have the time to do the searching for a long-term partner themselves.


So rather than making people trawl through profiles and spend hours messaging, we make introductions to people we have met, vetted and profiled and who meet each other’s criteria. As psychologists we also make judgments based on compatibility, and our clients enjoy gaining from our expert perspective.


Everyone we introduce has been sourced through trusted contacts, and we offer date coaching and get feedback from each date. We work together with our clients to create long term matches.


Why does the talk of love around Valentine’s Day spur people on even more?

On Valentine’s Day and on the days preceding, there are a lot of explicit and subliminal messages in the media that get the conscious and subconscious thinking about love more than we would normally.


This, coupled with the social pressure to be a part of this celebration gives us that urge to find a partner or do something special with the one we love.




by for relationships.femalefirst.co.uk
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