Meet the Dating Expert – Caroline Brealey
Recently on 30 Dates we’ve been introducing some of the leading voices in Dating, both in the UK and abroad.
The founder of London-based matchmaking company Mutual Attraction, Caroline is one of the UK’s youngest, and most popular matchmakers. She was recently awarded the international iDate Award for Best Matchmaker 2014, and to top it all off is one of the loveliest women in dating!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
What The Dating Books Don’t Tell You!
I love a good book.
I can usually be found lurking around the self-help section in Waterstones, casually looking around as if I wandered there by mistake.
“Self-help section? Oh I was looking for travel. Never mind, may as well take a peek whilst I’m here.” You get the picture!
As a matchmaker I am always looking to keep abreast with the latest dating and relationship advice that experts are sharing with the wonderful singletons of the world.
Last week I settled down, mug of tea in hand, with 3 books all from experts at the top of their game.
Here are the nuggets of wisdom I learnt:
- Men scratch their balls in the shower.
- Hang out at the supermarket and see who is buying a meal for one then make your move.
- Art galleries are great places to meet potential dates.
- When I’m on a date I should ‘be myself and act natural’.
- If you only date men who look like George Clooney then you will probably die a lonely spinster.
- If I want him to know I’m flirting I should ‘laugh at his jokes’.
- If I’m not looking then I’m bound to find him!
- On a first date I should not talk constantly about my ex.
- I should treat him mean if I’m to keep him keen.
- I should borrow a dog for the day.
The tea was rapidly replaced with gin.
Quite frankly, what men do in the shower is their own business and I am yet to ever be invited to an art gallery opening let alone attend one and meet the man of my dreams. On a date I do try my hardest to be myself because, well, I am myself and of course I won’t be looking for a date, oh no I will tell anyone who will listen that I’m happily single and don’t want to meet anyone. **evil laugh – that will trick them**!
Now, I like George Clooney as much as the next woman – is there a woman alive who doesn’t have a crush on the silver fox?! – but why is it he is the only man a woman must find attractive? An awful lot of books say that we ladies are after a Clooney lookalike. There are other hot men out there – Gerard Butler for one!
Three books down, a thousand clichés later and a sore head from too much gin, I felt depressed. I’m not single myself but if I were I would be wondering where the cliff edge was.
Where is the empowerment? The realistic, honest and frank dating advice that is neither sugar coated, cliché nor cringe worthy? I’m talking the ‘He’s Not In to You’ minus the super fox references. If you’ve not read the book, it’s a must!
I’m going to sum up exactly what these books should have been saying in one paragraph:
Before you can attract love, you have to focus and work on yourself. Ultimately – you have to love you! You’re not perfect, they’ll be things you’ll want to change about yourself (hello cellulite) but if you can look at the bigger picture, appreciate how amazing your life is and all the things you have going for you, you can start to appreciate you. Practise gratitude, be present in the here and now, not living for yesterday or pining for tomorrow. Accept that invitation for drinks with the new girl at work; challenge yourself; don’t just dream big, live big. Be kind, give people your time and look past the ‘6’2” George Clooney lookalike stereotype. You’re searching for love not a business partner. This is your life, take control, be happy, be open to love and most of all, love yourself.
Caroline is an award-winning matchmaker and relationship expert based in London. Described as the ‘Matchmaker of Matchmakers’ by BBC Radio 4, she founded Mutual Attraction, the UK’s only dating agency to ever be awarded ‘Best Matchmaker’ at the prestigious idate matchmaking awards. Caroline set up Mutual Attraction because there wasn’t a London dating agency which appealed to people like her– dynamic, vibrant people living life to the full. You can read more about Caroline’s book at http://www.carolinebrealey.co.uk and find out all about Mutual Attraction here. Caroline writes a blog on the Mutual Attraction website, and you can follow her on Twitter @Matchmaker_Miss
Fabulous advice. I met up with a girlfriend a few days ago who has been single for awhile. I asked her about her love life and she told me that she had “done the work” and was ready to date again. When I asked her who she was hoping to meet, she described her ideal partner’s core values and characteristics such as; integrity, compassion and someone who was continuously striving to improve themselves. I was impressed with her level of reflection and am sure she will find a man that lives up to her expectations (and who knows he might look like G or G – George or Gerard 🙂