Before he calls with some prospective candidates, I visit Karen Mooney, who established Sara Eden in 1988, with offices in London and Windsor.
“Websites do work,” she tells me, “but an introduction service takes all the hassle out of it and ensures that anyone you meet is at least likely to be compatible.” Mary introduces me to Kate, a psychologist who quizzes me on my previous relationships.
She tells me to keep an “open mind” and promises to be in touch after she has discussed my profile with her colleagues.
All the agencies I saw regulate the process carefully: I had to sign confidentiality agreements, show ID and wait while they ran checks.
Kate is adamant that a first meeting should last no more than 90 minutes and should take place in a hotel lounge or cafe, somewhere with privacy but where there are plenty of people about, too.
The following week I hear that “Freddie” has been given my mobile number (in all my encounters, the man was given my phone number, and either rang or texted. Freddie is a 57-year-old Irish businessman, public school and Oxbridge — and a total delight. But when he mentions that of his six children, four are under 19, I realize that he is not for me — he’s got enough on his plate.
I’m surprised at how relaxed I feel — if you are paying someone to matchmake, it’s up to them to get it right. Its signing-on fee of ₤15,000 rises in relation to your demands: if you want a Japanese man with fluent French and a degree in engineering, he will cost you!
Lemarc Thomas, the managing director, is a gentle but determined Cupid and the rich beat a path to his door from across the world.
He has a background in psychology, asks about my relationship history, my ideal man, career, taste in music as well as travel and holiday preferences.
asked me, as a mature woman, if I would like to check out some dating agencies.
I may be single, but I’m very comfortable on my own.
I’ve been married, and enjoyed a long relationship since my divorce in 2003.