Over the past few years online dating has very much dominated the industry, but as much as I feel apps have earned their place in the dating world, I’ve long championed the use of more face-to-face alternatives. Much of my blog stems from past dating experiences, and although still only 30, my most memorable stories come from a time when online dating hadn’t really taken off yet and as a result, I have an almost emotional attachment to the more traditional methods of meeting people. With this in mind it was my distinct pleasure to spend some time with Yorkshire-based Instinctive Introductions where I would re-discover the (slightly) lost art of Matchmaking.
Headed up by Lead Matchmaker Shirley Hopkinson, Shirley has been trained and certified by award-winning dating and relationship expert, Caroline Brealey, at the Matchmaker Academy in London.
Shirley was a delight to spend time with and being so personable herself, it was quickly obvious to me what prompted her decision to go down the Matchmaking route. Her previous career has seen her travel the globe as a Television Producer where she worked with Rolling Stone Journalists, Stunt Men and Women, Politicians, Architects, Supermodels and even the infamous Jo ‘Supernanny’ Frost – fair to say then that she’s dealt with all manner of colourful characters!
What really struck a chord with me was the agency’s commitment to building their own philosophy on matchmaking and doing right by each and every individual member. I guess that’s the beauty of being an independent company, with franchises many are governed by guidelines which on paper sound okay, but simply aren’t fitting to the individual personalities on their books. As Shirley went on to explain “we are very much dedicated to finding our clients the best possible matches, we meet absolutely everyone in person, this allows us to gain a full insight into who that person is and who they would be suited to, and of course, allays any security concerns.”
Instinctive Introductions are one of only a handful of agencies in the Yorkshire area and pride themselves in working with the very best in the industry. So what can you expect if you sign up with Instinctive Introductions? Well, full membership includes a professional photoshoot with renowned Photographer Saskia Nelson of Hey Saturday, as well as a coaching session with your choice of three coaches including BBC featured James Preece. What better way to boost your confidence before finding that all important match?
What I also find rather appealing about Instinctive Introductions is that members have just about zero online presence – what a refreshing throwback! Over the past few years I’ve met countless individuals who either lack the confidence or simply don’t want to plaster themselves all over the internet and there was something about this environment that just felt extremely safe, comfortable, professional and yet ridiculously fun. You really couldn’t feel like you were in safer hands and having witnessed firsthand the stresses that come with endless swiping, the matchmaking process was quite simply a breath of fresh air.
Thinking of joining? Well if you’re a professional person, single parent, divorcee, retired, reentering the dating world after some time away or simply want to try something different… keep an eye out for the agency’s Spring offer of Complimentary Membership for a limited time only. To find out more get in touch by clicking here.
My day at Instinctive Introductions really did take me back to a simpler time. It put the smile back into dating, I guess as well there’s something in the name ‘Instinctive’ for someone who has spent her career working in the madcap world of Television, Shirley really is a natural at this stuff.
It’s important to remember that applauding matchmaking isn’t about criticizing online dating, it works for many, but as I always say if something isn’t working for you then don’t be scared to change it up. So if you have grown a little tired of the digital dating world then give Matchmaking a go, in Shirley and her team, you will most definitely be in safe hands.