Talk

Advanced search

Dating agencies - any positive experiences?

(33 Posts)
JimmyJabs Wed 17-Feb-21 12:30:50

Yes, it's come to that. I've been doing OLD on and off for years; when I was a bit younger, I used to get a few dates out of it, but since hitting 40, I've come nowhere near the date stage. I can't find any men on these platforms who want to have a normal relationship with a woman near to their own age, it's all "casual fun" and "not looking for anything serious".

I also don't meet suitable men through work or friends. It's not that I'm ridiculously picky, it's that the men my age are pretty much already married and the ones who are available are too young or too old.

I would really prefer not to be single for the rest of my life, so now I'm looking at dating agencies. I have a lot of scepticism because it seems like a hell of a lot of money for not very much in return, i.e. close to £2000 for 8 matches, and I don't live in London so I'm not sure how many people there would be on their books in my area.

The problem is that I never hear independent accounts from people who have used these agencies, so I can't weigh up whether or not it's worth risking the money. Does anyone here have any experience of using them - good or bad - and did you find a long term relationship from it?

OP’s posts: |
ItisLikethis Wed 17-Feb-21 13:39:56

Following

JimmyJabs Wed 17-Feb-21 14:46:53

It's not something I've ever heard anyone discuss in real life, @ItisLikethis. I'm really curious to know why - is it because it's too expensive to be a common experience? If it really worked, I would expect it to be suggested as an alternative to OLD, but it never is!

OP’s posts: |
Masterpieceontheshelf Wed 17-Feb-21 15:00:50

No advice, but I'm in exactly the same boat as you, I just want to be able to get a chance to date suitable guys. (I'm over 40 - but in every other aspect a very good 'catch') I can't be bothered to lie about my age to try and date the decent guys my age who are all presumably dating younger?

The guys OLD near me are just not interesting and can barely be bothered to message you for a few days if you're not going to come round and fuck them in the next evening.

Someone on here did name drop an agency in London - they were £5k for a basic package.

It's a lot of money to spend without any guarantees!

ItisLikethis Wed 17-Feb-21 15:33:58

@JimmyJabs I have no real answers either. Sorry.

Like you, I have found dating a big disappointment and have been left wondering if their are ANY decent men out there, of a similar age, who are serious about having a normal relationship. On both paying agencies and free sites.

I'm still trying to get my head around why in the past I have stuck around when red flags began to pop up, unexpectedly. I've come to the conclusion a large proportion of men on these platforms are dysfunctional and are just looking for someone to go along with that.

My self-worth is 1000 times stronger than it was when I first became single, so I guess there is progress to be seen there and perhaps a better chance of meeting someone offline when lockdown is lifted. And I've made a deal with myself that in future I will be ✌🏳as soon as I notice 🚩🚩🚩 Life is too short to put up with nonsense.

As far as agencies go, I think paying £££ to match you up is no guarantee of finding love, someone decent, unfortunately. It's very hit and miss.

comingintomyown Wed 17-Feb-21 15:41:44

I am long term single but read loads and lived vicariously through an ex busy online dater and my instinct would be that an agency might shield you from blatant liars but what else can they do ? I think in real life lots of people who shouldn’t be happy together are and vice versa so any algorithms or whatever they claim to use would be meaningless.
Sorry but I suspect it’s another way to profit from people and an expensive one at that.

StephenBelafonte Wed 17-Feb-21 15:55:03

I think it's a good idea.

I tried online dating but it didn't really work for me because the quality of the men in my area was very poor and I have to be able to see people in real life to know whether I could fancy them or not.

So surely the answer must be to spend more, and get a smaller amount of higher quality men. Men who have at least £2k to spend trying to find a similar woman.

Changeispossible Wed 17-Feb-21 16:09:22

I’ve been thinking of this too because of this:

The guys OLD near me are just not interesting and can barely be bothered to message you for a few days if you're not going to come round and fuck them in the next evening

AnaViaSalamanca Wed 17-Feb-21 16:15:28

Not first hand account, but I have heard that there are very few men using these and they also are looking for much younger women so you would be looking at men aged 55+

Can’t you meet men through activities?

Jenitherabbit Wed 17-Feb-21 16:22:59

I was the biggest critic of OLD for years and refused to think it had any value but maybe quite a few perverts and those who just wanted the odd hookup. About 8 years ago I signed up to a lesser known dating website and found that the initial impression was what I thought before I joined. I spoke to guys who were ok initially and then ended up sending me dick pics or asking how I felt about being a naturalist. 🙈

Just when I thought I should give up I ended up talking to a guy just about general stuff, nothing romantic. We went for a date if you can call it that - a wander round an art gallery and a coffee afterwards and we went from there. We're now married and have a child so I can honestly say it does work. There is a lot of trawling through the not great options though before you find anyone decent. Good luck with your search!

JimmyJabs Wed 17-Feb-21 16:51:01

AnaViaSalamanca

Not first hand account, but I have heard that there are very few men using these and they also are looking for much younger women so you would be looking at men aged 55+

Can’t you meet men through activities?

That's what I was afraid of really. The sort of men with that kind of money to spend are probably going to want a hot young thing for their investment. I'm not interested in significantly older men, and I hardly fall into the "trophy" category even if I were!

I do a fair few activities but they're mostly female-centric, with a few guys who have been dragged along by their wives. I suppose I could try something more manly (!) but honestly, I really don't want to have to fake enthusiasm for something I have no interest in on the off chance it might lead to meeting a man. I think you can usually spot people who are turning up to hobby groups on the pull, and it always seems rather pathetic to me.

OP’s posts: |
NeedToGetOuttaHere Wed 17-Feb-21 16:58:36

My friend met her partner on a Christian online dating site. She met up with only two other men before and then clicked with him and they’ve been together for a few years now. She’s a year older than him. Are there any other online dating sites you haven’t considered yet?

Changeispossible Wed 17-Feb-21 17:13:30

@Jenitherabbit

What a lovely lovely romantic story, flowers it gives me hope & it’s what I need to read. X I’m also happy for you that you’re happy as I read so many unhappy stories here & I worry I’ll become a manhater.

MiddleAgedLurker Wed 17-Feb-21 17:14:48

A couple of friends have met partners through dating agencies. However, more recently my sister had a go at one and she was not impressed with the matches or the amount of money it cost ... She didn't feel they were so much better than the best of the men on dating sites. But I think it forces you to consider people more carefully as someone has made the effort to work out if you might be compatible, so much more likely to get on well than if you just like the look of them. I think agencies can work well if you are in a fairly populous area. At least you know people are serious if they've shelled out a lot of money. If you can find an online site that has plenty of search criteria/lots of info about matches that could be just as good I think, but will take much more of your time up. I'm being a bit waffly here. I guess it could be worth a try but only if you are within spitting distance of plenty of candidates

MissSmiley Wed 17-Feb-21 17:18:43

There are definitely lots of normal men online on the free sites, it's finding them that's the problem, you have to be really strict about what you're looking for, lots of guys with good jobs hide what they do so they don't attract gold digger types but they're fairly easy to spot. As I've said before it's a numbers game and you have to be prepared to get out there, difficult at the moment, I went on a lot of first dates, when I met my now DP I knew the first time I met him there was big potential, you have to keep at it if you're serious about meeting someone

DianaT1969 Wed 17-Feb-21 17:26:46

If you think about it with a cool business head, they really can't have lots of men on their books.
Could you join a golf club, tennis club or evening classes instead? (After Covid of course). Less money but more rewarding. I know what you mean about feigning interest, but it's exercise, outdoors and you are learning new skills - worth it for that, if nothing else. Your ideal man. Where might he hang out on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon? Dog walking/rugby/coffee shop/pub lunch? You need to practise open body language and chatting with strangers if you decide to do it in real life.

NeedToGetOuttaHere Wed 17-Feb-21 17:43:43

I always seem to notice a lot of good looking men in Waitrose. I’m married so not looking but I live thought to myself a few times if I was single I’d get a bit dressed up and walk around Waitrose a lot!

Jenitherabbit Wed 17-Feb-21 18:03:21

@Changeispossible Thank you! I honestly was incredibly sceptical and was convinced I couldn't find anyone and was wondering if it was me. Most of the guys I knew were just friends or with people and when I went on a night out the guys only wanted a ONS.

I'm not saying OLD works for everyone but I think it's sometimes worth persevering. My friends who did OLD said not to go on Tinder as it was just for Hookups and Match apparently doesn't work but I honestly couldn't tell you as I didn't try either.

My DH isn't someone that you would naturally pair me with but we just got along and had a giggle and I thought if we could laugh together we'd be able to get along and take it from there.

JimmyJabs Wed 17-Feb-21 18:30:27

DianaT1969

If you think about it with a cool business head, they really can't have lots of men on their books.
Could you join a golf club, tennis club or evening classes instead? (After Covid of course). Less money but more rewarding. I know what you mean about feigning interest, but it's exercise, outdoors and you are learning new skills - worth it for that, if nothing else. Your ideal man. Where might he hang out on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon? Dog walking/rugby/coffee shop/pub lunch? You need to practise open body language and chatting with strangers if you decide to do it in real life.

I'm a crafter, not remotely sporty, so I don't think tennis or golf would work. I guess there must be creative hobbies that men like to do - it's just a matter of thinking of them and finding some classes or something.

I think you're right about the agencies probably not having many people on their books. If I lived in London, maybe, but not here in North Yorkshire.

OP’s posts: |
Whydidimarryhim Wed 17-Feb-21 20:02:25

I enquired to join a paid dating agency - it’s in London - I kept being sent the same two profiles and from that I concluded they where the only two in my area. I didn’t bother.
Many years ago I joined dateline - I waited for an offer and from the original price of £229 I got it for £29 - I had a few dates - few odd balls too who I filtered out.
What about speed dating?
It’s tough out there!!!
Im divorced - I went on tinder for 3 weeks and deleted it, I found it soul destroying.
I’m 56 with a young son - I’m not hopeful but you ever know!!!

Whydidimarryhim Wed 17-Feb-21 20:07:35

Dateline still exists!!!!😀Im going to have a look.

mootymoo Wed 17-Feb-21 20:20:55

I met dp on old and I'm older than you, also not London. The free ones were useless, weird men and half of DD's friends dads! I paid about £100 for 6 months and met dp after 4, he had joined the day before! Happily living together now.

Don't despair, but you need patience and to go for a "professional" type clientele eg avoid Match! Creeps on there

JimmyJabs Wed 17-Feb-21 20:58:16

@mootymoo which site was that, if you don't mind my asking?

OP’s posts: |
Changeispossible Wed 17-Feb-21 21:08:37

@mootymoo

Yeah I’d love to know which site too ... it’s hard to know which are the good uns. I’ve paid for one month on Tinder Plus but so far it’s a big waste of time. You never know though I suppose!

AmandaHugenkiss Thu 18-Feb-21 09:04:08

How about a photography club or painting classes?

I met DP on Tinder but had to sift through a lot of crap to get to him. Probably about 30 dates and god knows how many matches. Know a few people who met through Guardian Soulmates if it’s still going, one met her husband on Bumble.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in