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Official: Lunch is the new dinner date
4 Oct 2011
We're the multi-tasking sex, so a study revealing women are packing more than ever into a working day is of no suprise. What is enlightening, however, is the new trend in dating that's emerging because of it. Dating website Lovestruck.com has found the number of single women choosing to date on their lunch break has risen by 22% in the last six months. Women surveyed said the shift from after-work to lunchtime is so that dates remain informal and to keep precious evenings free.
''Studies show you know if you are attracted to someone within three minutes'' says Brett Harding, Lovestruck.com's MD. ''A speedy lunch works well and going back to the office is a great excuse to leave.'' So if you've got a potential love interest, try just opened Da Polpo in London's Covent Garden - the only one of Russell Norman's empire to take lunch bookings (dapolpo.co.uk) or do a Lady and the Tramp at Meatballs, a beautiful revamped historic dining room in Farringdon (meatballs.co.uk).
CTRL + Alt, You meet
With hundreds of dating sites, you need to press the right buttons to land Mrs Right.
The needle in the hay
Tues, 23 Aug 2011 | By Dan Juan
My main beef with online dating sites is not that they're creepy or uncool or expensive. It's not even that they're rammed with fat weirdos and potential axe murderers. It's more simple than that: it's because I don't believe the girl of my dreams is on there.
I met about seven girls the last time I did online dating. They were all nice enough, a couple of them I continued seeing for a few weeks, but there was always something about them I didn't like. Either they were annoying, or clingy, or shapeless, or Tories. Whatever it was, they were imperfect - perhaps that's why they were touting themselves online in the first place — and it meant the experience was ultimately futile.
As such, I had little expectation when I turned up to meet Kate — the first date I arranged on the latest singleton supermarket I've joined, 'Lovestruck'. This website, I was encouraged to read in its tagline, is 'where busy professionals click'. I consider myself a busy professional, if you strip out the Yuppie overtones. And I suspect, despite the fact I'd like to go out with a pop star or a barmaid, that the girl I end up marrying might also be a busty, I mean busy, professional too.
Yet I felt jaded as I turned up — late — to meet Kate for lunch. Sure, she looked alright in her profile but I knew there would be something wrong. Maybe she'd have a grating laugh, or a racist streak, or three eyes. Although maybe it would be quite cool if she had three eyes, I was wondering to myself as I clocked a two-eyed brunette reading a book beside at our meeting spot.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that her real life self was quite close to the version I'd seen in her profile. Still, I was waiting for her to say or do something unappealing. But the more we chatted, the more pleasant surprises unfolded. One, she was clever — comfortably cleverer than me. Not that this is a noteworthy feat but it was a still a good start. She was also funny, for a girl, and generally nice and interesting. When she swore, it was somehow simultaneously earthy and elegant. As if expleted from the mouth of a streetwise gazelle.
Basically, she was ace. Oh, and fit. And then there was me.
I've mentioned I had no grand expectation for this date, and maybe that's why the previous evening I had failed to prevent myself getting incredibly drunk on a night out in Finchley. I was hungover — majorly. I could cope with that, I'd initially thought. But in the face of this beautiful onslaught, I was bewildered.
Generally, I'm quite an affable chap. If you met me, you'd probably think I was alright - I could at least be relied upon to say something vaguely amusing. But there have been occasions — often, although not exclusively, when there's an attractive girl involved - where this easy charm has completely eluded me and I have come across as a colourless squib. Unfortunately, this date was one of those times.
Kate would sparkle; tell an engaging tale about a holiday in Botswana, or an amusing school friend. I was rapt. Then when it was my turn to speak, I just sat there blankly. My best anecdote was about how I was so drunk the previous evening that I'd walked into a shop. As in, hit my head on it, rather than voluntarily gone inside to make a purchase. Not a good first impression: hi I'm Dan, and I'm a pisshead. And that was my best anecdote, remember. The rest of the time I just grunted in agreement and tried to force a cheeky smile. This was the best girl I'd ever met on an online date and I was on the worst form of my life. I'd found the needle in the hay, then carelessly dropped it down a manhole.
Kate politely refused my offer of a third drink. I was glad actually because I was beginning to feel physically sick, a combination of alcohol and dismay at my badly timed social ineptitude, but it didn't bode well for my chances securing a second date.
Still, I'll ask her out again — more in hope than expectation. But even if she doesn't reply, she's restored my faith that there are nice women on the internet. Shame about the men.
Data Matches Daters
Weds, 17 Aug 2011 | By Maeve Hosea
As the internet dating market continues to grow, online matching services are employing increasingly sophisticated data analysis techniques to find the perfect partner for their users.
Once seen as a geeky activity for the socially awkward, online dating has now become a mainstream part of single life. The sector is booming it is set to be worth £150m by 2014, according to Mintel.
Love itself might be blind but through a combination of improved technology and sophisticated databases, the world's online dating brands are claiming they can bring well-matched, romantic pairings into sharp focus.
As people grow more comfortable with sharing information about themselves online, having become familiar with the process on social networks such as Facebook, dating websites are set to accumulate more information than ever on their users.
Some sites will choose to use the data to directly match their users with each other based on their personality traits, interests or attitudes. Others will use data to find the location of their customers, wherever and whenever they may be interested in finding love. And some will use the data simply to market and advertise their services to single people.
Whatever the strategy, it is clear that meeting romantic partners need not be simply a chance affair. For millions of people, the business of love is underpinned by hard data.
With a remit to bring busy people together in the cities where they work, Lovestruck.com believes the way people behave is more important than what they claim they are looking for on a dating site.
Most dating sites work on explicit preferences which are searched for or based on a survey filled in by a user. Lovestruck looks at behaviour, interests and preferences, constantly analysing what new elements of the database will be a suitable match for each person.
Lovestruck has two types of algorithm. When users first join the site, they will be matched with potential partners using Lovestruck's in-house algorithm based on interests, what they are looking for, age, location and so on. But when they start to use the site, that data is overridden by an IntroAnalytics matching algorithm that learns from the user's behaviour.
Lovestruck founder Brett Harding says: "Instead of matching you on what you say you like, it learns over time what you really like. It makes calculated assessments and brings very similar profiles to the top of the search results."
For example, an analysis of behaviour shows that males tend to prefer females who are half their age plus seven years. This is not what they would say if you asked them directly. Lovestruck looks at every user's activity on an individual basis as well as the people who interact with them individually. This aims to go beyond any conscious preferences that users have stated.
The IntroAnalytics behavioural matching tool for Lovestruck works by analysing the way in which users interact with each other on the site. This enables Lovestruck to infer the implicit preferences of individuals and cohorts of users and then identify those profiles that are most likely to be appropriate for an individual user.
The bigger the site, the better its matching algorithm needs to be, argues Harding. Sophisticated matching technology has become more important for the brand as it has grown in size.
"When we started, it wasn't that important because we were all about a very tight-knit location in the centre of London the matching was based mainly on geo-location and a bit of interest," comments Harding.
"But as we have got larger, we owe it to our members to be able to intelligently sift through the members and match them well."
Lovestruck.com shortlisted for finals of National Business Awards 2011
Online Personals Watch
Fri, 5 Aug 2011 | By Mark Brooks
Lovestruck.com, the world's leading dating service for single professionals, has been shortlisted for one of the UK's most prestigious business awards.
Lovestruck Ltd is a finalist in the 'Small Online Business of the Year' category at the National Business Awards in partnership with Orange.
Lovestruck's Managing Director and Co-Founder, Brett Harding, said: "We are delighted that Lovestruck.com's innovation, execution, commercial performance and meteoric growth in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore - despite the immense marketing power and technical resource of the entrenched competition - has been recognised by the judges. Being shortlisted for the National Business Awards alongside such revered British businesses is the perfect manifestation of our progress."
Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone, Chair of Judges of the awards, said: "The economic climate continues to present UK businesses with an unprecedented challenge. Congratulations to all finalists for demonstrating tremendous strength in their ability to adapt and innovate which no doubt reflects the resilience and optimism that are the hallmarks of UK enterprise."
London dating service Lovestruck and the other 149 finalists, which include Debenhams, JD Wetherspoon, moneysupermarket.com, BSKyB and Majestic Wine, will now prepare to present to an independent, expert judging panel at the London headquarters offices of Coutts & Co.
Winners will be honoured at the National Business Awards gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, Tuesday 8th November, where George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will deliver this year's welcome address.
Google builds mobile team to showcase ad opportunities, citing Lovestruck.com geo-targeting test success as catalyst
New Media Age
Friday, 14 Jan 2011 | By Ronan Shields
Google is bolstering its European mobile sales team in a bid to promote its mobile ad channels, such as geo-targeting, to brands and agencies. It's still in the process of recruiting for its London-based mobile team but confirmed it will have increased six-fold in the year to March 2011.
Additionally, the search giant told new media age that the team selling into the UK will have grown five-fold over the same period. Google wants to increase advertiser interest in geo-targeted display ads and in-app mobile ads, said Ian Carrington, mobile ad sales director. "We'll continue to grow the teams in line with the demands of the market and the growth in mobile searches and display impressions throughout 2011," he said.
A "disproportionate amount of effort" in Google's mobile push will be directed at raising awareness of the high returns of geo-targeted display ads, according to Carrington. "We're at the tip of the iceberg with geo-targeting and some campaigns we've launched already show just how effective that can be," he said.
Carrington cited a previous location-based mobile campaign Google conducted with online dating site LoveStruck as a reason for its confidence in the channel. "We used real-time data from AdMob network to improve how the brand targeted Londoners," he explained.
The conversion rate was higher than the expectations of Google or LoveStruck.
Brett Harding, MD of LoveStruck, said, "A year ago mobile wasn't even on our radar. It's our most important route to market now as the ROI is compelling."
James Connelly, MD of LoveStruck's mobile agency Fetch Media, said, "The cost per download was 75% lower than we'd budgeted for, so now everything we do on mobile will be geo-targeted."
He added LoveStruck is launching similar campaigns in cities across the globe as a result of the London campaign's success.
London Dating: Love The Lovestruck Lovebot
Tues, 12 Oct 2010 | By Lindsey
Continuing our investigation of virtual routes to dating in London, we got a Londonist single to take a spin on Lovestruck.com a dating site that punts itself at the work hard, play hard London professional singles market with a workplace location approach to matching people up.
Lovestruck marries the traditional online dating mix of narrative profiles and multiple tick boxes with winks and a reassuringly bright and breezy feel. What makes it special is its copywriter, AKA the 'Lovebot'. This wickedly smart and funny virtual voice is a welcome guide to the minefield of online dating. It helps you construct an alluring profile, gets you messaging with confidence and gives top tips on date ettiquette. The Lovebot says hi with a cheery or cheeky compliment each time you log on and truly knows its dating onions. It implores you to write and spell properly, be upbeat and honest without spilling your guts and abhors text speak (hint: you should too). It also has some truly encouraging things to say to help you feel more 'dateable'. Everyone should have a Lovebot.
The site's functional USP is the 'free for lunch' and 'free tonight' facility. Rather than poring over profiles for yonks and pinging messages back and forth, Lovestruck encourages you to stick your hand in the air and say I'm free today, date me. Tick a 'free tonight' box and you just upped your chance of a date about tenfold. Trust us, this call to action works and opens you up to interesting prospects further afield. The Lovestruck app makes rapid dating easier and adds a frisson to the working day when a push notification on vibrate lets you know you've a hot date for lunch.
Of course the sandwiches might flop but at least you're out there 'testing the chemistry' and not wasting an entire evening of your hectic social calender on a dud date. If it's a definite no-go then you've an excellent excuse to escape: must get back to work. If your lunch ends up tasty, what efficient luck!
You can join Lovestruck free of charge but if you're serious about dating and you want to do anything messagey you need to pay for Connect membership at £29 a month (discounts for longer). So, for those who prefer to see their potential partners in the flesh first and speak, rather than message, you'll like the 'Laissez Faire' social events no pressure single mingles.
Apple soft-launches iAd network ahead of UK rollout next month
New media age
Wed, 18 Aug 2010 | By Ronan Shields
Apple has soft-launched its iAd mobile ad network in the UK ahead of a full rollout next month, with dating website Lovestruck among the first advertisers.
Apple's trial includes a service that lets brands advertise their apps via banner ads which appear within third-party apps. Users can purchase the advertised app by clicking on an icon that appears within the ad.
Can your iPhone find you love?
by Helen Bownass , July, 2010
Hurrah! Grindr, the iPhone app that's revolutionised the gay dating scene, is about to launch a heterosexual version. And it's not the only one. Here, Helen Bownass goes iDating to find out if you really can meet a man via your iPhone...
Dating...It's all well and good but when, like me, you've tried blind dates (and made new friends and nothing more) and done internet dating (boring and time consuming), and you start to wonder if you'll ever meet someone nice. Dating becomes a pattern (back and forwards, meet, oh, you're actually 5ft 5in and touch your groin every five seconds). Surely, it's time for something new, more 2010?
After a chat with my gay friend Pip about Grindr-an iPhone app that uses GPS to tell you where there are gay men nearby (soon to launch a hetero version) - I decide to check out the straight apps already out there. Having been single for eight months, it's a world I need to be part of. Especially after a weekend where the highlight was watching four episodes of Come Dine With Me that I've seen before. Enough's enough.
So on Sunday night I download some dating apps on iTunes. Lovestruck lets you post a photo online, acceptable age range and, crucially, your location, then get connected to local single men. And then I pay £1.19 for Excuse Me, which times your phone to ring during a date so you can escape if it's boring, and £1.19 for Text-ometer, which promises to analyse what texts really mean. Finally, iFlirt (59p), gives me lots of flirting tips. Job done? I'm giving myself a week to find out...
Greg messages me via Lovestruck and I agree to join him for a drink. It's painful. He's an IT bore- not the festival free spirit he led me to believe. He's wearing a nylon suit and gym trainers and is so shy he can barely speak. I ask him every question I can think of then escape to the loo for a quick freak-out. I decide to go for broke and set Excuse Me to go off in five minutes. And, hey presto, 300 long seconds later my phone rings. I make my excuses (a burst pipe leaking into my neighbour's flat) and leg it. I don't know if Greg knows I'm faking. I do know that i'm not proud of myself, but so grateful to technology it hurts.
I'm eating weetabix when my phone tells me I've sparked with someone, which means I like the look the look of his picture and he likes the look of mine.
When I check my mobile I see I sparked with Phil last night, operating under the name MrSweetGuy, but I was too busy flirting with Jamie to notice. As soon as I think of Jamie, his text pops up: 'I had fun last night, when are you taking me for sushi?' I decide to double check his text with Text-o-meter, which claims to analyse texts for their deeper meaning. It tells me he's not interested, but also that he's thinking about me. I test it with a different text: 'Best night ever, when can I see you again?' and again Text-o-meter tells me tells me Jamie's not interested. I disagree. This app obviously analyses punctuation and length and not the actual content. Dis. App. Ointing.
Later, I get an email from a man on Lovestruck: 'Hello, I'd like to buy you a drink. Boom bar 6.30pm?' Boom, it seems, is the Lovestruck man's venue of choice. It's the third invite I've had to one of the less salubrious bars near where I live. I assume these men blanket email everyone and hope someone bites. Am I being too picky? Trying out a new dating approach does not mean abandoning all standards.
Mr Sweetguy cancels our date an hour before we're due to meet. I can't say I'm sad, he had a LOL text habit and called me 'hun'. Seeing as I'm wearing my new denim dress, I check if any men I've seen on Lovestruck are in the 'free tonight' section, ideally the one who's 6ft 3in and says, 'If I like you, you'll know it.'
I've been chatting to a guy called Pete for a few days via Lovestruck so arrange to meet for a drink. He suggests a 'secluded' theatre bar. Eek. I tell him I don't think my mum would approve. He says if I don't like the look of him I'm free to do a runner. I don't do that but do tell him straight out that I have to leave in an hour. I'd never have done this before, but app-dating is so fast-paced you can cut to the chase. And though I don't fancy Pete (too metrosexual), he's very interesting. In the toilet I check iFlirt's advice: 'Sing him a few lines from a musical like Phantom Of The Opera.' Seriously? I'm off to meet my friends.
Decide I should try a spontaneous date this afternoon. I psych myself up for a look at the 'free for lunch today' section. No. I just can't do it. Instead, I go for a quick coffee 20 minutes away with a 30-something I've been chatting to online about F Scott Fitzgerald and filled Yorkshire puddings. Though I spend most of the time thinking about a third date with Jamie next week.....
The candidness of Lovestruck gave my dating mojo a much needed kick-start. Once you get used to the idea you don't owe a date anything, it's quite refreshing. However, the idea of meeting a stranger for lunch seems more peculiar than going for a drink. Yet despite my big talk, I think I'm too old -fashioned to fully embrace this. Yes, the iPhone dating is quick and easy, but it takes away the romance. Having said that, the apps have introduced me to someone I'd never have met otherwise. Someone who makes me feel a bit teenage every time he texts. I'll keep you posted.
by Tiana Reid, June 2010
Lovestruck iPhone App Uses Work as a Connection:
The Lovestruck iPhone app is marketed distinctly toward single professionals. By finding people who work close to you, the Lovestruck iPhone app helps you connect and have dates during your lunch break, or post-work.
This dating platform is for the busiest of the bunch. This dating site is strictly used in city centers like Sydney, Birmingham, London, New York, Singapore, Tokyo, Glasgow and Chicago.
New ways to date
by Jenny Wood, May 2010
Lovestruck.com is aimed at busy professionals in the UK's major cities looking for other singles who work nearby. As well as online dating, a free-to-download iPhone app also alerts you when a fellow 'Lovestrucker' is in the area.
Lovestruck is Like Foursquare for Dating Your Way Around the World
18 May 2010
Are you our friend on Foursquare yet? Because you totally should be. But if you're one of the naysayers who doesn't quite understand Foursquare or other location-based social networking, then perhaps all you need is to try using it to jumpstart your love life. And there's a new app that wants to do just that: Lovestruck.
Lovestruck is basically a dating website, but perfect for single-and-looking travelers in that you can list yourself (and see others around you who are up for it) as available for lunch and/or available for drinks later. It's basically like the dating site version of Foursquare, except that it sadly lacks badges, unless you count hook-ups as badges.
All you have to do is create your profile, allow your smartphone to locate you, and then go ahead and browse hotties in your vicinity—so long as that vicinity is London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney or New York. Those are currently the only cities with Lovestruck support.
If you're the type who's invigorated by the thought of having lunch with someone new in every city—romantic interest or not—then Lovestruck could be the perfect tool.
Location-Based Love: A Dating App For Busy Professionals
PSFK Trends, NY
by Naresh Kumar, 12 May 2010
Lovestruck, a dating site aimed at single professionals across the world, has developed an iPhone app for its services. The site is based on a member's work location and matches potential dates in the same/nearby location, facilitating a quick coffee meet up or after-work date. The app also has an 'Availability Control' feature which enables users to put statuses like 'Free For Lunch' and 'Free Tonight' to let other users know that they are up for a date for the lunchtime or after work.
The Lovestruck app is currently available for over a dozen major cities in the world.
Top 10 Dating Apps on iPhone
by Anna Leach, 12 March 2010
Ah dating, love it or hate it, it's got to be done unless you are lucky enough to be a)in a relationship b)have a great cat and don't give a damn.
Anyway, it makes it all a bit easier when it's on your iPhone: saving you time, money and sparing you those awkward moments when you don't know what to say (just pretend you're off-line).
We have trawled the app store for the best iPhone dating apps and come up with ten.
#1 - Lovestruck
We like this app because it dings you when someone you might fancy comes within a set 100m radius of you. Harnessing location and adding it into dating, it makes dates more convenient and easier to organise. Focussing on city-living professionals, the app is free but you have to subscribe to the service on their website on iTunes.
Icebreaker app looking for love
Yahoo! News, MSN News, VirginMedia (via The Press Assocation)
7 March 2010
Dating site Lovestruck has launched an iPhone app which alerts users to potential dates nearby and lets them send an icebreaking electronic wink.
Lovestruck currently has 30,500 members in the London area alone and plans to roll-out its service across other UK cities this month. By geotagging your location from the smartphone, the app brings its entire database to the palm of your hand - wherever you are.
The app also allows members to arrange their coffee, lunch and after-work dates on the go, showing users which nearby singletons are 'free for lunch' or even 'free tonight'.
Brett Harding of Lovestruck: "Picture this, you're in a bar with your friends. Your iPhone vibrates in your pocket to let you know that a fellow Lovestrucker is either in the bar or fast approaching! Choosing to instantly wink or message them provides the perfect dating solution for busy single professionals."
The app can be switched off, so you won't receive pick-up winks from every Romeo in your vicinity at inopportune moments... like when you're out on another date!
Location-based dating: Lovestruck.com gets an iPhone app
by Anna Leach, 15 February 2010
When you glance at someone's profile on a dating site you'd expect to read about their favourite films.. but not to find out that they are 24 metres away from you. Well, wake up and smell the after-work cocktails, because as of next week you'll be able to.
I had a sneak preview today of an iPhone app that does just that. It's linked into location-based dating site LoveStruck and founder Brett Harding came in and showed it to us. The dating site specialises in hooking up single professionals who work near to each other - with the intention of making dates more convenient. It also provides a "filter" or barrier to entry in that members have to have a job. The site will also filters results for you according to what you're looking for: men 25+ for example.
I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that mobile phones are a natural place for online dating - don't need to have it open on your work computer, it's that bit smaller and more private. And building location in is an interesting idea. Location is The Next Big Thing for mobile apps and while "nearby" apps telling you where the post office is are very useful - we're still waiting for apps to come up with innovative ideas for it. And this Lovestruck app sure is innovative.
If you let it track your location, and set it to alert you, it will send you a push notification when someone you might like is within a 50m, 100m or 500m radius of where you are.
Say you're in the pub after work you can be notified that some guy you were chatting to is within 50metres of you. You can then message him through the app, or just wink. Crazy huh? Apparently they're working on a Augmented Reality version of this too...
If this all sounds a bit more Terminator 3 than romantic, you can switch that off and just use the app to browse the site as you would from a computer.
In what is quite a complicated app, there are several layers of privacy: you can give your exact location, be only identified by your tube stop, or hide your location to all but people you have favourited. The defaults are all set to the most private settings so you won't accidentally find yourself winking at your boss.
You can also set a status update letting people know that you're available for lunch or after work drinks.
Subscription to the full Lovestruck dating service is £24.95 a month, the same as Match, Meetic, Guardian Soul Mates and the Telegraph's Kindred Spirits. You can register for free and the site lets you look, wink and reply to messages on the free model. The app is free to anyone.
Pending approval on the Apple store, the Lovestruck app will be out in a week, if you're interested register to the dating site here: www.lovestruck.com and they'll notify when the app is out. Apps for Android and other platforms are apparently on the way too.
Find love in your lunchtime
Those in urgent need of romance will be delighted that Lovestruck.com has devised a way for us to find a man, like, now! As you click your way through potential love matches, their FreeForLunch and FreeTonight buttons show who's available for lunch or drinks after work, so hot dates can be arranged without wasting a second.
Online dating with a twist
9 April 2008
Fancy the guy you see in the coffee shop every lunchtime or got the hots for the girl you see in the car park after work every day?
A new website could now see those furtive glances you exchange become an actual date. Lovestruck.com, which recently launched in Dublin, matches people who work close by.
It's proved hugely successful since its launch in London last year, with 'lovestruckers' meeting for coffee, lunch or after-work drinks. And only two weeks after opening its doors in Dublin, 'LovestruckDubliners' are already making the most of this completely free service which could soon expand to Cork.
Brett Harding, founder of Lovestruck.com explained: "Like London, Dublin has thousand of singles of all ages working in the city centre. You probably pass people you fancy every day and never speak to them and they might work just around the corner. The site aims to prevent the chance of love - or lust - literally passing you by."
The free dating site also lets members see who are 'free for lunch' or 'free tonight' - a quick email later and they could have a date. "This ground-breaking feature offers immediate dating; no waiting, no endless emailing, no winking. It's live second-to-second flirting, and a great way to break up - or end - the working day," said Brett.
For the shy or work-conscious, the site also has an advanced privacy tool that allows their photo or narrative to be viewed at their discretion. "Internet dating with a side order of privacy," is how Brett sums it up.
Brett is keen to develop the site in Cork but first wants to gauge the level of interest here. Anyone who would like to use the service should email email@example.com - once 100 emails are received it will be set up here. For more information, or to sign up, visit Lovestruck.com
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe!
You've met the guys, gone on the dates, but somehow something's always been...not..quite..right. But could your dating demands be ruining your love life. We set up one reader with her 'dream' and 'nightmare' dates to put her to the test. So who did she pick?
You're on your third date in a week, yet the man you're with looks exactly like the last two and has an uncanny resemblance to your ex. It's time to ask: why do you always end up with the same bloke?
Scientists say we all have a genetic dating DNA that makes us go for a certain kind of man. It's partly our Dad's fault - if we have a good relationship with him, we're drawn to similar men. Eek! Our menstrual cycle also pays a part - at the beginning of our cycle, we go for bad boys, and, when we're ovulating, we want marriage material.
But, if we only go for one 'type' of man, could we be missing out on the right man? To test the theory, we asked one Company reader to go on two very different dates. With the help of dating site www.lovestruck.com, we found guys who fitted her best and worst date criteria. So which man will win her heart?
The DNA-date tester
Ellie Halls, 28, an events organiser from Buckinghamshire, tends to go for city slickers, who dress smart and talk smart. "I'm attracted to the confidence of city boys, but become turned off by their arrogance. I'm sick of meeting the same men time and time again. But I don't know if I can change my type."
The nightmare date
'Jazz Maverick' Time, 25, a website developer from Reading, is laid-back, arty and creative. He describes himself as a music lover who loves sleep, gigs, the opera and arthouse films. Oh dear...
Ellie says: "From start to finish, my dating with Tim was a constant surprise. I couldn't believe it when he called me just before the date to double-confirm the time he'd be there. I don't think anyone has been that courteous before. But, then, when he walked into the restaurant, my first impression was that he definitely wasn't my type. He had the indie, arty, band-frontman look, which i hate. But I thought I'd just go with it, as he was pretty handsome under the scruffiness. He made some interesting conversation and listened to what I had to say, which alot of guys aren't very good at. We chatted about everything. The waiter even had to come back twice to take our order. The only turn-off was he seemed unsure of what to to and whether to order drinks, and I found myself taking the lead, which was strange. I'm used to a man being in control. The time flew by and, at the end of the night, I found myself wanting to stay longer. I would have run a mile before, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well I got on with someone who wasn't part of my usual dating scene."
The dream date
'City guru' Andy, 27, is a banker and Cambridge graduate from London. His profile says he wants to meet someone special, fun and down-to-earth to explore London with. He's also Ellie's ideal fun-loving city boy.
Ellie says: When I arrived late, I was a bit flustered and couldn't find him. But when I did, I could see exactly why he was picked for my dream date. He was wearing a suit and looked impeccably dressed. He went straight to the bar and ordered me a drink, which i really liked! Once we started talking, I felt he was a bit too nice, though. Although the conversation was easy, we just didn't seem to click, and I wasn't as engrossed as I was on the previous date. I felt like I actually didn't have that much in common with Andy. It surprised me, considering he was, on paper, my ideal man. I sent him my email address, but I'm not sure I'll bother with a second date."
Ellie's verdict: "I'm really surprised! The date has shown me that the stereotype I've been looking for might not be the right one. Or at least I don't have to stick to it quite so rigidly! Although I think I want a tall, dark handsome stranger - he's not in the same mould I had him in before. He might even be more of a creative, thoughtful type, after all. I suppose I've learnt that the person I really want to date is someone I click with, rather than someone who fits into a certain list of characteristics."
Lovestruck.com's 4 steps to breaking dating deja vu
1. If you're attracted to a certain type, question it! What do you hope they'll offer that others can't? Try to expand your parameters by thinking about what makes someone attractive - believe us, it's not just looks!
2. You say 'tomayto', he says 'tomarto'. Opposites can - and often do - attract. Life would be boring if we had a partner who matched our every trait, so don't dismiss someone who thinks, acts or dresses differently to you.
3. Think long-term. Ok, he may not be George Clooney, but is he generous and kind? Remember that lust does not equal love (although it helps!)
4. How will you know someone isn't right for you if you don't give them a chance? Be optimistic and make that dating-type change. You may just surprise yourself.
Visit www.lovestruck.com to help you find the perfect man. You can even find out who's free for lunch or drinks after work every day!
If you're single and like the idea of instant gratification, this is for you. A new Manchester dating site offers just that, thanks to its unique ability to match you with other singles who live and work nearby. Members can click a button which reveals they're 'free for lunch' and 'free tonight', so you can be on a date within minutes of registering. Whatever happened to The Rules?
Efficient dating with workday quickies
10 March 2008
Sick of Match? You're not alone - although we do love the Cupid & Fate ad campaign. Here's another option: find someone who works near you, then meet up with them this lunchtime - or after work - or, hell, during work (their suggestion, not ours).
Captivated by the retro-cartoon graphics and multitude of witticisms, I signed up for the free two-day trial. (Full disclosure: As I've already found my perfect man, the plan is to take my photo-less profile down before it goes live, so I won't be regaling you with tales of mid-day rendezvous. But if one of you single readers would like to sign up and do so, fab! Please get in touch.)
The profile questions are the ones you'd expect: do you smoke/drink/have kids, what do you like to do/read/think/wear, along with some space for your own words on your gorgeous self (again, their words, but see how nice it sounds?).
And then there's the important one: By what tube station do you work?
I entered Mansion House (in honour of my husband), and hit Finish. In searching the Little Black Book (cute, right?) for a guy between 35-38 who works in my/his area, one comes up. He looks good. A further nine work by St. Paul's, and another 19 work by Bank. In fact, the profile for one of the Bank guys is definitely going over to my catch of a single friend...
From there, we move west across London, past Victoria to...Canary Wharf, which features more bachelors.
And if you're open for business, you can select a tag that you're free for lunch/dinner/all day/not at all - just making that spontaneous coffee even easier.
Of course, the downside of meeting people around your office is that you'll run into them when getting lunch at Pret or stopping by the shoe repair place.
But the upside? Convenience on so many levels.
Dally not dear heart. Sign up now.
Those stuck for a date this Valentine's can find a love match working just around the corner, thanks to some new features on the www.lovestruck.com site.
The "FreeForLunch" and "FreeTonight" features allow Lovestruck.com members to simply click a button on their profile that'll enable them to automatically appear on dedicated instant-dating pages.
Visit those pages, see who else is available there and ping off an email - who knows there could be a date waiting nearby for either lunch or after-work drinks. "This is immediate dating: no waiting, no endless emailing, no winking. It's live second-to-second flirting," says site founder Brett Harding.
Lovestruck - Love online
Easyjet in-flight magazine
Stuck for a date this Valentine's? Perhaps a dating site might work for you...
"I was really cynical about joining a dating site a few months ago, but I was working in London, one of the best cities in the world with plenty of amazing people and still not finding anyone. I joined Lovestruck.com because they match you with others who work nearby, which seemed the best way to meet all those men I quite fancied in the street who passed me by. I was really nervous the first time I agreed to a lunchdate, as often people can be very different from their written profile and photo. Luckily, he was actually better in the flesh and we really hit it off. Sadly, he had to move to the other side of the world. I was recently informed that I was Lovestruck.com's most popular female, which boosted my confidence, and made me chuckle. I'm finally enjoying the whole dating experience, it's also the easiest solution as I'm so busy with work."
"Like most guys my hunt for the perfect woman was never meant to end in the mysterious nether-world of online dating. I had a horrible feeling I was going to end up in a strange parallel universe of librarians, recluses and people who were afraid of daylight. But I eventually decided that if it didn't kill my love life then it should at least enhance it. So, in 20 minutes I was up on the site, and 10 minutes after that a normal (yes, really) and extremely pretty girl had, well, pushed my button. So I guess you could say I'm a convert." www.lovestruck.com
Find last-minute love on Valentine's Day
City singles looking for last-minute love could be just a click away from their dream date this Valentine's Day. Dating website Lovestruck.com has set up a service for members to find same day lunch or dinner dates. Lovestruck.com matches its members according to the area they work in, making it easier for last-minute romance.
Meet the web's most wanted single women
They get marriage proposals, hundreds of messages and men falling over themselves for a date. So what are these four online daters doing that's so, so right?
26-year old sales executive, Clara Davies, was showcased on Lovestruck.com's 'Monday Morning Matches' and received more emails in her first month than any other woman. What makes her so wanted?
Jenni Trent Hughes, life coach and co-presenter of 'Perfect Match' says 'This is one of the best profiles I've ever seen. Clara's chatty writing style shows she's a unique and more importantly, interesting, woman. You don't often come across a 26-year old who's into adrenalin sports and listens to the Beach Boys - what's a guy not to like? If he's going to be bored after reading a paragraph about you, he certainly won't relish the prospect of a whole evening, so pick the most unique traits of your character for your profile and focus on them for your online dating profile.'
Clare Watson, celebrity stylist at tramp2vamp.com says 'This headshot will definitely attract the guys as it's so natural. It shows all her features and she hasn't caked the make-up on, so we get a clear look at her. The worst thing to do is go for a retouched or a studio pic when online dating, as that screams fake and shallow.'
An admirer's view: 'When I spotted Clara on Lovestruck.com it was impossible to resist getting in touch - she sounded really approachable and her kooky interests drew me in. We arranged to meet for a drink and she was about 150 hours late, but that only heightened the anticipation and made me see that she was as independent as her profile seemed. The date completely lived up to expectations - she was engaging and fun, and I didn't realise the time until we were shown the door by the bar staff.'
What Clara says: 'I was a bit wary about the whole internet dating thing at first - it's always smacked of desperation. But I have to say it's worked more than I have ever thought it would! I can't believe that even when I'm up to my eyes in work, hair scraped back and no make-up my profile is flirting on my behalf and men seem really interested. I'm so flattered. I've finally let myself believe I'm more than just plain old Clara and I've got dates lined up for the next three weeks!'
Londoners and New Yorkers in the same Love Boat
New York Sun
11 December 2007
With so much work at the office, who has time for dating? In London, over 10,000 busy, hard-working people have found a solution. Thanks to an online dating service called Lovestruck.com, these romantic hopefuls leave their desks for a quick lunch date, or meet for a drink at the end of the day — without straying too far from the office.
If there's no chemistry, a guy or gal can just return to work or head home without too much awkwardness. And if there's a spark, the two have their working neighborhood in common as a good beginning.
Now Lovestruck.com is coming to New York, and the first 2,000 people who sign up receive a free membership.
Marketing consultant Brett Harding, who set up the site, based the search engine on where people work. "It's totally different to anything else that is out there," Harding told Reuters.
Using the work-based approach to finding romance bridges the chasm between speed dating and normal dating.
"Speed dating is three minutes and mentally exhausting as you circle the room and talk to people. Conventional dating is time intensive and you do invest an awful lot in it," he said. "You know if the chemistry is there in minutes. If you go out at lunchtime you have the perfect get-out clause — I've got to get back to the office."
Whether you work near Piccadilly Circus or Times Square, there may be something exciting happening around the corner.
"This is fantastic for the busy, single London and New York professionals who know what they want," Harding said.
No time to be lonely
10 December 2007
One in 10 online daters will invent an 'imaginary' partner to put a stop to unwanted enquiries about their love lives this Xmas. If you're struggling to find a filly to fill a space at the Xmas lunch table then try lovestruck.com. This time-sensitive dating service is designed to hook you up with people who work nearby.
"For a good hit rate be and fill the content of your message with mentions of stuff in her profile", says lovestruck founder Brett Harding.
Our Love Story: Christmas Special
4 December 2007
Christmas has a very special meaning for this lady. Read on to see how she found love during the festive season...
'I joined lovestruck.com last December as I wasn't looking forward to another lonely Christmas at home with the family. Shortly after I signed up, I spotted Tom. He said he'd joined for the same reason as me, so we decided to meet on Christmas Eve and share a festive drink. We really hit it off and by Boxing Day, we were choosing belated Christmas gifts for each other. We then spent New Year's Eve together in Ireland. We became inseparable. He might not have made it to Christmas dinner last year, but he'll definitely be around the table this year!'
Lovestruck.com at various locations
5 November 2007
Finding someone you can share your life with - or even just an evening date - can be tough in London. To help ease the trauma, lovestrucklondon.com has evolved from its former shape as a lunchtime dating website.
Distance can play a big role in whether a relationship is successful, so lovestrucklondon.com allows you to search for potential partners by the nearest Tube stations or landmark to where you work. This way you're more likely to find someone who works in the same industry.
Lovestruck.com is now available for city singles to mingle in the following locations: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin, New York and Chicago.
Find love online
The Meet: Suggest meeting for a mid-week lunch. If there's no attraction, you can 'have to get back to work' after a quick coffee says Brett Harding, founder of lovestruck.com, "For evening dates, choose somewhere close to the station or bus stop," says Harding. "If she's squeezed into her most sadistic heels for you, don't reward her with a hike. And always give her the seat facing into the bar/restaurant. It's basic chivalry and it'll stop your eye wandering.;
Increase your online chances
25 September 2007
Unassuming (username withheld) from West London, claims he's sartorially challenged, can't cook for love nor money and drives a car that cost less than his toaster - yet over 2000 females have shown an interest in the marketing man who possesses the 'most-viewed male profile' on dating site www.lovestrucklondon.com.
His much-viewed blog has also received 350 'winks' from admiring lasses and so far he's been on a dozen dates. "That does include one with a lesbian who was trying to make her ex jealous and a girl who wanted to get a business deal out of me!" he explains. So what is it that makes his profile such a popular page?
According to him, the three key steps to online success are to be:
Be her Mister Right
13 September 2007
With an estimated six million of us dabbling in online dating the competition is stiff to say the least. The margin between romantic victory and lonely defeat often hinges on your personal profile. Knowing what and what not to say can be the deal breaker for the woman in search of 'Mr Right' and summing yourself up in one paragraph isn't easy. Brett Harding, founder of dating site lovestruck.com, has spotted a few golden rules among his site's members entries that help them stand out from the crowd:
Play-up the positive
"Highlight the things you like," says Harding. "This is the easiest way to form a snapshot in words. Certainly don't list of things you hate - negativity is so not hot."
Avoid clichés... like the plague
If you describe yourself as someone who likes 'going out and meeting friends, or staying in with a bottle of wine and a DVD', then frankly you sound like everyone she's ever met. Be original.
Make them smile
Use humour. A 'GSOH' is at the top of many daters' shopping lists. But don't just say you're funny, show that you're funny - write about what makes you laugh or even funny things that have happened to you on your profile. This shows you're fun and not taking yourself too seriously.
9 August 2007
This lively London online dating site - formerly LunchdateLondon.com - is designed for busy Londoners too caught up in the City maelstrom to find love. The main draw of the newly relaunched site is a sophisticated search engine which enables members to look for potential romantic interest by location of workplace as well as the more traditional search criteria.
More than 12,000 Londoners have become members since last year, proving the appeal of dating someone who works near you - and most likely in a similar industry.
UK online dating review
Debbie Does Dating
23 July 2007
If you are a busy professional in London, than LunchdateLondon is the site for you. You'll get access to potential dates who work near your tube stop. The idea is you can meet them for lunch, a quick drink, or afternoon coffee - meaning more dates, less wasted time.
LunchdateLondon is a great UK dating site: it's simple and easy to use, low cost and the quality of the members is high. If you are looking for some mid-day romance, then try a free 5 day trial membership that offers full member access.
Too busy for romance? Find love over lunch
1 November 2006
Busy Londoners who sacrifice their love life for their career are being given the chance to meet their perfect match – over a sandwich in their lunch hour. A new dating site for London, www.lunchdateLondon.com, pairs off people working near to each other who want to find romance but don't have much spare time and need to be back at their desks within an hour or so.
Marketing consultant Brett Harding, who set up the site, believes that matching people by their job location helps to ease first-date jitters and can help overcome the traditional British reserve.
"We based our search engine on where you work. It's totally different to anything else that is out there," Harding told Reuters. "They could be working within 500 metres of where you are and yet you never had the guts to talk to them."
His advice? Keep the first date short and sweet. "If you click, great – see them that evening for something a little more romantic" he said. "But if you don't, you can down your pinot or panini and say your goodbyes."
Harding, who boasts over 2,000 profiles on the site after running an advertising flyer campaign outside London subway stations, wants to export his site to New York, Chicago and Sydney. He says using the work-based approach to finding romance bridges the chasm between speed dating and normal dating.
"Speed dating is three minutes and mentally exhausting as you circle the room and talk to people. Conventional dating is time intensive and you do invest an awful lot in it," he said. "You know if the chemistry is there in minutes. If you go out at lunchtime you have the perfect get-out clause – I've got to get back to the office."
Critics may accuse Harding of knocking romance on the head – and Harding agrees that his approach is more practical than romantic. "But what is romantic about getting drunk in a nightclub and not being able to hear a word they say? In the daytime it's safer for women and it is cheaper than a full evening date," he said.
The site managed to pair off 50 couples in the first nine weeks after it was set up with happy customers proving to be the best way of spreading the news.
"I find that good word of mouth is worth many advertising campaigns. This is fantastic for the busy, single London professional who knows what they want," Harding said.
Make a date with a romantic website
12 October 2006
Living the high-flying executive life in Canary Wharf is all well and good – but it won't leave you much time for love. Although the estate is crawling with eligible Wharfers, it's difficult to meet Mr or Miss Right when you're chained to your desk.
But a new American-style dating concept is sweeping the Wharf which looks set to change all that. London dating website lunchdatelondon.com aims to help busy Londoners find love in their lunch hour. It lists singles by their profession and the area where they work, rather than where they live.
The website is based on the idea that, as even the busiest of London professionals has to pop out for a sandwich at some point, they can combine their break with an informal date.
The London online dating site was launched in September by Brett Harding after he found his own social life curtailed by work commitments.
"About a year ago I was a marketing consultant for Barclays and spent quite a lot of time in Canary Wharf," he says. "I noticed it had a young, attractive population and at lunchtime it was absolutely crazy."
Lunchtime dating is popular in fast-paced cities such as New York, where the workforce must make the most of every free moment. It's a unique concept here, however, where our famed 'British Reserve' has seen many of us waste an entire evening on a dire date.
"You tend to know whether you fancy someone within three minutes of meeting. At the end of the day it's all about chemistry," Brett says. "Alot of people have very good manners and will last it out until closing time on an evening date. With lunchtime dating, if you don't click you can use going back to the office as a get-out clause."
Since its launch seven weeks ago, London online dating agency lunchdatelondon.com has amassed 3,500 registered users and more than 1,600 profiles have so far been uploaded. Profiles are sorted by key criteria such as industry, age and proximity to a nominate Tube station. Daters are then assigned a 'heart' rating, so the most likely matches will be displayed first when searched. Phase two of lunchdatelondon.com's quest for London dating domination includes joining forces with a network of bars and restaurants. He says the site "saves you time and saves you money – a lunch date is alot cheaper. It's also less risky. You'll have to go back to work so you won't do something you'll end up regretting."
Singletons can now find love in their lunch hours
11 September 2006
Busy professionals in the Docklands can now find love in their lunch hour thanks to a new London dating website which matches members who work in the same area.
LunchdateLondon.com caters for professional singles without the time, or inclination, to spend whole evenings trawling London's bars or going on date after fruitless date, searching for that special someone to cuddle up to one sofa during winter.
The easy-to-use online dating website makes it easy to browse, flirt with and contact like-minded people and if you find a potential love match, meeting over lunch gives you a perfect get-out clause if it doesn't turn out as expected. You can even block people from contacting you or hide your profile if all the attention gets too much.
Creator of the lunch dating site, Brett Harding, of Islington, told The Docklands one of the main reasons the site came about was the hotbed of sexual tension produced by the hustle and bustle of almost 80,000 professionals in Canary Wharf. He said: "Lunchdatelondon.com is the first dating site to destigmatise online dating in London. It makes dating in London fun." He also says "It's much easier dating someone you have something in common with. Meeting people who work in the same area will provide something to chat about straight away. And by hooking up at lunchtime or for a quick drink after work, your evenings are still your own – until, of course, you fall in love."
Since the London-based internet dating site launched six weeks ago 3,300 people have registered and there are 1,500 full profiles.
What to see and do this week – Lunchdatelondon
2 October 2006
Too busy to find love? Well now an innovative new online dating website will sort out your romantic prospects at lunchtime. LunchdateLondon.com gives online dating a new twist by matching single professional Londoners who work in the same area of London. Instead of committing to a whole evening together they can meet in their lunch hour or for a quick drink after work.
The service provides an ideal way for busy professionals without the time to spend whole evenings searching London's bars or enduring date after fruitless date via traditional matchmaking sites. By hooking up at lunchtime or for a quick drink after work, your evenings are still your own – until, that is, you find love.
Was it good for you too?