In­stant at­trac­tion not al­ways the key

Match-mak­ing ex­pert shares what she has learned from years of help­ing peo­ple find ‘the one’

Life & Style Weekend - - YOU - With He­len Hawkes

I’VE known match­maker Yvonne Allen for years, ever since she started to be­come vo­cal about what she’d learnt about re­la­tion­ships through one of Aus­tralia’s most suc­cess­ful dat­ing agen­cies.

Yvonne is still match­ing up mostly suc­cess­ful 30-some­thing pro­fes­sion­als but she’s seen the whole dat­ing scene change be­cause of the in­ter­net.

“These days the fo­cus on in­stant at­trac­tion and high chem­istry of­ten gets in the way of al­low­ing a re­la­tion­ship to de­velop,” she tells me.

“Given their abil­ity to con­tact count­less num­bers of sin­gles via dat­ing sites, many who are look­ing for love keep re­peat­ing a dis­ap­point­ing cy­cle of one-date-only hook ups.”

That’s self-de­feat­ing, she says, be­cause “real re­la­tion­ships re­quire time to de­velop as do the skills needed for sus­tain­ing a mu­tu­ally re­ward­ing part­ner­ship”.

Adds Yvonne: “An­other prob­lem is that in­stant ‘fast-love’ also ex­ac­er­bates the se­ri­ous so­cial iso­la­tion phe­nom­e­non ev­i­dent in an era where it is com­mon to have hun­dreds of Face­book re­la­tion­ships but few that are face-to-face and real.

“In fact, it seems that many young peo­ple have no idea of how to de­velop mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ships at all.”

It’s in­ter­est­ing stuff for sin­gles from some­one who has seen thou­sands of re­la­tion­ships suc­ceed or fail. So what ad­vice does she have for those who are se­ri­ous about find­ing a part­ner?

Rather than rush into a full on re­la­tion­ship, to take time get­ting to know each other and to en­joy devel­op­ing a friend­ship first, says Yvonne.

She also en­cour­ages those seek­ing a part­ner to re­ally look at them­selves, rather than cre­at­ing men­tal wish lists of what that spe­cial some­one should look like and who they should be.

“All too of­ten those look­ing for love have set ideas about what their ideal per­son should look or be like with­out ask­ing them­selves “why would the per­son I seek be look­ing for me?” says Yvonne. “This tends to be a very pow­er­ful ques­tion that can change some­one’s en­tire out­look.”

While her views might sound old-fash­ioned, they’re full of com­mon sense. So maybe stop click­ing on Tin­der and start­ing click­ing in real life.

It’s sur­pris­ing but true that many of Yvonne’s suc­cess­ful matches never saw a photo be­fore they met the per­son of their dreams.

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