One on One With Top Matchmaker Caroline Brealey
By: Elizabeth Marie |
Caroline Brealey is a dating and relationships expert and also happens to be one of the UK’s top matchmakers. The founder of Mutual Attraction, London’s leading dating agency, Caroline believes that one should never settle in life or in love, and we absolutely agree! She was kind enough to answer a few of our most pressing dating questions! See below for her answers.
1. What is the dating mistake you see women making? And men?
As a matchmaker I see both men and women making the same mistake – having a ‘shopping list’. A list of physical features, personality traits and lifestyle choice’s that someone has to have before they’ll ever consider giving up an hour of their time to meet. The problem with having a checklist is that we’re real people. We don’t fit into neat tick boxes and often we don’t even really think about WHY we put things on our checklist. For example why does he have to be 6’0? Why does she have to have an interest in martial arts when you’ve only been to 1 class?! You’re looking for love not a party outfit so ditch the checklist and get to know people before you make a judgement. The saying you treat others how you would like to be treated is so apt when it comes to dating. We would find it ludicrous if a person we liked judged us on something so superficial so burn the checklist and don’t do it to others – you might be missing out on the best thing that could ever happen to you.
2. Let’s talk first date fashion! What is the perfect outfit for a woman to wear on a date? And a man?
Whatever your personal style is – opt for that. You should feel comfortable, there’s nothing worse than feeling fidgety or uncomfortable on a date. For me personally, I love a man in good jeans and a perfectly fitted shirt and blazer. Does it for me every time! For girls make that bit extra effort. Wear your best jewellery, put your nice make up on and do whatever you have to feel confident, gorgeous and happy.
3. What is your ideal dream date? Can be near or far, extravagant or a cozy evening at home.
I love nothing more than talking a walk with Christian, my boyfriend. But if I were to really pin down a favourite date it would have to be staying at a small country hotel in the Cotswolds, going for a long walk before taking a nap together and enjoying dinner out. We do this every year for my birthday and it feels such a treat. We go in January and there’s log fires, hot chocolate and no laptops allowed!
4. Dating can really take a toll on your confidence! Do you have any tips for single women who are starting to feel like they may never find love?
I love the quote from Charlotte in Sex and the City:
“I’ve been dating since I was 15. I’m exhausted. Where is he?”
Unless you were one of those people who marry their childhood sweetheart you’ve probably felt like this at some point and that’s ok. A lot of us say that dating should be ‘fun’ but when your confidence is at rock bottom it feels like a chore. When that happens it’s best to remove yourself from the dating scene for a while to give you the time, space and energy to focus on the one most important person – you. I know it sounds a little ‘airy fairy’ but you really have to look after yourself, emotionally and physically. Surround yourself with great friends, family, take a holiday, go after that dream job, take up a sport, try out ballroom dancing in private because you’re too embarrassed to tell anyone – whatever it is you want to do – do it. Forget about dating for a little while, put it on the back burner. Focus on you and amazing things will happen.
5. Describe the worst date you’ve ever been on! Don’t worry, you don’t have to name names!
Oh god I had a 3rd date with a guy, we went to an interactive show and he had far too much to drink. I was staying at his after and had already dropped my stuff off so whilst I would have just headed home given how drunk he was I had to go back to his to get my things. It was here he had chronic bowel movements whilst I stood in the living room in shock thinking ‘should I just do a runner’. I didn’t, I felt too bad, so instead I sat on his sofa rigid. I could hear EVERYTHING!
6. Who is your celebrity crush?
Chris Hemsworth shortly followed by Gerard Butler, especially when he was in P.S I love you. Me and my girly friends actually booked a weekend to Galway in Ireland after watching that movie!
7. 5 items every woman should have in her handbag?
1) Hand sanitizer!!
2) That 1 piece of make up you can’t leave the house without, for me it’s blusher.
3) Plasters – I’ve been caught out so many times in new shoes!
4) Mobile, especially on a date.
5) A bit of cash because the day you don’t have cash on you is the day you can’t pay via card and the cashpoint isn’t working!
8. Sex on the first date-yay or nay?
I think it’s best to wait but if it happens then so be it. Don’t beat yourself up. If a relationship is meant to happen it will. If he/she loses interest the next morning then they were never that into you in the first place. If you do sleep together on the first date you have to be prepared for that risk, it is a gamble.
9. What should a woman do if the man she’s dating begins to “ghost” – stops calling, cancels plans, etc?
Ouch. It’s painful when this happens and it’s something I’m really strict on at my matchmaking company Mutual Attraction. Life would be much simpler if we were honest and straightforward with one another but unfortunately when it comes to dating, most people prefer the ‘ghost’ tactic and start to play the vanishing act until the other person gets the picture!
The harsh reality is that if a guy starts to ghost on you, he’s just not interested. He probably likes you, just not enough to want to be with you. Is there anything worse that checking your phone and email constantly to see whether he’s called, text or emailed? At first give him the benefit of the doubt if it happens once or twice. Things really do happen in life that sometimes mean people need to rearrange dates. But if it happens more than a few times save yourself the heart ache and send him a message saying it was lovely to meet him but you’re really looking for someone a bit more present. Then be polite and wish him all the luck and happiness in the future. Then finally – delete his number!