We’d love to find someone under the mistletoe: In a blind date special, four singletons hope to find their Mr Right in time for Christmas
- Genevieve Zawada advised single women on dating this festive season
- The dating expert advises viewing dating as the biggest job application of life
- She suggests broadening your horizon and sticking to just three deal-breakers
- Four single women over age thirty shared what they’re looking for in a partner
- Would you like us to arrange a date? if you would like to date one of our Christmas lonely hearts email: [email protected]
Mistletoe, romantic films and lots of cosy family gatherings — there’s no doubt Christmas can be tough when you’re single.
But what can you do to improve your chances of finding someone special at this time of year? And how do you know Mr Right when you find him?
In a Blind Date special, we asked top dating expert Genevieve Zawada to dish out some festive advice to women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
If you, or someone you know, might be right for one of our Christmas Crackers, why not play Cupid and get in touch?
Nathalie Storozynski, 37
Lives in: Southend, Essex.
Occupation: Senior recruitment consultant.
Relationship history: I’ve been in two seven-year relationships, and have an eight-year-old son. But I’ve been single for three years, and this time of year is really hard. I watch family members who are coupled up and happy, and find myself envying what they have.
Nathalie Storozynski, 37, (pictured) from Essex has been single for three years and now hopes to meet a funny, kind man who is financially independent
I spend only every other Christmas with my son, so this year I will be waking up alone and my family feel obliged to invite me over. While it’s lovely of them, I don’t like people feeling sorry for me.
But finding someone isn’t easy. I’ll try using a dating site for a couple of weeks, then get disheartened. You can talk to someone for a few days then find you’ve wasted your time because they drift off, or you decide it’s a mismatch.
Ideal man: Basically a tall Viking! They have to be funny, kind and enjoy good films. I’m not bothered by what a man does for a living or if he has kids, as long as he’s financially independent and driven.
Celebrity crush: Alexander Skarsgard, Tom Hardy.
About me: I’m a film geek and love music, especially going to festivals and gigs. I go out dancing every other weekend.
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I’m an extrovert and friends say I’m funny, though it’s hard to find a man to joke with who really keeps me on my toes.
I’m proud to be independent and self-sufficient, but it can be intimidating to men. I’m looking for romance, not financial support or help around the house.
A tall man would be great, so they can give proper cuddles, especially when I’m wearing heels.
Natasha Anne Horner, 45
Lives in: Bromley, Kent.
Occupation: Beauty business owner.
Relationship history: I’ve had three long-term relationships, one with the father of my two grown-up sons. But I’ve spent the past five years on my own, providing my own stability and confidence.
Now I just want someone who is sorted in their life. How hard can that be?
The last date I went on, we’d chatted a lot by text beforehand, but as soon as we met . . . if there had been a revolving door I’d have run through it. He was nothing like his online pictures.
Natasha Anne Horner, 45, (pictured) from Kent has been single for the past five years but aspires to meet someone to add to her life
None of my friends is single, and at Christmas this can be a real challenge.
Recently, I was in a bar in London with friends, and realised it was me and four other couples. I’m confident in social situations, but as the night wore on and they started to get touchy-feely, it got a bit much. And that feels like the way things are always going to be at my age.
Ideal man: I want someone to add to my life, rather than fill it. Funny goes a long way, and I like men who don’t take themselves too seriously. I have an aversion to dad jeans, and I love Irish men.
Celebrity crush: Cillian Murphy.
About me: I’m a home-bird, but one who likes to go out for dinner, movies and drinks sometimes.
My sons are 22 and 18 now, so I’ve got lots of time for me again. I’m itching to have fun, travel and be adventurous.
Lisa Anne McBride, 50
Lives in: Clevedon, Somerset.
Occupation: Medical aesthetic practitioner.
Relationship history: I got divorced in 2012 after my husband left me for another woman. Being back on the dating scene is very strange. There seem to be a lot of time-wasters out there, and when I have had a date, they’ve waited for me to organise it all.
My worst fear is of being let down; opening my heart again and having it walked all over.
Lisa Anne McBride, 50, (pictured) from Somerset divorced from her husband in 2012 and now hopes to meet an older man
But single life is a challenge at Christmas. Social as I am, I no longer want to be the one left alone at dinner parties. I miss the busy social life I had when I was part of a couple and want someone who can enjoy this with me.
Ideal man: I’d like a man a bit older than me. I want to be treated well and with respect, and I think that comes with age. On a date, I’d like a man to take charge, to order from the menu for both of us but not in a controlling way. Tall and attractive too, please!
Celebrity crush: Kevin Costner, Chris Hemsworth, Jason Momoa.
About me: I am a very happy, independent, loving woman who wants to meet a caring life-partner. I have a grown-up daughter living in New York — where I worked for ten years — and a 14-year-old son, who lives with me.
Sharman Mitchell, 69
Lives in: Stockport.
Occupation: Retired from the advertising industry.
Relationship history: I was widowed 29 years ago, and had to work and bring up a child. My son was only ten and I didn’t want him to come home to men in the house, so I waited until he’d left home before I dated again.
Since then, I’ve enjoyed one long-term relationship and a few shorter ones. I’m not looking for marriage, but do want romance.
Sharman Mitchell, 69, (pictured) from Stockport hopes to find romance without getting married
Ideal man: I’m looking for humour, kindness and manners. I don’t want the usual person for my age group, someone who expects his slippers by the side of the fire, dinner on the table at 5.30pm and is ready for cocoa by 9.30pm. Anyone whose ideal date is a trip to a garden centre for afternoon tea need not apply!
I’m also dead against fleeces, shoes with Velcro straps to make them easy to put on so the hip replacement doesn’t disengage, and men whose hearing aid batteries are always whirring.
Celebrity crush: Ray Winstone, Jeff Goldblum.
About me: I’m a larger-than-life personality who worked in advertising and the airline business for more than 40 years. I am flirtatious, funny and adventurous. And all I want for Christmas is a man to cook for, have dinner with and cuddle.
Genevieve Zawada, founder of dating agency Elect Club, is an award-winning matchmaker. She says:
- Preparation is key: See this as the biggest job application of your life. If you were applying for a job, you’d get help with your CV and styling advice. Put in the same ground work when it comes to finding love.
- Broaden your horizons: Men tend to be more open to who they initially date, but then won’t take it further unless they really want to. Whereas a lot of women begin armed with a long checklist. They could miss out on someone amazing. Decide on three deal-breakers — such as financial independence, loving sport or being well-mannered — then be open to everything else.
- Demand more: If someone hasn’t brushed their hair to meet you, or made little effort with their online dating profile, it should raise a red flag.
- Be blunt and ask: ‘What are you looking for? Where would you take me on a date? Are your profile pictures recent?’ It’s the best way to see who means business, and who’s just after a little fun.
- Talk first: After messaging each other a few times, say: ‘Let’s chat on the phone to see if we get on.’ When you text or email someone, your brain paints a picture of them that’s sometimes far from the truth. When you actually hear someone’s voice, it’s another piece of the puzzle — and easier to tell if something’s wrong.
- Let him do the work: For the first date, let him make the plans — his approach will tell you a lot about him and what he wants from you.
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