Model Alex Leigh on the dating game

In the month when there is a day dedicated to romance, Cheshire's favourite model dips her toe into the dating pool

Having found myself newly single this year, I thought what better subject can I investigate for the Love month issue of Living Edge than dating? Love it or hate it, when you are back on that shelf you are going to have to encounter it at some point.

So what are the dating crazes sweeping the country at the moment? The first one I found was a kind of ‘Facebook meets Cilla.’ It’s called ‘Lovestruck’ and each major city has its own branch. It’s very similar to Facebook in that it’s free to join, you set up a profile and off you go. The difference is that it’s not friendship or networking that members are after – it’s love.

Speed-dating is now big business. Manchester city centre has events on virtually every night of the week and Cheshire is not far behind. For an average of �20 you can have up to 20 three-minute dates in one evening! Originally formulated by Rabbi Aish Ha Torrah for Jewish singles to meet, it has now become a worldwide phenomenon. In the world we live in now, where we simply don’t have time to waste, the idea is genius.

A recent survey found that many of the things we usually find important when choosing a mate such as education, income and manners became irrelevant on speed dates. Physical attractiveness was top of most people’s list, with men paying attention to personal grooming and wearing cologne having a significantly higher success rate. Take note, gentlemen, please!

For those of you who would rather meet a romantic interest through someone you already know, ‘Date my Friend’ parties are becoming increasingly popular. At gatherings, all guests must be single and bring at least one friend of the opposite sex with them. It’s the perfect way of ensuring you have a little background info on someone before you agree to a date.

The top craze in America right now is as wacky as you would expect: ‘Airtroductions’ is a New York based service that allows you to meet like-minded passengers on your travels. But beware – only do this on short haul flights as you don’t want to be stuck mid-air on an 11 hour flight with someone who makes your skin crawl!

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Being a girl who famously once called her father to ask for instructions about how to boil an egg, I think I have found the perfect answer – Dating Direct has monthly cooking classes for singles. It’s a great ice-breaker and even if you don’t find ‘the one’, you will have learned how to cook so that when you do find the lady or man of your dreams, you can find the way to their hearts!www.lovestruck.com/manchesterwww.elitespeeddating.co.uk/Speed-Dating-Wilmslowwww.msn.match.comwww.Airtroductions.comwww.datingdirect.com

Altrincham’s own Alex Leigh is a top model who writes exclusively for Living Edge. For more information about Alex’s style school go to www.taketwostyleschool.com