Dating tips with Ultimate Matchmaker Lara Asprey

Lara and her team for UKTV's Ultimate Matchmaker

Lara and her team for UKTV's Ultimate Matchmaker - Credit: Archant

In February, our thoughts turn to romance, but it’s not easy finding Mr or Ms Right these days. We spoke to Ultimate Matchmaker Lara Asprey, who has some wise advice.

Lara Asprey

Lara Asprey - Credit: Archant

If you’re not familiar with Lara, can I suggest you remedy that? Ultimate Matchmaker, the TV series where we met her and her colleagues at her Chelsea-based agency, Asprey Introductions, was by turns hilarious and fascinating. Watch it – you’ll love it, I guarantee.

Lara, author of The Very British Rules of Dating: How to Find and Keep Your Perfect Gentleman (and Yes, He Does Exist!) spends much time offering advice to her clients, who pay fees starting at £9,000, on how to attract a mate and here shares some smart tips with us.

‘If you’re are single and have means to have a nice life it can often feel like you’ve tried everything,’ she says, ‘but the most important thing is to keep trying, to be a yes person – the more things that you say yes to the better. Even if you just can’t be bothered and just want to go home and put on your PJs and watch Bridget Jones for he umpteenth time, don’t. Go out, do the dinner party you don’t really want to, go to the charity do…whatever it is, just do it for a month and see how different things are.

‘The other thing I would say is that us Brits aren’t very good at being friendly to people. Men aren’t very good at chatting us up and women aren’t very good at being receptive to strangers. What we really need to do is learn to encourage guys who are trying to approach us. Finally, guys - and girls actually - need to get better at banter. The most important thing is that we need to get the ice broken, fast.’

Lara and her team will often style clients before a first date. I ask Lara what style tips she can offer to men and women seeking to attract a soul mate.

‘A lot of women wear all black on a first date, they think it makes them look more mysterious and slimmer – but actually it’s not the most interesting thing. It’s good to be a little bolder and wear some colour, it’ll make you seem more light hearted and fun and not like you’re going to an interview, or are in mourning. With guys, I am seeing so much facial hair and these ponytail buns – I just think what is going on? Why is this a trend? I always want to take them and give them a haircut and a shave and say “there, you see?!”

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‘But…don’t dress up too much for a first date: you have to be able to breathe and eat. There’s nothing less attractive than being on a date with someone who just pushes a salad around their plate, that ‘I don’t really eat much on Wednesdays’ attitude.

‘I think the best first date though is actually not dinner. I think you want to go somewhere for a drink; you don’t want to have anything planned longer than like 90 minutes, maximum, because you want to get out if you don’t like it. A drink or two, then “actually, I’ve got to go” because you want to keep that suspense going, the mystery. You also don’t want to talk about everything on that first date, you want to ask lots of questions but not give much away. Your date will feel really engaged, but you will leave yourself very mysterious. A date in a lovely place, where the music isn’t too loud – hotel bars are great for this.’

So, there you go…now it’s over to you!

The Ultimate Matchmaker plays on W Channel.

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