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Let’s face it, Londoners are not nearly as au fait with the dating scene as New Yorkers.But contrary to popular belief, the lack of romance that we are so globally – and erroneously – famed for, is not to blame.
To begin with, we lack that pragmatic work-play approach that so many New Yorkers adopt in attempting to navigate their hectic, have it all lifestyles.
Our American contemporaries use networking as a reason to – at all times and in all places – have a business card at the ready for the next potential dinner date or deal.
As much a product of the American myth of self-made men (you make your own luck son!
) as the desire to meet someone great, the dictum is to be date-ready at all times.
I’ll never forget a year spent working in New York’s buzzing Midtown, pacing 8 blocks daily up Sixth Avenue to my little grey cubicle. Of course in London, I’d rip up the business card and run, but in this town, it was different.
Stopping at the traffic lights en route, it was not unusual to be chatted up by a suited commuter waiting for his time to cross. I’d genuinely consider my options, and around one in four times, would agree to meet my new companion for a casual Chipotle lunch. The ‘it’s not who you do, it’s what you do’ mode of dating is the new big thing.
Not a comforting glass of wine or mood-lit banquette in sight. The US start-up that got people talking last year was How About We, a dating service that matches people based on dates they want to go on, rather than traditional profiling.
Now in the UK, we have sites like the recent Doing Something which is based on a similar model.
And there’s also a wealth of new location and taste based apps out there, including the excellent True View, matching members based on where they’ve ‘checked in’ around London.
The idea is that if you like this burger joint, and I like this burger joint, then we’ve already at least got one thing in common. Similarly, young professionals are becoming more open-minded about attending dating events.
At Social Concierge, the online side of the business is a just a recommendation site for great bars and restaurants to take your date.
However, the core of the company is the activity that goes on offline.