The internet has taken over the business of love, but one Yorkshire woman wants to put the humanity back into dating.
In the last decade or so, internet dating has become the norm for those looking for a relationship, but is it really the best way to meet the love of your life? Not according to self-confessed romantic Claire Charlesworth who had recently launched Finding Mr Darcy, a new matchmaking and singles event service.
“Everyone I have spoken to about this wants to get away from the detached nature of internet dating and enjoy a face to face service tailored specifically to them.”
A recent study of more than 1,000 online dating app users found 44 per cent of UK participants had lied in their profile. More than 20 per cent of women said they used photos of their younger selves, and more than 40 per cent of men said they had a better job than they actually did.
“It all adds up to a depressing picture for singles looking for someone to enjoy spending time with,” said Claire, who described her Yorkshire Moors home as a modern day Austen landscape. “Finding Mr Darcy is different. Not only does it provide a personal match making service it also arranges events and activities where singles can meet like-minded potential partners in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
“The idea came from my own experience. After I divorced I joined the online dating world but always found it to be very insincere,” said Claire. “It’s just what you do when you want to meet someone because it’s perceived as easy. You can do it from home, hiding behind a screen.
“If you meet someone face-to-face, you get the chance to talk and see how you get on naturally.
“I am quite shy” continued Claire, “so just having an organised activity surrounded by people in a similar situation gives you that talking point. You can start a conversation and see how well you get on.”
Forthcoming Finding Mr Darcy events will include activities such as clay pigeon shooting, cocktail evenings and quad biking. “It’s not rocket science, or complicated computer algorithms, it’s just old-fashioned human interaction and chemistry.”
And the name? “I called it Finding Mr Darcy because when I was 18, I loved the works of Jane Austen so I put a notice up in the village, seeking my very own Mr Darcy. One day I was approached by a guy asking if he could apply for the role. “We were together for 14 years, and married for eight of those, so it worked!”
Finding Mr Darcy first event will be a relaxed cocktails and canapes evening at the Yorkshire Hotel at 7.30pm on February 15. To book your ticket, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to https://findingmrdarcy.com/