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Gillian McCallum looks me in the eye with glee and poses the matchmaking world’s thorniest question: “Do you know what’s the number one deal-breaker?” She means the single quality in a man or woman that’s most likely to make them un-dateable to someone else. McCallum’s certainly going to know the answer, as CEO of Britain’s oldest and best-known personal introductions agency, Drawing Down the Moon (DDM), which is currently celebrating its 35th anniversary.

I duly run through a long list of the kind of attributes, or habits that might put a lonely heart off a potential partner: smoking, poor personal hygiene, misogyny, declaring yourself a rampant feminist, living on doughnuts, having no income, NSOH (no sense of humour), watching Mrs Brown’s Boys, asexuality, religious zeal? She keeps shaking her head and eventually I cave in. “What is the top no-no?” McCallum leans forward and says crisply, “Brexit!” Not only are her clientele’s thoughts on leaving the EU totally non-negotiable, McCallum says Remainers are far more vehemently opposed to Brexiteers than vice versa, “They won’t even consider meeting someone who voted to quit. They spit tacks.”

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Valentine’s Day is here again! After the hustle and bustle of Christmas, followed by the partying at New Year, Valentine’s – the one day each year that we celebrate being in a relationship has arrived again.

Of course this is a wonderful and fun time for couples, but what about those of us yet to meet the right person? Well, the cupids at Drawing Down the Moon have resolved to ensure that you make the most of this celebration, by getting out there and meeting new people.

One of the wonderful things about venturing out and doing something new on Valentine’s Day is that you are pretty much guaranteed that anyone else standing around on their own is single too. Take a risk, and make this your year for romance…

Here follows the official DDM top ten list of activities for London singles on Valentine’s Day 2019. Make sure you click the hyperlinks for more information.

Drawing Down the Moon are known as the matchmaker for Thinking People. So what a superb opportunity to exercise your mind and get to the Royal Institution for their evening lecture entitled – What is Love. Hosted by the outstanding Dr. Kate Devlin, and equally high achieving Laura Mucha – they will be discussing their own personal love stories, covering online dating and the future of sexual companion robots…

If you would like to escape from all of the roses tomorrow, Kew Gardens continues to host their extraordinary Orchid Festival which opened earlier this week. What better way to scout a potential new partner than across scented flowers?

Alternatively you could find one of the many Lock and Key events going on across London this week. Who will be unlocking your heart? For more information see Time Out Magazine

Perhaps you are in the mood for some poetry? Well you’re in luck! Keats House has a late opening. Where better to explore at this romantic time of year than the home of the Romantic poet John Keats. As if a museum and literary centre were not enough, for Valentine’s they even have a pop up bar too. What a wonderful combination!

If you have not yet drawn on the gods to bring the moon down for your true love, why not spend an evening stargazing at The Royal Observatory? Playing a huge role in the history of astronomy and navigation, The Royal Observatory may well play a part in the history of your next relationship…

If this all sounds a bit too humdrum and mainstream for you, then this is the perfect antidote. you may never have even heard of this before, but taking the UK by storm and, an activity that may not have been suggested before – Whistle Punks Axe Throwing. Requiring absolutely no further explanation, make new friends AND remove any sign of heart break from your life. We have solid reports that axe throwing in a “safe space” can be extremely cathartic.

Fentimans and Duck & Dry have partnered up on Valentine’s day alongside Bloom & Wild as part of their Love yourself campaign. They are offering Love Yourself drinks menus at Duck & Dry’s four salons across London. Self-care is as important today as it is on any other day of the year – so do drink in moderation! Here at DDM we recommend a maximum of two drinks on any date. Best foot forward and all that, and with only two drinks your flirting skills are far more likely to be on point.

Why not be swept off your feet by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. For one night only, they are conducting a Valentine’s Day Opera Gala at Cadogan Hall. You need to make sure you don’t restrict yourself when thinking through opportunities to meet members of the opposite sex. Sure you can’t talk through the gala, but for the bold, intermission has always been designed for mingling…

9. Of course, one thing you must do is apply to Drawing Down the Moon. The UK’s oldest matchmaking company, we celebrate our 35th Anniversary this year. We have a friendly, approachable and award winning team, let us help you find love in 2019!

Already have other plans? Don’t forget to keep all of the venues and experiences above in mind over the coming year. Keep an open mind and an open heart and you never know when you might bump into someone worth getting to know better.

We wish you luck, and encourage you to have an open mind.

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We are thrilled to announce that Drawing Down the Moon matchmaker Andrea Galvin has been awarded Best Matchmaker 2019 at the prestigious international iDate awards in Florida.
Andrea is well regarded by her clients and throughout the matchmaking industry, and is well deserving of this award.

On hearing the news of her win Andrea said “I am humbled to have been given this award in our 35th year. I know I would not have won it without either the support of the matchmaking team at DDM or without the support of the clients that I am lucky to be working with. I am looking forward to continuing to change the lives of the clients who choose Drawing Down the Moon as their matchmaker in 2019.”

Established in a Bloomsbury bookshop in 1984, Drawing Down the Moon has changed the lives of tens of thousands of people who are now in long term relationships, married, and who have gone on to have children through the introductions and support provided by the team at DDM. This is the third year running that a DDM matchmaker has won the prestigious Best Matchmaker award at iDate in Florida.

If you would like the opportunity to work with Drawing Down the Moon to see if we might be able to change your dating life in 2019, please click the link below to apply to us now. We look forward to working with you in your dating journey.

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Drawing Down the Moon Matchmaking are thrilled to announce that Cait Baker has been named a Finalist by iDate for the coveted award of Best International Dating Coach. Cait is highly regarded by her clients as the go-to for their dating dilemma’s and has successfully coached a wide variety of clients with every possible background and experience. From single mothers and fathers entering the dating world for the first time in many years, to coaching clients who perhaps need a little encouragement and confidence to take those vital steps required to make the most of their romantic lives.

Cait is lauded as a highly personable communicator and trusted friend to the clients who have had their dating lives altered forever.

Drawing Down the Moon last won best dating coach in 2015 when owner Mary Balfour won best Dating Coach at iDate in 2016. Cait hopes to emulate that success with the same award in 2019!

If you would like to vote for Cait to win the award for Best International Date Coach, then please do vote using the link below.

https://idateawards.com/vote-miami-2019.php

If you would like to work with Cait, to transform your dating and relationship life, with the expertise of a skilled date coach and matchmaker, please apply below.

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Halloween holds its own terrifying turn for singles; not only is it a time to dress up in fancy dress, daters know it is the official start of Cuffing Season!

Whilst kids don their capes and fangs, and freshers take the Mean Girls cue, singletons go on the prowl for a partner who can weather the winter months with them. Here at DDM we are dedicated to establishing long term relationships.
Cuffing season can be the perfect entry for daters to get themselves into a long term relationship. However, beware! There are plenty of unscrupulous types out there who use cuffing season for cuffing season’s sake. As matchmakers we are lovers of long-term relationships. So we are here to ensure that instead of falling for a “seasonal cuffer” you identify and keep a suitable partner who is just as serious about a monogamous relationship as you are.
SO! Fear not! Follow our handy guide below in order to de-mask a seasonal cuffer, before things get too hair-raising…

1. The summer snaps of a seasonal cuffer tell you all you need to know about their cuffing abilities. A cuffer wants a partner to keep them warm through the winter nights; summer’s a different story. Scroll back through their summer snaps. If they’re full of countless nights on the town and wild festivals without a partner in sight, then that’s not a new leaf they’re turning over… it’s a cuff!
2. You met them earlier in the year and they’re only now emerging from the woodwork. Where have they been over the long, warm, summer months? Chances are they have been playing the field and having fun. Nothing wrong with fun, but might not be the best sign of someone looking to commit to you, now. Alarm bells should be ringing. If their ‘long time no speak’ text comes as you’re dusting off your winter coat then you need to grab your coat and run.
3. You seem to spend all of your time Netflix + warming up. If they’re hesitant to roam the Christmas markets with you, and meet your friends for a mulled wine or parade you proudly at restaurants and events then you might just be a winter blanket. If you’re spending more time in your PJs than listening to DJ’s then it might be time to reassess.
4. It’s all moving at 100mph. Slow things down. If someone comes crashing into your life like a hurricane and sweeps you off your feet, then they sometimes leave you just as fast… leaving chaos in their wake. Relationships often burn out if they go full throttle. Don’t forget, the brightest light burns the fastest. Not a sure-fire way to know you have a Cuffer, but a good piece of advice to follow no matter when or who you are dating…
5. You spend more time ‘cuddling’ than conversing. Cuddlers are notorious cuffers; this could just be someone who needs somebody to touch and feel during the cold months.
6. They have a wandering eye. They could be looking for the real deal, and unfortunately the real deal might not be you! Pay attention to the attention they are giving you, as well as the attention they are giving other people. Don’t put too much pressure on at the beginning though – this scares off women as much as it does men. But a few weeks into a new relationship, it is best to keep your eyes wide open.
7. You’re the plus one to their Christmas do’s and NYE plans are in motion, but your plans don’t seem to extend past February. That’s because…
8. Valentine’s day = D-day! Cuffing season officially ends on the 13th February. Winter is over and Valentine’s day is just a little bit too serious! You have been a lovely winter comfort blanket and, having survived winter in your warm embrace, your former partner is set to break off those chains, ready for another summer of fun.

Keep a look out for these tell-tale signs and leave the cuffers to find one another. In the meantime, focus on finding someone who is in if for the long haul. Over family holidays and the new year there is a natural incline in the number of people looking for serious, long term relationships. They are out there… just leave the handcuffs at home.

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My name is Rebecca Humphries and I am not a victim”.

Thus begins the opening lines of a statement from actor Rebecca Humphries, whose partner of 5 five years, Seann Walsh, was caught by the British media committing an infidelity with his fellow Strictly Come Dancing partner Katya Jones…in public… on Rebecca’s birthday.

Rebecca chose her words carefully and deliberately; and when you read what follows they become all the more powerful. In a nutshell – she was abused – emotionally abused. Her alleged abuser called her ‘psycho’, ‘nuts’ and ‘mental’ when she questioned his inappropriate behaviour. This constitutes emotional abuse by a partner she loved.

In Rebecca’s statement, she refuses to identify as a victim. Instead, she uses her words to inspire other women and men to identify the emotional abusers in their lives.

There is a term in dating, clinical research and research literature for this kind of behaviour: it is ‘gaslighting’. This is a type of psychological manipulation designed to ensure that your target, the target of your ‘gaslighting’, doubts themselves. It makes them question their instincts, their view on the world and sometimes their own sanity. The words that she claims he used, along with the lying and deceit that we know about, are classic ‘gaslighting’ techniques. Worth noting is that the usual peddlers of ‘gaslighting’ are typically psychopaths and narcissists.

We are also told that while Seann and Katya were “incredibly good” and put out a media statement apologising for their actions, neither of them have bothered to speak to Rebecca. Their subsequent silence with her is deafening.

She is not a victim, but in the same way that Seann callously flirted with and snogged another woman, on his girlfriend’s birthday, becoming a media firestorm, Rebecca Humphries came out with a simple, succinct, black and white statement that will quite rightly have career and life-altering effects on him. Rebecca spoke her truth. So, this has gone from being a situation (see Gillian’s initial poll asking whether the kiss constituted betrayal) as depicted by him, as a loving partner who found themselves in a one-off drunken moment, to an alleged abuser with a pattern of abusive behaviour.

I cannot see a way in which he can continue on Strictly Come Dancing and it wouldn’t surprise me if he puts out a statement to say he has to drop out for personal reasons to “re-build” his life or his relationship, or to work on his demons. But! Having failed to contact his ex-girlfriend, or take the time to explain his actions, and vitally apologise to her, this is career ending stuff. Interestingly, in a recent poll that CEO Gillian McCallum carried out 43% of voters thought that Seann should continue on the show.

In Scotland, this kind of abusive, manipulative name calling behaviour, is quite rightly illegal, and can result in a prison sentence. Rebecca urges other women (and I would caution, other men) who are in abusive relationships to take a stance on this name calling, ‘gaslighting’ and bullying and take the bold step of sharing the truth of the relationship with friends and relatives.

And in one final, devastating blow and with a fabulously understated flourish, it becomes clear that Seann may be a professional comedian, but she is the one with the sense of humour; she’s taken Seann down… and is keeping the cat!

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Drawing Down the Moon | Best dating blog.. by Drawing Down The Moon - 5M ago

Now entering its 35th year, Drawing Down the Moon is one of the longest-running matchmaking firms in the UK. It has stayed in business so long by offering a trustworthy, values-driven service and providing caring support to every client seeking their assistance. The matchmakers specialize in pairing up compatible UK singles and facilitating long-term relationships. Around 75% of new clients join Drawing Down the Moon because they know a friend, colleague, or family member who has had success with the matchmakers. In the coming year, Drawing Down the Moon’s team plans to continue collaborating with dating professionals and setting the standard for how a world-class matchmaking firm operates.

Please click the link below to read the full article.

https://www.datingnews.com/movers-and-shakers/drawing-down-the-moon-matchmaking-firm-celebrates-35-years/

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A day in the life of a Drawing Down the Moon matchmaker often starts long before I’ve even tasted my morning coffee, and today is no different. The day after a client date is always an exciting one. Although we don’t officially start until 10.00am, I wake around 6.30am and am in the office for around 9. This morning, as soon as I woke up, I wasted very little time in checking my emails in the hope of finding a message from my new client John with feedback on his first date which took place last night. My eagerness is rewarded; “Date was a great success!” he says, “we are a perfect match, so thank you and well done. Are you free for a call at midday?”

I haven’t checked my diary yet, but I would move heaven and earth to make myself available for this feedback call, and am pleased that I have no prior client engagements. I send a quick reply to John, and get ready to head to the office.

As I walk across Manchester Square I often think that there is nowhere in London better qualified to host Drawing Down the Moon than Marylebone. I climb the stairs of the beautiful townhouse we call home, and before I have even reached my desk am accosted by my fellow matchmakers with feedback on their own client dates from the night before. It would appear, I smile to myself, that I am not the only matchmaker who couldn’t wait until they got to the office to check on their client feedback.

After exchanging happy stories with my fellow matchmakers, the sound of the buzzer announces the arrival of our first client of the day. He is welcomed by Cait, who runs upstairs to fetch refreshments and warmly relates to us just how polite and charming he is, I can’t wait to head down to meet him.

In our meeting we cover his relationship history, his educational background, and delve into the most important parts – his values and outlook on life. I always love finding out how our happy singles found us, 75% do so through recommendation from a friend, relative or work colleague. We decide as a team whether or not we are able to support a client and take them on. I am certain that he is a catch, and am very pleased that the rest of the team are in agreement with me. Once back in the office it is time to deal with the flurry of feedback calls I missed during the course of my meeting. Talking, laughing and sharing in their joy, I happily pass two hours speaking with my clients as they regale me with tales of their most recent dates. All the while however, I cannot help but look forward with particular excitement to my call with John.

He certainly doesn’t disappoint me. “Without tempting fate, it couldn’t have gone better,” he enthuses, “the match was 100% spot on, and of every date I have been on in the last 15 years, Gwen is by far the most compatible. I can see why you matched us”

I cannot contain my happiness. Andrea, Gwen’s matchmaker, has abandoned her desk and is at my shoulder, desperate to hear what John has to say. We spend almost half an hour on the phone, and we end the call with the wonderful news that he has already set a date to meet again with Gwen in just a few days’ time.

I relate John’s side of the conversation to Andrea, who reaches immediately for the telephone to call Gwen. You can imagine our shared happiness at hearing John’s sentiments repeated by his match. The rest of my afternoon is spent interviewing other potential clients and matching with the team. We don’t use algorithms so all of our matching is done with our colleagues. I end the day by calling back my first client of the day to let him know that the team are keen to take him on and I am pleased to extend membership to him. With numerous dates set up for this evening, I take last minute calls from enthusiastic and excited clients who are looking for some last minute dating advice. As I leave the office, I make sure I leave my phone on, although I have a relaxing night ahead, I am hoping to receive more dating feedback before I drift off to sleep, nervously thinking through tonights dates, looking forward to waking up to brand new client feedback.

Very few careers allow you to potentially positively change peoples lives forever, and being a matchmaker at DDM allows me to do just that.

*Client names and some details have been changed to protect strict rules of client confidentiality

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As the buzz of the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Megan Markle is being fluttered throughout the country, we at DDM have been thinking about how they first met. There has been much speculation over who it was that made the introduction. Word on the street is that it friend Violet von Westenholz was the matchmaker behind the successful match. The name doesn’t matter so much as the fact that a good friend took the time to make the introduction that would change two people’s lives forever.

For those of us who haven’t been blessed with a fairy godmother to introduce them to the prince of their dreams, here is the Drawing Down the Moon guide to meeting your very own Prince or Princess:

1 – Philanthropic work

Most Royals – both domestic and international – are patrons or founding members of their own charities. They understand the value not only of giving back but also enjoy focusing their energies on creating a better world for future generations to live in. In the UK The Queen is known for her charitable work and is patron of over 600 charities but the Duke of Edinburgh beats her with over 700! Prince Charles founded The Princes’ Trust which works hard to help young people into jobs and education.

2 – Succeed in your work

Members of Royal families often excel in their careers. Queen Maxima of The Netherlands was a banker in New York at an investment firm and Princess Charlene of Monaco was a competitive swimmer and competed in the Olympics. Princesses can come from all kinds of backgrounds, Grace Kelly most famously was a stunning and world famous actress before gaining her title in Monaco.

3 – A Prince may be hiding in plain sight

Members of Royal families no longer spend most of their time locked away in a gloomy remote castle. More than ever senior members of Royal households can be found at a huge variety of events and good causes. From polo, to clay pigeon shooting, the Olympics and everything in between. As is well known, Prince William met the future Duchess of Cambridge while they were both at St Andrews and we all know how well that turned out.

4 – Be Open and Flexible

No matter who you are dating it is always important to have an open heart and open mind. You cannot enter into arelationship with expectations of how you expect the other person to act, behave or “be”! It just isn’t feasible. First dates can be notoriously discomforting, and even if you take them in your stride, the other person might not. First dates are nerve racking. It takes a while for people to feel entirely comfortable around people they have just met. Be positive!

5 – The essence of dignity and grace

As we all know princes and princesses are poised and usually have bags of style. Even the young royals are not immune. Prince George’s outfits are often sold out within hours of them being spotted in the press. For many, many decades, beautiful brides have styled their wedding dresses on the royal wedding of their time. Meghan Markle’s dress is just the latest such example of style, sophistication, and a touch of Hollywood glamour.

The Golden Rule!

If you have tried all other avenues to find your Prince or Princess (to no avail – yet!) call Drawing Down the Moon so that we can get you matched with enchanting, well-educated and sophisticated Ms. Or Mr. Right! And as for Princes and Princesses? We are FAR too discrete to discuss those…

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A day in the life of a Drawing Down the Moon matchmaker often starts long before I’ve even tasted my morning coffee, and today is no different. The day after a client date is always an exciting one. Although we don’t officially start until 10.00am, I wake around 6.30am and am in the office for around 9. This morning, as soon as I woke up, I wasted very little time in checking my emails in the hope of finding a message from my new client John with feedback on his first date which took place last night. My eagerness is rewarded; “Date was a great success!” he says, “we are a perfect match, so thank you and well done. Are you free for a call at midday?”

I haven’t checked my diary yet, but I would move heaven and earth to make myself available for this feedback call, and am pleased that I have no prior client engagements. I send a quick reply to John, and get ready to head to the office.

As I walk across Manchester Square I often think that there is nowhere in London better qualified to host Drawing Down the Moon than Marylebone. I climb the stairs of the beautiful townhouse we call home, and before I have even reached my desk am accosted by my fellow matchmakers with feedback on their own client dates from the night before. It would appear, I smile to myself, that I am not the only matchmaker who couldn’t wait until they got to the office to check on their client feedback.

After exchanging happy stories with my fellow matchmakers, the sound of the buzzer announces the arrival of our first client of the day. He is welcomed by Cait, who runs upstairs to fetch refreshments and warmly relates to us just how polite and charming he is, I can’t wait to head down to meet him.

In our meeting we cover his relationship history, his educational background, and delve into the most important parts – his values and outlook on life. I always love finding out how our happy singles found us, 75% do so through recommendation from a friend, relative or work colleague. We decide as a team whether or not we are able to support a client and take them on. I am certain that he is a catch, and am very pleased that the rest of the team are in agreement with me. Once back in the office it is time to deal with the flurry of feedback calls I missed during the course of my meeting. Talking, laughing and sharing in their joy, I happily pass two hours speaking with my clients as they regale me with tales of their most recent dates. All the while however, I cannot help but look forward with particular excitement to my call with John.

He certainly doesn’t disappoint me. “Without tempting fate, it couldn’t have gone better,” he enthuses, “the match was 100% spot on, and of every date I have been on in the last 15 years, Gwen is by far the most compatible. I can see why you matched us”

I cannot contain my happiness. Andrea, Gwen’s matchmaker, has abandoned her desk and is at my shoulder, desperate to hear what John has to say. We spend almost half an hour on the phone, and we end the call with the wonderful news that he has already set a date to meet again with Gwen in just a few days’ time.

I relate John’s side of the conversation to Andrea, who reaches immediately for the telephone to call Gwen. You can imagine our shared happiness at hearing John’s sentiments repeated by his match. The rest of my afternoon is spent interviewing other potential clients and matching with the team. We don’t use algorithms so all of our matching is done with our colleagues. I end the day by calling back my first client of the day to let him know that the team are keen to take him on and I am pleased to extend membership to him. With numerous dates set up for this evening, I take last minute calls from enthusiastic and excited clients who are looking for some last minute dating advice. As I leave the office, I make sure I leave my phone on, although I have a relaxing night ahead, I am hoping to receive more dating feedback before I drift off to sleep, nervously thinking through tonights dates, looking forward to waking up to brand new client feedback.

Very few careers allow you to potentially positively change peoples lives forever, and being a matchmaker at DDM allows me to do just that.

*Client names and some details have been changed to protect strict rules of client confidentiality

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