If Tinder is delivering too many duds, try the introduction agency for the unattached elite
It’s a Monday night and I am putting on my glad rags for a night on the tiles with the capital’s single elite. I am not an obvious candidate for this excursion, being riddled with flu and in a relationship with a man so perfect that people are forever inquiring why he’s with me. However, no matter: the cause of investigative journalism never sleeps, and if I am required back in the single field then into the field I will sally.
My destination is a “discreet drinks party” run by the Elect Club, billed as an exclusive introduction agency for London’s high-fliers. Their invitation makes mention of “eligible bachelors” cherry-picked by a squadron of roving ambassadors, high-profile female clients “exhausted” by their romantic quest and women tired of being pursued for their money or to be “trophy” girlfriends. The latter are not issues likely to come my way. However, for those who do suffer, 90 per cent are said to find love through the company.
“These women don’t have the time to waste searching for Mr Right,” writes the CEO and “passionpreneur” Genevieve Zawada, making me wonder what they do have time for. “Why is Miss London City single at 27?” asks the dating coach Zoe McClymont. I feel it would be an anachronism not to be single at 27, albeit not as much of an anachronism as beauty pageants.
However, it would be fair to say that although I have my prejudices about dating companies, they are legion. In the name of hackery I have had truck with another “elite” set-up and found it intent on uniting the world’s richest windbags with women on the make. Think: so many Alan Partridges proclaiming: “I am calling from an exclusive beach — would you like to join me on said exclusive beach?” Answer: not much.
Meanwhile, even the relatively benign banalities of internet dating have proved intolerable. My buttocks are yet to unclench from a text message that ran: “I truely [sic] love you and truely want to be with you.” I was truly appalled.
I am also the host of epic singles bashes of my own, and know that the formula isn’t rocket science, namely: venue + people + booze = intercourse. Marriages and offspring have also emerged out of these festivities, although I obviously considered this letting the side down.
As a consequence I am feeling distinctly sniffy when I arrive at a City members’ club. Despite being braced for the genre “short, oily banker”, my first impressions are positive: packed room, gender balance, smattering of the tall, a few young bucks, women showing skin and a promising degree of flirtation. I catch myself moving into slink mode.
The mood is also preternaturally friendly. Within seconds of slinking, I am embraced by McClymont and never on my own again for the rest of the evening. Genevieve and Zoe make a corking double-act. The former is angelic, eyes swimming with emotion. Her sidekick is a fox: lithe-limbed and carmine-pouted. Gen, at 45, is married; Zoe, 34, is a single girl. Both are warm, tactile, and have instant name-recall on their 100 or so guests, keeping a constant eye out for the floundering.