Most exclusive dating agency in the world

These are my top spa and fitness refresh tips for spring 2018.

Sometimes my love life feels like a late night trip to the fried chicken shop.

Tinder, hook ups and one-night stands are the ultimate in fast food dating – fine if that’s what you’re in the mood for, but unsatisfying and guilt-inducing if not.

Plus, things seem to move so fast that every potential relationship is over before I’ve blinked.

But it was still very different to going on a date with a random bloke I met in a bar, or someone on Tinder.

Mainly because the emphasis was on getting to know each other – there was no expectation that we’d be going home together at the end of the night (as Mairead had already said “it’s certainly not a shag-fest”).

Over a period of 6-18 months, you will meet a series of attractive, intelligent, dynamic people, all of whom have been pre-assessed as being compatible with you.

The agency was set up 12 years ago by former hotelier Mairead Molloy when she saw a gap in the market for a high-end, personal dating service.The other party gets the message pretty quickly, and that’s the end of that.When someone says it out loud it’s surprisingly difficult to hear.I found out far more about both my dates than you normally do when the wine’s flowing and you’re busy trying to work out if the other person’s going to make a move or not.Both evenings ended at a civilised hour with a peck on the cheek – after which, Jo calls me with feedback – which is excruciating.Like everyone I’ve become so used to virtual interaction, and to an ill-defined dating life characterised with shades of grey, that the whole experience felt quite alien. We cushion our interactions with the opposite sex with euphemisms and half-truths, lest we hurt their feelings or they hurt ours.In many ways the experience was easier – a third party conducting things meant there were no miscommunication, and the amount of money people were sinking meant everyone was pretty committed to meeting a partner. We limit ourselves tentative text messages and emails so we never get hurt. That’s the point though – Berkley International is designed for the sort of people who have neither the time or the inclination to mess around.It sounds like a mind-boggling amount of money to me, but with 12 offices around the world and more to follow, they’re clearly doing something right.Before I get ready to go on my dates, I meet Mairead to discuss my possible matches (Mairead deals with the international business, while the lovely Jo manages the London office and usually deals with local clients).And maybe that’s something plebs like me can learn from.The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.

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