Perhaps the excitement around Valentine’s Day has sparked the topic for today’s blog… If you’re single in London, then you probably know how tough the dating game is. Singles in the city have been the source of countless films, like Bridget Jones’ Diary, books and television series. It’s tough in any large city to make your way through the dating quagmire on the way to finding your perfect match. If you’re moving to London as a swinging single it can take some time to develop a social network and start dating. Many Londoners’ are turning to dating agencies to ensure that they are ever without a date of an evening. Using a dating agency is fun; you get to meet friends and there is even the possibility of romance.

The Dating Game Goes Way Back!

You’re pretty safe when it comes to experienced dating agencies in London. The oldest documented agency was back in 1650. Yes, that far back! It was established as an office that offered advice on varying matters for a small sum. The founder, Henry Robinson, also arranged suitable matches between suitable people for a sum. So you see, London has been dating for ages, literally! And today’s agencies, speed dating services and internet hook ups are not that far removed from the more genteel times of a bygone era.

The idea of arranged marriage is not new and is still practiced in some areas of the world as a prudent and responsible way of joining families together. It was only after World War II that people were really allowed to choose for themselves who they were allowed to date and eventually marry. In the nobility and gentry, the process of arranged marriages has long been regarded as the norm. You were simply expected to marry whomever your parents told you to marry.

In terms of established dating agencies in London during the late 18th century, there were a number run by clergymen. Despite being popular, it had tongues wagging all over town. Men and women were classed, according to the wealth or their dowry, and were allowed to write a two line advertisement extolling their best features and future prospects. Owning land was the biggest prerequisite and had all the dowager aunts running to the newspapers looking for suitable matches for their nieces and unmarried daughters. Marriage and dating by extension was a highly lucrative and social part of the landscape of the times. In 1825 an agency was established in Bishopsgate, London where suitable gentlemen and ladies to advertise for a prospective match.

Today, dating and being elegantly single is more a matter of choice than for a lack of offers, but despite this people continue to use dating services to meet new people, forge friendships and find love in the big city. I spoke yesterday about one of the most exciting trends to sweep through London from America; the concept of speed dating. It’s an exciting evening out, and you get to meet a range of different people without the pressure or the issues surrounding a first date. If you find someone you fancy and the person you fancy, fancies you, then you’ll be able to exchange numbers and meet again.

Whatever you have planned for tonight – Enjoy being in love in this lovely city! If you’re looking for some last minute tips on where to go – check out this guide from Time Out – London