New Dating Agency Offers Companionship As Well As A Love Match

A NEW Northern Ireland dating agency has revealed that despite technological advances people are “more disconnected” than ever before.

Co-Founder of the matchmaking company, Soirée Society, Claire Hughes, said that despite the rise in social networking and dating sites that in some ways it’s become harder to connect with people face to face.

She said: “Despite advances in technology and social networking, people are more disconnected than ever.

“People are fearful of online dating due to the stories of scams, married people and worries about meeting a complete stranger.

“They are starting to see the downside of online dating sites, with concerns around false profiles, security issues and a lack of privacy.”

Claire Hughes and Denise McNally

Claire Hughes and Denise McNally

Claire’s company say they remove this fear by offering a “safe”, confidential and discreet service” to help people find that special someone.

Claire added: “There are many different stories and reasons behind each individual and their situation.

“People often find themselves feeling alone because ‘the children have all flown the nest’, their friends are all in partnerships or married and they feel like ‘the gooseberry in their company’ or they ‘married’ their career earlier on in life and in retirement now have no one to talk to.”

Soirée Society, who cater for anyone over the age of 25, receive a peak in sign-ups from people aged 35-55 and 60-75.

Relying on the tradition of matchmaking, Claire and her associate Denise focus on facilitating mutually beneficial introductions for Northern Ireland’s singles.

Men and women are matched following extensive research and profiling; including one-to-one consultations which examine personality, values, emotional availability, body language and physical appearance – none of which are possible through an online application.

A 69 year old widowed housewife from Co. Fermanagh described her experiences with Soirée Society: “When I lost my husband it was like losing half of myself. Through life you become known as one – the names go together like the books when we were young – Dick & Dora, Peter & Jane, Jack & Jill.

“Then all of a sudden you are an odd number and you feel like people feel sorry for you and only invite you along to things out of sympathy.

“I craved friendship and companionship and thought that everyone out there was looking for love, romance and sex, but I have discovered through Soirée that there are really respectable and kind gentlemen just looking for the same as me.

“All of a sudden I feel like a woman again instead of that dreadful term ‘widow’.”

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Jessikah Hope Stenson
A young, enthusiastic writer who appreciates a good scone.