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Dispelling the myths of the so called dating gurus

Thursday May 16, 2013

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The dating industry is worth billions and some have got very, very rich indeed off the back of one of our greatest fears: remaining alone. There are literally thousands of books dedicated to teaching people how to 'pick up' - The little tricks and tactics to make you absolutely  irresistible to all but the deceased.

I hate to ruin it for everyone, particularly with so much money at stake but I will tell you something absolutely unequivocal: It's all a lie.

You may groan that it's obvious, but it's clearly not. I know this from the questions I'm asked at every speed dating event I host in London that generally revolve around “what tips or tricks do you have?”

This is an impossible question to respond to because, in truth, there is no answer. Sure I can tell people to try this or that but these tips generally revolve around NOT doing something.

The question revolves around the misconception that there is a definitive way to approach people of the opposite sex. That the 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' dichotomy is true. It isn't. If it were, why do same sex folk have the same concerns around relationships as the straights?

The misconception is based on the idea that, with the right 'trick' we can make anyone like us. In reality there are some people we're simply not attracted to. This goes for everyone and there is no magic bullet that will change this.

All you really can do is improve your chances of showing the best that you have and entering situations where you're more likely to meet someone who finds such things attractive.

And this is why I'm so down on the dating industry. Most of the 'techniques' and 'advice' offered are based on basic psychological principles that we all utilise and display in everyday life. Which is fine. The problem is that in pathologising the 'problem' of dating and presenting step by step 'fixes' leads to people adopting pick up techniques that in fact mask their best traits. Instead of being ourselves we become a caricature of a dating guide character; a cartoon mimic of the tips and tricks dating writers have simplified.

So to return to the question of what 'tips' I offer, they revolve around the simple principles of being relaxed and being yourself.

So next time you find yourself looking for that quick fix solution to 'trick' someone into being attracted to you, move your focus away from the target of your desire. Take a deep breath, think about specifics of your own body language and how it represents you, think about how to make yourself feel more confident and above all think about how to relax and enjoy yourself.

There are plenty of guides out there on such things and many can be very helpful, but I guarantee none of them will be found on the 'dating guide' shelf.

If you want to get some advice from John first hand we hope to see you at an event very soon!




The beauty of Speed Dating London lies in its no-nonsense approach. You take an equal number of single girls and guys, put them in a room and give them a few minutes to chat with every other member of the opposite sex.

When you get there

Original speed dating events in London normally begin at 7.30pm. You will need to register with our hosts and to begin with they will issue you with a score sheet. This will help you to keep track of the singles that you would like to meet again and perhaps go on a date with. After a short period of mingling, your host for the evening who will run through detailed instructions and give you your starting position if you are a guy or table for the event if you are a girl.

Meet & Mingle

A London speed dating event is split into two halves, each lasting around an hour, there will be an interval at half time of about 15 minutes for speed dating London. You will have between 4 and 5 minutes with each person, after which you need to tick a box on your score sheet - "yes, I would like to meet this person again" or "no. Thanks but no thanks". Or "friend" if you'd like to get to know them platonically. Make sure that you do this after each date to keep track. Afterwards there is an opportunity for everyone to meet and mingle informally - this is often where the real action begins, so make sure you don't disappear too quickly!

Complete your score sheet

After the event you simply tick who you liked on the Original Dating website and the site works about your matches automatically. If the dates you have ticked as a "yes" have reciprocated you have a match. You will be able to view the first names and message them via our site online without revealing your email address until you are ready to. You'll be having proper first dates in no time.