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BESPOKE SERVICE BEATS NET DATING

THE online dating experience tends to involve browsing endless pictures of strangers before plumping for someone based on a mutual interest in alcohol. This is not always a successful recipe. <br /><br />I&rsquo;ve had one date spill an entire pint of beer over me, while another informed me very loudly that she&rsquo;d slept with her previous date (no pressure!), and a third ended the evening by getting into a slanging match with a homeless man.<br /><br />My experiencing with Courting.com was an altogether different affair. I met with one of the team in a plush private members&rsquo; club, where she reeled off a list of questions about the kind of women I like, where my ideal date would take place and even the intrusive (but I suppose necessary): &ldquo;So why did your last relationship end?&rdquo;.<br /><br />After a good half hour of gentle probing, they had me categorised and filed away, ready for touting around the ladyfolk of London.<br /><br />Within days, I had a wine-tasting date set up at Vinopolis in Borough with Jessie, a 25-year-old Tasmanian. The date idea was a hit. The evening kicked off with a short lesson in wine-tasting, followed by a few hours drinking good quality plonk from around the globe.<br /><br />Booze being the lubricant on which relationships are founded, we were soon chatting away happily enough. With surprising restraint, I even managed to refrain from saying &ldquo;Full body, lovely nose&hellip; and the wine&rsquo;s not too bad either&rdquo;.<br /><br />Whether Jessie and I were a great match was a different matter. We had fun, but it was clear by the end of the evening that we weren&rsquo;t going to be the 21st century&rsquo;s Romeo and Juliet. Or even Jordan and Peter, for that matter.<br /><br />But the bespoke service at Just Courting did have something different to offer. I have met one or two charming and fun-loving women through dating via the internet, but for every good date you find that way, there seem to be a dozen stinkers. <br /><br />The agency experience offers a better chance of finding someone suitable, if only because their team of personality pontiffs can assess the likelihood of a match from the outside.<br /><br />I&rsquo;d consider using Just Courting again, if only for the ego-stroking fuss they make over you. Until then, the hunt goes on.