With more single people than ever living in the UK, just over 16 million, up from a little over 12 million in 2002, according to the Office of National Statistics, it’s no surprise that dating is a big-bucks business.
Many of the wealthiest singletons sign up to bespoke introduction agencies that cost from £1000 to £100,000. Simon Manasseh, 56, has coughed up £1795 twice for an annual subscription to dating agency Sara Eden. He says it has been worth the price tag: the first time, he met a woman with whom he had a relationship that lasted for two years. He rejoined last November and has been in a relationship with someone since earlier this year.
Manasseh, who lives in Windsor and works as head of aftersales, says he has used internet dating before, but adds that an agency has its advantages : “This way you get to meet people with common interests, and you know they are sincere in their intentions.”
when it comes to the first date he will often spend about £100 on dinner and drinks – and always foots the bill. “I’m a gentleman. I always pay on a first date.” He also invested £150 on professional pictures.” If you want to do something, do it properly. It’s all about first impressions.”