And – here’s the crunch – it costs between £10,000 and £50,000 to join.It sounds like a mind-boggling amount of money to me, but with 12 offices around the world and more to follow, they’re clearly doing something right.
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So, when I was asked if I wanted to try out Berkley International, a personal dating service for the slightly more discerning patron, it seemed like a nice change of pace.
Essentially, if Tinder is Clapham High Street; Berkeley International is Cannes.
The agency was set up 12 years ago by former hotelier Mairead Molloy when she saw a gap in the market for a high-end, personal dating service.
They don’t use algorithms to match their clients, everything is based on personal introductions, the feedback they accumulate from you after each date you go on, and a good dose of gut instinct.
Sometimes my love life feels like a late night trip to the fried chicken shop.
Tinder, hook ups and one-night stands are the ultimate in fast food dating – fine if that’s what you’re in the mood for, but unsatisfying and guilt-inducing if not.Plus, things seem to move so fast that every potential relationship is over before I’ve blinked.And, as I’m always complaining, everything has become so cloaked in ambiguity, that there are 67 different levels of ‘not being in a relationship’ you have to go through before you’re allowed to call someone your significant other.I assume when she mentions DNA she’s referring to genetic disorders, but I’m wrong: “They want to know what their kids are going to look like – they want to know what gene pool they’re going to be in. People put invest in it so they can meet someone like them. The birth of mobile phones, social media, tweeting texting and chatting online have changed human nature. And that culture has spread into the dating world – people want what they want.” The agency is designed for cash-rich, time-poor people who don’t have countless free evenings to spend scouring bars, or online dating sites, for a potential partner – they want to cut to the chase.The set-up is distinctly old-fashioned, as Mairead explains: “We introduce you to a few people, and if you want to meet up, and they want to meet you, then we give the guy your number.The man calls you, the man arranges the date, the man picks you up, none of this ‘I’ll meet you at the tube at seven’ business. We didn’t go anywhere ridiculously expensive, for one date we went Dutch, for another he paid.