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четверг, 30 марта 2017 г.

Find my mate A DATE! We answered her best friend’s SOS to make over her love life

Melissa Stewart’s dating track record is enough to send Cupid to the dole queue. But could Fabulous fare any better? We answered her best friend’s SOS to make over her love life

THE MATCHMAKER



Kat Davison, 29, lives in north London and works in publishing. She says:
Matchmaker Kat (left) with dater Mel
"Think of a dating disaster and Mel's had it. From the guy who lunged at her with his tongue just a few minutes into their first date, to the bloke who spent the entire evening ignoring her and chatting to some drunk Australian about rugby. She's been there, got the 'hideous hook-up' T-shirt!
We always have a giggle about it, but I can tell she's disappointed when another date doesn't work out. So I figured I might have better luck picking a man for her! That's why I called Fabulous - I knew they'd help me find her a hottie, and give her the confidence to go for it. Plus, I thought it would be a lot of fun getting to choose Mel a date from a line-up of 10 Mr Maybes.
In the past, she's tried everything to find her Mr Right, from Mysinglefriend.com (I wrote her profile!), to wine tasting and lonely hearts ads. Despite this, she's still optimistic - she's not the sort of person who'll ever settle for second best.
Mel's a brilliant friend and great fun to be with, but I worry this fun side is all that potential boyfriends see. She lacks confidence on dates and says she's rubbish at flirting - she's more likely to crack a joke than bat her eyelashes.
I've lost count of the number of times she's called me to say a boy wants to be her friend rather than her boyfriend.
I'm hoping a Fabulous makeover will give Mel the confidence to try a sexier look on dates - she needs to unleash her inner flirt. Then I know she can seal the dating deal."
Mel is primped and preened

THE DATER



Time for some Dutch courage!
Melissa Stewart, 28, lives in Bristol and works in publishing. She says:
"My mantelpiece is groaning with invitations to friends' weddings this summer, and for once I'd like to not be the single girl stuck at a table of smug couples.
The last time I had a serious relationship was four years ago, with a guy I met while doing a postgrad course at uni. It fizzled out after eight months, when we finished our courses and moved to different cities for work.
I've been happily single since then, throwing myself into my career. But recently, as friends have begun to settle down, I've really wanted to meet my Mr Right. And boy, have I tried hard to meet him!


Stylist Lucie helps Mel pick an outfit
First, I tried speed dating - but it was so unrealistic. It's ridiculously intense, and you can't possibly make a judgement on a potential partner in just three minutes.
Internet dating seemed like a good idea, but the drawback is everyone's guilty of overselling themselves - me included. I've felt under pressure to live up to my online profile, or I've been disappointed when the guy I meet in real life doesn't match up to his.
The personal ad I placed did lead to a few nice dates, however the chemistry just wasn't there.
I worry I'm just not good at the whole 'dating' thing. When I'm nervous or trying to impress a guy, I tend to rely on my sense of humour. I think this can make me come across as quite a 'matey' girl - one boys want to take to the pub for a pint rather than romance.
Ready to go!
I'm also quite feisty and have strong opinions. Maybe men feel threatened by me.
I'd really like to meet a guy who's fun and doesn't take himself too seriously. Personality's far more important to me than looks, although I am a sucker for a bit of stubble! If I had a 'type' it would be cool indie guys who are really creative and laid-back.
I'm always up for trying something new, so having a makeover and going on a blind date picked out by Kat is another dating challenge to add to my résumé! Plus, she knows me better than anyone so I trust her to pick me someone nice.
I'm a bit nervous, but more excited, and I can't wait to get some tips from the stylist and relationship coach on improving my dating technique. Who knows what will happen?"
THE GUY



Kat chose Richard Shrimplin, 29, as Melissa's blind date. He lives in south London and is an architect. Kat says:
"Fabulous gave me a choice of 10 men to pair Mel off with, along with a photo of each one and a dating history.
Some I discounted based on their looks alone - they just weren't Mel's type. Some seemed a bit smooth and full of themselves, which she hates in a guy.
After careful consideration, I chose Richard. He's been single for a couple of months and has tried internet dating, like Mel. Plus he's tall, dark and handsome! He's also an architect, which suggests he has a creative streak."
THE EXPERTS



Before her date, Melissa had a consultation with relationship coach Georgina Burnett (left). She says:

"One of the main things standing in the way of Melissa and a successful relationship is her belief that she's not good enough, and that she's not what guys are looking for.
This feeling of inadequacy is rooted in a lack of confidence in her dating behaviour - caused by a succession of bad dates. She's putting the blame on herself for them not working out, when they probably just weren't the right men for her.
Although she's comfortable in other social occasions, she feels she's too casual on a date, and not flirty enough. She gets nervous and goes into 'mate' not 'date' mode.
Before she met Richard, I worked with Melissa to draw out her femininity. Sitting up straight will make her feel more elegant and making eye contact will give her confidence. I also advised her not to dominate the conversation with jokes and wisecracks.
All of this should help her make a distinction between the person she is on a date and the person she is when she's hanging out with her friends.
By repeating the mantra: 'I'm comfortable and happy with myself' in her head, she should push out some feelings of inadequacy."
For information on Georgina's relationship coaching, see Footprintcoaching.org.uk.
Fabulous stylist Lucie Clifford says:
"Mel has quite a prim and proper approach to dating fashion. Normally, she wears jeans and a blazer or a tea dress and ballet pumps. She never wears heels, and always has her hair down and unstyled.
As the relationship coach had worked on bringing out Melissa's inner elegance, I wanted to reflect that new-found confidence on the outside as well.
Mel's got an amazing figure, which I wanted to show off in tailored clothes. So I chose a monochrome body-con dress with a deep neckline to accentuate her curves. But getting her into a pair of killer four-inch heels took more persuasion - and practice to get her strutting sexily. After adding statement jewellery, a sleek up-do and a set of falsies to flutter, our girl was good to go."
 THE DATE



We sent Melissa and Richard to London's Malmaison Hotel for dinner and drinks.

Richard tries out one of his best one-liners










Mel says: 
"My initial impression of
Richard was: 'Wow - thank you, Kat!' He was gorgeous!
I was really nervous when I arrived at the hotel, but he quickly put me at ease by chatting away and making me laugh. If he had any first-date nerves, they didn't show.
Mel's confidence mantra works a treat
We chatted non-stop over a delicious dinner, and discovered we liked a lot of the same films and books.
Because of my makeover and the chat I'd had with Georgina, I felt more confident than I normally do on a date, and I think that came across.
Richard and I got on really well, and I definitely fancied him. But I'm not sure he fancied me back. Although he was very complimentary about my makeover, I just got the feeling I wasn't his type in the looks department.
Because I live in Bristol and Richard is in London, starting a relationship could be tricky. Logistics is clearly something Kat didn't consider when choosing my date!
But is it love at first sight?
As much as I fancied Richard, I'm sorry to report there wasn't any snogging at the end of our date. We did, however, swap phone numbers. So next time I'm in London, I hope we'll meet up as friends.
One thing that I have learned is Kat's clearly got great taste in men - I'd definitely let her set me up on a blind date again.
With my improved confidence I'm feeling really optimistic about meeting the right guy for me and wowing him with my dating prowess!"
For more information on Malmaison Hotel, London, see Malmaison-london.com.
THE VERDICT



Richard says: "I've never been on a blind date before, but my evening with Melissa was great. She's a very natural girl, easy to be with and a lot of fun. She looked absolutely stunning, stylish and elegant - a definite thumbs-up from me.
However, although we had a really fun evening, the spark just wasn't there for me. But having spent an evening in her company, I don't think it'll be long before she's snapped up!"
Kat's got great taste in men - she can set me up again
Kat says: "Mel sometimes moans she doesn't feel sexy, but after her makeover, she looked hot! She'd never have picked that outfit herself, but it really worked, and when she checked herself out in the mirror, I could see how confident she felt.
After the date, Mel and I met up for a bit of a post-mortem. She said that, at first, she was a bit intimidated by Richard's good looks, but once they got talking she relaxed and started really enjoying his company.
I'm glad I picked well, and I may meddle in Mel's love life again. Next time, though, I'll choose a guy who lives in the same city!"

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