Lunch Actually, Asia’s premier dating company, offers eligible singles the chance to get acquainted by matching and sending them on a date. The initial interview with Lunch Actually’s dating consultants is non-obligatory and free-of-charge. Clients only have to pay if they choose to become a member. Before any future client signs up, every interested individual is invited to Lunch Actually office for a chat to verify each person’s identification and eligibility. All personal information are kept confidential.
Matching is done via a complete psychological, physical and intellectual evaluation, to ensure a high quality match between your date and you.
Following up on my previous post, after I’ve done my homework by sitting in the personal screening/interview and filling out a questionnaire etc., the next step for me is to go on a date with matches that Lunch Actually has shortlisted for me.
The questionnaire I filled out is a fairly comprehensive one. It includes questions on past relationships (eg. how many serious ones, how long the last one lasted for, reason for breakup), personal values, passion, ambition, interests, how would your friends describe you, what do you do during your free time and weekends, blablabla. Then comes the part about the criterias of the partner you’re looking for, and IMO this is the fun bit because you get to elaborate on what kind of guy (or gal) you like and dislike.
Since Lunch Actually is serious about finding potential matches that share the same values, in the questionnaire you’ll also be asked to rank, on a scale of 1 to 10, the following in a partner:
- Family oriented
- Similar Beliefs
1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
Personally I find this questionnaire to be a great exercise because the questions made me pause and think about what kind of person I want to be with. I’m done with tragic heroes. I also find that most men these days don’t hold my interest for long (yawnz). The ones whom I’d thought I could likely gel with are either living in a different country, or about to move out of the country – so that pretty much sucks.
At Lunch Actually, dates are set up in a discreet manner. Only our first names and a brief summary (job, age, interests, physical description) are exchanged at this point. No contact details or photographs are given. I know that the lack of visual may be a deterrent to most people, then again if one’s serious about compatibility and LTR, this approach forces one to be more open and meet potentials who share the same values first rather than evaluate them based on looks.
Once a date is confirmed, Lunch Actually arranges a convenient day and time, even booking the restaurant, negotiating the meal discount and also calling me up after the date for feedback in order to fine-tune my preferences and dating criteria. They do all the work, and I just show up on the date.
I’d say that this process is pretty much going to a blind date since I don’t know what the other person looks like, but there would be some things in common between us (screened accordingly by Lunch Actually). After meeting my date, I can decide to exchange contact information if I want to see him again. Lunch Actually makes the introduction and sets up the first date, subsequent meet ups beyond that is up to ourselves.
Based on my questionnaire answers and personal interview, Lunch Actually shortlisted two gentlemen who match my criteria and vice versa. So I went on both dates and let’s just say my dates were alright.
With the first gentleman, some of our values are in sync and I can see why Lunch Actually matched us. Conversation flowed smoothly but at best I can see myself being just friends with this person. With the second gentleman, who turned out to be reserved, there were many awkward silent pauses during the date. I wasn’t able to get to know him beyond the standard social Q&A that took place. Maybe one of us (or both!) had an off day that day. It’s no one’s fault.
I’m beginning to think that going on a first date (not unlike a job interview) is a social skill and the more you do it, the better you’ll become at it.
This is when I remember one helpful insight that Lunch Actually’s dating coach (previously mentioned in my earlier article) shared with me. She has advised many clients not to be quick to write off a first date, because generally people are nervous on such occasion so a second date will be more relaxed and conducive to getting to know each other better.
According to her, it takes about five to seven face-to-face interactions with someone new in order to get a good gauge on whether you really like this person and want to be together (or not). This isn’t a hard rule, of course, but I think it’s a legit tip.
Practically speaking, it takes several tries before you meet someone you like (unless you’re one of those lucky bitches who finds love at first encounter; j/k, somewhat) so naturally fine-tuning is part of the process. And that’s where post-date feedback is important. Lunch Actually offers a 3-date and 5-date package, where each match will be progressively fine-tuned to be a closer fit to your criteria.
The skeptic in me thinks that it’s unlikely to be swept off my feet during a first encounter anyway… although it has happened before; ha, I had been one of those lucky bitches! Then again I need only count with one hand the frequency of that ever happening to me.
While chemistry between individuals is definitely something that can only happen organically, Lunch Actually’s services can help bring busy singles a step closer to coupledom. The initial interview with Lunch Actually’s dating consultants is non-obligatory and free-of-charge anyway, so what have you got to lose?
What I’ve learned from going through this process and understanding how Lunch Actually works:
1. Be clear on what qualities you are looking for in a partner.
2. Be open to meeting new people.
Thank you Lunch Actually, for having me on board for this review. The search for Prince Charming continues!