From Stay At Home Mum to Yorkshire’s very own ‘Hitch’
A divorced single mum of two from Pateley Bridge, has launched herself back into the working world after being a stay at home mum, embarking on a new business that she hopes will bring her love as well as a career, and give singles of Yorkshire the chance to experience more of what our county has to offer, with exclusive events being run around the region this month.
On the back of research suggesting that the popular online dating apps are taking a nose dive in their growth, Claire Lupton, 38, founded Finding Mr Darcy, a new exclusive matchmaking service offering bespoke events across Yorkshire, a modern day Austen landscape according to Claire, following her belief that face to face dating helps you to match more naturally.
Claire, who pitches herself as a ‘Love Story Co-ordinator’ set up this business after her divorce when she needed a new focus and passion after starting to feel lost, and has connected her passion for helping people with her entrepreneurial drive and her own desire to find love, and launches with three events within the next month including; clay shooting, archery and pie making. These events are organised to enable group interaction to take the pressure off ‘121 dating’ first off, with the activities providing a focus and a friendly, fun, relaxed atmosphere, enabling natural conversation to flow.
Clay pigeon shooting is to be held at 10am at Thimbleby Shooting Ground, North Yorkshire, on 27th April; The Crossbow, Archery and Air Rifle Experience is set against the beautiful backdrop of the historic Hazelwood Castle at 10am on 28th April and on 4th May members are invited to combine cooking and conversation during a traditional pie making experience and dinner at Coddy’s Farm, Holmfirth at 6.30pm. All prices are £75 per ticket. To book visit Finding Mr Darcy website.
Claire, a self-confessed romantic who at the age of 18 put up a notice in her village advertising for her very own Mr Darcy. believes she’s tried every dating app going, since her divorce, and is out to prove that ‘good old fashioned face to face meetings’ have a lot going for them over the barrage of today’s tech. She is keen to ‘put the human touch back into dating’.
She said: “The use of dating apps has already seen its peak so it can only slow now. Whereas our service is very much like returning to the ‘good old days of dating’ but on a more exclusive level. I hope this is where the future of dating is going - as much for my 2 daughters as myself, so that their experiences are not totally defined by tech and finding your soul mate can become more natural again.”
She added: “A study has shown around 44 percent of UK users, across more than 1000 online dating apps, lie in their profiles, whether this is about their job or using old photos. In real life it’s much harder to be ‘fake’ and the real you is more likely to come out and therefore help you attract someone you are truly suited to. I believe it’s time to say goodbye to swiping left or right, and hello to meeting people in person”.
Claire believes she is onto something as recently she has also seen that many of the large online dating companies, such as Match.com are now adding face to face group event dating to their offering, but she feels her own alignment with her audience is what will make her events more appealing to her audience.
“I love that I am on the same wave length as other singles. I know how hard it can be to find the one, I struggle with being shy myself. Having organised events with people in the same situation as yourself gives you conversation starters.”
She said: “It’s nothing complicated, just human interaction and chemistry- the beauty of it is its simplicity and that it’s real. At our events our members chat as if they are with friends, interacting at a social occasion within a group, and experiencing fun activities together helps create an initial bond very quickly. What comes next is down to chemistry - but my job is to facilitate that chemistry within a relaxed, sophisticated, safe, environment”.
The events are open to any age. Booking is essential.
Claire also offers a ‘love coach’ service alongside personal matchmaking services - think a Yorkshire version of Will Smith in the movie ‘Hitch’. She provides 1 hour coaching sessions to help members get the most out of their experiences and prepare for their dates to help them get the best possible outcomes.