Mistakes being made when wooing partners
People are looking for superficial attributes such as wealth, beauty and status than for qualities such as honesty, compassion and kindness, which would make a good partner and parent, according to matchmakers.
One woman arrives at the date with a checklist, and proceeds to walk her date through the questions, ticking boxes as she goes. One man said a woman told him on the first date that she wanted her partner-to-be to have a house in Woollahra and a Volvo. Another has been asked how much he earned within 10 minutes of sitting down.
Others are adamant they will not date a redhead, a blue-collar worker or a vegetarian. Yvonne Allen, who has run an introduction agency since the 1970s, said one client refused to go out with a man because he was 10cm taller than her - too short.
Matchmaker Trudy Gilbert from Elite Introductions said that she believed that women were judging men today with 1950s values, like an eligible man is a breadwinner, he's successful, he has status, and they don't look at things that are more important, such as his values of honesty, integrity, being a potentially great father.
Allen says daters should take their fussy ways and flip them, asking what they have to offer a potential partner.
This shopping-list mentality, coupled with the relentless opportunity for new dates online, is turning dates into job interviews, the matchmakers warn.
Allen said that she had heard of a guy who went to the same place every time, and interviewed four women.
Daters are also caught up in a Hollywood view of the way romance should work, the matchmakers say, they believe prince or princess perfect will come along, sparks will fly and they'll fall in love straight away.
Allen said that she had also had a guy come to her, who had been on 300 first dates and never a second, as he believed that he would know her when he saw her.
She said all that was the stuff of fantasy.
Another problem is guys who don't make an effort. Men need to lift their game, say the matchmakers, as they have forgotten the traditional courtesies of courtship.
Few bother to call a woman to ask her on a date; it's easier to text. They don't dress up, plan the date, or offer to pick her up.
In a particularly cowardly act, some don't even tell a woman they no longer want see her; they just stop communicating, even after dating her for two months or maybe more.
And Sydney men can be lazy, Gilbert says.
She said that men are not pursuing women like they used to. They are not as chivalrous or forthcoming as they should be.
She said that men need to be courageous again and actually pursue and make that known, rather than sending mixed messages and playing games and leading women on without asking them out.
Matchmakers say if daters relaxed, forgot the pressure of a ticking clock and made an effort, they might enjoy dating a little more. They may even find love.