As a dating coach, Madeleine Mason should know a thing or two about finding love. But when Mason started her dating coaching company PassionSmiths six years ago, she was single.
Mason has been practising what she preaches though, and this month, the relationship expert got engaged – after just four months of dating.
“Normally dating experts find the love of their lives and then tell everyone how they did it,” she admitted. “I went about it the other way around – I did what the ‘theory’ says and it paid off. I simply took my own medicine, even though it wasn’t always easy.”
It may seem incredibly quick, especially after Mason previously shared a detailed checklist of what any couple should do before even moving in together, but she believes it’s the right thing to do.
40-year-old Mason and her now fiancé Christopher met on Happn at the end of December 2016, and less than four months later – much to Mason’s surprise – he proposed on a romantic trip to Italy.
“Although it’s not for everyone, marriage is important to me, so when I met the right (perfect) man for me who also shared this value, proposal seemed to be the natural path,” Mason explained to The Independent.
“The nature of our relationship had depth, unusually early, possibly because my dad died and Chris was extremely supportive. We had flirted with the idea that marriage between us was a possibility as we found that we are similar in many ways.”
So how can you find ‘the one’ in just four months? Mason believes the most important technique when it comes to dating – whether online or IRL – is setting out what you’re looking from from the start.
According to Mason, you should treat dating as you would when looking for an employee or job. And the first step in the recruitment process is creating an advert for your vacancy: “The more specific you are in your ‘advert’ the more likely you will get someone who are looking for,” she says.
Here’s Mason’s four-step plan to creating your ‘advert’:
1. Work out what the top three or four values you’re looking for are
That could be kindness, power, money, health, intelligence, benevolence, charity, open-mindedness, or creativity, for example.
2. Work out what your ideal relationship looks like
Are you living in the countryside? Do you want marriage and children? A traditional family set-up?
3. Write down an elevator pitch asking for what you are looking for
If you’re only after casual dating, for example, you might write: “I’m into kindness, fun times and culture, not to be mistaken with KFC. Although a cheeky chicken after a night out with my mates wouldn’t go amiss. Not looking for anything serious at the moment, but would be nice to cuddle up to someone special,” Mason suggests.
4. Use this in conversation when you meet people or as part of your online bio
You’re then ready to move on to the next stage – finding dates who fit your advert.
Madeleine and Christopher
For her part, the values Mason was after were compassion, humour and authenticity, and she worked out that her ideal relationship would be a marriage with a flexible city lifestyle.