Monday, 28 January 2013

Guest Post: Susan Buchanan talks about Dating Dilemmas

Today I'm pleased to welcome Indie author Susan Buchanan to talk about her latest book, The Dating Game, and about dating dilemmas in general.  So I'll hand you over to Susan.

The idea for The Dating Game came from a friend who had joined a dating agency for professional people in Glasgow. Although none of the escapades or experiences Gill has in The Dating Game are those my friend had, the seed was sown! How does a busy, career-oriented woman in her late thirties, find a guy, and not only a guy, but the right guy? I wanted the relationships she had had and the dates she would have, to be as realistic as possible. As I love travelling, I always incorporate at least one foreign country into my books. You’ll have to read The Dating Game to find out where it is!

Ever have a break-up and then not manage to find another suitable partner? I’m sure it happens all the time. Most of us have been in that position at one point or another, whether or not we’ll admit to it, is something quite different! As with Gill, my heroine in The Dating Game, what invariably happens is your well-meaning friends pair you with unsuitable types. How can your friends not know you? Would they date a halitosis breathing jerk? Or an Adonis- like gym bore? Or a monosyllabic grunter? Nope!

So how do you meet guys (and girls for the gents reading this!) in the 21st century? Well, no-one said it would be easy. Dating rarely is. You’re often meeting a complete stranger for the first time and you’re both on your best behaviour, or you’re acquainted with the person but not met them in a dating-related scenario. Possibly you have been invited to dinner by friends, such as Bridget by Magda and Jeremy in Bridget Jones’ Diary, or you’ve taken up a new hobby (maybe even one you have no interest in - cue mountaineering for women usually more at home in Prada and Jimmy Choos) or you’ve started looking in the supermarket for men carrying a basket with only a few items in it, namely ready meals for one, and without a significant other attached to him. Alternatively you could be down the pub with your mates, or out clubbing, but let’s look at hard facts here, do you really want to pin your hope of finding a new partner on one or both of you being off your face on booze? Probably not - it’s not a pretty picture - might lead to a non-memorable one-night stand and you’ll potentially regret it in the morning, especially if you were wearing beer goggles the night before!

What are your options then? Many swear by internet dating. These sites clearly vary in usefulness, generally with the free sites scraping the bottom of the barrel and giving cause to stories which would make your hair curl and make The Dating Game’s dates seem like the route to utopia. Some of the paid sites, I believe are quite good and I’m sure I read somewhere that one in four people now meet their partner online. I have to confess, none of my friends or acquaintances has, but I seem to recall friends of friends have.

There were quite a few novels about internet dating, but none that I could see about dating
agencies, when I had the idea for The Dating Game - which incidentally came about as a friend joined a professional dating agency in Glasgow and was seeking advice from me. Not sure what I was able to offer on that subject, but never mind! What’s more, not only a dating agency, but a dating agency for professional people, to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not everyone could fork out the exorbitant joining fee, nor pay the £80 monthly direct debit. So workaholic Gill, and my friend coincidentally, expected it to house architects, lawyers, accountants, consultants, doctors and other upwardly mobile occupations. What we sometimes forget is that these men, albeit generally middle-class or upper working class, are still men, with the same foibles, weaknesses, annoying habits and reliability issues. Men are still from Mars and women still from Venus. Perhaps via such an agency, your date would whisk you off to a more exclusive restaurant, or not, in the case of Gill’s ten pin bowling date - a game she hates.

What’s certain in life is there is more than one person out there for you. Generally we live a
relatively long time - 70+ years. If you break up with one man, another good one is waiting in the wings. You just have to decide which is the best way for you to meet him - even if it means kissing more than your fair share of frogs along the way!

You can find out more about Gill’s escapades in The Dating Game via the links shown: Amazon (UK) and Amazon (US)

To find out more about Susan and her books, why not connect with her on
Twitter, Facebook, or visit heblog.

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