Juggling fulltime work and home life can make it close to impossible to meet ‘the one’ without trawling virtual chat rooms.
But if your New Year’s resolution was to ramp up your love life, meet someone special in the real world or even just make new friends, there is one woman here to help.
Laura Nelson dedicates her time to dreaming up exciting, original ways of introducing people to each other through her business, Single Scene Dating.
Organising social events and date nights across Blackheath, Beckenham, Chislehurst, Greenwich and central London, the passionate matchmaker has been playing Cupid for the last eight years.
Her next evening for singles in Greenwich, a riverside pub walk, may be after Valentine’s Day, but it holds just as much romantic potential.
Laura told Vibe: “Some people don’t like the pressure of dating, so this is a more relaxed social event.
“We meet at Greenwich mainline station, walk along the river and stop at three different pubs on the way.
“We finish at a pub, so people can stay there chatting as long as they like."
There is room for 15 men and 15 women on the evening stroll, which takes place from 7.30pm on March 2 and costs £10.
Laura, from Greenhithe, added: “It’s quite a romantic setting - Greenwich is such a nice place and there are good views across the river.
“The atmosphere is really friendly and every event is different.
“Sometimes, right from the start, it’s very lively.
“We arrive at the last pub at about 10pm and I never leave until the last person wants to.”
After stopping first at The Gipsy Moth, the group (usually formed of singles in their 30s, 40s and 50s) walks to The Trafalgar and finally ends up at Cutty Sark Tavern.
“Because we’re a small company, we specialise in making people feel relaxed and comfortable.” The former marketing executive said.
“If people come alone and they are a bit shy, we talk to them or introduce them to other people who are on their own.
“It’s something different.
“When you get a really good crowd with someone quite extravert who makes people laugh, it’s a lot of fun.
“People come to make new friends as well.
“A lot of women have swapped numbers on the walks.”
As well as the pub crawls, Laura organises speed-dating nights, dinners out and online introductions, with up to eight events taking place each month.
She has around 4,000 singletons on her forever changing database, and some wonderful success stories to tell.
“My favourite story was from a speed-dating event in Chislehurst seven years ago." Laura continued.
“A couple in their early 50s were matched up and they came back on the day, one year later to say thank you.
“They were very, very shy people and had not had many relationships before.
“They were together for six years and the woman has since started coming back to my events.”
While Laura’s clients are looking for love, some can be painfully shy at first and she enjoys building their confidence.
“It can be daunting for women to walk into a pub on their own – sometimes they will call us when they’re outside and one of the hosts will bring them into the venue.
“Every event is completely different – running this business is never dull.
“Most of all, I like matching people up and seeing them get together, it’s very rewarding.”
Visit singlescenedating.com or call Laura on 07918 653679 for more information.