Matchmaker Interview with Hayley Bystram
Hayley Bystram is the owner and head matchmaker of the Bowes-Lyon Partnership Dating Agency
Why did you decide to become a matchmaker?
I was looking to solve a problem that I personally had. I divorced in my late twenties and had tried online dating and found it to be a time-consuming and, quite soul-destroying, process! I had a busy lifestyle with work and didn’t have the time to dedicate to trawling through profiles every evening, looking for that ‘needle in a haystack’, so I wondered what people like me did and where they went to solve this issue. I couldn’t find an easy solution for my age group and lifestyle, so I decided to create one
What makes you different to other companies/matchmakers?
What do you like most (and least) about being a matchmaker?
Do you think the way matchmakers are viewed in the UK is changing?
When I first came to the industry nearly 15 years ago – my view was that matchmaking agencies were run by scary, bossy ladies who reminded me of my school housemistress. Nowadays it is such a wide market with a variety of matchmakers running agencies that cater for niche pockets of people. It’s a huge industry and there is room for everyone.
Do you have any funny or interesting dating stories?
What’s the best advice you would give to someone looking for a partner?
Take action! 2020 has shown us, not only the importance of human connection but also that, it is hard to meet someone through natural circumstances these days. Your perfect
partner isn’t going to find you on the sofa in your house and we’re not mingling as much as we used to so…take action to make things happen. Get online, ask your friends/family if they know any eligible singles or, if you want to really increase your chance of success, join a matchmaking agency!
What are the most common mistakes people make when dating?
What your greatest success story?
My favourite thing used to be getting baby-scans from couples we had matched and who then create a family! That used to blow my mind but my favourite ones now are my older generation couples who find love. They are often members who are widowed and believed they wouldn’t meet another partner after their husband/wife had passed. They describe it as getting a second chance at life and feels it enhances their later years. Those are the ones that make me smile from ear-to-ear.
Have your met your own life partner? If so, how did you know they were the one?
Do you believe in soulmates?
Yes, but I think you can have romantic soulmates, friend soulmates, family soulmates, work soulmates – an abundance of different categories and connections. I do not believe you are limited to only one soulmate in only one aspect of your life – I think you can have many in different areas of your life.
What qualities do you think make for a great partner?
I believe there is higher compatibility between couples who have similarities in their backgrounds. It is not to say that I don’t think opposites attract – I think they can do but, in my matchmaking experience, there is higher compatibility and more success in relationships with members who share similar backgrounds. It’s important to have the same morals, values, share a similar outlook and desire the same future. When looking for a partner, do consider the background and lifestyle similarities, morals and values as part of the qualities to look out for. As a dating agency, background and upbringing is something we spend a lot of time talking to members about, as it is intrinsic in our matchmaking process.
What is the best way for a man to approach or a woman? Is it OK for a woman to approach a man?
What is the secret of a long and happy relationship?
How do you think dating is changing (especially due to the pandemic) and what will happen in the near future?
People are less likely to meet their ideal partners by chance. Social interactions are curtailed, weddings and events are limited – your abilities to even cross paths with someone are constrained. People looking for a partner, to share their life with, need to take proactive and constructive action to make it happen. Whilst I am a big believer in fate I think there is huge benefit in giving fate an extra nudge these days!
What trends and changes do you see happening over the next few years in the dating world?
More and more people will use a third party to meet their partner. Our social lives have been curtailed by the pandemic and it has stripped away that natural chance of bumping into a like-minded person. Single people will actively search for a partner, in the same way they do for a new home or a new career, and activity for online sites and dating agencies will be increased.