*3. A5:- ".599"

You want'to check into love town or make a date with l’ate‘P. Looking for your dream partner. soul mate or spiritual twin can be am frustrating task. So why not turn to the professionals‘.’ In response to the growing clamour of lonely hearts. all sorts of dating agencies have sprung up for all sorts of individuals. from vegans to traffic wardens. vets to train spotters. promising to introduce compatible single people.

In central Glasgow. one flight up from a clairvoyant and next door to a photocopying bttsiness. is a tiny

office filled with sprawling plastic plants and huge

: grey filing cabinets. Here. Rose Halliday single-

handedly runs The Buchanan Bureau. an agency for introductions. A view of the Highlands hangs on the

wall and a huge ashtray (for nervous clients) takes up

most of her desk. Rose. as soft spoken as a private sector dentist. hands me a registration form. It asks a

minimum of questions; age. height. occupation and hobbies and what kind of person I would like to meet. 'Tall‘.” she asks. ‘good looking. How about a doctor. or a lawyer? Maybe a business man. Up to about 35'? What do you think?’ Erm . . . hold on a minute.

Searching for Prince Charming. Doctor Kildare or even James Bond will cost £60 a year. For this Rose will send details of one date at a time and suggest a quiet drink somewhere public to get to know each other. After being in the dating business for over seventeen years she can sometimes spot a match as quick as you can say snap. ‘Sometimes you can tell immediately and I think “Oh yes. I know who you‘d like" and sometimes you can introduce two people who on paper sound perfect but when they meet there's no chemistry. no spark. You can’t guarantee

Hideous commercial nausea-fest or healthy excuse for non-stop snoggerama? Valentine's Day divides the nation. Our resident lonely hearts ask . . .

w?“ LI. BOUT?


results. how can you‘.”

Dating agencies still have the clandestine atmosphere of a private detective‘s office. For many who creep up the stairs feel there‘s a bit of a stigma attached to paying to find someone to love. But business at the Buchanan Bureau is booming. ‘How young people get to know each other in a disco. I'll never know.‘ Rose exclaims. ‘Everything’s changed since the last generation when we had the dance halls. We all live in a limited circle and sometimes it's impossible to meet people outside that. Yet it still takes courage to come to a place like this.‘

But what are people actually looking for'.’ A Chippendale with brains. Madonna with taste“? ‘Some want someone attractive. some want a sense of humour. height is very important and I always welcome a tall man. Otherwise age; the younger the person is. the more important it is but it's not always a good indication of maturity. Basically. most people are looking for a serious long-term relationship or marriage.’

The big M seems to be the aim of many people who embark on the search for love. Bob. an unemployed writer. found his cash-free status a bit of a hindrance. ‘I joined Dateline and was sent details of six women. I would write to them and we‘d meet at the underground station or at Kelvingrove Art Galleries. In six months I met over 25 women but only one meeting actually resulted in a relationship and that only lasted a few months. You soon realise that it‘s pot luck and tnost women were looking fora long term relationship and financial security.‘

So all the lonely people. where do they all come from? And why is a partner still so essential for happiness? ‘A lot of people aren‘t lonely. they're just alone and there's a big difference‘ mused Rose. 'They just want someone of their own.‘ (Beatrice Colin).

divorcee has been gathering up a few


That's politically correct speak for

marriage, hitherto laughably described as wedded bliss. Our resident cynical : her. in-out facts on mariage and divorce.

I Single men are more in favour of monogamy than married men. according to Shere Hite‘s 1981 report on Men and Male Sexuality. 72 per cent of men married for more than two years had had sex outside marriage.

I Nine out of ten petitions for divorce are brought by women according to Shere Hite‘s 1987 report on Women . and Love. 70 per cent of women ' married for more than five years had had affairs. with an average length of four years.

I In pagan Rome it was customary for the groom to forego deflowering his wife on their wedding night. out of concern for her timidity; he made up for this forebearance by sodomi/ing t_-_-- _ __ _. _. ._ .g.-___

5 The List 12—25 February 1993


' I Divorce was common in Rome. A

I woman wno wanted a divorce simply had to take her dowry and leave the marital home. Courts then had to decide whether she really meant it. or whether it was just a lover’s tiff.

I I Divorce was pretty ditticult in early 19th century England. where it required an act of Parliament. which put it out of

the price range of most people. To

legitimise separations. poor men would

sometimes sell their wives at the local

j I The western states of America have l always had liberal divorce laws. but in the 1920s a veritable divorce trade war broke out. This was ultimately won by Nevada who reduced the residency requirement to six weeks in 1931 to attract the dollars of out-of-state petitioners.


Nice sentiment lads.

I An act of 1661 specified lines in Scotland for those who had been ‘irregularly‘ married outwith the church. Far from stopping such marriages. it created a regular industry in the Borders. where English elopers would come to be wed. Hence the institution of the Gretna Green

I It was easier to divorce than to marry in the early years of the Soviet 1 State: divorce required the consent of one person. marriage of two. ‘The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes. and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.‘ wrote Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto.

I To avoid a charge of statutory rape. Charlie Chaplin married the sixteen- year-old Mildred Harris when she

l became pregnant in 1918. They divorced two years later. The young-at- i heart Chaplin repeated himself with the : fourteen—year-old Lolita McMurray in i 1922. I ‘Marriages are made in heaven’ says Clint Eastwood. “So are thunder and i lighting.‘ He's not quite as cynical as l Gene Fowler who observed that 'next 1 to privacy the rarest thing in Hollywood is a wedding anniversary.‘ I I One Giovanni Vlgllotto who used over 50 different aliases. and was either Fred Jipp from New York or Niklai Pruskov from Sicily. is reputed to have had 104 bigatnous marriages between 1949 and 1981. in 27 US states and 14 other countries. In 1968 he married four women on one ship. He received 28 years for fraud and six for bigamy and was fined 5336.000 in 1983 in Phoenix. Arizona.