Two For Joy's Liz Harwood and Sue Walters with their Excellence in Customer Service Award.
Looking for love? This dating agency can give you a nudge in the right direction.
We all have our own checklist when it comes to looking for love, but for the members of dating agency, Two For Joy Introductions, there is one quality that comes up time and time again…
“Spark! What is this spark everyone is asking for? I guess it’s this feeling you have when you find that person attractive.”
Sue Walters and her daughter Liz Harwood set up Two For Joy in Rotherham in August 2015, as an alternative to websites and dating apps such as Tinder.
Though modern technology is making meeting people easier than ever before, Sue and Liz recognise that these apps tend to inspire more flings than long-term romances. Not only that, but because it’s so easy to invent an online persona, you may be putting yourself at risk.
“We have a friend who had been talking to someone online for two or three days and she’d arranged for him to come and pick her up from her house and take her out,” explain Liz. “One - he knows where she lives, and two - he could have taken her anywhere. We asked, ‘Why put yourself in such a vulnerable situation’ and she said, ‘What’s the alternative?’ So we set this up!
“I think we offer that bit more support. We meet members face to face, so we know exactly who they are so no one can pose as someone else like they might online.”
Inspiration also came from Sue’s own experiences with a dating agency.
“I met my now husband through Helen Hill Bureau 14 years ago,” says Sue. “I’d been divorced from Liz’s dad for a couple of years, and decided I didn’t want to be on my own for the rest of my life, so I met with a person from the agency.
“I got a slip of paper through the post a week later with Steve’s name and his interests on it. He rang me a few days later and we were on the phone for an hour. We met a few days after and we’ve been together ever since. We got married in October 2015.”
Though it is now closed, Sue was so happy with the personal service that many aspects of Two For Joy are based on Helen Hill. However, Sue and Liz create more thorough profiles, including photos, so you know a bit more about the person you’ll be meeting.
Though Liz and Sue have many success stories, the course of true love doesn’t always run smooth. While some click with the first person they meet, others have to go on a few dates to find the one.
“But just when they start to lose hope, that’s when the right one comes along,” reassures Liz.
Liz and Sue believe there is someone for everyone and are always trying to make their business more affordable and accessible. Their clients range from ages 30 to 90, and they strive to provide a service that includes LGBT and people with disabilities.
And for those who already have someone special, what are the key ingredients to a lasting relationship?
“I’d have to say respect,” replies Sue. “I do believe tolerance and patience go a long way as well because you can’t like everything someone does. The things you don’t like, you accept and work around. They ‘get’ you.”
Penny and Dave’s Story*
“It had been four years since my husband had died. Then one morning, I saw an article for Two For Joy Introductions in The Star.
Making that phone call was one of the scariest things I’d ever done - especially when you’ve been married and out of the dating game for over 30 years. But then I said to myself, ‘Life’s for living girl!’
Sue was lovely on the phone. You can tell she and Liz genuinely care about their clients, and I felt I could trust her.
Dave and I went on our first date in May 2017. We went for a coffee, and you know when you feel like you’ve known each other all your lives? We just hit it off right away. We chatted so long, his parking ticket was about to run out!
It was good to know his interests before so I knew what to ask and it puts you at ease. He’d had one date before, but he wasn’t impressed. She put her mobile on the table and it felt like a third person.
Our relationship hasn’t been a sprint – it’s more a marathon. It’s about gaining each other’s confidence and seeing what happens. Our families are happy that we’re happy.
We both like walking in the countryside and looking at nature, but we have our own lives and retain our independence too. I think that’s important.
I don’t know if we’ve just been lucky or if Two For Joy are really good at their jobs – probably a bit of both!”
*Names have been changed.
Looking for love? Visit the Two For Joy website to find out more.