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How to find – and keep – that hot date

All the single ladies (and gents)! Stop scrolling through Tinder, and up your dating game with these timely tips from the pros at award-winning local matchmakers, Pi Society.

Need some help on the dating front? Sorry, can’t help. The last time I went on a date, Queen Victoria was on the throne – at least that’s what it feels like – but I know a woman who can! Meet Tracey Duke, trained ICF life coach and relationship strategist from award-winning local dating agency, Pi Society.

Pi specialise in making tailored introductions and run almost daily events across Devon and the south-west, hosting everything from supper clubs and comedy nights, to paddle-boarding and hikes on Dartmoor.

Sounds fun and super non-scary. Let’s get some proper advice, shall we?

Hey, Tracey! How have things changed from when Muddy was dating back in the Dark Ages?

I’m not sure that dating was ever quite as romantic and effortless as we remember it to be, but the landscape has certainly shifted over the last few years. 

By far, the biggest change we’ve seen is the move from in-person conversation to messaging which, while it has its place, comes with the danger of creating a false sense of security. Lengthy messaging can feel like you’re creating a deep and real connection with someone, but the truth is, it’s far from real. 

When we allow the dating phase of our relationships to focus too much on messaging each other, we run the danger of becoming sub-consciously addicted to the notification sound of the message, rather than the person behind the message, and we mistake it for connection. 

A little bit of messaging is great, just make sure you don’t get caught in an endless cycle that doesn’t move a potential relationship forward.  

Creating your profile – how do you get across who you are?

The most important thing is to ignite curiosity which, as we know, is the key to desire. Give them a hook to make their first approach easy. Beautiful photos of you in an environment that shows off your lifestyle speak volumes, as does the language you use in your profile. Be playful and have fun writing it up, but make sure you show off your other qualities too. Be authentic and real, and give examples. If Moana still fires up your inner warrior, say so. If you can’t pass an injured animal without stopping, say that too. Be real. 

If you’re struggling to nail your profile, drop us a line. We’re pretty good at pulling them together for you. 

What sort of profiles do best?

Positive profiles that evoke curiosity, and hint at what a great first date might look like, always do well. The key is to give them a hook and to make it as easy as possible for them to approach you. 

How honest should you be with your profile pic?

Very! Whatever you do, don’t lie about this one; it’s not worth it.   

Any language to avoid?

Negative language never works. Talk about what you want, not want you don’t want. Keep it positive.  Always. 

What makes people a good match? Do opposites attract?

Matching values and how you see the world is always a great place to start. Wherever possible, when we’re matching clients at Pi, we’ll be also be looking for complementary strengths. Chemistry is key; without it nothing’s happening, but you can’t base a relationship on attraction alone. Get the foundations right and who knows what’s possible and where it’ll go…

What’s the biggest pitfall on a first date?

Falling into the trap of not switching from work mode is always a big one. Sometimes in our efforts to keep the conversation going and avoid an uncomfortable silence, we can forget that we’re on a date and we’re not there to interview them. Be curious and listen yes, but don’t make your date feel like they’re being interrogated. 

Is it better to meet at a pub so you can talk, or to do an activity together where the focus is less intense?

We love first dates that allow you to get to know someone in a fun environment. 

One of our guys took a first date to the Escapes Rooms. In the space of an hour, he was able to see exactly how she responded under pressure, how much she laughed, how she thought, and how she was able to reassure him. 

In that hour, he decided she was the woman for him, they went for dinner, drinks and well the rest is history…

How best to excuse yourself if it’s not going well?

Rule no. 1. Be polite.  Always. The date might not be going as well as you’d hoped but there is never, ever, an excuse to be rude to someone. 

On a first date, it’s always a good idea to keep it short and sweet; an hour or so tops. That way, you don’t have to make an excuse as to why you need to leave early, and you don’t have to stick it out for any longer than you need. 

If it’s going well…always leave them wanting more. 

How do you get beyond the small talk?

Firstly, talk about what you love and get them talking about what they love. It’s emotion that creates attraction and connection, not logic. And we want to get to emotion as quickly as possible. One super-easy way to do that is to ask why? Questions. If someone tells you they love a particular movie, don’t jump in with ‘me too…’ Ask them why they love it? If they tell you they love a certain place, ask them why? If you want to connect, ask the why question. 

The tricky second date – any tips?

The first two weeks of dating are key. So whether you’re on a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th date, use this time to set your standards, show them you’re a team player, make the gestures and get excited about the little things. Most importantly…pick up the phone and call between dates. Do not get stuck in an endless cycle of messaging. Be the grown-up, set the standard, and call them. It also gives them licence to call you. 

Any safety rules?

Always, always, tell a friend where you’re going and what time you expect to be home. It’s not worth the risk. 

Any total no-no’s on a first date?

Totally. No complaining about your ex, or anyone else. And no whining about your life. Keep it positive. 

Should you let head or heart rule? Is chemistry always right?

Bottom line – there is no easy answer to this one. However, the truth is that when it comes to love, the heart knows what it wants; it will always lead us to what and who we truly want and need. Trust your instincts and go with what feels right for you. If it feels right – it usually is. 

Post-date rules? What happens next, who phones who, how long to wait, etc? How do you picking up on the signals?

So, this is where messaging comes into its own. If you had fun on a first date, if want to see them again, let them know. You don’t have to overdo it.  Just text a quick text to say “Hey, just got into bed. That was so much fun. Thanks for a fab night x” It’s the acknowledgment that you enjoyed yourself that matters. If it didn’t go so well, say thank you anyway; it’s the decent thing to do. Just keep it short, sweet and polite without giving false hope. 

Looking for love? Get in touch with Pi Society‘s founder Nicky Dunn if you’re based in Devon/Cornwall ( or Tracey for Bristol and Bath (

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