Dennie Smith describes herself as ‘not old-fashioned,’ “I just love chivalry,” she says. “And speaking to lots of people they do too. I loved hearing about my grandparents dating adventures,” she adds.
Salon owner Dennie, 56, from Surrey has taken reminiscing to another level with the launch of oldstyledating.co.uk, a dating agency that aims to bring back the excitement of ‘old-fashioned romance’ which many may say has died a death since the arrival of online apps such as Tinder and POF.
We caught up with Dennie to find out more – and whether her site can really help people find true love…
How did the idea come about?
“At 53 years old, I sold our family home of 23 years to fund the sale of a run-down hair salon. My four children were not happy – we then went into rented accommodation. I tirelessly refurbished it into a distressed vintage style. Just one year later I won business champion for the south-east. My determination and gamble had thankfully paid off.
“Then last May, at 56 years of age I came up with the crazy idea of launching a vintage online dating agency. Everyone thought I was mad. I didn’t have a plan, a budget or support but I was determined, the idea came to me when my daughter was having a tough time with the other big dating services so I thought I will find her a decent guy myself. She often said she longed for the courting scene I had experienced in the 1980s, when I met my husband.
“I researched and couldn’t find another dating site like the one I had in mind they all seemed so sterile. I actually joined a couple for research purposes and didn’t even have to upload a photo, and still had guys messaging me!
So I designed it, wrote everything you see on the site, any photos are my own family. I want it to remain very personal. Finally after nine long months oldstyledating.co.uk launched, fittingly on Valentine’s Day (February 14). I have had lots of positive feedback from people saying they like the way it’s different from the rest…
Who is Old Style Dating aimed at?
“Old Style Dating is aimed at people who love manners respect and old style courting, when men were gentlemen and women were ladies.
“It is a site for genuine people with impeccable manners. It’s not about race gender, class or money. Customers must be over 25 years old and officially single and want to enter into a long term relationship/marriage. Your only option to click when signing up is ‘officially single’ and only members can click on ‘long term/ marriage’. No other site portrays rules like mine. There is no wink option / chat room or fancy membership, it’s not a cattle market. And you can only see members once joined.
“It is run solely by me, I vet the profiles and reply to all emails and issues which may occur. Let’s bring back old fashioned class.”