Men want a partner who’s attractive and "won’t nag", while women want a man who is kind, thoughtful and physically fit. Picture: Pexels

Perfection and unattainable goals are usually high on the list for clients, an anonymous matchmaker reveals.

I run a boutique matchmaking agency in the UK. It’s not an online service — I interview each member, so I have a good idea of who they are and what they want.

They usually want perfection: men want a partner who’s attractive and "won’t nag", while women want a man who is kind, thoughtful and physically fit. They’re terrified of being saddled with an ‘old man’, though I often think: "Well, it’s that or be widowed."

I often wish clients would be more flexible — they’re mostly divorced, have been hurt and see this as a second chance to get it right. But nobody’s perfect. I feel frustrated when I spot an ideal match, then the feedback is: "He didn’t take my coat immediately" or "she ate too fast". People get nervous.

Middle-class, middle-aged people feel they deserve the best. But it’s not about "deserving", it’s who you can get along with and who’ll stick with you when you’re old and ill — not how good they look in their photo.

I’m thrilled when long-term clients find "the one". One charming lady was distraught after her divorce, but eventually I matched her with a kind, gentle farmer. I went to their wedding last year. 

Some people don’t find a match, of course. We offer counselling and dating advice, but often, they’re just not over their ex. And there’s nothing you can do about that.