A few years ago, I realised that I had a lot of farmers contacting me to try and find love.

They shared the difficulties they had trying to meet a partner while living in rural areas. I had a lot of ladies and men that came from a farming background that were hoping to date a fellow farmer.

My grandfather was a suckler farmer and I dated a farmer in the past, so I understood the challenges, especially around calving/lambing season and silage.

But I also understand the positives of dating a farmer – the countryside and community way of life. For that reason, I specialise in matchmaking farmers and have also hosted a number of dating events all over Ireland for farmers.

If you would like to find love, the biggest impact on your dating success will be increasing the amount of new people you meet.

The more people you meet, the greater the chances you will have of finding love. If you are serious about meeting someone special, you should be going on at least one date a month.

When farmers – or those wishing to meet a farmer – come to me for dating, I always recommend that they also take ad in the Getting in Touch section of this publication, as well as our private matchmaking service.

The more people you are talking to, the more comfortable you will become at dating, you will enjoy the dating experience more and you will better understand what you are/are not looking for in a partner.

Mairead Loughman, matchmaker, pictured with Kieran and Mary Conway's Highland cattle in Galscorn, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. \ Tanya/Bronté Photography

Tips for writing Getting in Touch or an online dating profile bio

  • Tell them a little about yourself. Include your age, height, location and any other relevant information about yourself.
  • Share a little about what you enjoy doing and your lifestyle.
  • Describe the type of person that you would like to meet.
  • Be clear on what type of relationship you would like and what you are seeking.
  • For example:

    Hi, my name is John. I am 39, 6ft 2, strong build and am a dairy farmer from Kildare. I work hard on the farm but enjoy holidays and city breaks when I can. I also cycle and enjoy GAA.I would like to meet a kind lady that enjoys life and has a sense of adventure. I have never been married and I have no kids, but would love both with the right person. Get in touch!

    For best results, ensure you sound kind, positive and light hearted.

    Mairead Loughman, matchmaker, pictured with Kieran and Mary Conway's Highland cattle in Galscorn, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. \ Tanya/Bronté Photography

    What happens next?

    When you start chatting with someone, it’s important to make the most of the opportunity:

    1 Reply promptly. Don’t leave it a few days, get the ball rolling.

    2 Make a proper effort and take the time to respond properly. “It’s lovely to hear from you.” This will set the right tone.

    3 Build a connection. Be genuinely interested in them and getting to know them as a person.

    4 Listen more than you talk; ask kind and open questions. By asking questions, it will make it easier for them to reply and will in turn keep the conversation flowing.

    5 Have great photographs ready to share. People want to know who they are speaking with. Put some effort into taking new photographs. Look the very best that you can look. A fun selfie with a calf or lamb is always a winner. If you need to, take new photos. SMILE!

    6 Looks are a factor in dating, that’s true, but personality is everything. Be fun, tell fun stories and be fun to be around and chat to.

    7 Gentlemen, remember that you are speaking with a lady and not just one of the lads. So speak to her like a lady, be kind and take good care of her.

    8 There is no time like the present, so I recommend asking them to meet in-person within one week of getting in touch. You really won’t know if there is chemistry until you meet in person, so arrange a date.

    How to ask someone on a date

    With Ireland reopening, it’s important not to miss a romantic opportunity.

    1 Don’t overthink it. Dating’s biggest fear is rejection, but what if they say yes? I don’t know anyone that wouldn’t like to be asked out on a date, so go for it.

    2 Keep it simple. Don’t approach it from a needy place, make it about both of you, not just about you. Say: “It would be cool for us to go for dinner/drinks/coffee sometime. Are you free this weekend?”

    3 Follow through. If they agree to a date, you suggest a day, time and location there and then. So make sure you have thought of date ideas in advance. If you have asked them out, you take the lead and arrange the date/make the reservation if going for dinner.

    4 If you are asking them out on the date, be prepared to travel to meet them. It shows that you are interested and willing to make the effort.

    5 Paint a picture of how it will be when you are together. Have fun with this. “I bet you are great fun on a night out or maybe you might be a little too crazy for me. We will just have to see.” Their natural reaction will be to qualify themselves, which is ideal, as now they are no longer deciding if they would like to go on a date but trying to prove to you that they are good fun.

    6 If you are asking in real life, don’t just walk up to them and ask them out. Start with small talk and gauge the conversation. If you engage with someone and they don’t reply, are short with you or move further away, then move on. If not, chat for a few minutes then say: “Can I ask, are you single?” If they say yes, follow it with: “We should go for a coffee sometime.”

    7 Ask. Them. Out! Make a conscious decision that you are going to start asking people out. You will dramatically increase your chances of finding love, you will increase your confidence and you will stop wasting great dating opportunities.

    8 If they say no, that’s fine. Nobody died, at least you asked. Say: “No problem, no harm in asking,” with a smile.

    9 But... They might say yes! So just ask them out!

    10 This could be the start of your love story, so don’t leave anything to chance. This is farming life and if there is anything we know for sure, anything can go wrong at the worst time. Organise help from a sibling, cousin or neighbour well in advance, so that if something happens on the farm, you do not have to cancel.

    About Mairead

    Mairead Loughman is a matchmaker, dating specialist and the founder of Love HQ, an Irish private matchmaking service that meets all of their clients in person before arranging dates for them. Mairead has successfully matched over 6,000 clients of all ages, all over Ireland, from all walks of life – with lots of marriages, babies and success stories. For more information visit www.lovehq.ie

    Mairead’s top tip

    If you have fancied someone for more than 30 days, ask them out today or stop thinking about them. We do not obsess over someone we are not actually dating, it’s only holding you back for meeting your real person. This is your sign to bite the bullet.

    There are no rules to dating, everyone is different so I recommend trusting your gut. It doesn’t matter how your date went, but be kind and respectful to anyone you meet.

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