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Recently, my male friend started online dating. Not any old male friend. My gorgeous, clever, successful, very normal, very lovely male friend started online dating. In fact he became a poster boy for it. He began to fill all his spare time meeting (generally) very attractive women, challenging all my preconceptions of online daters. Turns out that this friend is the statistic everyone writes about — the Perfectly Eligible Young Professional who simply doesn’t have enough time to meet people out and about. Not The Bloody Nutter we’ve all come to know the internet to be packed to the rafters with.
One cold weeknight in January, I found myself listening to Rod Stewart records on my fourth whisky of the evening and hovering over The Guardian’s “JOIN SOULMATES” button. Properly single for the first time in years, and with thoughts of my friend’s overnight transformation into an e-Ryan Gosling at the front of my mind, I decided to dip my toe in to see what was on offer. What was there to lose?
All faith in mankind is the answer. I trawled through page upon page of men between 25 and 35, perplexed at how they chose to sell themselves. Among the few hundred profiles I browsed through, I found a man who cited “ale” as a hobby, one who called himself "Mike Magic Fingers" and a university one-night stand who’d added four inches to his height. And yet, surprisingly, not one person I would consider dating.
As I browsed through and noticed patterns of over-used sentences (“loving life in the big city”, “my mate’s made me do this!”) I began to compile categories that the dating profiles fell into. And here they are, online daters of Britain. The very worst men on dating sites and how to avoid being them.
Pallid men in short-sleeved shirts who state that they like things that are essential for existence, such as eating or sleeping. Also in this category, men who write an endless lists of universally loved hobbies — relaxing, travel, friends and family, listening to music, life and laughter.
How To Avoid Being This Guy
A list of anodyne hobbies gives absolutely no insight into your personality whatsoever. What’s that? You like food? And films? This is everyone in the whole, entire, world, dude. Use more specific examples to give a rounded reflection of your tastes such as where your last great trip was or what your favourite album is.
Wide-eyed, smiley men who think they’ve discovered Anchorman like an unreleased Hendrix studio album. Quote populist comedians endlessly. Claim not to take life or themselves too seriously. Profile includes photo of them at a party dressed up as either a giant jar of mustard or Borat.
How To Avoid Being This Guy
Women like a sense of humour, sure. But it’s unlikely that your dating profile is going to have her in stitches. The only one that made me properly laugh out loud was a man who has written only “I hate London” in his about me section, but I don’t think he meant this to be funny. Avoid catchphrases, quotes and bad jokes. If you really are THAT funny, it should show through the way you write, and if it doesn’t, you can make her laugh when you meet her.