Apparently, the festive gap between Christmas Day and the New Year is one of the busiest for people to sign up to online dating sites. No doubt fuelled by a cocktail of loneliness, 40% proof alcohol, carb induced self loathing and a plain old vomit inducing Richard Curtis cinematic atrocities – people all over the world flock to their computers and settle down to write one of the most difficult paragraphs of their entire lives; their dating profile.
For some of us, it’s the hardest thing we’ll ever write. Harder than trying to find a way of saying ‘going to the pub’ that makes you seem dynamic and employable and not at all a social burden in the hobbies and interests section on a job application form. Harder than fretting over the ‘How many units of alcohol do you drink a week?’ question on a doctors registration form, before settling on a well rounded, sensible 10. A doctor would only have to take one look at the yellow of your eyes to know different, and that’s the same with dating profiles. You can say what you want to potentials online, but the minute they meet you in person all of those lies are going to unravel like Michelle McManus in a corset. From a distance, you look good, but the closer you get and the more lies you tell, the tighter the corset becomes until you’re completely suffocated by them and great big flaps of deceit come flopping out of the edges like a tsunami of flesh.
Obviously, the best thing to do is ‘be yourself’. But, come on, how likely is it that you’re going to get a date if you say that sometimes you have a couple of drinks and can get a bit obnoxious and sweary. Or, that you’ve lost entire weekends watching episodes of Come Dine With Me on More4, picking crisps out of your bra and reading all 52 obituaries of the victims of the July 7th bombings?
Not very likely…trust me.
I know it has worked wonders for some, but I personally am not a fan of online dating. I once set up a profile for a radio feature and understand all too well how difficult it is to write one. Here’s a small example of my attempt to make myself sound like an exciting potential companion:
“As you can’t tell from the head shot, I have your typical two up, two down. Please note that, that is not a reference to my living situation. I do not own a house, but I do have two of everything you would expect on a woman; like Noah’s Ark, but made of skin.”
You see, what I managed to do here, is subtly point out that I am able bodied, have breasts and eyes, but am a little poor and most probably a bit awkward in social situations. Not my finest work, but as it stands it was a surprisingly successful mating call for every filthy weirdo within a 40 mile radius. In all fairness, it was for an experiment and on a free dating site which might as well have been the Costa Del Sol of the internet. Overall, it was a vile experience, but provided me with plenty of material.
The second time I set up a profile was with a two week trial on match.com because my friend was doing it, and I didn’t want to pay. This time, I did a much more serious attempt to my profile, but at the very end I said:
“….but if you’re not into Pandas, you can fuck off.”
Nobody seemed to get the joke and I got a lot of people writing to me commenting on how they liked how passionate I was about Pandas, one guy in particular who said I should work in Panda conservation because my passion would go a long way there. He still didn’t understand when I told him I couldn’t do it because there’s just no job security where animal extinction is concerned. Further still, I actually managed to convince him that it was Hitlers fault Pandas were verging on extinct anyway, because the two things he hated most in life were Pandas and Jews. He was a bit of a lost cause to be honest. Long story short, before the two weeks were up I met a French man who could write in perfect in English, but couldn’t really speak it, hated women who drank pints and gambled and took me to M&M world. Basically, my worst nightmare with some stilted conversation about tiny multi coloured chocolate and shit cartoon t-shirts thrown in for good measure.
What I’m trying to say, is that when it comes to writing a dating profile, what I’ve learned is that sometimes, it’s good to bend the truth a bit. As the old saying goes, you can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter. You just need to jazz up your wording a bit.
I think I’ve come up with the perfect way to help any lovelorn beauties write their dating profiles. Whisky. Just steal quotes directly from Whisky reviews, and you’re golden.
See how on paper, I evolve from being an acquired visual taste, and perhaps just a little bit common, to:
“Striking packaging that places great emphasis on its roots”
My gobby but always well meaning tendencies become:
“Confident, well made blend with a distinctly malty heart” – Doesn’t that make me sound lovely and earthy, like Felicity Kendall?
My often debatable mental stability transforms me into something “pleasingly complex”.
Issues with emotional intimacy are cleverly masqueraded as:
“Must be given time to reveal its many fine qualities”
And “It’s difficult to keep a whisky this old from going over the edge into an undesirable oak-fest. If you can afford it, try it!” Which, I think means I’m fun. But also makes me sound like a bit of a prostitute. That one needs some work to be honest.
Basically, you’ve got to pick and choose them carefully and jiggle them about abit, but if you’re struggling this New Year, there’s definitely something in feeding your profile with Whiskey reviews. And if all else fails, just feed them in real life with Whisky* instead.
Happy New Year, y’all
*or Whiskey, if you wanna get all regional about it.