As I always say, your dating profile is your storefront, your big shiny window display that you use to get the punters in. But in just a few short sentences, you can turn your gleaming emporium of you into a rundown old convenience store, with dirty canopies, smeared windows, and nothing of interest inside.
All of the following are based on actual openers from dating profiles I have perused over the years.
"I'm kind of like a Charlotte in the daytime and a bit of a Carrie on a night out. Maybe with a touch of Samantha too if you're lucky LOL. Which Sex & The City character are you most like?"
Mmmm, don't know. How about whichever one would be least likely to sleep with YOU? Comparing yourself to three of the most irritating TV characters of all time isn't exactly endearing me to you. You are not like Carrie. She lives in a shoebox in Manhattan and somehow gets no end of men to fall hopelessly in love with her despite being utterly vapid and having a really whiny voice. That isn't going to be happening here.
"Looking for the missing half of a possible Kooples ad campaign."
Be still my beating ticket to get 10,000 miles away from you.
"Be prepared to lie if anyone asks where we met."
Oh, I *will*! I'll say it was at a sex dungeon. Run by your mother.
"If I can tell you're gay when you first walk into the room, we probably won't get on."
Well, I guess I had better leave my feather boa, Judy Garland tapes and tight lurex vests at home on our first date, which will no doubt go like an absolute dream with a massive insecure homophobe like you.
"I've got a lot of strong opinions, and I'm not afraid to share them."
In other words, sign here right on the dotted line for a date full of half-baked ideas gleaned from Sky News and over-confrontational attacks on the welfare system or Madonna.
"I love long walks on the beach/round the city/in the park/up hill and down dale/toward the guillotine in a big floaty dress."
We get it. Most people love a long walk or two. This effort to sound earthy and romantic and outdoorsy fails and makes you sound boring, clichéd and desperate. Let the 'long walk' conversation come out on the first date, if it really must at all. NB: If you don't like long walks, feel free to keep this to yourself too.
"FOR SALE: One happy-go-lucky runaround, two or three not so careful owners, not too many miles on the clock and in fairly good condition. PRICE: Drink in the pub, dinner ONO."
Oh, I see! You're a car. See also: mock eBay ads, pastiches of old-fashioned personal columns, parodies of movie posters etc. On the surface of it, these always seem like a good idea because you think they make you seem quirky and funny. The sad fact is that they are blisteringly unoriginal, usually misguided (You're a clapped-out Ford Mondeo? Really?) and say very little about your personality except that you'd rather come across as some clever wit on your profile than reveal anything else about yourself. Besides, I can't drive.
"Hello there! Thank you so much for clicking on my profile!"
Errr, my hand slipped.
"I'm creative, intelligent, masculine and fun. I DON'T like mind games and timewasters. I DO like honesty and fidelity."
I'm not sure you're being entirely honest about the "fun" part, are you? I ran this through my dating profile translator machine (my head) and it came back with "I have been cheated on and messed about by all manner of blokes, probably because I'm not that much fun to be with and have lots of bizarre hang-ups. Also: very mannish, honestly."
"I don't know what I'm doing here. Internet dating is a bit weird, isn't it?"
If you have suddenly woken up from a century-long slumber, I guess it is, yeah. If you were birthed in the modern world, however, get with the programme and quit this fake bemusement with the internet like you're a maiden aunt seeing a pair of crotchless knickers for the first time.