Recently I decided to start online dating again. Despite feeling that meeting a man in 'real life' is preferable to finding a pre-packaged boyfriend online, nights consisting of sitting on my sofa surfing Facebook, commenting on Twitter, biding on eBay and greatly enjoying reading questionable reviews about my ex-boyfriend's company on various consumerist websites began to wane a little and so, I decided to log back on.
When it comes to dating profiles it can take quite a lot of effort to appear 'fresh' online. However, after scanning countless profiles, I have recognised that there are certain rules that men should adhere to in order to score a date. The written profile is of upmost importance, however, being the first thing a girl sees, a man's profile picture can really be the thing to clinch the deal.
The topless photo. Never under any circumstances, regardless of how much you work out, use a topless picture in your online dating profile. In young men this says - I have minimal brain capacity and take steroids which lead to erectile dysfunction and anger issues. In older men (and trust me when I say, I have seen men well into their sixties go shirtless) - I have a yellow sports car, listen to Status Quo and am in the throws of a mid-life crisis. Being in reasonably good nick for your age does not give you permission to expose your withered nipples to the world - beach location or otherwise.
Step away from the puppy. Small animals do not make you look kind and sensitive - they make you look a little creepy. Seeing you doe-eyed cradling a miniature Dachshund isn't 'cute'. It simply gives me scope to imagine you asleep with a pair of balls on the pillow next to you with permanent aromas of Pedigree Chum about your person.
Standing next to a sports car does not say that you are wealthy and fun. It says you have a small penis and no personality. The same can be said for all other type of 'boy toys' - bikes, aeroplanes, jet skis and the like. If you cannot muster up a more imaginative venue in which to advertise yourself than a car showroom then my guess is you are not the man for me - or anyone else who doesn't work for an illicit Mayfair based escort agency.
Go easy on the 'wacky faces'. I'm sure you're a laugh a minute and utterly hilarious but wearing crazy glasses and an afro wig says a little more about you being a bit of a tool than it does about your fabulous personality. Simply put, you look like a twat. The type that takes your seat away when you are about to sit down in a restaurant, hides your car keys as a 'joke' or hacks your Twitter account to tell everyone 'how much I lurrvee my boyfriend coz he's got such a big dick'. Only men who stick their tongue out and wear comedy glasses find this type of humour funny. Don't be one of them.
Keep it current. Us girls aren't silly. We understand that, at a certain age, skimming a few years off is pretty standard and that, when it comes to online dating, we all want to present ourselves in the best light possible. Saying that, scanning a grainy photo of yourself wearing stone-washed denim with a poster for Live Aid in the background may raise a few suspicions. We are not expecting an hourly photo update, just something from this decade is appreciated.
And finally the 'no photo at all' profile - or the 'egghead' as it's more commonly known. You are either incapable of uploading a photo (and therefore most likely to be in your sixties) married, ugly or all three. Being 'embarrassed' to be online dating does not wash either. You are doing it, deal with it.
To refresh - smile, be current and go easy on accessories - be it dogs, yellow cars, 'crazzzy' wigs or gold chains. How hard can it be?