Last year's love didn't quite take. I blame the cats, or maybe my ex-girlfriend's insistence on calling "people watching" a hobby. Of course wherever the blame lies, the net result is the same: I'm back to being on the figurative shelf. I'm back to being a singleton. Indeed, I've decided my singleton status warrants action, and have once again descended into the finger clicking depths of internet dating.
It's now the weekend, and my twitchy fingers hover over my laptop, much like a sweaty-tooth Hunter Googler, one feverishly eyeing a list of dating sites as they flash their hyperlinked harrises in my search engine results.
Elite Singles sounds a bit Tory. It sounds a bit like eugenicists do online dating.
Match.com and eHarmony are earnest possibilities, though the more salacious alternatives, Be Naughty and UP FOR IT are vying for my pant stroking attention.
In the end, I opt for Plenty of Fish, deciding a colourful idiom is where it's at. What's more, opposed to the other sites, Plenty of Fish is #FREE and who doesn't like #FREE?!
Anyway, I set up a new account on Plenty of Fish and go about the business of creating a profile.
Do I go for truth?
I have a mild to obsessive mammary fixation, desiring an ample woman who's filthy in bed but lovely in public. Oh, and preferably a woman who doesn't think people watching is a hobby or interest.
Do I lie?
I love cats, salsa and people watching. And I won't be wholly fixating on your knockers as I likely ignore your wordy spiel.
In the end I opt for a subtle blend of both.
You see, I'm an experienced hand at all this internet dating (nothing to really boast about, but there you go). Certainly, I've a screwed-up face that lends itself nicely to being hidden behind a glaring screen, and I often tell myself I've a little craft with the written word, too. Indeed, I've had far more success than a man/boy of my height, weight and income should.
Here are a few key points I've learnt over the years and, as the headline promised, a quick guide for gentlemen and rogues alike.
1: Don't lie.
At least don't try and be somebody you're not, pretending you like cats, salsa and think people watching is a legitimate hobby. If instead you like computer games, pornography and your second language is Parseltongue then say so. Presumably you want to meet a girl who's on your wavelength and not one who's uptight, aka can't see that speaking like a snake is quite... erm, quirky, erudite and charming.
You've tried being you and you're getting nowhere. Reinvent yourself and be someone else for a while. You could pretend you're a designer for Kinder Egg. I did. I once lied and claimed I made the toys that go inside the yellow capsule, and I was working on a new range of crocodiles. It worked... for a while. You could also make up some interesting hobbies for your new persona. Do some research, and by the time your lies are discovered and the web of deceit falls about your feet, you'll at least have gotten a morally bankrupt fumble or more.
SEARCHING FOR GIRLS:
1: Beware disembodied heads.
If a girl only displays carefully crafted photos of her face and no shots of her body then she's hiding something. Both literally and figuratively. Possibly she's on the rotund side, whilst not appreciating modern-day men love women of all shapes and sizes. Possibly though, she doesn't have a body at all, and is actually some sort of disembodied head.
2: If she says things like "I work hard and play hard", with no hint of irony, you simply have to accept she's most likely a dick.
Eighties' fashion is still in vogue (I think), but that doesn't mean we need to reengage with its sayings and blend of social Darwinist principles. DO NOT email her. My wider point is to avoid trying to convince yourself you like someone because they look pretty. If their spiel makes you cringe then the chances are they're not for you. Of course, I guess it depends on how pretty they really are (joke, kind of joke).
THE DATE ITSELF:
1: Go for a drink/coffee on a first date, or better yet a walk about a suitable park. After all, parks are #FREE and who doesn't like #FREE?!
2: Avoid verbal death and have an opening line or anecdote at the ready. You could even compliment your date on her hair, dress, shoes, but not her breasts, bottom or blow job lips.
3: If she says "I was worried you might be an axe murderer", do not sarcastically reply "I'm not an axe murderer, I strangle my victims instead: less blood".
Good luck, gentlemen and rogues alike!
Tom Conrad is the author of Couldn't Love, available on Amazon for Kindle.