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Men – Perfect your Profile for a Deluge of Dating.

Published December 15, 2015 by Naomi Rettig

(Dedicated to anyone who’s ever dipped their toe into internet dating waters)

 
Over the years I’ve been an intermittent user of online dating. Well, I say user, browser is more the correct term. I hardly met anyone from online dating sites, and this was not all down to me being picky, judgemental and anxious when it came to searching for a man. Ok, I am judgemental. I was put off by so many bad profiles. You could be the most wonderful person in the world but if your profile presents you badly you will be swiped left quicker than a greased up penguin on a water slide.
To help avoid tumbleweed on your exciting new dating account I have compiled some handy tips on what not to do for any men setting up a profile.

 
Your profile picture is important. Most people tick the box for ‘profiles with pic’ in their initial search, so if you haven’t got one then you have eliminated yourself from a big batch of ladies already. We want to see what you look like. No one would walk into a bar blindfolded and start chatting to potential dates, same principle here. So here we go.

 
Don’t pose in candlelight. If you do it could be assumed that you don’t pay your electricity bill, or that you look hideous in daylight.Or that you are a vampire.

 
Don’t wear sunglasses. Why are you hiding your eyes? They are the windows to your soul. Is your soul a scary place to peer into? Or maybe you are just boss eyed. There’s nothing wrong with that, but be honest.

 
Don’t use a dated photo from the seventies or eighties. If you think that’s your best photo, with a mullet/perm and orange polyester flares/turquoise shell suit, then goodness knows what you look like now. Not many women will be willing to take that chance. And if they are, then they are going to be more desperate than you.

 
Don’t pose in front of a tractor. You’re on a dating site, not featuring in ‘Farmers Weekly’. We like to imagine a man smelling of Joop, not poop.

 
Don’t post a photo of yourself wearing socks and sandals. This just screams out that you’ve not been near a woman in a while. A long while. An incredibly long while. And that you most likely still live with your mother.

 
Don’t post a photo of yourself crouched down by a riverbank holding a large brown trout. Again, you are on a dating site, not the letters page of ‘Angling Times’. Not many women will be thrilled with the prospect of you smelling of fish. If they are, you need to track down that specialist site.

 
Talking of specialist sites, please don’t post photos of yourself head to toe in a red latex gimp suit. If this is your ‘thing’ you’re better off on a site more catered to the fetish world. Side point – Why is it only weirdly shaped people, think human space hopper, that like to wear sprayed on PVC?

 
Please smile, it’s not a mugshot. You haven’t been arrested. Yet. So many profiles I’ve seen have frowning, miserable or disinterested faces staring back. Who wants to date Mr Angry, Mr Downer, or Mr Constipated?

 
Don’t post a photo that also has your friends in it. Especially if they are better looking than you. Although, if you think you are being clever by popping on a pic of you with ugly friends to make yourself look good, that could backfire if the ladies viewing think you’re that ugly one. So to avoid confusion all around, just post a photo of yourself alone. Or with a dog. No one will get you mixed up with a dog. But don’t just post a photo of your dog on its own. That’s just weird. Someone wants to potentially date you, not your pet.

 
Don’t post a photo of yourself drunk. You might think you giving the impression of being a fun party goer but you’re not. You just look like a twat. A drunken twat.

 
Don’t post a photo of yourself hugging a female. She may well be your sister but when glancing at the photo we won’t know this. We will assume she’s your last girlfriend. This is even worse if your sister is really attractive.We will think we are not pretty enough for you and move on. Sad but true.

 
Don’t post photos with your children in them. For a start you shouldn’t be putting pics of your children anywhere near a dating site. If you are pictured with your tribe of children it might be seen that you are just looking for a mother for your kids and not a partner for yourself. Maria Von Trapp apply within.

 
Don’t post up a torso shot of yourself. Yes, it’s lovely if you have an abdomen circa Peter Andre in 1996, but the fact that you don’t show your face indicates that either you look like the elephant man or that you are married. Both thoughts will get a swipe left into the reject pile of no return.

 
Now you have your profile picture sorted and have captured a lady’s eye, you need to have a good write up about yourself to capture the other bits of the lady that is looking at/scrutinizing you. Different dating sites have various sections and subsections for you to fill in. Please don’t leave blanks or write ‘I’ll fill this in later’. This just tells the reader that you can’t really be bothered and that you are lazy or stupid. None of which are qualities you look for in a new partner. You wouldn’t submit a CV to an employer with just your name on and ‘I’m looking for a job’ scrawled across it would you? If you would, stop reading now, there is no hope for you.

 
There’s usually a ‘tell us about yourself’ section. This is where you can dazzle the multitude of ladies out there and make yourself the must have date. Don’t be too generic. Make the viewer remember you, for the right reasons. Saying that you like sunsets, kittens and walks along the beach is far too clichéd and doesn’t narrow down things in common with your perfect person. After all, everyone likes that don’t they? You might as well say I love eating, sleeping and breathing. Then two thousand potential daters say ‘ooh I like that too!’ Be more specific. By revealing you like The Walking Dead, non-alcoholic pina coladas and taking photographs of marzipan animals, you might not get two thousand interested people but you will eliminate the people that you wouldn’t get along with. Although a word of caution – if the things you like are a bit too weird (making statues of European landmarks from your ear wax, eating roadkill, liking Coldplay) then maybe not advertise this.

 
The ‘what are you looking for’ section is slightly trickier. If you’re too specific, ‘I’m looking for a 5’5 tall skinny redhead with long curly hair’ you could be eliminating your perfect partner. A 5’4 tall skinny redhead with long curly hair might skip past you when she could be the one, or it might appear that you are not over your ex and are just searching for a lookalike. On the other hand, if you’re too vague ‘I’m looking for someone with a pulse’, you could seem a little desperate. Aim for something in the middle – ‘I’m looking for a fellow film buff who enjoys both snuggling on the sofa with a hot chocolate and going out and about exploring new places together, armed with a camera and a picnic.’ Set a scene for the lady reading your profile, let them imagine themselves in that scene with you, let them want to be in that scene with you.

 
Finally, your opening message is important too. You’ve done all the ground work with your amazing profile so you don’t want to sabotage that effort. Don’t go for a one word ‘hi’. While this is better than nothing at all, it’s not very imaginative. If the lady in question has just received twenty messages, you want yours to stand out from the herd. Don’t open with ‘You’re stunning, I would’, ‘You don’t look 40’, ‘Your hair looks nice’, or ‘I think you could be my next wife’. Yes, I have had all of these gems genuinely as a first message. While these were all meant to be complimentary, as an opening message they come across as being a bit creepy. The best opening messages are ones that show you’ve read the other person’s profile. Ask a question too as this is more likely to get a response. ‘Hi, I see you like horror films, my favourite is John Carpenters ‘The Fog’, what’s yours?’ is more likely to get you a reply than just ‘Hi’.

 
So there you are, a quick guide to setting up your online dating profile and getting one step closer to extra Christmas presents. And wearing your best pants.

 

Actually, always wear your best pants.

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Valentine’s Day for Singles

Published February 9, 2015 by Naomi Rettig

It’s that annoying time of the year again when shop windows fill with a sea of red love hearts and loved up smug couples flaunt their sickly sweet soulmate status, while feeling sorry for singletons and their miserable lonely existences. Yes, I’m not a fan of the over commercialised event of Valentine’s Day.
I don’t like the fact that florists, hotels and restaurants hike up their prices for this day – I know they are in business and need to make money but I still find it distasteful. I don’t like the assumption that it’s just this one day of the year that you show the person that you love you care – you don’t need a special day to do this. I don’t like couples who send vomit inducing messages on social media for all to see –tell each other privately, why do you need to tell everyone/show off about it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am surprisingly an eternal romantic even though I’ve been single for many years now. I’m more in love with the idea of being in love than actually being in love though. It’s exciting to imagine that my soulmate is out there somewhere and that fate will guide us together in some mysterious circumstance, our eyes will meet and we will instantly know we are destined to be together for eternity. But in reality I know the chances of this happening are a slither of slim. I manage to hide this hope of ‘my soulmate is out there’ at the back of my brain, filed away with ‘someone will invent calorie free chocolate’ and ‘if I mentally promise to donate half to charity I will win the lottery jackpot’.
Maybe that’s why I don’t like Valentine’s Day too, a reminder of another year sailed by without bumping into said soulmate (and another year without calorie free chocolate and a lottery win). So when I see the sea of red and pink hearts surging up the high street I have to remind myself how good it is to be single to stop myself sinking in the suffocating waves of organised romance.
There are wonderful advantages to being single. Your legs are warmer in winter as there is no need to shave them, although when you shave for summer dresses it will appear that you’ve massacred Chewbacca in your bath tub. You can watch whatever television you like and when you like, no having to put up with silly sports channels or being tutted at when watching hours of soap operas. There are no tedious in-laws to dutifully visit or partner’s friends that you have to tolerate when you would really like to smack them across the face with a wet haddock. You can starfish in bed at night, fidget away and keep all the duvet to yourself, not to mention the bliss of a quiet night’s sleep with no snoring or heaving breathing next to you that leaves you contemplating first degree murder. You can also have lovely lazy days where you don’t have to bother brushing your hair and applying your face and you can feel happy lounging around in the nude without constantly holding your tummy in. Also you will have healthier intestines too as there is no need to hold wind in, extra beneficial being a vegetarian.
I unfortunately can’t banish Valentine’s Day so instead I will celebrate with the current soulmate in my life – me. I will treat myself to some lovely gifts perfect for me (Erica Spindler’s new thriller book, the Fawlty Towers scripts and Monty Python’s Holy Grail script) and spoil myself with a luxurious candlelit bath after work while sipping non-alcoholic pina colada (my tipple of choice) before watching a Judd Nelson movie (getting to spend the evening with the most handsome man on the planet) and enjoying a Marks & Spencer meal for one.
I suppose I have fallen into the consumer trap of this day. And that little seed of hope will be waiting for flowers from a secret admirer to be delivered in work and an array of admirer’s cards waiting on my doormat on return from work. They won’t, and I shall be momentarily disappointed before reminding myself that I’m spending the evening with someone that loves me unconditionally and forever. Me. So if you are single on Valentine’s Day: love yourself, be kind to yourself and remind yourself how special you are, too special to share in fact!