What started out as a simple research mission for my novel, has turned in to a bit of a ‘but why is the world this way?’ post, and the only thing I can possibly do is write about it.
I should just say, I have absolutely no problem with online dating whatsoever. It’s as good a place as any when it comes to meeting people, and I know several lucky souls who’ve met their significant others by searching ‘within 50 miles’ of their hometowns. Great! Wonderful! Beaut! Fantastic!
But whilst scrolling merrily through both male and female profiles on Plenty of Fish to get some ideas for Eliza – my main character who’s struggling to fill in her own profile- these are just a few of the things I found:
- people with a wedding photo as their profile picture
– a significant number of people saying things like ‘iTunes is wrong, I’M the hottest single this year’
– about 90% of people on the defensive ‘I’m me, I’m unique, deal with it’
– The dodgiest song lyrics known to man kind. Oh boy.
– ‘dunno wat to put’ copy and pasted in the description box repeatedly
– ‘Wanted: room mate NON UGLY’
– ‘If you was a bogey, I’d pick you first’ (I really, really wish I was joking)
– ‘I’ve been a nice guy/ gal for too long, now shit’s gettin’ real’ on more than one occasion I’ve seen this. So you’re essentially advertising yourself as a dick? Good luck with your personal marketing strategies pal!
– So many apologies for ‘bad’ pictures!
– And my personal favourite, ‘I don’t want anything serious, just some fun I REALLY WANT KIDS IT’S MY DREAM TO BE A GREAT FATHER.’ (paraphrased, but the meaning hasn’t changed)
Although quite bad, none of these are the worst problems though, oh no. The very worst problem is even worse than the bogey pick one.
‘I’m an easy going lad from Croydon, I basically eat because food is yum, I like the same films as all my mates and I like to keep fit.’
‘If I had to describe myself as three things, they would be chilled, easy going, and fun.’
‘My mates would describe me as easy going and always up for a laugh.’
These three are descriptions I’ve made up, but I bet it wouldn’t be very difficult to find more than several people who very nearly match those descriptions word for word.
On the face of it, it seems like a good thing. ‘Well that guy has a nice face, and he says he’s easy going and likes to laugh. Cute!’ *click*
But nearly everyone writes ‘easy going’. You’re (mostly) not going to get people who write things like:
‘I’ve got a bit of a temper on me, and I like nothing better on a Sunday than taking whole salmon from the Tesco fish counter and smacking up rude bitchez who can’t push their trollies in a straight line away from me GODDAMIT’
Besides, now it’s now a thing that nearly everyone writes, it’s redundant.
I’m probably straying too far into the realms of personal-wants-from-a-potential-partner now, but this blanket ‘easy going’ attitude, makes it very difficult to tell from profiles whether that person is passionate about anything. Whenever I’ve read ‘easy going’ or ‘laid back’ all my head says is ‘meh’.
It just gives this blanket impression of no-one caring about ANYTHING.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather read a description of someone who’s out and proud of wanting nothing more from life than being a dad, someone who is well into their stamp collection, someone who loves football so much that they almost play as they watch it, someone who feels passionately that Piers Morgan should be extradited to the moon. People who write that kind of stuff without getting defensive, and without trying to hide it under layers of ‘meh, whatevs’. I may or may not share their enthusiasm about the same things (I’m never gonna squeal at a stamp, soz.), but at least it reveals something other than that they love eating pizza, watching DVDs, and going to the gym.
Out of 700+ men the only ONE with a profile I would have clicked on if I was doing this for real, was a 31 year-old, Irish, IT technician named Derek. He wrote a couple of paragraphs about things he loves whilst genuinely sounding interested in them, and he was actually funny rather than just declaring that he is.
So Derek, on the off chance that you ever read this… I’m a 21 year-old lass from the south of England. I have a great sense of humour, I like going for walks and watching DVDs, circuit training and making people laugh. I’m also pretty easy going.