So, I've deleted my online dating account and hung up my pulling pants. I'm done. My future now is chocolate chip cookies and a basket of kittens. But I have some (I hope) humorous tips for anyone deciding to try it for themselves.
1. Do not say "I don't want any fat people/munters/idiots who kant spel!" when you are yourself overweight, no oil painting, or semi-literate. It makes you look like... what's the word I'm searching for here? Oh, yeah. A shallow dick with no sense of irony. Okay, that's more than one word. The English language hasn't got a precise word for that. I bet the Germans do, and it's like 62 letters long.
2. Set your expectations low. Then keep digging.
3. The hot ones don't reply to messages. At least not my messages. Either they're fake profiles or it's related to my needing half a bottle of wine before I was brave enough to contact anyone, resulting in absolute drivel. ... Nah. They're fake. I'm sure of it.
4. Don't pretend to be white when you're not. That really did happen to me. Much as I don't care, and the thought of giving racists a fright when you meet them is always enjoyable, if you're going to lie about something as fundamental as your skin colour then I had no reason to believe anything else you said.
5. Put up a photo. Or my first thought was "Who are you cheating on, then?"
6. Don't send a writer a message saying "Hi how r u u lk gd." It fries our inner editor's synapses and could make us go blind.
7. Try to keep negativity out of your profile. "I'm shambling through my worthless existence with no friends and no direction" is not that attractive. I don't know about other women but I have no experience in talking people down from window ledges, and it's not something I have much interest in learning. Most women won't think "Wow, he's so deep!" they'll think "This guy needs an ambulance." And any woman who's actively looking for a man like that is not a woman you want to meet. Trust me.
8. For God's sake, if you've got kids, don't put photos of them up on a dating site. Really. Yuck.
9. If you have major hardcore fetishes, use major hardcore fetish sites. You're unlikely to find people into cutting, peeing, and playing mummy to a man in a nappy on a general dating site.
10. READ someone's profile before messaging them. A few men could have saved themselves several seconds sending me their cut-and-paste stock opener if they'd read the bit about no racists or homophobes.
So there you have it. Now I'm off out with a big net to catch me some stray kitties.