Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Internet Dating Questions They All Want To Ask

Dear Datingmonkey

I am, of course, a huge fan. Both literally and metaphorically, as I both admire your work, and weigh over 23 stone. But now: to the point. I have three questions:

1. Does internet dating work?
2. Do you think it could work for me?
3. Is internet dating just another way of meeting people, or an example of the deterioration of traditional societies and the erosion of community?

Yours ever,

Carlos, Leighton Buzzard

Dear Carlos

1. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't.
2. Dunno. Probably.
3. First one.

Hope that helps.

Datingmonkey x

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

First Ever Internet Date: More Evidence From A Fan

Following my recent revelations about the first ever internet date, a fan writes:

"You are a towering genius, a bottomless well of perpetual inspiration to us all. Only you could have unearthed this photo.

I remember that date as if it were yesterday (Alzheimer's gets you like that). I was the old bloke (yes, even then) in the corner, sipping a pint of Toad's Piss (like Snakebite but with Southern Comfort). The Eagles were on the jukebox, which had somehow stuck on 'Hotel California' and I was savouring a humble Number 6 and reading about a promising colt called Arkle.

He couldn't keep his hands off her, not surprising since she had one of those skimpy Laura Ashley numbers. She did keep shifting away from him, and I'm not surprised. I could smell the Brut from the other side of the bar."

Monday, May 29, 2006

First Internet Date Uncovered

Historians at the University of the Easternmost Tip of England (formerly Tunbridge Wells Polytechnic) have uncovered evidence of the first internet date. Joe Last, now 49, was quick to relive memories of their pioneering technological first.

"It was 1977, and to be honest, we didn't really know what we were doing", said Joe this morning. "One minute I'm helping her with her Chemistry coursework; next minute she's asking me to touch her clogs with my hand. And all down to that little baby, the IBM AD2001 Lo-Tech Port-O-Ble. Still got it in the attic, as it goes - what do you reckon it would get on eBay?"

Veronica Lake, also 49 and pictured on the left of this photograph, refused to comment. "He kept sending me 'code'. I thought he was a bit dirty, really, but everyone was shagging everyone else so I thought, well, why not? I've told my daughters to stay away from the online, if I'm honest, although apparently it's good for car insurance."

Does It Matter What Music He Likes?

Of course it bloody well does. Anyone who owns a James Blunt album doesn't deserve to have ears. Fact.

(NB: this post is just an excuse to show this excellent picture of Kraftwerk's 1981 B-Side, 'Computer Love'.)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

How To Escape From A Bad Date

What do you do if, 3 minutes into a date, your realise he's pointless cockmonkey?

I have found that the usual methods (running away, shouting 'OH MY CHRIST YOU ARE NOT WHAT I WANTED' in his face, pretending best mate has phoned and is dead, etc), may be less effective than 'subtly' dropping any of the following into conversation:

- does he want kids?

- does he believe in marriage?

- would he like to come to church with you on Sunday and meet your parents at the same time?

- would he like to see a photograph of your cats?

- would he like to accompany you to Phantom of the Opera?

- would he mind if you licked his face?

- doesn't he agree that Jean-Marie Le Pen represents all that is true and right in the world?

- doesn't he agree that Julian Lloyd-Weber was the really talented one?

- doesn't he agree that everyone's over-reacting, and of COURSE Bush was right?

- does he agree with you that sex before marriage is wrong, but that God wouldn't want you to be unhappy, so it's OK to do 'anything but' as long as it's in the dark, because that way God can't see?

You can, of course, just leave when he goes to the bar. Or say 'I'm very sorry, but I don't think this is working for me'. In fact, you could be grown up and honest about it. But that's not as much fun, is it?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A question from a concerned reader

DM, you gotta help me.

I've been emailing this guy for 4 weeks, and it was going well (or so I thought) - we were going to meet for beers and a Mexican meal next Tuesday.

He's just emailed me to ask if I like 'dressing up', and mentioned a stethoscope he bought off a site that imports second hand medical gear from Malaysia.

I'm no prude, but this kind of concerns me. I'm keen to meet him (he's cute, and we've got a lot in common), but I'm not sure I'm ready to embark on a relationship with a man who's going to want to 'check my pulse' so soon in our relationship.

What do you think?

Thanks DM.

Concerned, NYC

Dear Concerned,

Thank you for your enquiry.

Let's get to it. Nothing is 'wrong' in the confines of a loving relationship in which both parties agree to indulge in whatever pecadillo gets their mutual dogs barking. But as you say - is this not a little early to mention his sexual preferences? So saying, I'm sure there's something YOU like in the sack that might frighten the horses a bit if brought up too early in a burgeoning relationship.

But - you like the sound of him. He is attractive, you've been emailing him for 4 weeks, and you're clearly keen to meet him. I suggest you say kindly but firmly that you are a little alarmed by his early mention of his medical preferences, and ask him to keep them to himself until you have, at least, met.

Go and drink beers and eat fajitas, or whatever you do when eating 'Mexican'. And if he whips out his stethoscope on the first date, I suggest you whip out some chloroform and a rag, also freely available from the Malaysian websites you mention above.

Yours in Dating

DM x

PS Would you look good in a saucy nurse's uniform? If so, I suggest you give it a pop. You never know. You might like it.

Dog and Cat Logic Applied to Internet Dating

Today, I give you the greatest gift of them all: Dog Logic. What is this thing, I hear you cry? Well, it's simple. When in doubt, think like a dog - a tactic that is particularly useful when you are doing internet dating.

It ain't that difficult. Just react the way a dog would. For e.g.:

I am hungry = I must eat
I am tired = I must sleep.
I see an arse = I must stick my nose in it. (OK if a dog, unless you go to That Sort Of Party, I suppose)
There is a tree = Piss.
There is a fire = Lie down and sleep.
There is a cat = Kill. (I heartily endorse this aspect of being a dog, as it goes.)

So, what have we learnt? Dogs look at the evidence before them, interpret it correctly, and act upon it.

Right, kidz, let's step it up a gear, apply it to internet dating, and see what happens.

Man has not replied to email = man not interested.

Man has not telephoned after date = man not interested.

Man has requested repeat viewing on first date = probably interested.

Man then follows up with telephone call again requesting repeat viewing = definitely interested.

Man enjoys second viewing, then does not request third viewing = you did that thing. Yes. That one. (Or showed picture of cat, you spazzer.)

Lady has licked her lips a lot and showed you a suggestion of bosom = fancies a rummage in a back alley.

Lady sits with legs and arms crossed frowning = thinks you are a tosser.

Lady shows you picture of cat = terminally insane

Lady tells you she is fat/ugly/boring over & over again = not worth the effort

Lady tells you she likes seeing you = she means it

Man tells you he likes seeing you = he means it

Man uses picture you took of him as profile picture when re-posts profile after you have split up = over you (oh, SO over you)

Man goes out with you, then goes out with ex-girlfriend, then re-posts profile = has split up with ex again, but still so over you.

Now let's think about cats. What do they do? They piss about being annoying and making faces that suggest there's some sort of existential analysis going on behind their empty eyes. Cats are in fact astonishingly stupid, which is why they eat mice and that. So, what happens when we apply cat logic to the same situations? Let's see, shall we.

Man has not replied to your email = yeah, well, he's like on holiday

Man has not telephoned after date = he's working really hard, but I know he likes me because he smiled. Once.

Man has requested repeat viewing on first date = I have a boyfriend.

Man then follows up with telephone call again requesting repeat viewing = I have definitely got a boyfriend.

Man enjoys second viewing, then does not request third viewing = he's just afraid of commitment.

Lady has licked her lips a lot and showed you a suggestion of bosom = lady has funny sticky lips and is a bit hot.

Lady sits with legs and arms crossed frowning = lady is very tired indeed and preoccupied with her terminal illness.

Lady shows you picture of cat = lady is lovely and I want her to stroke me

Lady tells you she is fat/ugly/boring over & over again = poor poor lady! I will stroke my head against her until she strokes me and makes me feel better too.

Lady tells you she likes seeing you = lady wants to go out with me! Must run away! Must run away!

Man tells you he likes seeing you = man wants to marry me! Must subscribe to Brides magazine!

Man uses picture you took of him as profile picture when re-posts profile after you have split up = he is sending me a signal that he loves me still by using a picture I took

Man goes out with you, then goes out with ex-girlfriend, then re-posts profile = he is sending me a signal that he still loves me by re-posting his profile, because he has lost my 3 email addresses, 4 phone numbers, can't remember where I live or work, and can't remember my surname.

Any wonder I spend most evenings out with a stun gun hunting down the local feline population?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Busy Executive's Guide To Profiles

Millions of profiles. Seconds to read each. You haven't got time to waste.

Bear these points in mind as you browse, and love will come skipping into your inbox before you can say 'let's run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it'.

For the Ladies:

Dismiss immediately if profile includes the following:

Bad spelling

Pictures: Facial topiary, i.e. over-elaborate sculpted facial hair; blurred photograph; in a photograph with another woman

Where I live: I share a flat with friends (if over 43); I live with my parents (if over 30)

Hobbies: Civil War re-enactment; Star Wars conventions; gynaecology

Marital status: Separated; I have just got out of a relationship

Pets: reptiles; more than 2 dogs; llamas

I am looking for: 'Looks not important - all I am seeking is a good heart and 3 out of 4 limbs'

For the Gentlemen:

Dismiss immediately if profile includes the following:

Bad spelling; excessive use of exclamation marks; LOL; smileys

Pets: I live alone with 3 cats - 'my babies'

Marital status: I have been single for 7 years; I am trying to rebuild my life after my husband left me for his secretary

Photographs: With soft toys; with lots of female friends looking 'wacky'; photograph taken after a 'makeover' day at the local high street photographer

About me: "I am a kooky, bubbly, fun-loving girl who likes going out and staying in. I'm looking for someone to protect me, and laugh in the rain"

Good luck, busy people. You deserve to find love too.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Hi Datingmonkey,

I am a huge fan of your blog - I think you're hilarious. Here's my

I've never tried internet dating sites, but am considering it. Mostly, I'm afraid of getting caught on one of those sites. How do you deal with the possible humiliation of having your profile seen by somebody that you know and then being considered a desperate or pathetic?



My dear Ellen

I am pre-disposed to answer your question seriously as you are a Fan, and Heaven only knows they are few and far between. Still, you are obviously a woman of great good taste and for that, I salute you.

To your question, my dear.

Two options:

Option One

On most internet dating sites, you can 'hide' your photograph and only make it visible to those to whom you choose to make it visible. This is excellent if you are nervous of being discovered by a sneering colleague, but (unfortunately) not so good if you want to attract a lot of attention - as the simple fact is that profile photographs attract more attention.

Option Two

Take the bull by the horns, and the horse by the bit. Say it loud: "I'm internet dating and proud". I honestly believe that it isn't either desperate or pathetic anymore. In fact, amongst my group of friends (none of whom are desperate or pathetic), if you're single, you're a bit weird if you DON'T do it. I remember when I started internet dating about 7 years ago it was a bit weird, and you were allowed to be a bit embarrassed by it; now, people go 'oh' when you tell them how you've met your new boyfriend.

I suggest you go for it. Do it with grace, spirit, and a bit of elan. Get a big smiling picture of yourself. Write an honest, funny, sweet profile. Go and look and lots and lots of boys. Go on lots and lots of dates. Have fun doing it. You will meet a lot of people. And one of them might just be right for you.

And now to these people you are afraid of 'catching' you do it. Here's a thing: they'll only catch you doing it if they are on the sites themselves. But more to the point, anyone sneering at anyone making an honest attempt to find a lovely partner should have a sharp slap delivered to the back of their head, and be told to grown up in very severe tones. I don't think I'd care much about the opinion of these out-of-date looooo-sers, whose idea of socialising is probably going to the bar they always go to with the people they've always known, drinking 14 quarts of beer, trying to get off with the nearest person they can lay their hands on, then going home and falling asleep fully clothed on their sofa encased in a miasma of their own stench.

Listen, you sound like a sweetie. If you're a bit shy, try the 'hide profile photograph' option. ( does it and is a good place to start). Then, if you feel braver, expose yourself (as it were). And if anyone dares judge you, put your chin up, look them in the eye, and say: "And your point is what, exactly?".

With love (and tell me how it goes)

DM xxx

PS you can also meet a lot of top new friends by doing internet dating. I met 3 great friends doing it, let alone all the rest of it ...

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I propose applying some cunning tricks used by retailers to internet dating sites, thereby improving the internet dating customer experience.

BOGOF, aka Buy One, Get One Free

Do I really need to explain this?

Loyalty Cards (1)

You get points for every date you go on. After, say, 10 dates, the site gives you free access to all the pretty boys they've been keeping for themselves in a secret file in the office.

Loyalty Cards (2)

You get points for every message you get. Then something happens. Don't know what. Free membership or something. Cake, perhaps.


All the mingers' profiles get bigged-up for a week in a bid to shift them off the site and into a relationship, therefore improving the overall customer experience.

Computers for Schools Vouchers

Collect virtual 'tokens' as you date, and help build a programme that introduces internet dating to schools.

Obviously this is a brilliant idea as it is inevitable that in 5 years you'll be seen as a freak if you didn't meet your partner online, so let's equip the kidz now with all the information they need (how to interpret profile photographs; what profiles actually mean, etc - see May archive). Oh, and you'll be giving something back to society. Nice one.


Yes, I know they do it, but they could do it better. What about nicking Waitrose's line? 'Quality Totty, Honestly Priced'? And I'm sure we could do something with that Asda arse-slap.

Direct-To-Door Delivery

You organise your date, then the site brings them round in a van for you to look at before you commit to 30 quid's worth of drinks, a £20 cab fare home and having to beat them off with a shitty stick when they try and stick their hand up your skirt after the third Manhattan. If the one you've chosen isn't available, they'll bring round 'the nearest equivalent'.

Premium Range

'Finest' or 'Simply the Best' - either is fine. These are the particularly comely ladies and gentlemen the sites run special checks on, and are guaranteed mentally sound, mainly fed on organic free range food, clean and intelligent. They also come with a bit of traceability info, i.e. references from 3 ex boyfriends or girlfriends.

They cost a bit more but the quality's really worth it.

Own Brand Range

Average men and women who want to live in a Barrett home, enjoy Eamonn Holmes' National Lottery show and buy all their clothes from Next.

Customer Services

You phone up the site to see if they've got any 6ft freelance writers with blue eyes who are good at kissing and making biscuits in stock. They say yes, then you get put on hold and transferred to Bakery.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Dear Datingmonkey,

Everyone's doing internet dating, if you believe what you hear at West London dinner parties. Thing is, at 27, I don't think I'm desperate enough to do it. OK so I haven't met anyone I'm interested in in ages, and I've been single for 2 years. I'm not unattractive, I've got a job that I like and that pays OK, I've got lots of really nice friends, and I don't think I'm a total idiot - I just think that doing it means I've given up.

What do you think?

Thanks a lot.

Jack, Fulham

Dear Jack,
Are you mad? Get online and get some lady action, unless - of couse - you are a gaylord. Is that perhaps the problem? Either way, have a pop. Put 'likes men and women' in your profile. See what happens. Have a go on both. Meet some new people. See what tickles your fancy. It's the only solution.
Good luck.
DM x



Oh, it's all so
sweet, your advice, isn't it. Everything's so fucking nice in internet dating land when you're around, isn't it. What is it? Had some 'good luck' yourself? Is that it? I'm not impressed, as it goes. In your world, you assume that everyone's OK really, and that no bad shit happens. I've just this very night had some twat email me after 5 dates, the most recent of which was last night, telling me he really liked me but didn't think it was going to work out. Why did he bother seeing me so many times? What have I done wrong? Why does this have to be so fucking difficult?


Jess, Hackney

Dearest Jess

Listen. I don't think everything's OK in the world, so I certainly don't think it's all OK in internet dating land. Being single is lonely, boring, tough, and much more difficult than being in a relationship with someone you like and who likes you. Yes, I've met someone recently, but that's not the point and it doesn't change the advice I'm going to give you now.

The first thing to say is at least this chap was honest. He saw you a few times and he decided that you weren't the right girl for him. It doesn't mean that you're not the right girl for someone else. It's always disappointing if you're single and meet someone who's interesting who you think's interested in you and it doesn't work out, not only because that particular relationship hasn't worked out, but because it's so utterly exhausting and annoying having to start again.

The second thing to say is leave it alone with this one, don't ask him why (my dear, the indignity! It's enough knowing that he's not interested - and no, you don't need 'closure', you spaz), and just, well, get online and find someone else to go on a date with. And if that doesn't work out, do it again. And keep going until you find someone you like.

But being bitter and angry ain't going to help. It ain't attractive. The whole dating malarkey is undignified and a bit shite, but it's also quite entertaining and all sorts of weird shit can happen. Don't expect too much from it, and that way you won't be disappointed when it doesn't give you exactly the thing you think you want.

And anyway, he was patently a retard if he didn't like you. Most chaps like a gal with a bit of spirit and by jiminy, you sound spunky.


DM x

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Dear Datingmonkey

I have had 6 dates with a gentleman caller off of the internet. I slept with him on dates 1-3, had a brief fumble on date 4, and a cheek-kiss on date 5. On date 6, however, he didn't touch me at all, not even by accident. I also haven't heard from him for over a week.

What does it mean?

Yours anxiously,

Jackie, Ruislip

My dear Jackie

Thank you for your enquiry.

Well, regardless of the shagging part, if you haven't heard from him, he's not interested. Why he's not interested I couldn't tell you, and I'm not prepared to speculate.

Well, actually, I am.

1. He was after a quick round of cacher le saucisse, as my imaginary French penpal Henri used to say, but not after a 'relationship'

2. He slept with you before he decided if he liked you or not. You are a girl, therefore you assumed that he slept with you because he liked you. Wrong. He slept with you, then decided he didn't like you that much, so didn't bother with a repeat viewing.

3. You smell weird. That's not the same as smelling bad. Some people just smell weird. It's something to do with hormones and that.

4. You smell.

5. You are foxy, but a fucking idiot.

6. You lie on your back in bed staring at the ceiling and wincing.

7. You showed him your 'special drawer', and he was afraid.

Either way, it doesn't really matter. You're not going to see him again.

But what can you learn from this? Easy. Don't sleep with someone on the first date. Or the second. Or the third. Or even more than that, if you don't feel like it. Not from some fucking stupid adherence to the cunting 'Rules', but because you get to know someone and find out if they're the kind of cock who shags you a few times, and then stops calling.

Hot love


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Madman of Chiswick: A Cautionary Tale About Inbreeding

Posh as you like, he was. Proper posh. Unintelligible on the phone. Said 'ears' instead of 'yes'. That kind of thing. Quite funny though, in a way. Lived in Chiswick and worked in the City (quel surprise). And from his photograph, quite astonishingly handsome.

I met him one evening in a pub. In Chiswick. A few emails had been exchanged. Nothing remarkable, really. So seeing him in the flesh was quite a shock because he was, as his photographs suggested, quite astonishingly handsome. Odd, though. Talked about himself a lot. We drank some wine and talked about something. Can't remember what. And he said, come back to my flat for a cup of tea and order a cab. Nothing untoward, you understand. Plus there was obviously nothing 'like that' going on.

And my word, the flat. The top of an enormous house. Full of beautiful paintings and furniture in that over-crowded posh person's way. We drank tea and he showed me some photographs of his father winning the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. By now, it was clear that he wasn't quite right. Lots of stories about slights real and imagined; slightly cruel stories about things he had done to women who had slighted him on the line. I was fascinated, rather than afraid.

We sat down. "May I read you some of my poetry? Seamus Heaney was a family friend and he thought some of it was rather good". "Gosh", I said, "best not, I have the most appalling habit of giggling when anyone reads poetry out loud, however good it is, and I'm afraid you'll be very offended."

He started reading his poetry. His poetry was not good. It was about death and moles and stuff. To read it, he assumed an over-dramatic and v-e-r-y s-l-o-w voice; the voice of someone doing a very bad impersonation of Lawrence Olivier c. 1949. I was biting my hand. "And now - some music", he said, leaping to his feet.

He turned on his "soundsystem" and out came Alannis Morisette. He started swaying. "When I was in the hospital they recommended that I get a very good soundsystem. If you're bipolar, like I am, you often have very sensitive hearing. This cost £10,000". "Oh", I said. The cab came. "I don't think we'll be lovers, but it would be rarely good fun to have you round to supper with some chums one night", he said. "Lovely", I said, and disappeared into the West London evening.

The next day, he phoned me. And the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that. I started ignoring his calls. He started leaving increasingly strange messages. He emailed me (and 30 of his friends) a picture of a woman's breasts. "This bitch strung me along, and now I'm getting back at her by sending you all the photograph she sent me". I replied saying: never send me anything like this again. You have been very unkind, and you should apologise to her. He replied saying I was right, and that he had apologised.

One day, he emailed me again asking me to write to the management of the site we had met each other on, asking for a character reference because he had been banned from the site for 'abusing other members'. I said I wouldn't get involved, and didn't know him well enough to give him a character reference.


Oh, I thought.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Does internet dating work?

Well, do pubs, bars, offices, supermarkets, school reunions, funerals, weddings, galleries, parties, blind dates set up by your friends, speed dating events (whatever they are), dinner parties, evening classes, singles' events, festivals, cinemas, personal ads in papers and arranged marriages 'work'?

Depends what you mean by 'work'. A way of meeting someone can't in itself guarantee the success of the relationship. However and wherever you meet, and whether you choose to start a relationship with someone relies on you applying your own judgement. If your judgement is skewed and you keep going out with tosspots, then that's your problem. You can't blame the method by which you met.

My judgement, by the way, is excellent, which means when someone says "so, has internet dating worked for you, then?" I just roll my eyes and offer then a biscuit.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Am I addicted to internet dating?

Dear Datingmonkey

I think I'm addicted to internet dating. I check my emails 20 times a day, and every time someone nice emails me, or wants to meet, I get really excited. Then, if we meet and there's no spark, I just feel disappointed. And the way I get over the disappointment is to start all over again.

It feels like I'm trapped in a vicious circle and I can't break free - so turning my back on it all seems to be the only answer.

What do you think?

Your friend,


My dear boy,

Come now. This all sounds very over-dramatic.

I suggest you think a little differently about internet dating. You are only getting in a tizz because you are confusing all these little emails and 'winks' and brief meetings in pubs and all the rest of it with an actual and real relationship.

Internet dating is - as I keep saying - merely a way of meeting people. It is also extremely entertaining. There is nothing wrong with checking your email a few times a day to see if you've got any emails. There is nothing wrong with checking out the talent on the line. There is nothing wrong with getting a little frisson of excitement when you come across a profile of someone who does not appear to be a mush-faced cockmonkey.

So keep calm, enjoy it, don't invest too much emotional energy in it and if you decide you want to stop doing it for a bit, then fine. I guarantee you'll be back within 2 months, having realised that anyone worth shagging is doing online dating, and spending evenings in ogling profiles rather than hanging out in pubs 'n' clubs.



Tuesday, May 09, 2006

It Must Be OK, It's On EastEnders

Worried that internet dating's still a bit, er, niche? Can't be. It's on EastEnders.

It's only a matter of time before Asda and Tesco launch internet dating sites, earning you ClubCard points for every date you go on. The NEC and Olympia will be given over to 10 day Internet Dating Fairs, and people will be faintly embarrassed at dinner parties if they have to admit that they didn't meet their partner online.

Even now, tossy Islington meeja types are sitting around sratching their chins and saying things like 'So, like, we need, like, an internet dating site for people like us, darling - your marketing skills, Tash's PR background and Jonny's IT talent's all we need - and I met a super little chap at a party last week, does the design thing ....'

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Profile of the Year

Ex Career Bitch seeking solvent husband

About me and what I'm looking for

Fed up of working so am looking for someone rich to marry me so that I can have kids and watch daytime telly. Have done the independent, successful yet charming thing and it hasn't worked. So here's the direct approach - and what do you have to say about it?

Now there's a girl after my own heart.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I've met someone I really like through an internet dating site. We get on really well, but I still feel a bit weird about it - I'm a bit embarrassed and think it's a bit spoddy, which means I'm not taking our relationship entirely seriously. Should I be worried?

I hear ya.

Listen. A lot of people worry about this stuff. Reasons include:

1. You pay money to meet someone.
2. You 'meet' without meeting.
3. There are a lot of chancers and weirdos out there.
4. Computers are spoddy.
5. It's for saddos.

Fear not. Answers thus.

It costs money.

So does going to a bar, buying a new 'top' (whatever that is), having your nails done (US only - we don't bother with that sort of nonsense in the UK), buying rounds of drinks, and getting a taxi home.

At least with internet dating you can spend about £20 a month and sit at home and check out the talent. It may work. It may not. But it's better than the grinding fuck-awful depression of 'going on the pull' which usually ends up with an unsatisfactory one night stand, or coming home and eating cake in front of the telly and realising you've caned £80 in an evening for absolutely no reason.

Looking for someone = getting out in the world. Unless you are planning to stand outside your house with a placard, you are going to have to spend some cash, if only on a bus fare and a cup of tea.

Conclusion: the monetary transaction ain't important.

You 'meet' without meeting.

Yeah, that's the point of internet dating. Also known as: millions of people being put before you to choose from, based on some basic search criteria. (In my case: do I like the look of their face? Can they write? Are they funny? Would we have anything to talk about? Don't worry about it any further than that, there's no point.)

Conclusion: you only actually 'meet' once you've, er, met in the flesh. Then it's real life. Before then, you haven't really met. You're just increasing your chances of meeting someone you might like.

There are a lot of chancers and weirdos out there.

Have you been outside recently? Just travelling to work and paying attention will tell you that the world is full of complete idiots and lunatics, as well as a lot of perfectly ordinary, nice people. More chance of meeting a freakshow in my local pub than there is on the internet, of that I'm sure.

Conclusion: What's your point?

Computers are spoddy.

Oh, grow up. It's not 1985. You may have noticed that you are able to bank, shop, insure, make music, make films, talk to your best mate in Australia in real time, find anything you want in about 2 seconds flat and generally have access to the world via a thing which is, in my case, about 12 inches by 10 inches, made of metal, and has a lead that goes into the wall and does something clever. That's not spoddy. That's fucking genius.

Conclusion: One of my best mates is a very talented artist who, for a day job, happens to design some sort of mind-fuckingly clever systems for banks that make people able to do stuff with billions and billions of dollars. If you can do that, there's a high chance you're quite clever. And to do it well, you have to be able to communicate with other people. Which means you will also have social skills. I always think you should take particular interest in people who say they work in IT but write beautifullly. These people are clever. Computers are not spoddy.

It's for saddos.

No it's not. I'm not prepared to discuss this any further. It's just not. We're past the tipping point (or whatever wank expression you want to use). If you're single and over 30 and DON'T do internet dating, you're probably certifiably insane.

Don't worry. It's just another way of meeting people. What you do with the relationship is up to you. If you fuck it up, or those relationships keep going wrong, it's easy to blame 'internet dating' - which is the same as blaming the pub you met your boyfriend in for the relationship going wrong if you split up.


Hot love



How To Write An Internet Dating Profile

Lord, have you looked at internet dating profiles recently? Great swathes of nonsense, spewing unchecked across the digital highway. But how do you write a profile that will attract the partner of your dreams? And how do you avoid making those everyday mistakes that make otherwise perfectly nice people absolutely repellent?

Fear not. Follow these instructions to the letter and you'll be shacked up before you can say 'I fancy a winter wedding'.

Be honest

There's simply no point in lying on your profile. You'll get found out in the end anyway, and it's exhausting trying to remember what you've said to whom.

If you're as fat as a pig but say you are of 'average' build, your paramour is going to gag into his/her cocktail when you meet.

If you've only got 3 out of 4 limbs, fess up now (Heather McCartney. Need I say more?)

If you're a librarian, don't pretend you're an air hostess.

If you've got kids, say so (you ever tried hiding an 8 year old for more than 2 months? No? Don't start now).

The thing about the internet is that even if you're a 5ft man with long ginger hair and an interest in topiary, you'll be able to find someone who'll be looking for someone like you. That's why it's good. So be honest. It might take a bit longer, but it's worth it.

Do not - I repeat not - use any of the following expressions

"I like going out and staying in"
"I live life to the full"
"I love snuggling up on the sofa with a DVD and a bottle of red wine"
"I am looking for a husband"
"I have 3 cats"

If I need to tell you why, do us all a favour and remove yourself from all internet dating sites immediately.

Spell checks are there for a reason

Much as I like a well-turned apostrophe (in a sexual way, if I'm really honest about it), the thing about badly written and spelt*  profiles is that they're just really annoying to read. So use the spell check. That way, not only will you look like less of a fuckwit, your profile will be less irritating.

* Update, June 2010: I have just read this again, what with yet another comment about how 'spelt' is a typo. And I am amused, because I think I did it on purpose, what with it being in a paragraph about spell checking, etc.  Also, usually my speling is quite good usualy and it's the kind of joke I quite like. Either way, it's not worth getting knickers in a twist about. 

Paragraphs are good

Great blocks of dense type. Long, long lists separated only by semi-colons. Poor use of capital letters. All these things make life difficult. Punctuation exists to make life easier, not to complicate it. Try to use it. (If you don't know how, The Economist can help.)

Your computer is not a telephone, and you are not 12

No need for C U l8tr and that kind of nonsense then, is there? Lazy writing = lazy mind, probably inside the head of an idiot.

Don't get clever with photographs

Fancy photography = you are a cock.

Straight on, smiling if possible. Without other people in the frame. Try for a head and shoulders shot as your main picture, and a full body one for the second (if you've got one - if you haven't, describe yourself honestly).

Don't be too selective

If you're too specific in your requirements (6ft 1, green eyes, likes cats, lives in Bedford, doesn't like peppers), you could be missing out. That's all I'm saying. Be sensible (it is reasonable, for example, to not want to meet a fundamentalist Christian if you're an atheist and vice-versa), but don't start applying a weirdo mental list of attributes to your 'match' criteria.

And anyway, if you haven't had any luck with your existing match criteria, go for the opposite of what you've been looking for so far. You'll be married within a year.

Don't go on

Yeah yeah, I know, life's been tough, hasn't it. All men/woman are evil, you've been treated badly, you had a bad childhood, things are shit. Whatever. Internet dating is about meeting people. What happens after that, and how intimate your relationship is going to be, happens AFTER you've met. A miserable twat isn't fun to go on a date with. That's it, really. Misery does indeed love company, but the company usually shouts 'lovely party, darling, must dash' and leaves, or makes a quick exit via the loo window when misery is at the bar.

Be realistic

If you live in London and they live in Edinburgh, it's not going to be easy. If you own a cattery and they are allergic to cats, it's not going to work. If you've got a PHd in astrophysics and their idea of fulfillment is a copy of 'Hello!' and a packet of ginger nuts, what are you going to have to say to each other?

Think carefully about what's really important to you

Do you really care if someone's got a degree or not? Does it matter if they haven't got money, as long as they're happy? Does it matter that they like tripe, and you don't? If you like hardcore S&M, should you be looking for someone who doesn't?

Tell the truth and have faith, my friends. If you're not happy with yourself the way you are (or at least 70% of the time), you shouldn't be looking for a relationship anyway. Go figure, as our friends in the United States say.

I wish you monkeyspeed.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Every date I go on is rubbish. The men either leave early, or don't want to see me again. I think they're boring arses too, so I'm not that bothered - but how come I've been on over 20 dates, and I haven't had one 'success'? It's not like I'm ugly or anything - in fact, I'm a very good looking, 5ft 7, size 10 blonde - and I'm very bright.

Is it me, or is it them?

Dear Correspondent

As ever, a number of options here:

1. You've just had bad luck.
2. You are picking the wrong types.
3. You have the social skills of a small monkey
4. You are an insufferably cocky twat.

Only you will know which of these applies, so we'll move on to the advice part.

If you're meeting the wrong sort of person (whatever that is) change your search criteria. If you've always gone for men who are 6ft 4 with PHd in astrophysics you're fucked anyway - but what I'm saying is be less picky about the stuff that doesn't really matter (height, whether they have the same class of degree as you), and more picky about whether they sound like you'd have a laugh or not.

There is no way you can have had that much 'bad luck'. 20 dates? All shit? Look to yourself, my friend. Which brings me on to ...

Social skills are kind of important. It's not that difficult. Don't cock on endlessly about yourself. Ask the other person questions, but don't interview them. Even if you think they're boring, pretend to be interested. That can often make people feel more comfortable, and then they actually do become interesting.

Sounds to me you're a bit of a dick as it goes. Stop being so full of yourself, and you may become more attractive. Then your dates will be more successful.

Good luck!

I remain,


Tuesday, May 02, 2006


"We've been on ten dates, but his profile's still online: is he interested in me, or is he waiting until someone better comes along?"

Options for your consideration this warm Spring evening:

1. Yes, he's interested in you. He's just checking to see if you've still got your profile up. You were made for each other, you stalkery freaks.

2. Yes, but he's also just making sure there's not someone prettier, funnier, more articulate, thinner, and all-round better than you out there, of course.

3. Yes, but he is also seeing 5 other people. You have competition. Be afraid. Be very afraid. And slightly paranoid.

4. No, not really. That's why he's seen you 10 times, regularly phones you up, emails you a few times a week, has met your friends and has asked what you're doing weekend after next. WHY DON'T YOU JUST ASK HIM?*

* Remembering, as you do, that he will also have noticed that your profile is still up.

Listen, you meet someone you like. Your profile is still up. You get emails. You go and read the emails because you haven't got anything else to do. Then your membership expires and you don't renew it , or you just get fed up with reading all the emails when you're not interested anymore and hide your profile or cancel your membership.

Look, this stuff just isn't worth getting your knickers in a twist about. Just look at the evidence (i.e. amount of times you see him/talk to him, etc). Weigh it up vs. all the imagined scenarios you can. Ask a straight question (not in a mad tearful way: in a nice straightforward way). If that doesn't work, the relationship's probably fucked and he's probably a twat. But you're probably a bit unstable if you're worrying about it that much, so are you sure you should be trying to meet someone?