Thursday, August 24, 2006

What Womens' Internet Dating Profile Photographs Actually Mean

One for the gentlemen. Save time and effort by using this beautiful cut-out-and-keep guide to understanding what those ladies' profile photographs really mean. If you're a lady, a simple but perky click here will take you to the mens' version. Don't say I didn't warn you.

With Cat

38. Wants kids. Now.

Hippy Chick

Very pretty. Lovely figure. Beautiful skin. Does yoga 5 times a week. Talks about Chakras a lot, doesn't drink or smoke, very 'spiritual', has windchimes and a spirit guide. Flat full of stuff from year out in India. Works for a charity. Has annoying lispy voice and bats eyelids a lot.

With Friend At Glastonbury

Works in PR in London. Called Charlotte. Pretends she likes music. Thinks she is cool, but still has the pony Daddy gave her when she was 14.

Short Hair, Ruddy Complexion

Gay, but doesn't want to disappoint her mother. Or has ticked the wrong search box.

Self Portrait In Bedroom

Dangerous serial killer. Keeps past dates in the cellar. In a box.

Honest Self Portrait

Likes cake. Has strange things caught in folds.

Partially Clothed

May send you an invoice after date. Lives in council flat in Egham. Collects cuddly toys. Chainsmokes Superkings and drinks Malibu and Coke.

Engaged in Outdoor Pursuits

Doesn't shave. An 'enthusiast'. Churchgoer. Very clean.

Engaged in Urban Outdoor Pursuits

Wiry, like a whippet. Dry skin. Sweaty crotch. Has a difficult relationship with food. Thinks kissing is unhygienic. Slaps men on the back. Never wears skirts.

With Friends

You always scan the picture and hope she's the pretty one. She never is.

Supermodel in Domestic Setting

"I the simple lonely girl. I search good for the man for creation of strong family. I have no harmful habits. I like to prepare. Like to knit and embroider. I also love animals, I love a nature. I love good weather and good people. I like to dream slightly."

Trans: I am Russian, looking for husband.

Makeover shot

Insecure. And scary. And delusional.

Describes self as "bubbly and curvaceous"

Porky, but cheerful.

Describes self as weighing "a few extra pounds"

Really quite fat.

Picture of self somewhere hot, backpacking

From posh suburb taking year out before going to University. Big teeth. Enthusiastic. Doesn't wash much. Dull.

Perky self-portrait taken in parents' house

19, very annoying, probably called Nikki. Training to be a hairdresser. Thinks all firemen are 'fit' and harbours dreams of being a 'glamour model'.

Picture of self looking whacky with gay best friend

Deeply insecure, actually quite pretty. Nervous around straight men. Talks in funny voices the whole time. Drinks too much.

"Late 30s"

Not a day younger than 45. Husband left her for secretary (called Nikki - see above). Has 'needs'. Drinks too much.

With horse

Enjoys 'outdoor pursuits' and has strong thighs.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Internet Dating Translation Tool

I know. Millions of profiles to plough through, and so little time to find the lady or gentleman of your dreams. But what does it all mean? When he says he likes dogs, does he mean he is blind? When she says weighs 'a few extra pounds', does she mean she weighs twenty stone and doesn't get out much?

Help is at hand. This handy guide will help you negotiate the hundreds of profiles that turn up when you press 'search'. First tip: when's the last time you believed someone who kept telling you they were honest? Exactly. With the online, you can't see the whites of their eyes. Still. Chin up!

"I love snowboarding, skydiving, scuba diving, bungee jumping and jumping off high things"
"I am an accountant. My name is Trevor. I live in Milton Keynes."

"I am looking for a woman who is as happy in a little black dress as she is in a pair of Wellington boots."
"My name is Henry, and I live in Gloucestershire. You will have to make room for Labby the Labrador in our marital bed. I love Nanny best."

"I enjoy going out and staying in."
"I will never have anything of any import to say about anything, ever."

"I am looking for a committed relationship."

"I am a commitmentphobe looking for a series of one-night stands with emotionally unstable women"

"I am just a normal guy looking for a normal woman. Looks not important."

"I am clinically insane, and rarely wash."

"Hi i am New to London, looking friends and Good Times!!!"

"I am from Russia, and looking for residency."

"My weight could be most accurately described as: a few extra pounds"
"I weigh at least 250lbs and have to do internet dating because I can't walk anymore. I have strange things caught in folds."


"I am a 42 year old woman"
"I am 50, and my husband has just left me for his 37 year old secretary, Patricia. I think they've been at it for years but I can't be sure. But I've pulled myself together, and I'm up and at 'em: no-one's going to stop me being happy."

"I am average looking."
"I fell hard from the ugly tree, hitting every branch on the way down."

"I am attractive"
"I am plain. You wouldn't remember my face if you were introduced to me twice, but I'm not actually ugly."

"I am very attractive"
"I look after myself and in a certain light, am not unattractive."

"I am very good looking."
"'I am a delusional, narcissistic fool."

"I like independent women."
"I refuse to commit, and I will be particularly reluctant to commit if you earn more than me and are funnier/more intelligent than me."

"I live life to the full."
"I do not know what I am saying."

"I am looking for someone to make me better."
"I am me, and I will not change, so don't even try it; just accept me for who I am."

"I often enjoy a round of golf"
"I am a twat."

"I've been concentrating on my career and have just noticed that all my friends are married with kids."
Two options here:
1. "Fuck me, better pay attention and get on with it"; or
2. "I have had to fill my life with work because no-one wants to go out with me."

"I like cuddling up on the sofa with a DVD and a bottle of red wine."
"I am so dull I can't think of anything else to do with the time I have left over from tending my terrapins."

As it goes everyone really likes doing this, but you shouldn't say it out loud. And for the record, you need at least 2 bottles.

"I can't believe I'm doing this!"
"I am a bit embarrassed that I am this desperate." Come on, love, we all are: it's fine.

"I can't believe I've had to resort to this."

"I am angry that someone has gorgeous as I am is like everyone else, really."

"Looks aren't that important to me."
"I care very much how someone looks, but don't think I'm good looking enough to be able to say that."

"I asked my friends how they'd describe me, and they said kind, funny, and generous to a fault."
"I have 3 friends: 2 men called Andy, and a woman called Helen I went out with once. We were all at university together."

Like people who are murdered (who are always described in the most glowing terms - do only the good die young, or was Joel pulling our legs?), friends ONLY ever say 'kind, generous, loving, funny'. And perhaps 'crazy'. Or 'kooky' if they're a girl. If I asked my friends what they thought of me they'd laugh until they couldn't speak.

"My friends can't believe I'm single."
"My friends ply me with consolatory words when I am being drunkenly maudlin."

More like they wish you weren't single, then they wouldn't have to hear you going ON AND ON about it the whole time and looking at them resentfully at couples-only dinner parties.

As it happens my friends can believe I'm single, but not in a bad way.

"I have just come out of a relationship."
"I need someone to make me feel better, for I am very, very lonely and confused."

Avoid. At all costs. Whatever you do. Really. They are not over it, whatever they say. If someone mentions an ex, or the fact that they've just come out of a relationship, it means they are still thinking of the other person, and therefore will not have any room in their head for you. I have said this elsewhere, I know.

"I'm a crazy, kooky girl just looking for love, smiles and cuddles!!!!!!!! :-)"
"I am mentally deficient and like glitter."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Does Internet Dating Work?

It depends on what you want, of course. From a new hobby, to selecting from a range of foreign ladies in search of a Green Card, internet dating will provide all you require. The only conditions? Patience. Oh, and honesty. It generally gets you what's good for you, rather than what you think you want.

I would like to be entertained.

Absolutely guaranteed, my cheeky friends. End of story. Reading profiles, sending emails, meeting strangers for dates; telling all your mates about the bloke with the spit: all immensely entertaining. Particularly now that internet dating is so mainstream that only people who live in boxes and eat insects think it's weird.

I would like to enter into a long distance relationship with someone in Alaska, converse via webcam every night for 8 months, then get married. Then I would like to instal them in my house in a suburb of Glasgow and feed them packet noodles. And we will be happy.

Easier than meeting a single man in London who is over the age of 37 and isn't a cock, to be frank - so yes, the superweb will you this thing if that's what you want.

I would like to find someone with whom to conduct an extra-marital affair.

I think there are sites dedicated to this very thing. However, you should be ashamed of yourself, you bad dog. And when your spouse finds out, may they burn the hair from your head with a cheap lighter.

Has it worked for you?

Yes. And no. I'll do it again when I'm not such a porker though, THAT'S for sure.

Could you give me at least 10 other examples of other people who have met online and are now happily shacked up?

Yes, now piss off. This isn't a competition.

I want casual sex with strangers

Do you? Why's that then? Luckily for you, internet dating is jolly good for this. It is remarkably easy to find a number of people willing to sleep with you with virtually no introduction. And these people can be found on all types of sites: the 'normal' ones and 'specialist' ones.

People on 'specialist' sites tend to be honest about it, whereas 'normal' sites conceal people up for a bit of opportunistic relationship-free shagging. Some people are honest about it in their profile; some aren't.

I want to meet new people and make friends

Again, no problem here. Easy peasy. Just be honest about what you're after (i.e., don't lead people into thinking you're up for a relationship when you're not) and go and meet people. You may like some of them. You may not like others. Either way, there's lots of people out there, most of them probably perfectly nice. And a lot of them are probably like you, even if you only like weasels and cake.

I want to get married

Calm down, for God's sake. You have to go through the 'meeting someone and starting a relationship and sustaining it over a long period of time' bit first. Call me old fashioned. However, if you really just want to get married to any old person, you can probably buy a Thai bride or a Russian husband, both keen to get passports. Your life will be a cavalcade of horror, but that's up to you.

I would like a relationship. Any old one will do. Don't really want commitment.

If you don't want commitment at some point, why do you want a 'relationship'? Sounds like you want someone to sleep with regularly and go to the cinema with when you haven't got anything else to do.

Not particularly fair on the other person, but if you are absolutely honest in your profile, you may find someone else who'll put up with it. But you + the person who'll put up with that = probably both a bit unhappy, so I'd try and see if you can understand that most people want a good relationship because, on the whole, a good relationship makes life a bit more enjoyable. (And there's a reason why people have been getting shacked up and trying to be monogamous since the dawn of humanity, but that's another story.)

I would really like to meet someone and have a relationship that both of us enjoy, see what happens, but approach it with a desire for it to succeed.

Oh, why is it that the 'nicest' things sound vomit-inducingly cheesy? Shame really. Anyway, well, yes, internet dating does work for this. But (oh, but, but, but): as Feargal Sharkey once said, "A good love these days is hard to find."

You probably will find it, but it will take time, a lot of dates, a lot of honesty, a lot of patience and a bit of resilience. And that's without taking into account your own habitual approach to relationships. You may find someone you want to have a relationship with through the internet, but the internet won't guarantee its success. Obviously.

I want a new job.

Um, no, probably not good for that.

I really need a recipe for cake.

No, not good for that either.

I am looking for a timeshare apartment in Malaga



Very possibly.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Your Internet Dating Questions Answered with Datingmonkey

Lawks. There's something in the air. I could barely open the heavily-leaded front door of Datingmonkey Towers this morning because of the enormous amount of correspondence I've received in the last two days from enthusiastic readers. Here's a sample.

Should I take my mother on a date?

Hola Datingmonkey!

How you hangin'? Listen. Here's me and my Mom on holiday in Mexico City. She's my best friend. I love her more than anyone in the world. But a guy's gotta move on, and it's time for me to meet a wife. But how can any woman live up to my beautiful Mommy? Should I take her on my dates and get her to choose? (I'm already making a lot of progress by searching for women who meet pretty much all my Mom's physical attributes, although no WAY could they ever be more beautiful.)

What do you think?

Stan, Ohio

P.S. Dad died when I was five and a half. Mom hasn't got a boyfriend because I said she couldn't.

Dear Stan

2 questions: are your feet swollen? And is your mother's name Jocasta? Yes? You're asking me why? No matter.

Now, before going any further, please read this. If you haven't got the hint, go to the obviously splendid Ohio Psychotherapy Directory, phone up the person with the name that you like the best, and say the following (no moving away from the script, if you please): "Hello my name is Stan. I have an unconscious desire for the exclusive love of my mother, and have murderous thoughts about any man that tries to assume the role of father-figure. Help me."

These simple steps should help. In the meantime, please remove your profile from all internet dating sites immediately.

All the best


There's something wrong with my internet girl

Dear Datingmonkey

I have met a super girl and we've been on about 10 dates. I really feel there's something developing between us that could have long lasting potential. But there's something about her that I can't put my finger on. I'm not sure if it's something about the way she looks, or if it's something else - but it's really standing in the way of me entering into a longer-term commitment. Could you have a quick look at this picture? Can YOU see anything untoward? It's really annoying me now.

Thanks so much.

Reg, Lyme Regis

Dear Reg

Not sure about the earrings, and the hair's a little harsh. Otherwise, fine.

All the best


Cliff Richard's Getting In The Way Of Love

Dear DM

Thanks for all your hard work on behalf of the internet dating community. We all appreciate you more every day.

Here's my problem. I've been emailing a girl I met on She seems great. Tomorrow night we're moving on to 'webcam action', but she's asked if I can wear a mask bearing the face of Cliff Richard when we talk. Do you think that's weird?

Thanks DM. And keep up the good work.

Ken, Melbourne

Dear Ken

Yes, if you don't like the work of Sir Cliff. If you do - get her to slip on a Lulu c. 1968. Could be fun.



How To Get A Date With Someone You Meet Online

Think it's going to be easy, do you? Think you just slip into your 'sweat pants'*, crack open a bottle of sweet white wine, flip open your 2001 Dell laptop and find a boyfriend?

If only things were that simple. Luckily, I am here to help.

General Pointers

Avoid annoying punctuation
Multiple exclamation marks and smiley after smiley are really fucking annoying. Don't use them if you want to be asked out on a blind date, unless your correspondent is also a fan, in which case you deserve each other.

You can't hide desperation
The stink of desperation is hard to dispel. If you are desperate, stop online dating immediately and contact your local psychotherapist. No, finding a nice lady or man is not going to make you feel better in a profound or lasting way.

You can't fancy someone you haven't met
You can like the look of them and think they sound good, but you can't fancy someone you haven't met. Fact.

Don't go on holiday to Fantasy Island
You're only meeting someone for a date. Do NOT start idly flicking through Brides magazine before you've seen if they can use a knife and fork or not.

What do I do when I see someone I like the look of online?

Don't panic, don't get overexcited, and don't expect too much. Remember: you haven't met yet, and you are not at the 6th form disco, seeing people of the opposite sex for the first time. Read the object of interest's profile carefully. Write an email that is fairly lighthearted, but indicates that you have read their profile and are interested. (NB: writing an email indicates that you are interested. You don't have to say it too.)

What do I do if they don't reply?

Leave it. Don't write again. Options are:

a) they're not interested
b) their computer has broken
c) they are away
d) they are thinking about what to say if they reply.

If someone's interested, they'll reply. It's as simple as that.

What do I do if they write back and they sound like an idiot?

Give it a few goes. Exchange a few emails. If you still don't like the sound of them, write and say it's been lovely talking to them, but you're not sure you've got that much in common. Or something.

What do I do if they write back and they sound nice?

Durr. Write back. But don't get overexcited.

Should we talk on the phone first?

Er, yes. For all you know he may have a tongue that's too big for his mouth, or sound like George Osbourne (who was at school with my brother and was a twat even then, apparently). If they sound OK on email, and you have an OK conversation on the phone, chances are you'll have a good date (even if it doesn't lead anywhere). I once met someone without talking to him first and he sounded just like a stupid golden labrador would sound if it could talk. Awful.

Is there anything I shouldn't mention before we've met?

Don't whinge, bitch or talk about your ex. (In fact, don't do that generally. It's undignified, boring, and makes you sound like a twat.) Don't mention therapy, your terrible childhood, or your gimp mask (unless you're on certain types of site).

Is there anything I should mention before we meet?


a) children
b) ex-wives/husbands
c) prison record
d) number of James Blunt albums owned
e) heroin addiction
f) alcoholism
g) sex addiction
h) bankruptcy.

What do I do if they ask to see pictures of me naked?

That, my friend, is your business, and will in some way be dictated by what kind of site you are on. (If you know what I mean. Hem hem.) Otherwise, I'd tell them to piss off out of it and get their adolescent pervo-kicks elsewhere. Or send you some money via PayPal first.

Should I ask him out?

Internet dating is one of the few places where everyone seems to forget that the ladies can't make the first move. The point of doing it is to meet and possibly have a relationship. Therefore, suggesting that you meet for a drink is fine, if that's what you want to do.

Should I ask her out?


How long should I wait until I suggest we meet?

Don't piss about. If you live within 50 miles of each other and are getting on on email, there's no reason not to do it within a couple of weeks. Remember: you haven't met yet, and it might not work out. And if it doesn't, there are more people to meet.

There's also a little thing about long, long email exchanges turning into a virtual relationship. It is all too easy to start having fanciful notions about someone you haven't met yet - notions that are rarely met when you meet. So don't do it.

Is it OK to meet more than one person in a week?

Fuck, yeah. You're talking online, not going out with each other. (Yet.)

Is it OK to meet more than one person in a day?

If you've got the time, why not?

Is it OK to meet more than two people in a day?

Are you unemployed and gagging for it?

Where should I suggest we meet?

Somewhere informal, where you're not stranded with each other if one of you wants to make a quick escape. Good idea: pub for a drink; gallery (cheesy but true, plus you get to check them out). Bad ideas: dinner; theatre; cinema; London Eye shut in a pod going round and round and round and round; a mountain; your mum's house.

Now what do I do?

Put on some clothes that suit you and that you feel comfortable in. Wash. (Do that bit before you put the clothes on.) If you wear makeup, don't slap it on. Don't get pissed before you meet. Tell one other person where you're going and with whom. Then just go and meet them, and be yourself.

And remember, Wise Datingmonkey Say: It's Only Real Once You've Met.

Bonne chance, my dating friends.

* what, exactly, are 'sweat pants'?