With #Lockdown2 now underway, singles are feeling more alone than ever and with Christmas on the horizon, it would be easy to fall for an online con artist.
As dating apps take a hammering, remember this, a partner is for the duration (hopefully) and not just the festive period. Watch out for these giveaway expressions.
1 ‘Work hard, play hard’
This conjures up a bad boy image akin to the Wolf of Wall Street – a hard-drinking, coke head with a penchant for threesomes who’s all about the money. If you’re a strait-laced accountant who drinks five pints of a weekend you could be violating Advertising Standards.
2. ‘Looking for a genuine man/woman’
No-one should ever have to write this. Just as we’d never write ‘looking for a double-dealing con-person who is going to plunder my life savings’. Stating the obvious earmarks you as vulnerable and potential prey.
3. ‘Looking for a relationship’
Admittedly some people are searching for an exclusive one-on-one. But stating it on a dating profile doesn’t set it in stone. In my experience, many consider a genuine relationship to be FWB (Friends With Benefits), an invitation to a harem with promise of a meet-up once every six months for sex, or even sending a ‘hi sexy” text every morning, but never arranging a date. Don’t be afraid to put a potential suitor on the spot and ask EXACTLY what they’re looking for. It avoids heartache and time-wasting.
4. Hobby obsessive
Most women are not interested in a man’s fishing exploits or fascinating motorbike trips around rural Ireland because they’re solitary time-consuming hobbies that exclude them. NB: As much as men post pics of their superbikes on dating sites, few women could give a toss. Just saying!
Similarly, men are turned off by a woman whose favourite pastime is shopping because they don’t want to traipse around fashion stores, or worse, be expected to pay for anything. There’s hope with caravanning, hiking/walking, dancing, tennis and bowling. Golf is a ‘proceed with caution’ hobby if only one partner plays. Cooking is a fun thing to do together, but wine appreciation is a definite winner.
5. ‘I want someone who will make me laugh’
Never ever write this unless you want a stream of crass one-liners or jokes from the Wheeltappers and Shunters era. If you don’t want a date with Timmy Mallett, spell it out, ‘someone naturally funny.’ Spontaneous humour is incredibly attractive and unless a potential date looks like John Bishop, rapid fire jokes are just cringe and desperate.
6. ‘All pics are recent’
The biggest lie of dating websites. Many people think they haven’t changed much in five years, but they usually have. But those people who post pics from their youth are destined to fail and get a load of abuse into the bargain. Don’t be that lady who posted a picture of her daughter then tried to drag her ‘dates’ kicking and screaming into the pub for a drink with a “well, you’re here now, mine’s a pint of cider.”
7. Curvy or a few extra pounds
Having been both overweight and slim, I can identify with this. But curvy to most guys means Latina full bum and hips and to many women a size 18 or above. Women are generally more tolerant of a guy’s figure faults unless they’re seriously into fitness. But it goes both ways, if you don’t want to see a face fall as you walk through the door, be honest. Post a full length picture of yourself. Not everyone likes skinny minnies. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
8. ‘Wants to meet new people’
Unless you want another friend, avoid. This person is scouting around, unsure of what they want. They may dip their toe in the dating pool and then again they may not. If they want friends they can join social clubs. Dating sites are for people who want to start relationships (see 4). Stop wasting everyone’s time!
9. ‘If you don’t look like your pictures, you’re buying the drinks until you do’
Just yuck! Strangely enough, rarely written by Brad Pitt lookalikes. Well, hey there, King Dingaling, some of us would need a litre of vodka to have a date with you whether you look like your pics or not, because your attitude stinks. Hasta luego, MOFO!
10. ‘Looking for The One’
Oh, please are we 14 years old??? Unless you’re religious and on a quest to find the Holy Grail – The One is a figment of a romantic novelist’s imagination. Get real! If you meet someone and stay happy with them for the rest of your lives you’re in a minority. The One so often becomes The Two, Three, Four….you get my drift?