10 toxic things you really shouldn’t say on your dating profile

The dating arena is second only to its Roman gladiatorial cousin when it comes to viciousness. But rather than fleeing knife-wielding savages, daters find themselves fighting off the advances of unwelcome, pot-bellied irritants or, more commonly, trying their best to seem attractive to those who probably wouldn’t urinate on them if they were ablaze.

Your dating profile, be it on a reputable dating site or a seedy phone app, is your storefront. It’s your singleton SOS to the slew of eligible bachelor rescue ships bobbing up and down in an ocean of GSOH, WLTM and, occasionally, NSA. So it’s important to get it right, because when you get it wrong, another dot on the radar goes out.

Here are just ten examples of when dating bios go bad. Continue reading 10 toxic things you really shouldn’t say on your dating profile


Say no to Valentine’s Day exhibitionism

It’s that time of the year when everything turns pink. Shop windows are festooned with flowers and love hearts become ubiquitous. Railing against Valentine’s Day has become as much of a cliché as queuing up to buy a bunch of half-dead flowers and booking a table in a crowded restaurant, but I’m no ordinary “bah humbug” Valentine refusenik. I don’t care about the commercialisation of love, the tackiness of the helium-filled balloons or dog-eared cards that tunelessly play the theme music from Love Story when opened. I don’t care that just about every pub with a microwave oven suddenly turns into a venue for potential romance, offering a special Valentine menu and badly mixed cocktails with bawdy names. No.

What bothers me about Valentine’s Day the universally accepted pretension it’s a day for lovers to show their appreciation for each other, for couples – though usually one half of the couple is the subject of the romancing, while the other gamely woos – to celebrate their relationship. I say bollocks it is. It’s an opportunity to show off, to demonstrate to everybody else just how happy and in love and downright amazing your togetherness is. If nobody else were watching, you’d just be on the sofa scratching your arse and arguing over the remote control just like any other normal day. Continue reading Say no to Valentine’s Day exhibitionism

Why he’ll never call you back after that fantastic first date

Wow, that went well. You’re positively glowing, aren’t you? A first date has never played out so smoothly; absolutely nothing went wrong. An ideal venue, nary a break in the conversation, plus a bright smile and a promise to do it again at the very end.

And then a cherry on top: an affectionate kiss on the cheek and a warm hug to send you on your way. Could this be it? The one? You don’t know. Maybe. You hope so. Excellent. On the bus home, you beam as widely as you dare allow yourself without making your fellow passengers want to switch seats. You can’t wait for round two.

Tough. You’re never going to see him again. Ever.

The phone doesn’t ring. No text comes through. Your inbox remains desolate, forgotten. You wonder if the date happened at all. Was it all a dream? Did he die?  Has he been kidnapped? No.

He just doesn’t want to see you. He lied. But why? What did you do? Cast your mind back. Anything sounding familiar? Continue reading Why he’ll never call you back after that fantastic first date

The Christmas Fling

Winter. Brrrr. Mulled wine and Christmas shopping, festive drinks, tinsel and coupledom.

I’m trying not to think about what the festive period is going to be like without a significant other – it’s best not to – but I’m wary of starting something at this time of year. Being alone in winter can be quite scary, but I don’t want to over-compensate, or see romance where there is none, just so I won’t be flying solo during party season. Draping tinsel over a ‘maybe’ shouldn’t make it a ‘yes’.

Nevertheless, here I am on the dating site being very cautiously wooed by our latest contestant. He’s neither brash nor particularly confident but he can’t seem to say a thing wrong. He’s sweet, intelligent, funny and, from his limited number of public pictures, handsome.

He’s a journalist and we talk about pretty much anything, settling into a jocular tone very early on. I don’t ask him out for a drink because I sometimes worry something so perfect electronically can turn out to be only a disappointment when flesh comes into play. If he asks me, however, I won’t say no. The games you play with yourself and others. How beautifully time-consuming and utterly pointless it all is.

He does ask, and my hand is forced.  The date is a long time in the making: conflicting diaries and last-minute work commitments mean that the first meeting is delayed twice. By the time we do meet, December is on the horizon. I am to meet him on a Tuesday night in a pub in a beautiful part of London that’s brimming over with Christmas cheer and ambience. Continue reading The Christmas Fling

The Guyliner, as told by The Male Nanny

I went out on a ‘date’ with another anonymous blogger, the very charming Male Nanny. We each wrote a post about it, and both appear here. You can also read my account of the night; it matters not which one you read first.

“Most blogs are shit. But, when I discovered theguyliner’s, I couldn’t stop reading. It is a brilliant blog because it depicts an interesting sub-culture and is written with skill and cynicism. But it struck me that he is operating in a comfort zone; aloof and perplexed, the straight man on a raft, in a sea of drowning oddballs. Writing the blog elevates him, detaches him. He is on the front line, yes, but he is watching the sun-set from a deck chair, while the other soldiers howl at it, from a pit. I wanted to get him out of his bubble. I wanted him to meet me.

Because I have no designs to fuck him, and because I am not mental, and because we are both anonymous bloggers, a parity exists that would remove potential for the haughty judgement that facilitates the dark humour in his blogs. It would be a challenge for him.

Clearly, gays like a challenge, because he agreed to meet. I suggested we both write about the experience, and that he post it as a blog; a two pronged perspective piece with some high-powered perception pointed at him, for a change. He bravely, and perhaps slightly reluctantly, said “okay”. Continue reading The Guyliner, as told by The Male Nanny

The Male Nanny

I went out on a ‘date’ with another anonymous blogger, the very charming Male Nanny. We each wrote a post about it, and both appear here. You can also read his account of the night; it matters not which one you read first

Stats: That’s classified, I’m afraid
Where: London, W1
When: November 2011
Pre-date rating: 8/10

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after going on first dates with a large number of men, it’s to expect the unexpected. I’m currently taking a break from the dating scene, the hapless loners and plump-chested braggers holding less appeal as the year wears on. And then, I am asked, via Twitter, if I would like to meet by The Male Nanny, my very favourite blogger (sorry to that blogging lady who posts pictures of her sodding cat all day – you’re a very close second, honestly).

The twists here come thick and fast: he is straight, for one – not even remotely curious; and he has no idea what I look like. Our flirtation has been purely intellectual and refreshingly free of any carnal desire. Despite our difference in age, we seem a good match in personalities, yet I’m hesitant. My general rule is never to meet anyone from Twitter, but, like me, he’s an anonymous blogger, albeit with considerably more to lose should his identity be revealed. And so, after mulling it over, I agree. We set a time and date over email, his communiqués making me laugh out loud (an occurrence all too rare) and then it is done. It is happening. My next date, then, may be the oddest proposition of them all. Continue reading The Male Nanny

The Right Peter

Stats: 30, 6’0”, blond/blue, London
Where: East Dulwich, SE22
When: Summer 2o11
Pre-date rating: 8/10

I’m a big believer in putting things right if I can. If I’m in a supermarket and knock something over, I’ll quickly pick it up and place it back on the shelf. Should I underpay (or overpay) for something, I’ll endeavour to fix it so that nobody’s out of pocket. I like everything just-so. My date with this guy, then, simply had to happen whether I wanted it to or not, so I could make amends with myself for the fact that I accidentally went on a date with a guy who had the same name as this one, thinking it was him. It was time to go on a date with the right Peter after all.

Regular readers will be aware of my hugely embarrassing faux-pas when I agreed to go on a date with a guy over text, only to discover that it was someone else entirely, who I didn’t want to meet. I duly went on it anyway, and had an excruciating couple of hours in the company of the wrong Peter and his offensive cologne. You can read up on this, if you like. So, 6 guys and a pile of texts and instant messages later, here we are ready to do battle with the guy I should’ve gone out with in the first place. Continue reading The Right Peter

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