Tag Archives: dating sites

31 things you will see people do on dating apps

Dating apps, whether they’re for long-lasting love or a three-minute hook-up you can brag to your friends about, have revolutionised our love and sex lives.

But even with tec so new and exciting, we’re still a habit-forming animal – we can’t resist becoming a cliché.

So here are a few things you will almost certainly see on hook-up or dating apps. Swipe. Left.

1. A guy who does the same facial expression in every photo.
It’s usually a lop-sided grin or a grimace or that wide-open scream face that Caitlin Moran does a lot. Or a pout. They’ll find a preferred pose and stick to it. And it will never be just a smile.

2. Someone who has accidentally uploaded the same picture three times.

3. “Looking for a gym buddy.”
I have a boyfriend, but I would like to get unspeakable with you  in the changing rooms once a week.

4. A selfie taken in a dirty mirror.

5. A selfie with a pile of dirty laundry in the background.

6. An impossibly good-looking 19-year-old who would rather sleep with the Tollund Man than you.
But you try anyway. Continue reading 31 things you will see people do on dating apps


Decoding dumb clichés on dating bios

Your dating profile – or the bio on whichever app your fingers are getting busy with – is your storefront, your prime advertising space.

Sure, a picture tells a thousand words, but as anyone who’s spent more than a minute in the company of a  boyband can tell you, hot looks are no guarantee of a great brain or a good time.

Given that most people are only a swipe away from dating oblivion, you’d think that guys (and girls, of course, if that’s your thing) out there might try a little harder to attract your attention. Sadly, most people are saying very little but a slightly different version of the same 20 or so things – most of them as empty and meaningless to you as hearing about someone’s blow job in a train station in 1973.

Here, I decode a few.

“Might be time for some strings attached.”
Here I am on a sex app, a bit of tech that was created by somebody who wanted to make it easier for people to have sex with perfect strangers, using it to look for sex.

Thing is, I don’t want people to think I’m only here for the sex, oh no. I’m a sensitive soul, you see – I have a lot of thoughts, most of them quite deep and meaningful. I’m not just a piece of meat. So I’m looking for a boyfriend – some ‘strings’, if you like – who can take me away from all these endless cock pics and headless torsos and “what u into”.

But of course, rather than say that I want a relationship and rule myself out of any anonymous boning, I’ll only say that I ‘might’ be looking. Step this way, Prince Charming.

“Tall, dark and handsome to the front of the queue.”
War-torn Afghanistan has nothing on the devastation caused by the hordes vying for my affections. There are catfights, broken hearts and bloodshed at every stage of this miles-long queue, each suitor more beautiful and statuesque than the last.

And when you get to the very front, where I sit like Caesar on a throne made not of marble but made from bathroom selfies and protein shakes, there are the tallest, darkest and most handsome of them all.

Each one is on his knees, praying to his god (that would be me), hoping he’ll be the one selected by me to have uninspiring, brief and regrettable sex in a box room that could really do with vacuuming.

But even I know the truth: ain’t no queue.

“Ages 18–25 only, please. I’ll block oldies and I’m not into daddies.”
I’m an ageist wanker who prefers younger, inexperienced men who perhaps won’t realise I’m a devastatingly disappointing fuck.

“I don’t bite… unless you want me to.”
Spoiler: the sex probably isn’t going to be that good and I will say “fuck, yeah” a lot during the act in the mistaken belief this makes me sound  ‘kinky’. Then I’ll bite you.

“I like going out and staying in.”
I am a deeply complex and unusual person! Sometimes I even do both on the same day! Get on this rollercoaster if you dare!

“I love to laugh.”
That’s not to say I do laugh, or indeed will laugh. The chances of me making you laugh are pretty slim.

Usually when I manage a chortle, it’s at something inappropriate like a child falling over, or you, in three months’ time, telling me that this isn’t really working out.

“Looking for a reason to delete this app.”
I, too, am looking for true love, without which I couldn’t possibly press and hold my finger on the icon of this dating app, then press the little ‘x’ that appears in the corner of the icon, deleting it for ever. Yes, I can definitely only do that once I have collected a slew of marriage proposals, not before.

And when people ask us the story of how we fell in love, I can look at the ground, then at you, then at them and, with a tear in my eye, tell them: “He helped me delete Grindr, and from then, I was hooked”.

“I can’t think what to write here. I’m not that good at talking about myself.”
I get up, I go to work, I come home. Sometimes I’ll go for a drink after work with colleagues. But usually I go straight home. There is TV, takeaways, masturbation. Sometimes Grindr.

Oh, and I also head up an international crime syndicate, have a meth lab in my kitchen and have killed a man – but my life’s too uninteresting to talk about really and I never know what to write on these things.

“I like to stay in with a DVD and a bottle of wine.”
I’ve had all my fun being an amazing, exciting, vibrant, sociable person already – before I met you – and now it’s time for me to settle for the boring inevitability of a relationship before I am too old and ugly to snare anyone. And all my friends are doing it.

After a few dates in the pub, we’ll be staying in a lot, whether you like it or not, talking about what to watch next on Netflix. We’ve had our fun; time to leave the scene to the youngsters.

I am 25.

“I’m very discrete.”
I’m married and do not own a dictionary.

“Whatever happened to all the cool guys on here? Am I really the only one looking for more than just a bunk-up with a faceless body, a spiritual connection with someone where you identify not just on a sexual level, but an emotional one too. I guess I’m being unrealistic looking for something deeper on here, but it would be nice to find out. If that’s not what you’re after, keep on moving.”
Pump me raw, stranger.

More like this:
10 toxic things you really shouldn’t say on your dating profile
10 terrible opening lines for a dating profile 

Thanks to everyone on Twitter who suggested their favourite dating bio clichés.

Image: Chazwags on Flickr

10 terrible opening lines for a dating profile

As I always say, your dating profile is your storefront, your big shiny window display that you use to get the punters in. But in just a few short sentences, you can turn your gleaming emporium of you into a rundown old convenience store, with dirty canopies, smeared windows, and nothing of interest inside.

All of the following are based on actual openers from dating profiles I have perused over the years.

“I’m kind of like a Charlotte in the daytime and a bit of a Carrie on a night out. Maybe with a touch of Samantha too if you’re lucky LOL. Which Sex & The City character are you most like?”
Mmmm, don’t know. How about whichever one would be least likely to sleep with YOU? Comparing yourself to three of the most irritating TV characters of all time isn’t exactly endearing me to you.

You are not like Carrie. She lives in a shoebox in Manhattan and somehow gets no end of men to fall hopelessly in love with her despite having a brain made of butter and a really whiny voice, along with a self-centred streak wider than the Champs-Elysées. That isn’t going to be happening here.

Miranda is the only one who is in any way OK, but you are not her either. Nobody is.

“Looking for the missing half of a possible Kooples ad campaign.”
Kooples. The dullest shop ever with a smug marketing campaign to match. Notice how any of the so-called couples don’t seem to have been together that long? An irreversible wedge forever between them thanks to a passion for clothes that look like they were designed by committee. It can never last.

“Be prepared to lie if anyone asks where we met.”
Oh, I *will*! I’ll say it was at a sex dungeon. Run by your mother.

“If I can tell you’re gay when you first walk into the room, we probably won’t get on.”
Well, I guess I had better leave my feather boa, Judy Garland tapes and tight lurex vests at home on our first date, and sit tight and try to be all manly on my fun evening out with a massively insecure homophobe.

The thing with douchebags like this is that, more often than not, they’re as big a Kylie obsessive as the rest of us – they just think it makes them, and us, a bad person.

“I’ve got a lot of strong opinions, and I’m not afraid to share them.”
In other words, sign here right on the dotted line for a date filled with half-baked ideas gleaned from Sky News and over-confrontational attacks on the welfare system or Madonna.

“I love long walks on the beach/round the city/in the park/up hill and down dale/toward the guillotine in a big floaty dress.”
We get it. Most people love a long walk or two. This effort to sound earthy and romantic and outdoorsy fails and makes you sound boring, clichéd and desperate. Do people really choose potential partners based, above all else, on a fondness for walking farther than the end of the road and back?

Let the ‘long walk’ conversation come out on the first date, if it really must at all. NB: If you don’t like long walks, feel free to keep this to yourself too.

“FOR SALE: One happy-go-lucky runaround, 2 or 3 not so careful owners, not too many miles on the clock and in fairly good condition. PRICE: Drink in the pub, dinner ONO.”
Oh, I see! You’re a car. See also: mock eBay ads, pastiches of old-fashioned personal columns, parodies of movie posters etc.

On the surface of it, these always seem like a good idea because you think they make you seem quirky and funny.

The sad fact is that they are blisteringly unoriginal, usually misguided (You’re a clapped-out Ford Mondeo? Really?) and say very little about your personality except that you’d rather come across as some clever wit on your profile than reveal anything else about yourself. Besides, I can’t drive.

“Hello there! Thank you so much for clicking on my profile!”
As romantic, sexy and authentic as the announcements in train stations that tell you they are sorry for the delay to the 13:03 to Edinburgh that day, despite it being recorded in a studio in Battersea in the early ’90s.

“I’m creative, intelligent, masculine and fun. I DON’T like mind games and timewasters. I DO like honesty and fidelity.”
I’m not sure you’re being entirely honest about the “fun” part, are you?

I ran this through my dating profile translator machine (my head) and it came back with “I have been cheated on and messed about by all manner of blokes, probably because I’m not that much fun to be with and have lots of bizarre hang-ups.”

Telling people you don’t like timewasters is a bit like telling everyone you love breathing. We get it. Tell us about you, not who you’re trying to avoid.

“I don’t know what I’m doing here. Internet dating is a bit weird, isn’t it?”
If you have suddenly woken up from a century-long slumber, I guess it is, yeah.

If you were birthed in the modern world, however, get with the programme and quit this fake bemusement with the internet like you’re a maiden aunt seeing a pair of crotchless knickers for the first time.

More like this:
Decoding dumb clichés on dating bios
10 toxic things you shouldn’t say on your dating profile

What Gaydar did next

You know what they say: “evolve or die”. And in a world where your next French kiss might be no farther than the end of your backyard, gay dating and hook-up sites have had to change faster than most. Way back when Grindr was nothing more than just a vague wet dream in Joel Simkhai’s mind, the king of the road when it came to meeting guys was Gaydar – its array of oiled-up nipples and extreme close-ups as synonymous with the late Nineties and early Noughties as Steps, Harry Potter and Britney.

Gaydar broke through where other sites could not, bringing your friendly neighbourhood gays right to your door – most of the time welcomed. Gaydar is where a lot of our ‘saucier’ social media obsessions began: selfies, knob shots, picking your best pose and, best of all, telling a few fibs about how faaaabulous you are.

I first set up a Gaydar profile, around a decade ago, while I was in a relationship, bizarrely. In a really quite frightening example of foreshadowing, I wanted to a do a piece on how what you put on dating profiles could affect the reaction you got from punters on a variety of dating sites. I sat with my then-boyfriend and we filled in the form as honestly as we thought everyone else would. In other words, not remotely.

It asked the most personal of questions, including the question to end all questions. No, not that one (I put “extra large”, FYI), but the one where you list your fetishes. The options were dazzling to a younger me, whose presence on the gay arena thus far had veered very much toward the vanilla scoop of the Neopolitan knickerbocker. Muscles, jocks, sportswear, twinks, tattoos, armpits – no predilection’s stone was left unturned. I’ll leave you guessing which ones I selected (‘armpits’ certainly was NOT in my final five). I did, of course, lie about my height – it’s the unwritten law of internet dating that all men will.

I finished with a flourish and uploaded a blurred photo that was about as representative of me as a Crimewatch photofit of the Cookie Monster would’ve been, digital cameras being fairly thin on the ground back then, and waited. My lack of pictorial skin worked against me, sadly, and I didn’t exactly have to fight off many admirers. Thanks goodness I wasn’t looking for real.

By the time I was back on the market and had a genuine use for it, Gaydar had faded into the background of the dating scene somewhat, concentrating mainly on extending its brand through bars or radio stations. Grindr, Blendr, Zoosk, OK Cupid et al moved in on an unsuspecting audience who perhaps hadn’t previously realised just how gagging for it they actually were.

But now it’s 2013 and the gloves are off. At least I think that was a glove. Gaydar has recognised what gay men want – or at least what they say they want – and is going mobile. It has had what all gays need when they’re feeling against the ropes – a makeover!

While they’re not entirely leaving their hook-up heritage behind, they’re keen to make themselves known as a dating website. Their new service ‘Gaydar on your mobile’  takes what people love Grindr for and has given it more of a personal touch. There’s a ‘Find Him’ function, apparently, which allows you to tailor your search to your no doubt exacting criteria and saves you scrolling through the same old mugshots. And you’re not just restricted to the local talent – you can cast your net farther than your local postcodes in the effort to find Mr Right, or even Mr Right Now. And, as it’s not available through the App Store but directly from Gaydar, there are fewer of those pesky ‘restrictions’ to hold you back. Reading between the lines, I’m guessing this means you can post more pictures of your pecker without fear of reproach. But I’m not sure – I have never actually done that because my mother has broadband now and I don’t want Christmas to be any more excruciating than it needs to be.

So if you’re a sandwich short of a sausage, have a look on m.gaydar.net and see what’s available.

Full disclosure: Gaydar did ask me if I minded blogging about their new mobile service in exchange for a swanky dinner. And so I said yes, as long as I could do it my way. And I rather think I have.

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