A few months back, a close friend of mine put a gun to my head (metaphorically) and made me put myself on an online dating site. I won’t say which one, but it shares a name with a children’s football magazine.

To be blunt, I’ve not found it at all useful, and it’s probably something wrong with my approach. Anyway here’s what I’ve learnt about women, and about myself from dating sites:

1. Being able to spell is sexy

Don’t take that the wrong way- I’m not getting creepy over use of apostrophes. It’s more that bad spelling is off-putting to me- if a girl doesn’t know to start a sentence with a capital letter I don’t care how pretty she is, there’s no potential there. (Unless she’s dyslexic, I guess.)

2. Absolutely everyone likes reading and travelling

My initial understanding was that if I could find a girl who was interested in those two things we’d hit it off. Turns out that actually most people like going abroad and almost everyone lists reading as a hobby, so filtering by that is a bit like specifying that you’d like to meet a girl with two arms, two legs and one head. Which is also a priority.

3. There are oh, so many “never been on a dating site before, let’s see how it goes”/ “trying something new”/ “don’t know what to put here”-type headlines.

I understand the sentiment- trying to filter through a multitude of strangers to pick one who you like the sound of and might like you is pretty hard. But admitting that isn’t very interesting when several hundred other people have written the same thing. (That said, my profile might be really clichéd, I can’t see the blokes on the site so I’m not sure.)

4. It’s upsettingly similar to writing a CV

A few women have touched on this, and they have a point: in both you’re trying to highlight your best features, gloss over your worst ones, and give a sense of your personality. If anything this is actually harder because there’s not formula to stick to.

5. No-one bites.

Again, put enough people in this situation and a lot of them are going to type some variation of “I don’t bite.” Standard.

6. The really cheesy pick-up line.

This’d be for getting in touch, not the profile, and plenty of guys do do this. My favourite (I came up with this by myself, I’m well proud of it) is:
“Did I just hear a ring-ding-ding-ding-ding-da-ding? Cos you’re a fox!”

7. The block capitals- a normal profile, rendered psychotic by unnecessary capitalisation:

“I’M A CHILLED-OUT GUY WITH AN ADVENTUROUS SIDE- MY FAVOURITE THINGS ARE COUNTRY PUBS, MUDDY FESTIVALS AND FILM MARATHONS WITH MY FRIENDS. LOOKING FOR A DOWN-TO-EARTH GIRL WHO KNOWS HER OWN MIND. SEND ME A WINK OR A MESSAGE IF YOU WANT TO GET IN TOUCH”

8. The unnecessary multi- a description in rhyme.

Maybe it’s not surprising that someone who watches battle-rap videos would be single, but it has occurred me to use rhyme before.
“There were some awkward dates I’ve been on before/ so if you see me recourse/ to really aw-kward/ drea-ry stor-ies/ from my year abroad/ it’s only because I don’t feel secure/ (beat)/ did I hear a yawn?”

9. The goffik teen

My favourite idea. Anyone with a sense of humours knows about the gloriously bad (and probably intentional) Harry Potter fanfiction My Immortal, in which everyone is either a bisexual vampire goth or a “prep”.

It’d go something like:
“Sensitive bi guy who loks like gerod Way wants goffik gurrl 4 seriouz relatinship111
If u luv bands like Marlin Mason and mcr (r.i.p) den send me a massage! No prepz tho fangz in advance (geddit fangz cos I’m goffik)”
p.s. I’m not a troll im a VAMPIR!!!