Friday, 4 January 2008

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is #1: Online Dating

So. I’ve just signed up to an online dating site. I reckon this is a good, fairly easy first step on the road to hearts, flowers and rumpy pumpy. It would be all kinds of rash madness to dive straight into the deep end of, for example, a night of speed dating, and frankly, even the thought of it terrifies me. At least with online stuff, I can do it all from my study - or if it gets saucy - my bed.

I considered putting an actual picture of myself up on my profile. I considered it for a long time. But then I decided against it because it would be a bit like being at school, hoping to be picked to play football whilst sitting at the edge of the pitch in a wheelchair. So I put up an Elephant Man photo instead. Which is a bit like being at school, hoping to be picked to play football whilst sitting at the edge of the pitch dressed as the Elephant Man. In a wheelchair. I'm just not ready to put my face on the internet yet is all.

I’ve been pretty honest – brutally honest actually. Otherwise what’s the point? For example, when asked to describe myself, I wrote the following:

Last month I turned 30, and I decided it was high time that I sorted my life out. I decided to take positive steps to find the things I need. Or rather, the thing that I need. For I only really need one thing. All I need is love. Love, love, love. Love, and to lose some weight. 112 pounds to be precise. Those are the only two things I need. And to stop smoking. Love, lose weight, and stop smoking. Those are the only three… Oh, and I need to stop blaming my big fat ugly body for lack of success with women.

So that’s why I’m here. For the love part. But of course it has to be genuine. Which means in turn that I have to be genuine. Which is why I’m being honest about being hideously ugly, severely obese and seriously unhealthy. In other words: quite a catch.

What I do have going for me however, are the following:

* I have a good, steady, fairly well-paying job.
* That’s it.
* No, wait, I also have a sterling sense of humour, as you can see, and a beautiful, open heart.
* Plus, I’m fairly smart.
* Oh, and I dress well. And I have impeccable taste in all things.
* Finally, if I can find someone I can actually love, I believe I’ll do a better job than anyone else has ever done. Does that sound scary? Shit, it does, doesn’t it? I’ve come across as a proper psycho, and ugly to boot.

Ah well. There it is. Form an orderly queue.

I’m anticipating an awful lot of interest.

The only problem with the site is that you’re only allowed 400 characters to fill in your little boxes, and I accidentally wrote considerably more. Rather than just waste my words then, I’m going to put them here. This can be my second online dating page in fact. Why the hell not?


I used to believe in God. Then I grew up. Now I prefer the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I even prefer the idea of total and utter nothingness. Meaninglessness. Maggots. However, if God does exist (against all the odds), then He is reading this, as well as my mind, therefore He knows full well what I want. So come on God, you old bugger. Let’s have it. Find me someone to love, and I’ll pretend to believe in you. I promise.


Severe obesity and extreme ugliness. The former is my fault, I know, and I’m working on it. It’s not me glands. It’s me steak pies and Snickers bars. The ugliness however, is congenital and chronic, and although it’s not usually recognised as such, I genuinely believe it *is* a disability. Just not one that comes with any benefits.

Musical Instruments played:

I play the ukulele – the banjo ukulele if you will – the same one played by George Formby. Not literally the same one, but the same kind. I saw my first Formby film when I was around seven. I was spellbound and wanted to be him. What really amazed me was how he’d be in a situation with people deriding him, hating him because he was such a preposterous, unsightly fool – then he’d pull out his ukulele and within seconds he’d won everyone over. Men who were bullying him were now smiling wildly and slapping him on the back; women who were at best previously unaware of him, at worst openly hostile, were now fawning over him little girls over a puppy. I wanted that power. It would be another eight years however, before I managed to get my hands on a ukulele, and another four years to become proficient. It was only then that I realised that you should never, *never* base your life on a George Formby film.

Music Enjoyed:

If there were any justice in the world, I would be a gay man. Firstly – and correct me if I’m wrong – gay men will shag *anything*. My mate Eric for example – face like a puzzled tapir yet there’s not a week goes by when he doesn’t find someone new to have sex with him. He is built like a brick shithouse on Hampstead Heath though, which probably helps. My point being – if I were gay, I get the feeling I wouldn’t be quite so damnably lonely. But I’m probably wrong. Secondly, and this is where it becomes relevant, I love show tunes. The Sound of Music, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls. And I know this is the music of the sexually flimsy, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I also like a lot of music from the 20s, 30s and 40s. And George Formby of course. Gotta love George. George Formby also has a huge gay following. Believe it or not. Oh, and I like West Life.

Just kidding.

Sports and exercise:

I’m a big man, but I’m out of shape. Horribly out of shape. In a word, I’m fat. In fact, I worked out my body mass index recently and I’m ashamed to report that I’m actually ‘severely obese’. But before you start sending me your salacious winks, you chubby chasers, you should know that these things are about to change. Although I haven’t done any exercise or sport since the early 90s, all this will change just as soon as my coccyx is better. For by the end of this year, my body will have become my temple, and I want you – yes, you! – to be first through the doors on worship day. (Friday.) And you don’t even have to take off your shoes. Although it would be the polite thing to do.

Animals and Pets:

I would like four or five dogs and four or five cats and a couple of horses and some goats. I would also like a large house with substantial land to keep them all, and until I get the latter, I’ll probably just settle for my devil-black cat Pablo, who sleeps on my neck and doesn’t care how fat or ugly I am. As long as I feed him. And let him sleep on my neck.

Interests and activities:

I’m something of a film buff. I watch at least four films a week, which probably seems like an awful lot to you. Two things are worth remembering though: 1) I don’t watch rubbish – I mean, it’s not as if I’m into martial arts or horror or porn (although if I’m honest I have on occasion watched all three, but rarely at the same time) – I like good films; 2) I have nothing better to do with my time. Which is where you come in, baby.

I also read, write and play the ukulele. Plus, I’m the best cook you will ever meet.

Newspapers and magazines:

A couple of times a month I read The Sun because it reminds me that no matter how depressing my life sometimes seems, at least I will never be Jon Gaunt. Or any other tunnel-visioned, self-centred xenophobe. I read everything else as and when it turns up. Plus I kind of collect unusual specialist magazines – the kind of thing that turns up as ‘this week’s guest publication’ in Have I Got News For You. I also read cookery magazines as I’m always on the lookout for recipes to modify slightly and pass off as my own for the couple of cookery columns I write for old ladies’ magazines.


Get stewed. Books are a load of crap. Not true of course. Just a little allusion for the poetry fans amongst you. But I don’t read as much as I should. I guess I prefer films. I do tend to read on holiday though. I like biographies. And funny novels.

Favourite Films:

I could probably list a couple of hundred films that I love, but that would be very tedious. So here’s ten: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, MASH, A Night At the Opera, Together, The Elephant Man, The Apartment, Mask, Secrets and Lies, It’s a Wonderful Life, This Is England.

Enjoyable evening out:

Loads and loads and loads and loads of dim sum followed by a film premiere in a swish Soho screening room with a woman I love. Oh, and she’s in love with me too. I’m fed up with all the unreciprocated stuff. I wrote the screenplay for the film we’re watching by the way, and when it ends, the whole audience jump to their feet and start cheering. But we can’t hear them because we’re too busy doing it.

Ideal Holiday:

Being a big fat bloke, activity holidays are impractical, but I like them nonetheless. In theory at least. So my ideal holiday would be one I take this time next year, when I am eight stone lighter and wildly in love. It’s something of a world tour wherein we visit 15, maybe 20 cities, smooching across Europe and Asia, maybe popping briefly into Australia before flying down to Rio, then up through the Americas. Lots of mountain climbing, water skiing and paragliding along the way. Then we might finish up with an Atlantic cruise, setting sail from New York, back to Blighty.

By then of course, I’ll be superfit and profoundly tanned, so despite having a face like a bag of elbows, I’ll be the happiest man alive.

I tell you what, let’s stop off in Barbados and get married. Yeah? Yeah, why not.

In another life:

This one is easy. In another life, I’d still be me, but I’d be so good-looking that women would look at me and would gasp from every orifice.

I know it’s superficial to go on about looks all the time, but until you’re properly ugly, you don’t really know how much it affects your life. And I’m sure being gorgeous brings its own set of problems, but yes, in another life, those are the problems that I would have.


On the whole I’m a happy-go-lucky, laid back and funny kind of chap. I have opinions and wit and generosity and warmth. I’m imaginative, spontaneous, creative and… yeah, and so on. But also, I do get down. I get terribly lonely and sometimes quite depressed. To be honest I don’t know whether this is because I have so much love to give and no opportunity to give it, or because I’m actually deep down inside a rather miserable sod. I hope one day to find out.

So there it is. It’s on Love and Friends. UK internet dating for thinking people. Thinking people! That’s me! I think you have to be a member to look at profiles. If you are a member – no shame in that – look me up. I’m ‘elbows’. Cool huh?

And if anyone has any tips, any dating website optimisation tips, I would very much appreciate hearing them.

So. I guess now it’s just a matter of sitting back and waiting… Or should I be more pro-active?

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Anonymous said...

Please don't poop briefly in Australia. They've got enough shit to worry about.

La Bête said...

Ha! Well spotted that typo. I've corrected it now. It should of course have read 'poping briefly in Australia', for if anywhere needs a good dose of hardline Catholicism, it's that godforsaken hellhole.


Anonymous said...

Late addition, and with recent developments I guess probably of very little interest to you, but I met my partner through a internet dating agency. Having flicked through over 1000 boring, repetitive profiles, his stood out for its humour and intelligence. That was a couple of years ago. Internet means that your first impressions are of the person, not their physical appearance, and then who they are makes them attractive (which may be why, in your earlier "list" of photo comparisons, the only person I found seriously ugly was the jocelyn woman, and she did that to herself which kind of says a lot about who she is - seriously scary face). Did I forget to mention? Other people look at him and see an obese, bald man with a seriously asymmetrical face. I however, count myself really, really lucky. Good luck to you, too.

I've been lurking for a while, by the way, and am reading my way through the archives.