Telegraph dating profiles
e Harmony likes to stress how many members get married as a result of being matched via the service (236 every day, according to data gathered in the US in 2008.) did a survey last year indicating that an impressive 58,500 people found a partner on the site over a 12-month period – and they still offer a six-month guarantee of "finding love", albeit underlined (understandably) by a 500-word list of conditions. When Time Out magazine recently ran a cover story offering free online dating for every reader, it was dangling a huge metaphorical carrot. But you rarely hear from those who, having failed to find a partner online, back away from the computer shaking their heads at the way the process distorts social conventions and leaves you slightly shell-shocked.Those 58,500 lucky members of were vastly outnumbered by the 286,000 unlucky ones.Some of them are model-like in their beauty, rapier-like in their wit or both.All of them have approached internet dating with the most honourable of intentions: they're lured by the promise of romance, be it jazz and croissants on Sunday morning, or leaping out of a plane strapped to someone nice. They'd just like somebody, but somebody hasn't shown up.Yes, anecdotes of hair-raising internet dates have become dinner-party staples – you know, like "he turned up wearing a toolbelt and immediately burst into tears" – and many were collected in a book published earlier this year. The plunge in self-esteem when your ideal partner remains as elusive as a taxi on New Year's Eve?A quick disclosure: I have a couple of dating profiles online. But this isn't therapy masquerading as a self-pitying article by some bloke in his late-thirties – well, not much, anyway.But the people I've spoken to who've been bruised by it are unanimous as to why that happened. Adam: "It's blackly comic: we all say we're fun-loving, up for a laugh, just seeing how things go – when everyone knows that we're all on a dating site because, to varying extents, we're lonely." Internet dating pivots around profiles; lists of attributes, paragraphs where you attempt to make yourself sound appealing, a handful of flattering photographs. Dozens of books and websites offer advice on how to write profiles; third-party services even charge 40 quid to save you the bother. Everyone loves travelling, particularly to Machu Picchu – which, if the profiles are to be believed, is an Inca site swarming with thousands of backpacking singletons. All of us love to curl up on the sofa with a bottle of wine and a DVD (or a VD, as one unfortunately misspelled profile said).
The search for love in any context is a lottery, of course. What are the chances of two compatible people turning up in the same place at the same time?Internet dating is meant to tip those odds in our favour – and it can work, of course it can.Those words of wisdom still apply, and particularly so if you're one of those participating in the seemingly eternal worry-go-round of internet dating.The adverts for such services, featuring blissfully happy couples pushing each other on swings, would have us believe otherwise.
I've got a number of friends and acquaintances who share my feelings about the way online dating plays fast and loose with your emotions.These people are relatively undamaged and sane, without many skeletons in their cupboards.