Dating online is like selling double glazing; you have roughly twenty seconds to make a pitch before the door gets slammed in your face.
Unfortunately it’s your profile picture that pretty much determines if you’re in, or out. And I say unfortunately for those of us who will never be knicker-twitchingly gorgeous even when our mugs have been backlit by candlelight, and shot with a soft-focus lens. I know. I tried it.
Don’t despair, however; ugly people do still get laid.
But, for this post, I’m more interested in the hidden clues and messages men leave in their choice of profile picture…
The Peacock: He’s in the shower, lounging seductively on a bed or posing in front of a mirror. Wherever, but he’s in the buff and showing off a bunch of colourful tattoos, bulging biceps and enough chest hair to double up as a doormat. Trouble is, he’s forgotten to hide his builders’ bottom and well-defined beer-belly. Oh, and just for the record, guys – I don’t care how impressive your package is, squashing it into Union Jack pants is not a good look. He’s trying to say, ‘I’m fit. How can you resist me?’ His photo is saying, ‘I’m a self-deluded dick.‘ If you date this guy, just give up wearing make-up ‘cos you’re now third in line for the bathroom mirror, after your new man and his mammoth-sized ego.
- The Family Man: He’ll be hugging a brood of small children and the family dog/cat/hamster. He’s trying to say, ‘Hey ladies! I’m a family man, a guy you can trust with anything small and furry!’ His photo is saying, ‘My ex took the kids. I’m lonely and desperate to be part of a family again. Look how easily I could slip into yours…’
- The WYSIWYG: He’s wearing a wooly hat or his oldest jeans with a sweatshirt. He’s been captured in the moment of washing his car or walking the dog, and he’s smiling. What you see is what you get. No pretensions. No vanity. No major hang-ups. His picture does what it says on the tin.
- The Bird Catcher: His arms are wrapped around another woman. She’s usually blonde and gorgeous, the bitch. He’s trying to say, ‘Look, I’m not desperate. I can pull fit birds anytime I like, it’s just that I’m a bit busy at the moment…’ His photo is saying, ‘ I am desperate. I spend my evenings on eharmony.co.uk. The blonde? Oh, she’s my sister…’
- The Invisible Man: Yep, you guessed it; this guy has no photo, just a glaring blank where his face should be…Now I can understand a teacher choosing this option; who could cope with 4C taking the piss on a wet Friday afternoon. But for the rest of ’em, well, they’ve gotta be married. Simples!
- The Size-Is-Everything Man: This bloke is sitting on, standing beside or lolling against a big shiny silver car, a monster motorbike no sane person would clamber upon, a fuck-off great big speedboat or a fearsome wild animal. Yep, Mr Cooldude is rubbing a tiger’s belly like you or I might tickle Fluffy the adorable kitty-cat. He’s trying to suggest strength, bravery and a wild throbbing engine, but guys, it comes across as Terrified Male With Size Of Willy Complex.
- Mr Fun Guy: He’s been snapped at a party, in the pub or down the local nightclub. Location isn’t important as long as there’s alcohol – the more pints he can squeeze into shot, the better. He’s trying to say, ‘Hey babe! Look at me! I’m a good bloke, always up for a laff!’ His photo actually says, ‘Alcoholic.’ Avoid at all costs unless you’re happy clearing up vomit, and don’t mind changing the sheets at 4am because Funguy’s pissed the bed. Again.