After trying to talk myself out of it and hosting the menacing voices of concerned (paranoid? Neurotic? Just plain patronising?) friends and family members in my head, I decided, quite simply, what the hell!?

So this week, I am devoting the time I’m not working and investigating other people’s misdemeanours and extra-curricular amours to thinking of what to put in and what to leave out when it comes to my profile......

Last week, I asked myself:

How do I write my profile so I don’t look:

1. Desperate
2. Like the plumb-lining, skirting-board-dusting, hob-cleaning control freak I am
3. Like I am in any way going to be interested in men who are already married or partnered-up
4. Like I’m even for one second going to be taken in by a scam?????????

Have I come up with the perfect, worry-free solution? Erm, not entirely. Which is a polite, optimistic way of saying ‘not at all.’ As I mentioned last week, my thought processes astound me sometimes. The speed, the tangents and the sheer size of the damn things exhaust me! For many people, writing a profile would be a five-minute job, but for me, it’s like planning a dissertation. The main thing that is running through my mind as I contemplate writing it is ‘What if???!!!’ What if they think I’m too keen/too obsessed with 1930s detective series/have a dodgy taste in music (shall I leave out Barry White and Billy Idol?). But after a few days, some sleeping on it and dreaming (or should I say nightmaring?) about it, my final answer to these ‘what if’ questions is ‘So what?’

So I start to plan what I should write. What can I get away with? I think I should perhaps conceal, for now, the fact that sometimes I clean the hob in my dressing gown at 11pm. What can I specify about the prospective dates I am willing to meet? After all, it’s not all about me. The female of the species, though we often don’t know it or feel it, is the selector in the mating and dating situation. And hell, I’ve got to have standards!
So here’s the list of what I definitely don’t want (somehow this is easier than thinking about what I do want):
1. Someone who is going to (sooner or later) ask me for money
2. Someone whose main topic of conversation is their ex and how badly she treated him/how many times a day he calls her
3. Someone who just wants a counsellor
4. A man who has long nails (fingers or toes: totally unacceptable)
5. Someone who is looking for fun when their wife or girlfriend seems boring or is away

None of these are things you can demand when writing a profile, though. It’s all supposed to be happy-clappy- women- who- run- with –the- wolves I’m so confident and independent I don’t really need you, oh so what are you doing on dating sites then? (See, the internal dialogue working overtime yet again). I want to project an image of independence and confidence (partly, I confess, to ward off the scam artists if there are any). So I am definitely going to mention my education. No room at the inn for men who are intimidated by intelligent women. I am probably going to mention my job. It gives the impression that my career is exciting and non-stop drama (in reality, sometimes I’m just sitting in a car in the dark listening to radio 4 late-night political discussions). It also gives the impression that I’m clued-up when it comes to relationships. No need to mention that I have ‘L’ plates: don’t we all? I am going to specify the age range I am remotely interested in. Age might just be a number, but I want someone who is at least in the same generation; otherwise, how are we going to get through the inevitable ‘What was your favourite TV programme/sweet/type of crisp?’ conversation without some serious wincing?

The feeling of trepidation is creeping up on me the more I think about it. My aeroplane is on the runway but it’s at that crucial point where it’s not moving, and you know that it’s going to start moving really fast. And you’re committed now; there’s no going back. You’ve checked in, you’ve paid a ridiculous amount of money to be accompanied by your own baggage, and you’ve chosen your seat. Now you’ve just got to sit there and wait for the take-off..............

Next week:

Gosh, is anything ever simple and straight forward? Now I’ve decided roughly what to write on my profile (and more importantly what not to write..... sorry Barry and Billy....), but now I’ve got to negotiate my way round the hundreds of sites available and decide which one to select. Research, research, research. It’ll all be worth it in the end???



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