Readers' most hated online dating cliches
- 12 January 2014
- From the section Magazine
January is a boom month for online dating, but certain irksome recurring phrases might put off potential mates.
A Magazine article listing 20 cliches people write on their profiles attracted a huge response from readers.
Here are a few of the most unpopular expressions.
"Looking to make friends"
Olive from Boston says it's always funny to see people say they are "looking to make friends" on a dating website: "If you were looking to make friends then a club or interest group website would suffice." To go on a dating site for the same purpose "seems odd".
Joe from Harrow agrees friendship is not what dating sites are for. This phrase always prompts him to ask: "Does this person really know what they want?"
Of course, it could just be an attempt to appear coy. But Teresa Bentley from Horsham warns this could backfire: "If you're an adult and you haven't got any friends by now, then that suggests personality flaws."
"Hello, is it me you're looking for?"
Craig Smith from Glasgow has just got to let you know how much he dislikes this line from the Lionel Richie hit.
"It's one of the most repeated straplines/headline descriptions for a female profile that I have come across, and that really bugs me now," he says.
"It's been done to death so that I am now put off whenever I see it."
"Looking for my knight in shining armour"
Sean from Aberdeen argues that this is "not only outdated in modern day life but also a much-misunderstood myth".
He asks: "Are these really the guys a modern woman wants? Did Sir Lancelot ever do the washing up? Or hoovering?"
He urges women to ditch this stereotype and seek out "caring" men.
It's not just Sean who feels this way. Those seeking such a boyfriend are living in "fantasy land", says someone who calls himself Sir Steven Mountjoy from Wolverhampton.
"No baggage, please!"
This is both the most unrealistic and frequently-repeated phrase Melissa from London says she has seen on online dating wish lists.
"The human being with no baggage does not exist, so presumably the people who write this aren't actually ready to date anyone, or else they are signing up for perpetual disappointment when all their dates turn out to be real people who have had real lives," she says. "What we should be looking for is someone whose baggage is compatible with our own baggage."
Cathy Bartholomew from Portsmouth agrees: "Most men, it seems, won't consider a woman with anything more than an overnight case.
"Depending on your definition, this likely to be unachievable in my age group (early 50s) unless you've been in a coma for half a century."
"I don't bite, unless you ask me to"
It makes Gemma Webster from Oldbury cringe. She worked for an internet dating agency for three years approving profiles.
"It's amazing that six years later people are still using the same phrases," she says.
Its variant "I don't bite, hard ;-)" is a particular bugbear of Adam from Manchester. "This one makes my skin crawl!" he says.
"If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best"
The complete quote by Marilyn Monroe is: "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." Watson Brown from Aberdeen complains that too many women "feel compelled to regurgitate" it.
It's so widely used that it has lost all meaning, complains Leo from London. He urges online daters: "Be yourself not someone else. Particularly not someone who died before you were born."
Ben Joyce from London doesn't approve, either: "If in your one free text field you can't say something about yourself without resorting to quotations then it doesn't bode well for first date conversation."
"I don't take life too seriously"
Joe from Harrow says that someone who posts this is effectively telling would-be partners: "I want someone as directionless as me."
Claire from London suspects men who advertise they are looking for someone like this mean that they will treat you poorly and "you can't get annoyed, because you're not meant to take yourself too seriously".
Ady Miles from Wednesbury just doesn't think it is possible. "Can you ever take life too seriously? We all want someone who's fun, but aren't we all being serious about looking for someone special?"
"I work hard, play hard"
This is the most irritating and off-putting phrase for Kalvin Chapman from Manchester. He states on his profile that if you have used it that you are unlikely to get along with him. "What an absolutely ludicrous thing to say. It also smacks of the 1980s more than anything," he says.
"My children are everything to me"
Chris in Staffordshire, who is also a parent, complains that this just goes without saying. "You don't need to spell it out," he says.
"It smacks of 'My children are everything, so you are competing for second place... Oh, sorry... The cat, I forgot the cat... So you are in for a shout of being my third priority - along with my car - so woo me!'. Way to make someone feel special!"
Damien from London says "bubbly" is the single most annoying word anyone can use to describe themselves on a dating site. "What does that even mean?"
Dean from Rugby has an idea.
He offers a translation: "'I'm bubbly and fun' - I'm loud and have a laugh like a foghorn."