SARAH Swain has been single for eight years. That’s nearly 3000 days without a boyfriend and she’s not afraid to admit it either.
That’s because it’s tough out there, as any single will tell you, so to bring hope to others across the city, she’s sharing her no-holds-barred adventures on the Sydney single scene every Friday.
WEEK SIX: I get some help from a millionaire matchmaker
Tracey Langdon’s an expert at matchmaking.
A Tropical Hunstman spider. Not attractive.
Tracey Langdon’s a Queensland-based dating guru
Internet dating can be frustrating.
Plenty of Fish is a popular dating site. But what will you hook?
Erm no. I wouldn’t like to go out with you, Mr Poopypants.
Joanna Lumley as Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous. Not me.
Steer clear of mentions of wine online.
The speed of light travels at 299,792,458 metres per second.
But I reckon you spend less time than that on somebody’s internet dating profile if you don’t like their photo.
Tinder, Plenty of Fish, RSVP, eHarmony or the latest one I’ve downloaded, Hinge, which offers you matches based on your extended Facebook network, are all based on looks.
Even if a guy ticked all the boxes on further examination, but he looked like a squashed huntsman and had taken a topless selfie in the bathroom mirror wearing sunnies, I’d be unlikely to read more about him. Argue all you like, but that’s how it works online.
However, I’d like to add that it’s not always about the cheekbones you were blessed with, but how you present yourself. After all, even a squashed huntsman would look more appealing in a tux with a smile on his face.
This is where Tracey Langdon comes in.
Dubbed the ‘millionaire matchmaker’, the Gold Coast-based dating expert is expanding her business from finding women for cashed-up tycoons, to helping those of us with smaller bank balances find love too.
(Regarding the millionaire thing, I asked her if she knew any who were looking for a blonde, tall Sydney-based British journalist. She said no).
Her new company Outsource My Love Life sees her analyse and revamp your dating profile, and she’ll even go as far as line up dates for you if you’re too busy to trawl through the hopefuls, with packages starting at just under $400.
I decided to give it a go.
But what could possibly be wrong with my dating profile?
I write for a living, and I have heaps of great Instagram pictures.
So, I sent off my Plenty of Fish profile to her, expecting a glowing report.
But the only thing that was glowing were my cheeks — from embarrassment.
A huge email popped up, listing all the things I’d done wrong.
The first thing Ms Langdon found fault with was my ‘tagline’ — that’s the sentence at the top which is supposed to sum you up.
I’d written “Looking for a date not a pen pal”.
I was trying to convey the fact that many men want to endlessly message and seem never to actually want to meet.
“The word ‘date’ unfortunately can translate as casual sex to some men,” said Ms Langdon, who suggested I change it to something like, ‘Professional gal looking for the real deal.’
Next, she looked at my photos. I thought they were really nice.
She didn’t agree.
She said: “You have a beautiful face and gorgeous hair but you’re not using your look to its fullest advantage. It’s essential to make sure his jaw drops!”
She suggested getting some professional shots taken.
Luckily I have plenty of photographers on hand at work, but she reckons calling up a professional and asking them to take some for you if you’re not so lucky.
It should only cost a couple of hundred dollars — worth it if you’re serious about finding love I reckon.
She also suggests getting your hair and make up done for the shoot at a local hairdresser if you’re a girl, and blokes, I’d like to add that you should actually crack a smile in your photos.
Many of the guys I get messages from seem to have modelled their pics on a police mugshot. Might be okay if you’re a Hollywood celeb, but there’s nothing appealing about that if you’re not.
Next, Ms Langdon analysed my answers to the dating site’s general questions.
‘Well, nobody reads those,’ I thought.
“I would change ‘Do you drink?’ from “often” to “sometimes”, suggested Ms Langdon. “It looks better.”
Well, I guess I don’t want to give the impression I model myself on Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous (I don’t).
Her next criticism was rather surprising.
“For ‘Do you have a car’ choose ‘prefer not to say”, she said. “No car could be a negative, so I would not comment.”
Well, I guess finding a guy with a car would be nice, but I never thought it would put guys off me! Maybe they’ll think I just want a taxi driver?
Finally, I’d written that a “first date” would be a “glass of wine”.
“Leaves too much room for error once a few wines have been had!” my new guru quite rightly pointed out.
“Your profile should attract your “target market” much more effectively once the above changes are made,” she declared Ms Langdon.
So, photos changed and dodgy words deleted, I should be all set to click in cyberspace.
Details: Email Tracey Langdon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t miss the video above, where I reveal Tracey’s tips to help singles win at internet dating.