Having (almost) exhausted the possibilities of Tinder, Rory Carrick decided it was time to try out the luxury range at Plenty of Fish. Instead of finding Mr Right, he found his ex. Several times.
Having already slept with/dated everyone (well, a few) gay guys on Tinder, I decided to change dating platforms and try my luck on Plenty of Fish (POF). It was actually my ex who first mentioned POF to me. He had signed up and put his profile on it, and was full of it’s merits. Apparently, if Tinder is the Lidl version of dating apps, then POF is Marks and Spencer’s.
POF says it “has more dates, more relationships, more visits than any other dating site”. It’s owners also claim that we all “know of at least one person that has found someone on POF”. They don’t mention anything about what you do with that person after you’ve found them. I assume you get married and buy a house with a white picket fence.
The profile set-up process is far more elaborate than on Tinder, where you simply log in with your Facebook details and they grab your recent profile pictures. This site actually wants you to write a little about yourself. They want you to tell your prospective matches all about the facts that you like to cook and take long walks on the beach, and hold hands while looking at the stars. In fact they have a minimum word count, so it’s compulsory to write at least a few lines. This is not as simple as you might think. It requires some thought. For example, if you mention that you don’t like dogs – poof! – a whole bunch of potential dog-loving hotties are gone from your potential match list.
There’s a section about what you are really actually looking for on POF, e.g. find a relationship, just date etc. I opted for the ‘wants to date but nothing serious’ category, which seemed fitting for where I am in my life – i.e. take me to dinner, but not with your parents. There is also a whole host of other information POF collects like education, ethnicity, marital status, whether you drink, your star sign, eye colour and also what your ideal first date would be. For that I suggested going for a pint. Not particularly imaginative, I know.
You also get to upload a selection of pictures of yourself. For the standard membership you get a limit of eight shots, which is pretty good. Interestingly enough their FAQ section tells you that the functionality to send private images has been removed for men. Women, however, can send private images to their hearts’ content. It’s so unfair! Not every guy wants to send dick pics!
As you work through the application you also get prompted to complete various personality tests. Apparently these will help POF to home in more closely on potential matches. It’s all different to the merry-go-round of faces Tinder throws at you. The POF people really want you to connect on more than a visual level.
The tests are optional but I filled in a couple of anyway. I figured it couldn’t hurt. With my profile complete I hit submit and boom my carefully crafted profile, complete with a range of Instagram’d-within-an-inch-of-their-life pictures was available for all to see. All I had to do now was sit back and wait for the flood of enquiries.
While I was waiting (there was no great big flood of enquiries – I’ll assume the POF servers crashed) I had a look through the various search options available. You can pretty much narrow it down to anything. So I tapped in a few criteria. I’ll have a tall, dark, handsome man within a ten-mile radius, with a picture please, thank you. I hit the ‘Go Fishing’ button. POF obviously has a great sense of humor because the first person on the list as a potential match was none other than my ex. He just happened to be tall, dark, handsome, and in the kitchen (we still live together), so he fit all the criteria.
I decided to try another feature of their site instead – the ‘Ultra Match’. As far as I can make out this uses some of the content of my personality tests to rank in order my perfect matches. Number 8 on the list is none other than the ex. Awkward.
There is also a category called ‘Top Prospects’ which links in with ‘Ultra Match’ and really gives you the good stuff in terms of men. Number 5 on that list, the ex. So according to POF my ideal man is in fact the very same man I broke up with. The irony of this was not lost on me. (As it turned out when he looked at his ‘Top Prospects’ category I was top of his list too, and in fairness we did laugh about it.)
I think I just need to be more patient with POF and wait for the aforementioned flood (trickle) of enquiries to start coming in. It’s far too early to tell if this new dating platform will present me with a Marks & Spencer man, rather than a load of Lidl’s.
© 2014 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.