IS the real you quite an off-putting individual? Here’s how to keep your more unappealing traits well-hidden until you’ve snared a partner.
Pretend not to be a control freak. Don’t mention that you need to know where your partner is at all times. Or that you arrange all your clothes alphabetically.
Feign the same interests. Swot up on a partner’s favourite band in a creepy way until you could win an episode of Mastermind with your specialist knowledge of a group you can’t stand anyway.
Buy thoughtful gifts – however much you hate the expense. Once you’re going out properly you can revert to cheap, insensitive presents, such as a pan cleaning brush for their birthday.
Make an effort with your appearance. Look like the sort of stylish partner anyone would be proud to show off. But don’t throw away your dirty t-shirts and jogging pants with yellow stains on the crotch. Once you’re a couple you’ll be needing those again.
Pick up the bill for nice meals. You can recoup the cost later by refusing to eat anywhere except Dallas Chicken (they can have two pieces of chicken, max).
Be easygoing. Only later should it become apparent you’re a moody, sulky bastard over the smallest thing, eg. not being able to buy a pair of socks in the exact colour you wanted.
Keep quiet about any dodgy views. However weird you are, you’ve probably twigged that most people will raise an eyebrow at your plan to keep unemployed ‘chav’ families in zoos.
Talk to them about their interests. Only months later should it emerge that your idea of stimulating conversation is you moaning, uninterrupted, for an hour about your day at work.
Memorise a sense of humour. Write down witty things you hear and learn them by heart. But not a whole episode of Mock the Week, as that will freak them out if they see it.
Be an attentive lover. Make sure they are always sexually satisfied, because in your anally retentive world this is banking sex credits for when you go back to whopping it in, quickly climaxing and rolling over for a good sleep and a snore.
Be very polite. Your fledgling partner should be impressed by your manners. Once you’ve got the relationship ‘in the bag’ you can be a nitpicking bastard who rudely criticises minor things like the colour of their shoes.
Plan conversations to sound more interesting and knowledgeable. Just don’t make it obvious you’ve been consulting Wikipedia, eg. ‘Chinatown was released in 1974 to universal acclaim, citation needed.’
Big up your job. Hugely exaggerate your responsibilities so it sounds like you’re a senior manager. Or if you’re a real nutter, invent a job that sounds like the last word in cool to you, eg. airline pilot and part-time SAS sniper.