With Valentine’s Day bearing down on us like a runaway freight train overloaded with sentimental expectation, the online-dating sites are ramping up their attacks on the lovelorn, the forlorn, and the shopworn, particularly on television. Those enticements to romantic bliss bring with them the daunting task of completing the dreaded profile, the romantic version of the equally dreaded resumé — part idealistic curriculum vitae, part fantastical persona, part impossible wish list. (Oh, no! It’s objective reality again!)

The online-dating profile conforms to strict codes of arcane taxonomy, subliminal innuendo, and blatant subterfuge. So, as a public service, I humbly offer here the ultimate version of this universally, quintessentially casuistical missive. Post this baby with a few selfies Photoshopped to a romantic gauziness, and you’ll be in the arms of your forever soulmate in no time:

After swimming in the lake and digging for clams on the sandbars at high tide, I love to have a fire in the fireplace on the beach while I snuggle up with that special someone during a thunderstorm to hold hands and watch a romantic movie or the Red Sox as the first snow flies and cherry blossoms bloom from beneath the autumn leaves while the Giants beat the Celtics with a good book and my cats run through the bright sunshine toward the paddock where I keep my horse next to the shed in which my canoe waits for morning paddles following Bikram YogaLates and re-reading The Power of Now on my bike with my dog panting behind me, strumming my guitar with my canary silhouetted against the full moon in an inky sky brilliant with starlight and a glass of wine accompanied by smooth, classic country jazz/rock symphonies on my iPod, on which I’m running a planning app to regiment to the nth degree my next spontaneous weekend getaway to cross-country ski Antarctica after snorkeling in the BVI and going into the City for coffee and/or a show on the way to Florence or Paris for gourmet food and having good friends come over.

To increase your odds of success with online dating, I also offer these handy tips to successfully navigating the cryptic and fantastical fabrications that pass for the profiles of the people you’ll meet online:

  • If you’re a woman, subtract six inches from the height the dude claims in his profile and imagine him without the toupee.
  • If you’re a man, and the woman’s profile says she’s looking for her white knight, be prepared for a steady diet of jousting.
  • Regardless of your gender, add at least five years to the age claimed in the profile at least 30 pounds to the weight.
  • If the profile says the person is fiercely independent, you can be sure you’ve found a terminally clingy time/energy vampire.
  • If the profile makes any references to Paradise, Heaven, Nirvana (not the band), Arcadia, Eden, or Shangri-La, you can be absolutely certain the person who wrote it will make your life a living Hell.

Finally, if you’re trying to get over your last forever soulmate — or if you need proof that there’s a market for everything — there’s this.

Apparently, nothing’s immune from pop culture, including love.

Mark O’Brien is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, Digital Dating and Other Calamities, available from Heartbreak Digital (in digital formats only, of course) — and Being Lost Doesn’t Make You a Loser, published by Self Help Press. He’s available for speaking engagements or small talk. And he’s not above shameless gossip; although, that might come back to haunt you in a digital world that saves everything and forgives nothing.

Image by karenwarfel, courtesy of pixabay.com.