‘Please date me’: Unique search for love
BRANDON Cowan has tried all of the popular dating apps, dodged his mum's many attempts at orchestrating blind dates and even went on a national television show.
But still, the 24-year-old animal rescue worker from Sydney has struggled to find his perfect match, so he's going to extreme lengths to put himself out there.
Last week, Cowan launched the website datebrandon.com to introduce himself to all the single ladies, hoping some of them will put their hands up and apply for a date.
"Mum is always trying to set me up," he told news.com.au.
"She'll tell me about her hairdresser's single daughter or ask the check-out girl if she's available. I figured, what could be much worse than that?"
His website includes a thorough overview of his interests, personality traits and even his resume, along with plenty of pictures.
There are even a handful of testimonials, including from one generous mate who simply offered: "He's tolerable".
"It's like reverse Tinder," he said. "I'm putting myself out there and choosing who I want to speak to from those who want to speak to me. It's efficient.
"There's more information available about me on the site than I could put on the apps. I can show a bit about my personality. And I got lots of information from those who apply."
Cowan hasn't been totally unlucky in love, with two long-term relationships in the past - the latter of which wrapped up nine months ago.
Since then, he's tried swiping right without any luck, struggling to complete with the muscled and bronzed Sydney fellows who tend to clog Tinder, he said.
"I might swipe right 50 times and get two or three matches, and then I usually get no response," he said.
"It feels like a bit of a waste of time. I'm obviously not the best-looking person and Tinder is all about the pictures. The big muscly guys get heaps of responses and right swipes compared to small, skinny guys like me."
But it wasn't meant to be with his on-screen match and his very public search for love actually hurt his chances in the real world, Cowan said.
"It probably made things worse because people saw me as a dorky geek who no one wanted to date."
Since the website went live, mates have been helpfully sharing it on social media and datebrandon.com has notched up 12,000 hits.
Cowan has received 70 applications, several of which piqued his interest, and had his first date a few days ago with "a lovely girl".
"We went to walk some dogs at Monika's Doggie Rescue, which is a great local charity that saves lots of dogs and cats, and it was really nice. I'm not sure she thought there were any sparks though because she hasn't messaged me."
His day job is at an animal rescue centre where he rehomes dogs, tapping into his passion for all creates great and small. Cowan's best mate is his dog Diesel, so a potential match would need to share his love of pets.
"I've got a good sense of humour, I think," he said. "I like to have a laugh. I'm quite compassionate, especially about animals. I'm pretty honest. I can be a bit shy at the start but only until I get to know someone."
He also enjoys charity work and giving back to the community, he said.
In terms of what he's looking for, Cowan is hoping to meet a lady who's aged between 20 and 28, lives within a 70-minute drive of Sydney's North Shore, is honest and fun, likes animals and isn't too crazy.
"It's not just about looks - the main thing for me is personality. Attraction is important too obviously but personality is a big one."
While initially sceptical, his mum is now on board with the website and hopes it finally lands her son the girl of his dreams.
"The response so far has been great - a bit unexpected," Cowan said. "I'm excited to talk to and meet some new people."
Applications are now open at datebrandon.com. We'll keep you updated on his search for love
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