Can you see the real me?

Quadrophenia – the coolest film ever made in the UK, opens with Jimmy riding through the London streets at night on his Lambretta LI150 to a backdrop of Roger Daltery’s coarse vocals warbling the refrain “Can you see the real me, can yer, CAN YER?” then Pete, John and Keith notch up the volume to what is the greatest soundtrack in the all-time who’s who of soundtracks.

For those who have not seen the cult classic it’s about a young mod torn between how he thinks he ought to appear in the eyes of his family, the ‘sawdust caesars’ who are his peers (males and females), his colleagues and bosses at work and the establishment, hence the four faces. Ultimately, our hero crashes and burns, after his constant search for his true self leaves him alone and desperate, especially when he realises that, in order to progress and be socially accepted, there has to be compromise.

Dating site members could learn a lot from James Michael Cooper’s struggles as he flits from one day to the next, never knowing which of the four faces he should be wearing, and very often getting it wrong when he finally chooses which quarter of his quadrophenic personality is most appropriate.

The key is, just be true to yourself. You are, after all, looking for someone who is going to like you for who you are, and not someone you are trying to be. If someone falls for one of your faces that you have trouble wearing, you are only making a lifetime of hardship for yourself, should you take that you into a long-term relationship.

Looks are vital – show a profile photo of a recent you, in a natural pose, not some postulating, sun-tanned image taken on Brighton beach two years ago (watch out for falling GS150 Vespas, if you do!).

Things that make you tick are also totally relevant. To take it to the extreme, not that I understand the motives of either I’ll use in my example, but if you absolutely love foxhunting, it’s in your blood, say so on your dating site profile. Can you imagine if your first date was with an anti-vivisectionist who’d likewise been scant about her interests and she turned up just as you were being blooded?

Jimmy, in Quadrophenia, has a very flawed personality. No, four personas, none of whom were quite right. “Why should I care if I have to cut my hair? Got to move with the fashion, or be outcast.”

Everyone who’s seen the film will know the scene that line comes from – it highlights so many issues. But you ask any mod, or rocker, for that matter – Do you love Jimmy? His humanity reaches out to everyone who has gone through that rebellious, growing stage. I guarantee, only the prudes will say no.

Flaws show your personality – get them out in the open on your dating site profile. Well, if you’re a homicidal maniac, best leave that out and go seek help professionally before looking to date online.

So, when you can sing: “I can see, that this is me, I am the one!” then you know your dating site profile is good to go.

All lines quote from Quadrophenia, 1973, Track Records; © Pete Townsend/The Who

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