You've got to admire Datta Phuge’s honesty. The money lender from Pimpri-Chinchwad in India admits that he is not "the best looking man in the world" and may need to work a little harder than many to attract the woman of his dreams.
And the cunning ploy he came up with to hook the lucky lady is...a pure gold shirt. Phuge paid a reported $250,000 for an item not available in Topshop - the cost of 15 goldsmiths working 16 hours a day for a fortnight.
Has it worked? The jury’s out, but Phuge is confident. “Surely no woman could fail to be dazzled by this shirt,” he said.
Hmm, we think we know plenty of women who might fail to be dazzled by it, but be that as it may, Phuge’s gold shirt is certainly an extreme way of attracting a girlfriend. But the most extreme ever? Take a look at this romantic bunch and then make up your own mind...
Is it a sign?
US man Sandy McCulloch wanted a fourth wife so much he decided to advertise. But not in the local paper or on an internet dating site: instead Sandy hung a sign around his neck that simply read “Wanted: a wife” and walked around his neighbourhood.
It’s hardly surprising that the 82-year-old is a bit suspicious of internet dating, but he’s nothing if not a new man. He says he’s learned from the three divorces he went through before the age of 40, describing his younger self as an emotional cripple. But now he knows what to do in a relationship.
To be fair, he’s not the first man to use extreme advertising to hitch a girlfriend. In December, Marc Paskin, a 62-year-old from California, paid to take out a huge billboard advertising his availability for love. Or to be more precise, for a Latina girlfriend. According to the billboard, it’s all he wants for Christmas.
Marc has one advantage over Sandy. He’s drowning in cash and has appeared on the US version of Secret Millionaire.
Spreadsheet the love
Dave, a 'financial services employee' from New York had no trouble getting dates - he used internet dating site match.com.
It was the tricky business of organising and rating his dates that he found problematic. So he used a spreadsheet to list everything about them, from basic details to progress reports, physical characteristics and marks out of 10. He even added a photo of each lady next to the information.
A bit extreme but also quite sensible, you might think, if you’re looking for love. The not sensible bit was sending the spreadsheet to one of the dates, who then sent it to all her friends, who then spread the spreadsheet across the internet like wildfire. Something that might have seemed quite practical in private (if a bit nerdy) does start to look a bit creepy when it’s gone viral.
He’s not the first man to harness the power of new technology to hook a local girl he already knew. One Los Angeles man Walter Mays wrote a love song, recorded it with his roommates (who happened to be the band The Daylights), spent $100 making a video, and posted it on YouTube.
So what? The unique thing is that Mays didn’t tell the object of his affections about the song, but instead trusted in the power of the internet and hoped she’d come across the song by chance. She undoubtedly did, because the story was picked up by the papers and the song quickly went viral.
Still, we can’t help but think that old-school ways are still the best. For example, if you fancy a girl who likes cats, buy a cat.
Dewayne Yarbrough went one better though. The Chicago man bought an alligator, telling the police (according to the Chicago Tribune) that “chicks dig it”.
It’s not known whether keeping an alligator at home got Yarbrough a girlfriend. What it is known that it got him a misdemeanour charge for possession of a dangerous animal.
Buying stuff to impress potential girlfriends is pretty standard, of course. In 1999, sheet metal dealer Tom Kriessman paid $255,000 for a fancy bit of bling. The fancy 'bit of bling' was in fact an old college sports trophy originally presented to OJ Simpson who, at the time of the purchase, had only recently been acquitted of the brutal murder of his ex-wife and her friend. Somehow the trophy seems like an unlikely romantic gesture…
If you can’t afford to buy your date something nice, you can always steal it. There are lots of stories of men ending up behind bars for robbing in the name of love.
Some men take that idea to an extreme, though. In 2007, Indiana man Michael Santos drove his date to the local airport and stole a plane, just to impress her. What a sweetie!
Unfortunately, or perhaps inevitably, Santos was drunk, and was already banned from driving for life. He had started taxiing the plane down the runway when flames shot from the left engine. He crashed into a soya bean field, causing $160,000 of damage to the plane.
Of course many men promise their dates the moon and the stars, but only one - Thad Roberts - actually delivered. As an intern at Nasa in 2002, Roberts stole $21 million worth of moon rocks to impress a fellow intern he’d only known for three weeks. For his troubles he got a six-year sentence. Oh, and a divorce.
So there you have it. You might think an expensive bunch of roses is an extreme way to hook a girlfriend, but until you’ve done the moon rocks, the plane, the billboard or the alligator, you’ll always be a rank amateur.
Have you say: what have you done in the name of love?