In the ocean of love, men take on various forms. There are the sharks, so confident and deadly, snapping up any unsuspecting love-fish that passes them by. Then there are the plankton, swept around by the merciless currents, haplessly watching their more successful love rivals in the oceanic world. Most men are similar to jellyfish, throwing out a tentacle every now and then with varying degrees of success. Are YOU a plankton? Or merely a jellyfish with fewer tentacles than you’d like? We have broken down the path to love – or current to love, if you want to stick with the ocean metaphor – into 5 easy stages.

1. Locate your prey, and try and make yourself (the bait) as alluring as possible. Do not throw your tentacles wildly into the blue. You need focus. You may find binoculars useful to track your target from afar, or perhaps even set up a webcam in the target’s room. If you are in halls and you’re lucky enough to neighbour your love-fish, drill through the wall and cover it with a poster, Shawshank-style.

2. Find out more about them so you can attempt to become everything they’d want. If you’re known as ‘that freak with the binoculars’, chances are her friends won’t talk to you. You’d be better off breaking into her room while she’s out, reading her diary and going through her possessions. Girls love that kind of thing.

3. And now, to woo. Flowers and chocolates always go down well, but try not to be too generic. Perhaps an adorable puppy? (Remember to drill air holes in the box – puppy corpses aren’t usually conducive to romance.)

4. With the groundwork laid, it is time to assert yourself. You are Romeo to her Juliet, you are Dawn French to her donut, you are Simon Cowell to his reflection. Now you don’t want to seem too keen, but you must be smooth yet forceful. Perhaps surprise her in the library in your best tux, bearing a ring. She’ll be overwhelmed by your passion and confidence.

5. If at first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again. If one puppy didn’t work, send a fleet. Shower her with love-hearts whenever she passes. Fill a bucket with rose petals and position it above her door to scatter when she emerges. Persistence is key to courting (though sadly after the restraining order has been passed a distance of 20 yards is advisable).

Happy hunting!

Lucy Hayes and Sophia Levine

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