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December 9, 2010


hey you…

Yesss… you… keep it down, come over here. You wanna buy a watch?

No. No I don’t have Rolex.

Look I don’t really want to sell you a watch. That was a vague cultural reference. From a movie maybe. I just have an echo of it in my head. I thought it might break the ice. Look. I want to talk to you about internet dating.

Yeah the italics are meant to make it look quieter. Yeah I know they make it stand out. It’s meant to be a whisper. Stop saying it so loud. shhh.

Okay so I’m helping people write their internet dating profiles. But only interesting people.

No I wasnt whispering that ‘interesting’. It was more of an emphasis. 

Ok. So I want to write profiles for interesting people so they can go out and meet other interesting people and have good times. No happily ever after. I’m not selling that. I don’t know where to source that. Good times. I’ve seen them. I’m happy to put my name behind that.  (did I mention it’s pardi? fitting yes?)

What do I know about dating profiles? Quite a bit as it turns out.

Shock horror etc. Everyone’s at it (no not drugs or Lily Allen impersonations, you know – ‘it’ – don’t make me say it again).

Ok. So we all know someone who does it (internet dating). Good-oh. We all also know someone who would if they had someone else, perhaps a talented writer type, to complete the excruciating task of writing their profile for them. It’s true.

Here’s the deal, it’s referral only. It’s for interesting people. Do Not under any circumstances refer your dull friend. I shall not use my powers to lure unsuspecting fanciers into teeth-gratingly tedious rendez-vous.

Ok. I’m very easy to find on the interwebs, but if you don’t want to hunt around I’ll give you a heads-up, my email is loupardi[at]

love thy hound...

I know you have questions, comments, possibly outrage, so I’ve prepared this handy FA-Q.

come on – you can’t have someone else write your profile – it’s cheating

Here’s how I see it. Some people are good at painting, some are good mechanics, some can plant awesome gardens, make films, or fix sinks. I am good at none of those things. Also of note, you cannot communicate your profile in any of those ways – you have to use words, and words, I am good at. If I could paint, I’d paint a portrait of you… etc.

you’re profiting from people’s loneliness

Interesting people aren’t moping about being lonely. They’re not victims. They’re generally out having a good time and doing stuff. That’s why they’re interesting. And when they don’t want to do, or aren’t particularly good at, a certain task, they often pay someone else to do it. In this scenario that someone is me.

it won’t convey the ‘real them’

Maybe. But a typo-ridden monologue of all of the places at which a plane has landed containing them over their lifetime won’t either. My plan is to use my interviewing skills to bring out their words, and make up the profile predominantly of quotes from them.

can I get it for someone as a gift?

Sure can. But make sure it’s a gift they want. If I get regifted to funky smelling aunt nelly there’ll be hell to pay.

can we make a profile for someone without their consent?

Look, theoretically you could, but I wouldn’t, and I won’t. I find in terms of anything vaguely romance-related, consent is very important.

do you offer dating advice/training

nah. I mean obviously it will come up in conversation and I’ll give my two cents, but not as a service, no. Have you seen that scene in SaTC where Carrie is running a dating workshop and they find out she’s single? It’s like that. So why do I think writing profiles is any different? I know I’m good at it – people keep telling me.

how can we make this happen?

drop me a line…

who could forget this pearler. it was the scheming kid wasn't it?

ps. I’d honestly love to hear your comments on this. I think it’s a good idea, but there’s such a range of stigma and opinion out there, let’s just talk it through, okay?

perhaps over dinner, but keep your paws off my spaghetti, capish?

16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2010 1:03 pm

    Ghostwriting someone’s own dating profile? What happens when these people actually meet? What about if the other person finds out? Won’t it all fall flat on its face? Isn’t the object to be as honest and truthful to who you are as a person? If you can’t write your own profile, doesn’t that speak to the knowledge of yourself? Do you love yourself enough to know what your best qualities are? Isn’t that what someone would want in the very first instance? I’m sure you will be really successful at it, and there will be plenty who would benefit, but it still makes me a little uneasy. *Steps away slowly from the keyboard*

    • loupardi permalink*
      December 9, 2010 1:15 pm

      juuust a sec… that’s a lotta questions – but thanks – love it.

    • loupardi permalink*
      December 9, 2010 1:35 pm

      First of all – hi and thank you – I discussed this with a lot of people before posting it, I’ve received feedback from people today (all positive) but you’re the first to post here and I Really appreciate it because I think this is a good discussion to have.

      hokay. Assuming you’re stepping back to read this…

      HH ~ Ghostwriting someone’s own dating profile?
      LP ~ Yes.

      HH ~ What happens when these people actually meet?
      LP ~ That I can’t predict. Maybe fireworks. Maybe nothing. Just like a normal meeting.

      HH ~ What about if the other person finds out?
      LP ~ I would think the other person will find out. And I think that’s good. I don’t think there’s any shame in getting help writing a profile. It’s hard.

      HH ~ Won’t it all fall flat on its face?
      LP ~ A profile is one person telling a group of people what they’re like. I completely agree that if a person’s profile was witty and funny, or whimsical and endearing, then they ended up being different to that, that would be hideous. Hideous. That’s why the profile is predominantly in their words, reflecting them. Couldn’t they do that themselves? Unfortunately – probably not. People find profile writing hard, painful and challenging. The profiles out there are reflective of that.

      Writing about yourself in first person is hard for the best of us. I’ve been asked to write biographies for excellent copywriters for that reason. This approach is about having a conversation with the person who wants the profile, and putting their words into that structure. Absolutely, if they can do that, they don’t need me and that’s Awesome.

      HH ~ Isn’t the object to be as honest and truthful to who you are as a person?
      LP ~ I would agree with that. That’s subjective though. Some would say put your best face forward, at the other extreme some think that putting in disclaimers like ‘I’m untidy and I don’t want to meet your parents’ means that discussions around those areas are therefore resolved (resolved with a hypothetical partner they haven’t met yet). In any case, in my opinion, I don’t think this approach is dishonest. If I did, I wouldn’t do it.

      HH ~ If you can’t write your own profile, doesn’t that speak to the knowledge of yourself?
      LP ~ No. I absolutely disagree. Writing is a skill. You might be able to tell someone on the phone, or draw a picture, write a piece of music – but you don’t have those options in a profile – it’s just writing.

      HH ~ Do you love yourself enough to know what your best qualities are?
      LP ~ Um, yes – but it’s taken a lifetime and I’m still working on it. Enough about me though, in this context, if only people who loved themselves enough to know what their best qualities were dated, the dating pool would be much shallower. It’s not about that in my opinion. It’s about you, being where you’re at, meeting someone, where they’re at, and seeing if it works.

      HH ~ Isn’t that what someone would want in the very first instance?
      LP ~ It varies in my opinion. I’ve met plenty of people who purported to know what their best qualities were: loudly and often. It wasn’t what I wanted.

      HH ~ I’m sure you will be really successful at it, and there will be plenty who would benefit, but it still makes me a little uneasy.
      LP ~ Me too. But like I say, I’ve run it past a lot of people. People I respect (yes including you) and the ‘great idea!’ has outweighed the doubt. For some reason the idea keeps coming to me, so I’m exploring it.

      HH ~ *Steps away slowly from the keyboard*

      LP ~ Come back. I think you’ve raised a great point. As a writer, I could certainly fall for someone’s style. I think I do need to be very careful that the style even, reflects the person and not me. How would I do that? I think in the same way a journalist writes a first person monologue. By interviewing the person, and as far as possible, using only their dialogue in the text. Thoughts?

  2. December 9, 2010 2:57 pm

    Very interesting points made. See I believe in the power of words. If someone is not a great writer, and struggles to write a profile, that is them, that is who they are, and their profile should reflect that. Whatever contribution you make, it becomes one that makes the profile false. Even if it is changing one word, or the way you structure what they have said, again it changes. Of course once the people meet, then it’s all up to the individual. That’s why I believe a person creating a profile about themselves should do it by themself 🙂 I’m interested in how this works out for you though.

    • loupardi permalink*
      December 9, 2010 3:21 pm

      ah, a purist. 🙂

      As a fantastic writer might well be…

      I agree to some extent, and not. I honestly think both views have merit.

      I can tell you if I was having my portrait painted, to show to potential beaus, I’d get someone else to do it, because no matter how insightful my self-portrait might be, I can guarantee it would be awful and look nothing like me. 🙂

      Thanks for coming back to the keyboard.

  3. December 9, 2010 3:36 pm

    Interesting. I think that as long as the person who is paying for the ghost written profile signs off on it and takes responsibility for what happens, then I don’t have a problem with Lou writing them. I know people who are quite articulate face to face, but then seem like blathering idiots when writing something on twitter or facebook. The reverse is also true – I am far more articulate online than I am face to face. Personally, I’ve found it far easier to make friends online, build up a relationship, and then bring them into “real world” friendships. And I do think that many of these people would not have become my friends if I met them at, for instance, a dinner party.

    I suppose that if you step back a bit, people have to find a medium to meet people that suits them. The problem with ghost writing profiles for internet dating is that most of the initial contact is done online. People will notice a mismatch between how someone appears on an intial profile and how they subsequently appear in further contact. This is the issue that has to be resolved, and the one that the person who is using your services has to deal with.

    • loupardi permalink*
      December 9, 2010 5:17 pm

      Thanks – such a good point – which is why I believe a good ghost writer would make it sound like that person – in tone, language, etc. It would essentially be exactly what comes out of their mouth, written down.

      I agree that if it’s an issue it has to be resolved, but I would say that the ghostwriter has a responsibility too – to make the copy in the profile owner’s language, and therefore as seamless as possible.

      Of course if the profile owner is a terrybel speller and doesn’t like grammar, theirs not much I can do about that. [sic]

      Then again, you’d hope most people would have their profiles spell and grammar checked (you’d hope).


      • December 9, 2010 8:49 pm

        Thinking about it further, would spelling and grammar be an issue? If you consider your potential clients, they’re likely to be time poor and income/asset rich, so therefore, they are likely to be very well educated. So it’s not as if you’re going to be writing for teenagers….or even worse….those saddo thirty and forty-somethings who attempt to write like teenagers.

        Taking things on a different tangent, you would have to be careful in defining what constitutes success for the client. Is it the number of responses generated? The number of dates achieved? What time frame?

        All things considered, I do think it’s a viable idea. There’s probably more dimensions to it than you realise. Taking a recent example, one of my friends couldn’t understand how people who chatted on twitter jumped from virtual friendships to real life ones (and in some cases, relationships). My friend uses facebook and twitter, he’s intelligent, and is comfortable around people. But conceptually, he didn’t understand how virtual social networks turned into real ones, and how and why some people made real life connections and others didn’t.. Teaching people “the rules of social networking” is something else you could consider.

      • loupardi permalink*
        December 9, 2010 11:22 pm

        Hey there

        I know plenty of university-educated types with terrible spelling and grammar and many who don’t have degrees with great skills, but yes, I get your drift.

        I think the rest of the opportunities are interesting, but to be honest they’re not my focus at the moment. I’m not really interested in ‘selliing’ the idea of social networking or internet dating. This is a service for people who already want to try it, and want a hand with setting up their profile. It’s also got a very specific possible client: people who I know, or who are referred to me by people I know.

        I absolutely understand that people have varying views on what social networking sites can and should be used for, and I think it’s fascinating, but the focus of this service isn’t around studying, changing or instructing around that.

        I think you’ve brought up a good point about what the service is too. I think it needs pretty clear parameters, and I’d say what I’m offering is this:

        ~ The aim is to provide an engaging profile, in their words.

        ~ The person who wants a profile and I meet, or if that’s not possible, arrange a telephone interview.
        ~ That chat is like any other journalistic interview – getting to know the person, what makes them tick, and it’s recorded.
        ~ From the person’s words, a profile is put together for their review.
        ~ There’s an opportunity for me to provide two further drafts, with their feedback.
        ~ Depending on the level of service requested, I can take pictures, or review pictures provided, and draft captions.

        ~ there’s no guarantee of ‘hits’, ‘dates’ or ‘success’ – the product is the profile, not the outcomes. The reason for that is that I can only guarantee what I can control, and that’s the first draft of the profile.

        That’s my first draft – what are your thoughts?

  4. December 9, 2010 3:42 pm

    Hi, I like talking about interesting people and interesting projects. I am told that I am interesting and do interesting things. However the mere thought of writing about myself freezes me to the spot. Especially in an environment such as internet dating.

    I know what my best qualities are. Heck I even know what my worst ones are. You want me write about it? Eek. I’d love to have someone on my team – someone to talk to and help draw that out of me for such a profile. that is what good interviewers too and I know from reading Lou’s work that she is a good interviewer. As she’s stated, she isn’t going to make things up. She’s going to interview, capture the style and essence of the lucky profilee and make you look better on the internet. Because that is what good writerly friends do.

    Been in a bar and shyly spotted someone who looks interesting. who looks interested in you? this is the equivalent of a supportive nudge. the friend who has your back.

    Ok Lou, yes you may buy me a cocktail – carrie/satc style – who knows who we’ll see at the bar! Now go do your thing and help me look good 😉


    • loupardi permalink*
      December 9, 2010 5:18 pm

      Honey I can’t make you look any better than you already do: off the scale.

      Thanks for the words, and I’d love to buy you a cocktail, anytime!


  5. December 9, 2010 5:50 pm

    This is a super brilliant idea and is outsourcing as its best!

    • loupardi permalink*
      December 9, 2010 10:52 pm

      Cheers! You certainly know a good idea when you see one so I’ll take that on board!

  6. December 9, 2010 8:44 pm

    I challenge you to write me a profile, to persuade boys to date me – a girl with a visual chronic illness. I spoke about this online dating challenge recently on radio:

    • loupardi permalink*
      December 9, 2010 10:51 pm

      Hi Carly

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I haven’t been able to listen to the podcast (can’t from this computer) but if you’re the stylin’ lady I’m thinking of, I can imagine you’re experiencing some unique hurdles (you’re probably saying that’s an understatement and you’re definitely the best person to judge).

      All said though, and circumstances aside, I’m not about personal challenges (toward me) or persuasive writing, so I’m probably not the girl for you. Drop me a line offline if I’ve misinterpreted your meaning.



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