A woman who asked dates to send her a 500-word essay before agreeing to meet them says she was inundated with responses – including one from a man who made an accompanying powerpoint presentation.
Lauren Kempton, 36, says she initially wrote the request as a joke after being fed up with previous “horrendous” dating experiences.
The mum-of-one asked all matches who wanted to go on a date with her to send her a 500-word essay on how they would not waste any of her time, after she had grown sick of flirty chats that went nowhere and being ghosted.
"People might think asking for an essay was full on of me but it was really a bit of fun, I didn't expect someone to make so much effort," Kempton, from Portsmouth, Hampshire, says.
Kempton adds that, while she’s still single and no longer using dating apps, the responses "restored her faith in men" and that asking for an essay was "a good way of weeding out what you don't want".
How to write the perfect dating profile
While asking dates to write an essay could be a good conversation starter, Tina Wilson, relationship expert and founder of dating app Wingman, says the key to having a great dating profile is to be yourself.
"Writing a dating profile for yourself can feel awkward and self-promotional," Wilson says.
"The key to attracting a good match is being yourself and showing who you truly are, not the polite dreary profiles that most singles feel compelled to write."
While it should be authentic, here are Wilson's top tips for boosting it to the next level.
Think carefully about the photos you use
"We all love to use our best photo but do not filter it beyond recognition," Wilson says. "You may think a ‘blurry’ finish looks cool or more flattering, but it is easy to spot there is something to hide which is why it must be avoided if you are serious about meeting someone.
"It is best to keep your photo unfiltered to appear as authentic and real as possible otherwise you will limit your chances."
Talk about your hobbies
"Be honest about your lifestyle – so absolutely do include any hobbies or interests, no matter how quirky," she advises.
"The person that you will enjoy spending time with, is going to like you for you, not a politically correct crafted profile. This will help you decide if you have common interests together and are compatible, so don’t overlook this despite how unimportant or irrelevant you may think it may be – it will give great insight into you as a person and help decide if a first date is on the cards."
Ask your friends to help out
As singletons, we can be our harshest critics, but someone who knows you really well can help to boost your confidence. Having a friend highlight your strengths and weaknesses while promoting you might feel similar to a ‘best man’s speech’, but it will give some great pointers for your profile and first dates.
"Don’t overshare on your dating profile as it is too soon to offload your worries or life history and it will put online daters off. It might have been a while since you’ve been out on a date but a potential love interest isn’t your therapist," says Wilson. "Remind yourself of this."
Read more: What is 'the ick' and why do people get it?
Choose the right app
"Choose a dating app that is going to suit your needs. To do this, think about your end goal and what it is you want," she points out.
"This will help you weigh up the dating app or website that is more likely to have users matching your needs. This can range from very casual to extremely serious, so make sure you choose the appropriate one. Do your research before signing up."
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