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Write a Better Online Personal Ad
by Tracy Brant

 

If your personal ad sounds like you might be offering paid sexual services, you are going to get some rude offers. You might avoid phrases like, "looking for a wealthy man with good taste in jewelry."

BEYOND PHYSICAL.

Have you ever really dated someone just for their eye color?

OK, maybe you have spectacular eyeballs. But ads tend to reel off personal stats... and then stop there, as though there were nothing but a body.

Most personal sites let you click things to describe your eyes, hair, and height... don't waste valuable profile space on your hair.

Talk about who you are first, and what you look like at the end. Want to know the number one thing surveyed women look for in a guy? A sense of humor.

AVOID NEGATIVES.

This is not the place to list all the things that drove you crazy about your ex and how you won't put up with that again. Don't list what you don't want... discuss what you DO want. Turn your own lifestyle quirks into positives, not obstacles. Workaholic?

Try, "My career keeps me very busy, so I need someone with a flexible schedule for spontaneous one-day adventures."

Frugal to a fault?

Try "I find it amusing to squeeze a nickel 'til it screams... help me research for my web column "CheapDates for CheapSkates." Worried people will regard your children as an obstacle?

"My family is very important to me and I hope to find someone that will enjoy the attention of a warm family circle."

POST A PHOTO.

Website statistics show that an ad with a photo is 80% more likely toget a response. A photo that shows you relaxed and having fun, no matter what you look like, is even better.

Don't use a photo that isn't current.. it isn't worth looking so insecure, or being rejected later. Don't rush to ask for a photo... you may look like a "pic trader," someone who is collecting photos rather than looking for a real date.

Don't stress about your looks... attraction is about more than looks. Yes, we often are first attracted to someone by looks, when we meet in person. But on the Internet, if you seem like a jerk, you won't get the chance to meet in person.

LIFE STAGES.

People often say that "age" is not as important as "life stage."

Where are you in your life?

Just starting out in a new career?

Settled into life with kids?

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