So, after several weeks of absenteeism, I’m back…with good news! I’ve made a lot of changes in my life lately, and I find I’m not nearly as…well, bitter, might as well be honest, as I was when I started this. Even so, I think I’m saying some things that need to be said and need to be heard even more, so I’m going to keep going with it. As promised, I’m going to talk about how to write a dating site ad that actually gives you a chance of meeting someone who’s real and right up your alley in 7 easy steps!
(Note: All personal ads referenced herein were found on Craigslist.org, using pages from around the state of Utah as reference material. I have no relation to the posters of any of these ads and would appreciate if any mockery concerning the content of the referenced ads is restricted to this blog, to avoid potential problems such as possibly having to take down this post.)
1. Use a fucking dictionary.
Please, please, PLEASE!!!! If you don’t want to sound like a semiliterate baboon who’s just trying to lift another baboon’s tail, and you’re not absolutely certain how to spell a word, don’t fuck around and hope you get it right. Believe it or not, many women (and men) on dating sites actually do care about intelligence over the size of your junk or rack (more on this below). Of course, having a nice rack or big johnson doesn’t hurt anything, but unless all you want is a quick hookup, try to act like you’ve at least graduated from one of the better public school systems and present yourself accordingly.
Bonus tip: Text talk is strictly verboten, as are the dialects of ValSpeak, ditz, idiot, etc! “If, you like, wanna see more of me, like, text me! 😉 LOL!” “Uh, hey, not really sure what I’m looking for, but I know it, uh, involves a…vagina.” These are instant turnoffs that are absolutely guaranteed to get you nothing but a possible spot on Tosh.0. (Unless you really like Nigerian lonely-heart scams or those creepy guys that haven’t been out of their mom’s basement since 1997, in which case, hey. It’s your life and your business.)
2. Give your stats right off the bat.
For guys, stats should include your race or ethnicity, height, weight, hair and eye color, marital status, profession or vocation, whether you’re disease and drug-free (or DDF, in personal ad parlance) and your age. If you’re a smoker or drinker, you might want to include that. (Yes, that means weed too.) If you want to get flashy about it, include your religion, astrological sign, number of children and so on. Remember there is such a thing as too much information!
For ladies, stats should include race, marital status, age, hair and eye color and number of children. Y’all have a lot more options and generally need to do a lot less to get attention than guys. (Sorry to be semi-sexist here, but hey. Facts is facts. Women outnumber men 51%-49% on Match.com, which has become my personal gold standard for dating sites. No, this isn’t an ad, just so happens I tried it and it worked so well I’m currently dating and/or talking to three, yes THREE, different women. Thus women are much more likely to be approached than men, largely because women seem to be shier about making an introductory gambit than men are.)
3. Say exactly what you’re looking for.
Being honest to the point of brutality will help you find the kind of person you want to be with, in both the pro and con arena. However, you don’t have to be rude, either. For example:
What I’m looking for is really simple: I want a woman who commits deeply, loves passionately and gives everything of herself. This woman doesn’t feel the need to text every conversation she has, but enjoys the intimacy and warmth of eye contact and verbal/nonverbal communication and doesn’t make simple conversations a trip to the dentist. The perfect woman for me is comfortable with her body and her desires and able to express them appropriately in any setting, adventurous but submissive in the bedroom, can speak and conduct herself well in most social situations and has just a little touch of geek in her 😉 . (Experience with MtG or OWoD is a big plus, but will accept Pathfinder etc.!) She doesn’t have to be eligible for the cover of Cosmo, but she’s healthy with no major medical issues and takes care of herself mentally and physically. She’s not afraid to speak her mind or shy to extend a tender hand when necessary, and she understands a relationship is a two-way street. She’s equally up for a quiet evening of cooking at home and cuddling or making love or a rowdy night on the town.
Not terribly particular on looks, but being a redhead/ginger is a HUGE +++++. All body types welcome to talk. I’m less interested in your body size/shape/etc. than your overall health (and, since I’m an honest guy, what you might elect to DO with your body…), sense of humor, and how in touch you are with your own femininity. (Prefer Caucasian, but will consider other ethnicity or race on a per-case basis.)
This one’s pretty specific, but not rude. It states flat-out that the guy’s willing to go further than the usages of a typical first date allow for but will respect a woman’s boundaries and desires. It says plainly what he wants and doesn’t want in a woman and makes it perfectly clear where his lines and deal-breakers are. It’s well-written, no misspellings, and doesn’t leave room for misunderstandings. He did indulge in an emoticon in there, but given the composition of the rest of it we’ll let that slide.
Compare to this gem (I threw up a little in my mouth writing that):
Greetings Female CL Viewer : Age 30-50
The issue of what you look like and what I look like can be a silly game especially for those of us that would never place our identity out there. So I found these old pictures for us to match our types to. Fortunately! I can say I look better than my sample.
Now that this is out of the way, and I know that you look like your sample we should talk about important things like escaping the Rif-Raf on CL. I have a plan! Do you?
Okay, it’s not horribly misspelled…but it doesn’t tell much about the guy, either. If anything, this ad screams “superficial douchebag.” The punctuation is dubious at best, “riff-raff” is not normally capitalized, and seriously. What the actual fuck does that last bit even mean???
This ad also breaks another cardinal rule…
4. Use a real picture. Of YOURSELF!
If you’re on a dating site, chances are you might not feel all that attractive to begin with. This is perfectly understandable. Even so, using a fake picture is all but guaranteed to get you in trouble. If nothing else, what if you meet Mr. or Ms. Right (Now) and s/he wants to meet you? At best, it sends a pretty clear signal that you’re a creeper and probably not someone anyone of your preferred gender is going to want any part of.
Bonus tip: Don’t post naked pictures of yourself in a personal ad, unless you’re on FetLife or Adult Friend Finder. This only makes you look desperate and out for one thing. For ladies this isn’t that big a deal, because men do very much like to peruse the merchandise beforehand when and where possible. (However, if you’re any sort of a gentleman, you’ll wait for her to offer to send you naughty selfies instead of asking for one on first contact. Never underestimate the power of anticipation!) For guys, however, a dick pic in your ad can actually be a turnoff unless you’re looking to get every call girl and escort in three hundred miles pinging you.
This segues nicely into
5. Be honest!!!!
Many people can overlook just about anything if the physical attraction is strong enough, but cannot abide liars. If you didn’t make it past your junior year as a college undergrad, don’t act like you have a Ph.D. If you don’t actually make your living doing what you say you do, either omit it altogether or be upfront about the fact that you’re a short-order cook working your way through law school. If you’re a smoker who’s trying to quit, be real about it.
6. Have a friend look over your ad.
Okay, this part might be a little embarrassing, but would you rather have one person making fun of you or half the Internet world throwing rotten tomatoes at your ad? If you’ve got a close friend you can trust to keep their trap shut about what you’re up to, having an extra set of eyes can help you spot problems you didn’t notice and even make the ad sound a little better. This is especially helpful if you have a friend who’s rooting for you to find someone special.
7. Let your real voice out.
All of the above notwithstanding, the real you should show through in your ad. It may take a few drafts to get the wording just right and say what you need to say, but who and what you really are should be very apparent at every turn. If you want to find someone who’s real, you have to start by being real yourself. Sincerity and base intelligence counts for more in a personal ad than any number of hot pictures of yourself in a bathing suit (or less). Showing someone who you really are with your words makes it much more likely they’ll want to get to know you better!
So there you have it. If you follow these steps and take some actual time and effort with your phrasing, you can attract the kind of woman (or man, don’t let’s be sexist here) you want to be with!
Next time: 6 unique first-date ideas that are inexpensive and sure to get you a second date!