mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

How not to write a personal ad...

Rachel Lucas has tips on how to write a personal adfor men and women.

I've dipped a toe in the pool of online dating, posting a few ads on a few free sites. Nothing has come out of it so far, mostly because I haven't been too impressed with the ads I've seen so far - none of them have made me say "this sounds just like the kind of girl I'd want to date". I've been debating trying one of the paid sites like match, but I haven't yet. Maybe in the next month or so.

Writing my own profile is one of the things I hate most, because I hate talking about myself. I don't really like myself that much, and I can't really think of any good reasons why anyone would want to date me. So it's pretty hard to sell myself.

I don't think I'm guilty of most of the stuff that Rachel says. I've never been a playboy and don't have kids to say how much I love. I don't have long list of activities - I have the opposite problem - I can't come up with anything. Most of my activities don't exactly set women's hearts atwitter - watching TV, blogging, looking for crap to sell on eBay, sweating myself into a tired damp mess on the Precor at the gym. I've probably used a few cliches here and there, but I think the biggest problem with my profile is that I'm trying to sell an inferior good... myself.

There are a few things that I've noticed that annoy me in ads I've looked at, though:

Ads that say no stalkers or nutjobs - no, I'm not saying that because I'm only looking for chicks who want nutjobs. But do you really think someone who has issues is going to be turned off by that? Not likely - but someone normal will wonder if you have some baggage.

pictures that are cropped around the person next to you - it's not as bad as a picture of you next to your previous boyfriend, but it's close. It suggests that you aren't over your last relationship, and that you can't be bothered to take the time to get a friend to take a picture of you. Or that you don't have any friends. Or that you can't figure out how to use a webcam or camera timer.

the giant list of activities - OK, that was one of Rachel's. Still, when I look at a list of 50 activities, 48 of which I don't do and 27 of which I have no desire to do, I figure it's probably not going to work. I always wonder when I see long lists of activities how many of them are things that the author enjoys doing on a regualr basis and how many are things that they either did once and kind of want to do again but haven't gotten a chance to or are things they never have done but would like to do.

any reference to how bad your last relationship was - that suggests either baggage, the fact that may have been part of the reason your last relationship was so difficult, or the fact that you may have a jealous ex-boyfriend who would key my truck and punch me in the jaw (and I kind of have a glass jaw).

References to how much of a sports fan you are - it seems like about 83% of personal ads in the Baltimore area have women who talk about how much they love watching the Ravens and the Orioles. I don't give a shit about sports. If watching sports is really something you enjoy, then it's good that you put that in your ad because you'd drive me nuts. However, if you are just putting that in because you figure that will snare a guy because guys like sports, don't. Not every guy is a sports nut - and some guys who are would probably rather spend time watching sports with their guy friends.

put at least some info in your ads - while I don't like ads with a life story and everything you've ever done, you have to give potential suitors more than 2 sentences. If you want to meet someone who has something in common, guys need to know what they might have in common with you. It also makes it way easier to reply to your ad if we know something more than that you are female and like watching TV.


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