Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,

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How not to write a personal ad

No Jerks.

I always seem to date losers.

No men who have issues with their mother.

You must bathe regularly.

You must not be afraid to hold the door open for a woman.

You must not be a sexist pig who insists upon holding the door open for a woman.

You ever see those in personal ads? You ever read most of those in a one personal ad? This isn't a personal ad. This is my blog so I'm going to go ahead and rant a bit about all of the stupid shit I'm seeing in personal ads which pretty much guarantees that I ain't gonna answer it. And the number one thing which guarantees that a lot of decent guys (an exclusive club of which I am probably not a member) is seeing a list of very negative things which tells me this:

You're going to be picking apart every negative thing about me you can find.

Then I'm going to be the next loser in your next ad.

Can anyone give me any reason whatsoever why someone who's looking for love and happiness is going to jump for joy about a woman who's screaming "all men are losers and by the way, I'm looking for Mr. Right"? A seething, bitter ad apparently written about 5 minutes after finding her boyfriend screwing the family dog is a not exactly a love sonnet.

And the same goes for anyone who writes "the usual nons". How the fuck am I supposed to know what your "usual nons" are? I guarantee they're not the same as my usual nons. Hell, I've seen several ads stating "you must have good teeth". Is bad teeth one of the "usual nons"? Who knows? I'm not a god-damned mind reader.

I like long romantic walks on the beach.

Right. When was the last time you took one? You're probably one of those idiots who buys a 4-wheel drive vehicle and never goes off road. And even if you do take those walks on the beach, can you at least try to be original?

No penis pics.

OK, I'll let that one slide. I'm embarrassed for my gender that this even needs to be said, but apparently it does. (Curiously, I've never written "no crotch shots" in my ad(s) yet women have been sensitive enough to intuit this. Damn.)

So what makes a good ad? Here's one I just read (and edited slightly):
I enjoy all the usuals, movies, dining, friends, outdoors, indoors, etc. Have a great group of friends, but looking for something more, good communication, honesty, laughter, great chemistry, I want it all. I know I am asking a lot, but I figure if I'm normal and looking, maybe some guy is the same.

I am in the average range of attractiveness...I am comfortable in my own skin. I'm a little on the chubby side, but again...I'm cool with it.

Write me back and tell me about yourself, how much time you have available and something interesting about yourself.
Now that's a good ad. It's not great because she's not terribly specific, but it's still a good ad.

Ads should project what you want, not what you don't want. Maybe you have dated a bunch of losers. Guess what? I don't want to hear about it (at least, not in the ad). I want to read about how you like to stomp in mud puddles. I want to know that you spoil your cats. I want to know what to really expect. If you sound like an adrenalin-hyped harpy, I guess I do know what to expect. And you know who answers the harpy ads? Those guys who are looking for anyone. They wind up being the next body on the pile of losers and they probably deserve to be there.
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