|The Internet personals are gaining in popularity because they have some real advantages over traditional methods of meeting people.
You may see someone you'd like to get to know in a public place like a singles bar. The problem is how do you go about it? Chances are that he/she is interested in meeting new people too, but most of us don't have the self-confidence it takes to just walk up and start a conversation. Even if we do, what do we talk about? I'm pretty sure that if I walked up to someone and said "Hi, my name is Gary, and I like to lay around in my underwear watching TV, what are your interests?" her response would be short, and not all that sweet. So the problem is getting past the initial stage of finding common interests. ( I don't lay around in my underwear watching TV by the way :)
With the personals that's all taken care of ahead of time, you have stated your interests in your ad, and you respond to ads from people that have something in common with you. You get a chance to get to know someone before you actually meet face to face.
The disadvantage of all this is that until you actually meet the person face to face you don't really know how well you will get along, or if the chemistry that's needed for romance is there. Hopefully you will have talked on the phone before hand to give you a bit more of an idea. Approach each meeting with a wait and see what happens attitude.
The personals are a lot less expensive than matchmaking services, plus you do the screening instead of leaving it up to some stranger. This means more work on your part, but it can be a lot of fun too.
They work better than placing an ad in your local paper because they cover a wider area. You can include your picture, and place a voice ad, usually for free. They are fast, and easy to respond to. You don't have to write, and mail a letter, you simply reply to the personal ads from your computer.
You're probably wondering how much success I've had with the personals. So far all that's happened is I've made a bunch of new friends. I haven't met anyone special with them. Then again I haven't met anyone special with traditional methods either.
The personals are one more tool yoy have for meeting new people. Experiment with them, and have fun.
Writing a Personal Ad - When you sit down to write your own personal ad, keep one thing in mind. It's an ad, so you want to treat it as one.
Your heading is possibly the most important part of your ad. Without a good heading the rest of your ad will probably go unread. It seems everyone likes long walks on the beach, cuddling in front of the fire, is easy going, and has a sense of humor. That may describe you, but it describes a lot of people. You need to stand out from the crowd. You have only a few words to attract the type of person you want to read your ad, try to make them as compelling as possible.
Spend a few days just writing down headings that you think apply to you. Read them over, and try the one you like best. Keep the others, so that you can use them later when you change your ad.
The body of your ad is your chance to convey more information about yourself, and to state who you would like to hear from. Try to keep it interesting, and easy to read. One paragraph stating that you are a real nice guy/gal with good looks isn't likely to get any responses. You need to show your personality in your writing. This is not an easy task. You have nothing but the written word to convey what you are like. In a face to face interaction, there are gestures, facial expressions, and the give and take of normal conversation. On the positive side, you avoid the awkwardness of trying to start, and keep a conversation going with someone you don't even know. Write the body of your text, read it over, revise it, sleep on it, then revise it again.
Be honest in your ad. Tell what you are like, and don't try to make false impressions. False impressions will back fire in the personals as much as they will in the rest of your life. Relax, and let your true self show through. There are people who will like who you are. Truth in advertising is a good phrase to keep in mind when writing your ad.
Its good idea to state the general type of person you are hoping to meet, but don't overdo it. If you set down too many requirements you will miss out on the opportunity to meet some great people, and quite possibly the one that is just right for you.
Finish your ad with a call for action. Let the person know that you want to hear from him/her. I know that sounds silly, after all why would you place an ad if you didn't want to get any responses? The point is that some people wouldn't answer you out of fear of rejection. Eliminate that fear, and you will get more responses.
I can't stress this enough...if the personal ad service you choose uses photos, include one. Maybe you think you aren't very good looking, and that you are better off letting someone get to know you first. Believe me, it doesn't matter what you look like, there will be someone that likes your looks. No two people have the same tastes. A good example is a friend of mine, and I have totally different tastes in women. He might think someone is great looking, and I wouldn't, and then I might find someone attractive, and he can't see why. Include a picture, it can say a lot about you, and will increase the number of response you get.
Find a recent picture of yourself, get it scanned, write your ad, and place it. Let it run for a couple of weeks to a month. While its running, start writing a new one. Even if the first one you write is working, you will eventually need to replace it. Keep trying, relax, and let things happen.
Responding to a Personal Ad - You've been browsing through the personals, and found a personal ad, or better yet a couple of ads you really like. Now what? You can't just send a response that say's "I liked your ad, please write back to me". You need to get the interest of the person that wrote the ad interested in getting to know you better.
First make a list of the things you liked about the ad. What are your common interests? What was said that really interested you? If you can't find anything more than the picture, forget it, you probably don't have anything in common anyway.
Then make a list of the things about yourself that you think the other person might like.
Now you need to sit down, and pre-write your response. State why you liked his/her ad. Tell her/him about yourself, what your interests are, and why you think the two of you might hit it off. Offer to send your picture. Take a little time with this, it might mean the beginning of a good relationship. If your response doesn't convey the right message, you may not hear back from him/her. Remember that you probably aren't the only one that liked her/his ad. Your response may be one of many. Make what you have to say stand out. Give him/her something to write back about. Ask questions, offer to answer questions. This is your chance to get to know more about each other.
If you don't get a reply, you might want to revise your response and try again. It may be that your first response didn't even make it to the person. That does happen. Or it may be that you just didn't express yourself properly. If your second attempt fails, shrug it off, and start browsing again. Above all don't take it personally. Keep trying, and keep learning. As with anything else, this takes practice. Practice expressing yourself, practice reading the true messages in the ads, and practice getting to know yourself.
If you do get a reply, keep the conversation going, but don't get too long winded at first. Talk about what you are keeping active with. Ask about her/his activities. Start building the friendship.
This can be a very exciting period, but don't get your hopes up too much. Quite often you can be sending messages back and forth on a regular basis, and then it will suddenly stop. It's all part of the game. Don't be overly disappointed, just start over again. Relationships through the personals are the same as any other relationship. Things can be going great, and then you start drifting apart. It's all part of life, and isn't a reflection on you, it's just a normal part of life.
I should mention here that e-mail does sometimes get lost. If you have been getting regular replies, and all of a sudden you don't get one, send another message. This happened to me once, and I would have lost a good friend if I hadn't sent another message.
Sooner or later you will want to meet in person. How, and when will be up to the two of you. Try to get a feeling from the other person about when they are ready. Don't push, but be willing to make yourself available. Maybe offer your phone number, with a suggestion that he/she can call if they feel ready.
The main thing is to respond to the ads you like. Don't let the fear of rejection stop you. You will start to feel more comfortable once you've had a little success. It just takes a little perseverance, and a willingness to learn. Remember that they placed the ads with the hope of getting responses. You aren't intruding on them.
When Someone Responds to Your Personal Ad - Someone responded to your ad, now what? First read the response carefully. There's probably more to the person than they were able to convey in one response. Also keep in mind that some people are better at describing themselves than others are.
After reading through the response a couple of times, you will have formed one of three opinions.
1.You aren't interested
2.You might be interested, but would like more information.
3.You are interested, and want to get to know the person better.
If you aren't interested, the easiest way out is to just not reply. If you are like I am, and feel that you should at least reply, then please be considerate. It may have taken a lot of courage for the person to write to you. Take it as a compliment, and try to leave the person feeling good about him/herself. That applies to someone that might approach you personally as well, as long as they approach you politely.
If you might be interested, decide what else you want to know, and start asking questions. Be prepared to answer some as well. If you decide after a few exchanges that you don't want to continue, again try to be polite. At least with e-mail it is possible to just not write anymore without being overly rude.
If you definitely are interested, try to keep the conversation going. Be open, honest, and give the person a chance to get to know you.