After much nail-biting and pacing, you’ve finally made the decision to join an online dating service. Now you face the seemingly monumental task of writing your personals ad. Sheesh, you say. How do I do this—especially when the personals you’ve taken the time to read through are so, well, let’s be honest, awful. All those abbreviations! All those long paragraphs! All the fluff that a over-sexed seventh-grade boy could see right through!
The trick to writing personals ads that get noticed are to be original and creative when it comes to writing yours. Think about it. Does a Volkswagen ad read like a Mercedes ad?
Of course not. That’s because though they’re both cars, they are completely different cars—just like two short, blonde women or two tall, brunette men. Other than sharing some physical characteristics and being the same sex, they’re going to be as different as a BMW and a Jeep.
So before you even start pecking away at the keyboard, think of yourself as a brand. This is easier for most people if they stick with the car metaphor. If you were a car, what kind would you be? If you consider yourself to be a Beemer, then your personals ad should be written to highlight your Beemer-ish characteristics. For example, you’d want to include your love of fine white wines and Prada shoes.
On the other hand, if you’re a Beemer wannabe (and don’t feel bad, many of us are), don’t give in to the impulse to describe yourself as Beemer. Not only does this set other people up for a disappointment when they find out you don’t share their interests or meet their expectations, you may, worse, get stuck having to drink a lot of red wine at a cocktail party or theater when you’d really, honestly prefer is cold beer, pizza and a movie.
After you’ve defined yourself as a brand and can describe yourself thoroughly, from your tires to your, er, headlights, you’re ready to start writing that personals ad. You’ve already done all the hard work, so the writing will be very easy. And you didn’t think it would be, did you?
Some other things you want to keep in mind as you write your personals ad are:
• Keep it positive. That is, unless you want to attract someone who reads Sylvia Plath poems for kicks. Which, hey, is no problem if that’s your idea of a good time.
• Be short and to the point. This isn’t the place for your life history. Let that part come later.
• While keeping it short, don’t overdo the abbreviations. A few are fine, but too many are irritating.
• Hit your high spots. If you have the sleek lines of a Jag, say so. If you’re as trustworthy and loyal as a Toyota, speak up! Let your chrome wheels shine!
• Voice your passions. Yep, if you’re wild about 4-wheeling to the point you’d rather than have mud on your tires than eat when you’re hungry, don’t be afraid to say so.
• Creativity rules. You’re clever. Just that fact that you’ve found this marvelous way to meet people and find dates shows it! So you want to stay away from clichés in your writing, and think of new, fresh ways to describe yourself and your attributes. Saying you’re loyal will most likely get a yeah, yeah, but say that when it comes to your friends, you stick like mud on tires, now that will have people eager to know more about you.
Following these tips will help you write a personals ad that won’t just be noticed—it’ll guarantee you not only get replies, you’ll get dates!