Question about how to respond to inquiries by women re my net personals ad

Link. (I hope that works, links to that site can be a bit weird.)

I think I’m about to understand how theater people feel when they wait for the opening night reviews to come out. Except this isn’t something important, like a play.

Sorry for the hijack, astro.

No sweat we hot single guys have to stick together! :wink:

BTW I do have some specific suggestions about your ad and why ladies may not be responding, but I’ll wait to see what featherlou has to say before responding as I don’t want to step on her critique or suggestions.

RobertArm I like your ad quite well! The only thing I’d lose is the “Friends accuse me of being a nice guy” sentence. I’m overly jaded from having read more personals ads than any one person ever should, but that’s sort of a cliche, and most people think they’re nice, so I say show me, don’t tell me. :wink:

astro just an observation, but I’ve met dudes online both with and without a photo first. Seeing a decent photo first really had no correlation with being attracted in person. Actually, my last BF took a chance and responded to an ad I had up with no picture. IIRC, I never did send him a picture, but we really clicked and the attraction when we met was just a bonus (ended up dating for about 10 months, and are still friends). My policy is that the correspondence should be interesting enough that I’d want the person as a friend, even if the attraction isn’t there. I don’t want to date someone I can’t carry on a scintillating conversation with, no matter how hot he is. :wink:

However, I don’t think it’s out of line to refuse to meet without a picture first, especially if you have to go very far to meet, etc. I was never impressed with the guys who’d write asking only for a picture. If a guy could write a nice paragraph, then throw in, “BTW, I’d love to see a photo if you’ve got one” I’d be much more inclined to send one.

Hmph. My post got eaten.

astro: I couldn’t access your ad. What’s your username on the site so I can just search.

Robot Arm: I read your ad as if I were in the market, and I doubt that I would have responded. It’s not that there is anything wrong with the ad. It’s just that there is nothing there to grab my attention. You come off sounding like just another brainy guy. I’d say that you should include more specifics about yourself and what you’re looking for. (I was also put off by the fact that you listed your income and that you were primarily looking for younger women–but I don’t know if other people would react negatively to that.)

*Originally posted by Green Bean *
**Hmph. My post got eaten.

astro: I couldn’t access your ad. What’s your username on the site so I can just search.


Okay, I found you astro. I just did a keyword search on “Khartoum.” (I so clever!) I like that picture of you.

If I were doing ads, I would definitely want to see pictures before I meet. I don’t expect to be able to know whether I am attracted to someone by a little digital picture, but I’d like to have a vague idea of what someone looks like. If someone wouldn’t send a picture on request, I’d suspect them of hiding something.

I don’t mind admitting that looks are important to me. I have dated guys that I didn’t find especially good-looking, and it just hasn’t worked for me. (Yes, my husband is good-looking. IMHO, anyway!)

Whoops, simulpost.

I forgot to say, astro, I like how you give specifics in your ad. I had no idea that you grew up overseas. That’s neat.

But then, I obviously can’t read, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. :smack:

This would INDEED be counter-productive.

I’m SICK of being told that I’m a pig for being a man and being visual. Screw it. I am. I’ve tried to pretend I’m not, and let me tell you, it wasn’t nice. I wasn’t the one on the worst end of it.

Besides, despite whatever so many women say, I have yet to meet one who didn’t want to be considered pretty. So, if you don’t think she is, it’s actually your responsibility to NOT date her.

Alright, Mr. Robot Arm guy, here’s my critique. You’re smart, you want a smart woman - we get it. A smart woman will, too. You might want to tone that down just a bit (leave in the Dorothy Parker reference, but take out the part about extra points for getting it - that just comes off as a bit snooty).

I really didn’t get a sense of who you were looking for. I got a sense that you’re looking for a breathing female. You might want to specify a little more than that. I mean, if you don’t drink much, you really don’t want a serious relationship with a heavy drinker, do you? Don’t be afraid of ruling people out; that’s the beauty of these things - the people you rule out are the people who aren’t right for you anyway, and it saves a lot of time.

On the whole, a good ad - positive, funny, well-written and eloquent. You might want to approach this ad writing as a work in process. I re-wrote mine about once a week - just kept fine-tuning it until it sounded right to me.

(Oh, just for the record, I wrote my critique without having read other people’s.)

OK, now that featherlou is done

1: You’re a good-looking guy, but that pic does not really help you all that much. Lose the sweater vest and get a more “sitting up straight” picture. Women are wired to be just as visual as men in making initial mate assessments and the reasonably well put together relaxed “alpha male” look is going to draw the most attention.

2: Your description is a bit like mine was before I changed it to be less of a search for a chess partner and more of a search for a life partner. You really need to get rid of all the “I’m very smart” (ie I’m a brainiac looking for a brainiac) stuff. Even though it may be heartfelt it comes off as vaguely pretentious and off putting. Even brainiac women don’t necessarily want 24/7 brainiac men. Most of the time they want someone to take them to the movies, cuddle with in front of a romantic fire, rub their toes and listen to them. The intellectual part of you is a bonus. The key is to seem intelligent and engaging not overly discriminating. Use words like “eclectic” and “curious”. Don’t make a big deal about being “smart”. Allude to it, don’t say it.

3: Get rid of the “nice guy” description of yourself. Fairly or unfairly, for many women (even intellectual women) this stamps a big “L” on your forehead.

Women are most attracted to confidence. Maybe talk a little bit about what you do, or what you’ve done or are in charge of. In the end this is a sales pitch for and about you, and they key in prospecting for likely SOs is to cast as wide a net as possible, while still being true to describing the outline of your personality as accurately as possible, but without “overselling” yourself.

[sub]This analysis is worth what it cost you[/sub]

Just to let Robotarm know that I wear glasses!

I met my hubby (>10 years happily married) via the personals. No pictures were exchanged, and it’s a good thing, since he generally looks like a dork in photos, but is handsome in person. Built, too, which wouldn’t have shown up in a photo.

My suggestion from years in the blind-dating trenches: talk on the phone if you can, or send an e-mail or two. If talk seems OK, meet right away at a coffeehouse. If you don’t hit it off, or don’t like the looks of each other, not much money or time has been invested. If you like each other, the evening can go on as long as you like. (“Want to catch a movie? Want to grab something substantial to eat?” etc. If not–“well, it was nice meeting you, but I really have to get going now.”)

Meet lots of women. As one of my unsuccessful (but nice) blind dates said, “If you knock on enough doors, eventually someone you like has got to answer one.” See? He was right. My cousin met his wife via dating service, and I have several friends who met spouses online. It does happen, if you are persistent.

PS- my friends and I referred to the blind-dating thing as “geek-of-the-week”…for guys, it’s the “beak-of-the-week”. Totally un-PC, but funny!

astro – one tiny comment – you describe yourself as a “dutiful daddy.” To me, the word “dutiful” carries overtones of a lack of enthusiasm of carrying out one’s duties. If that’s not what you’re trying to express, you may want to change that word, because (even though I myself am childfree) I found it a trifle off-putting.

Actually it’s interesting you picked up on that specific word. I think sub-consciously I may have chosen it because my ex-wife used it at one of the our final divorce meetings to negotiate division of the marital assets, to breezily tell me she had no worries about my paying CS etc., because I was “dutiful”.

That’s right baby you’ve got me by the shorthairs, I’m a dutiful little donkey. I don’t really think she necessarily meant it that way, but in the context of the moment that’s how it came across. But in the end she was right, I am a “dutiful” daddy not grudgingly, but happily.

I don’t think I made my point well. What I meant was skip the picture (and the possible deception) and just meet them. If someone is reluctant to invest a lot in an email relationship because they are afraid someone’s appearance will not be what they hoped or is worried that they are being fooled by someone, the solution is not a picture (which can be faked) but to meet the person. Yes, if they send a fake picture you will eventually find out if you meet them, but by that time the investment is made.

I also like ** Theobroma’s** argument that a picture generally does a poor job of showing you what someone really looks like. Someone’s way of moving, of taking up space, etc–those things aren’t in a picture.

Thank you all for the tips. You are helpful, and yet merciless; Cecil would be proud.

That’s the only digital picture I have of myself, by the way. If you click on it, there’s an uncropped version that’s worth a look. I figured I really should get dressed up for a special meeting like that, and I had to crouch down a bit to fit both of us in the picture. I’d have sat on his lap, but I think I would have snapped his femur like a twig.

Check back after I’ve had a day or two to bash out some improvements.

And extra points for Cyn, of course.