Would you respond to a same-sex "Platonic Only" Craigslist ad?

I check these sometimes, thinking maybe I’ll find another single mom or someone with similar interests to walk with or something. It seems like a lot of ads start out promising: “I’m a single mom looking for someone to walk with or hang out and drink coffee!” but then have a not-so-subtle followup: “And I’ve always been into the idea of doing a girl, so let’s see what happens!”
So then I worry: maybe I’m not hip enough to read the more subtle signs. “Is ‘Wanna walk the Downtown Trail?’” code of some sort? Does anyone really just want to hang out, or is there always an ulterior motive?
I don’t do Craigslist so I really am in the dark here.

We just had a thread on the general sketchyness of Craig’s List. Especially in ads that aren’t for physical goods. There are some honest brokers, but they get crowded out by the prostitutes/swingers/scammers/rapists.

If your looking for a friend, I’d think your odds would be a lot better taking classes at the YMCA or a single moms support group or joining the PTA or something.

You could try posting your own ad making it very obvious that you are only looking for friendship, and then meet whoever responds in public settings until you feel confident they’re not a creeper. It does seem like craigslist attracts a lot of flakes and creeps, but I’m sure you’re not the ONLY normal person who just wants to meet friends on there.
You could also try Meetup. I’d expect that many locations would have meetup groups for single parents.

You might also look for a meetup group in your area. There are a lot of groups with different areas of interest. Hiking and walking are very popular in my area. There are several groups here and this is a small town. I’ve met some nice people in the hiking groups.

If I wanted to actually make a friend, then yeah, I’d respond to such an ad. I have to admit, I mostly read the ads about people looking to hook up when I need a good laugh.

I have responded to such an ad, and it worked out great. She’s now one of my closest friends.

So yes, there are some people out there who just want to hang out and nothing more.

Craiglist? I would be very suspicious. Very very suspicious.

I know people who have been hit on when applying for jobs, listing their resumes, and selling a couch (really!).

I put in an ad for editing services. Beyond the usual “I have a great story, but I can’t really pay you until it sells,” there were a couple of guys (I’m assuming) who said things like, “Well, my stuff contains really explicit sexual material, is that a problem for you?” No problem. And then, “I don’t want to send it via email, could we meet in person?” YES problem.

So these days, unless it was very, very specific (“Female with dog seeks same to go to dog park together”) no, I would not.

I think it is weird as hell how many of those “platonic only” ads turn out not to be. Do they even know what the word means?

I have met most of my friends through the Platonic section of Craigslist. Some of us have been friends for years. However, there’s also a lot of crap to deal with, lots of flakes and weirdos. Luckily I get along with the weirdos so it works out for me.

Now, I don’t answer the m4m ads because I don’t get along with guys most of the time, but I’ve had friends answer the w4w ads with some success.

"I am responding to your ad regarding the green floral print sofa. It mentioned that your asking price for the sectional is ‘$200 obo’. Well I got your bo right here, baby. Let’s get together and pollinate that floral print. We’ll see how stain resistant that couch really is.

So when do you want me to show up in my van?"

I can’t imagine responding to an ad seeking friendship, because there’s something odd to me about the whole one on one dynamic. (as opposed to a Meet-up group or other social opportunity, where if you don’t like Susan, you still might like Sally). And if most of them claim to want friendship, but act like they want something else, well, that’s just more reason not to respond.

That’s why you email for a while before meeting them, Eureka. It’s also not a bad idea to do some homework.

Not on Craigslist, but I once met and became friends with another woman on Match.com: I did an “opposition research” query for women in my area who were like me (age, education, etc.), and when I came across this one chick’s profile she just sounded like a really cool person. And like someone who might not be put off by getting a message from another woman. She was tickled that I wrote to her, and we wound up hanging out off and on for the better part of a year. :slight_smile:

That was 10 years ago. I never tried it again, and hadn’t thought about it/her for a long time until I saw this thread title. But I could use a new friend or two…hmm, maybe I’ll do an OKCupid search this weekend. :smiley:

If I were selling a lawnmower on CL, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that they buyers actually wanted sex.

Or sex and a lawnmower.

I have never heard it, but OF COURSE IT IS!

Would you ever phrase a Craigslist ad that way if you sought a person for actual trail walking?

Have yyou read any of the other platonic only ads there :o

I agree that you should try Meetup. Or look at the websites you go to already and see if there are any planned get togethers for regulars of the site. I read The Hairpin regularly, and there was a recent local meetup that I went to and it was a lot of fun. I’ve seen on other blogs and websites that I read about people in other cities having get togethers that sound like fun.

I’ve browsed through the platonic w4w ads once or twice, to see if anyone wanted a new friend. I didn’t see anything sketchy and I would have considered answering except that they were far enough away to be impractical. I’m in a small town though.

That is pretty much what happened to her! In fairness, the van and the possibility of sex wasn’t mentioned until he showed up, and she is kind of foxy-looking, but…