After sifting through the emails, I was disappointed—too many men over 50 (out of my range) and even some photos from perverts. My responders weren't too convincing. Thinking that my ad was maybe too dramatic, I varied it a little, got some responses and went on a few dates: twice with a pilot, then with a man who showed up drunk. Then the responses went dead. I'm A 50-Something Widow. Can I Find Love?
My next ad—TALL, BLONDE LOIS LANE SEEKS SUPERMAN—read
Do you believe women deserve to be treated with chivalry? Are you an everyday hero—you know, are you trying to make the world a better place one day at a time? Are you taller than 5'9, single, white, straight, and younger than 45? Are you kind, somewhat handsome, healthy but not health-obsessed, not a user or a hater?
I'm a reporter who tries to fight the good fight on an everyday basis. I believe the power of human kindness changes the world. I'm somewhat intelligent, somewhat attractive, and recently single... Looking for my own personal hero—you know, some one I can respect and love as my counterpart, who'll recharge my batteries and my soul. Are you out there? If so, please put "Superman" in your subject line and tell me about you.
Pay dirt! 46 Supermen responded. I started to interview them by email and was soon overwhelmed. It was exhausting, but in that feeling-like-a-hot-rock-star kind of way. In writing the "tall, blonde" advertisement, I had finally realized what I should have known all along: The headline needed to draw guys in. It had to be written especially for men, and men, as you well know, are visual.
After interviewing a few of the 46, I told my single girlfriends about my new hobby. They giggled, but felt shy about trying it themselves. They said they were tired of facing rejection. So I started interviewing them about their ideal men, and posting the ads with anonymous email addresses I had created. Then I'd watch the inbox grow. When their customized ads would hit more than ten responses, I'd let my friends know—giving them their new email address and the password to check in on their new suitors.
I'd like to say that all the men who responded fit the wish lists perfectly, but many of them were serial-responders and couldn't remember much of the ads that they responded to. Yet sometimes the responses were just personal enough to let you know that you weren't alone in single-hood. I learned (among other things) to be more direct about what I want. For example, I now put "must be financially secure" into the profile, and "must live by the Golden Rule" and "lead by example." There's nothing wrong with the asking, and many online flirters have liked the direct language in what I wrote.
My girlfriends were suddenly feeling all the delight and anxiety of attention. The overwhelming number of responses gave us all the confidence to get out and start to date again. We were careful to ask our suitors for photos, and tell each other our whereabouts and the details about where and who our dates would be in case we encountered dangerous men. We all started having fun again.
Granted, most of my friends and I are still searching for Mr. Right, but there have been a few success stories. One guy flew across country to take my friend out–and, yes, he rented a hotel for himself. He seems to be a real life prince charming, and her housemate thinks they'll be getting married soon. Another woman recently spent a date dancing in the rain; she thinks the guy's the one. I had a kind and true gentleman offer to be my handyman whenever I needed one, and I've never even kissed him. When To Take Down Your Online Dating Profile
I still believe there are quite a few good catches out there, and, actually, I dated a few of them. They weren't exactly my flavor of ice cream, but they'll be great for someone. I still haven't found Mr. Right, but at least I'm not sitting home feeling like a decomposing apple.
Tips For Writing A Craigslist Dating Ad:
1. Put your best assets in the headline.
2. Be clear about what you want. Write a wish-list ahead of time.
3. Ask for a photo and other important information like age, height, etc.
4. Create an "unstalkable" email address that does not have your real name or workplace.
5. Check to see if your responders meet the requirements of your wish-list.
6. Remember that many of the responders copy and paste one slightly vague response to a large number of ads.
7. Meet in a public place and tell your friends where you are going and who you're going to meet with as much detail as possible. Send them a photo if possible.
8. Stay positive and have a good time!