Personal Ads Learning to Read Between the Lines

Just like the Internet, the personal ads in your local paper or magazine can provide you with an abundance of new people to meet. And, just like the Internet, the personal ads represent a faceless anonymity that some people perceive as license to reinvent themselves into someone quite different from their own real personalities.

Predators in cyberspace can sometimes wear the most benevolent of guises, If you think you're being victimized, stop responding to the predator's posti, and notify the owner of the mailing lilt.

The biggest difference between the Internet and the personal ads is one of geography. Where the Internet allows people to communicate with others in virtually any location on earth, the personal ads are generally confined to your own city or region. This makes it easier to physically meet the person, since you won't be required to update your passport and take a loan out for airfare; but there is still the potential for deceit inherent in a relationship that is largely based on one person's flattering self-description. For this reason, it is especially important to use caution in responding to an ad that catches your eye, and to retain a degree of anonymity untl^ou have come to know the real person, as opposed to her prose.

Predators in cyberspace can sometimes wear the most benevolent of guises, If you think you're being victimized, stop responding to the predator's posti, and notify the owner of the mailing lilt.

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Some of the periodicals that run personal ads also stage mixers where individuals can mingle in the safety of a large group while meeting the people who have placed ads. This is a great idea, since you are afforded an opportunity to get to know the people without even divulging your name, much less your home address or phone number, until you have determined that it is a good idea to do so.

M&ieri are get-togethers that usually are geared toward specific groups of people (singles, MENSA members, computer enthusiasts, and the like). They provide a wonderful opportunity to meet other people in a fun, n on-threatening environment, Particularly if you're newly single, keep a lookout for announcement! about singles mixers that appeal to your particular interest.

Most people you meet through the personals will be in that expansive middle ground between soul mate and date from hell. You may have some disappointing experiences, but if you exercise all due caution, that's the worst that will happen. And who knows, you may meet some real gems.

Dating Services: A Viable Alternative

It's safer to place your own personal ad than to respond to others' ads. This puts the screening process in your hands, because the newipaper or other publication where you place your ad will pass on responses to you, Usually you'll receive a letter (and a photo if you requested one). Of course, having this information is no guarantee that the person is as wonderful as he claims bo be, but it's still safer than having your personal information passed on to someone who is, after all, a total stranger.

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For HER Onfy

Another marriage of technology, commerce, and romance is evidenced by the number of dating services available today. What began hundreds of years ago with the neighborhood matchmaker has evolved into a multimillion-dollar industry. From computer-generated statistical analyses of relative compatibility to videotaped interviews of potential dates, dating services offer a modern-day method of matching people with kindred souls.

Perhaps the weakest link in the dating-service approach is our inherently unrealistic tendency to view technology as infallible, and to view an unsuccessful date as being the result of some personal shortcoming in ourselves or in the partner selected for us. We need to remember that successful human relationships hinge upon many variables that no computer program or compatibility index can even begin to address. If the computer says we're a perfect match, it means only that we share some common elements. Whether or not we make a good couple is ultimately based on criteria that the computer never considers.

Another caution: Watch out for the tendency to jump rapidly into (and out of) relationships with people you meet through the dating service. I've seen people become dating-service junkies, getting hooked on the process and never really developing a real relationship. Somewhere in our make-up is a desire to have it all right now. In some people, this tendency is very strong, and when they discover a person is different from their idealized image of a mate, they simply abandon the relationship. After all, they reason, there's an abundance of other candidates available, one of whom might well be "the one." Some people get so caught up in the process that they would probably prefer a lifetime membership in the service instead of a life-long, satisfying relationship.

Heart Brakes

Relationships take time, patience, and cbrity to develop. It's not easy to ward off impatience, but you need to make an eflfort to do so.

This may sound as if I don't place much value in dating services, but that simply isn't the case. As the owner of the largest independent video dating service in the country for over 10 years, I saw firsthand just how effective such a service could be, so long as it was run properly and the clients had realistic expectations. The real power of the dating service is dependent upon the humanity of its operators and the commitment (and honesty) of its clientele. And, just like the relationship one seeks, the relationship between client and operator must be forthright and comfortable.

Continue reading here: What Are Friends

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  • Erling
    How to read between the lines of seduction?
    6 years ago