Scouring lonely hearts ads

Most papers offer a 'would like to meet' section, which is perfect for people who don't want to invest a lot of money in finding other singletons.

Check the publication's readership to get an idea of the types of people who are likely to place and respond to ads. Choosing one that matches your interests and values is more likely to lead you to singletons with whom you have something in common.

Responding to an advert

Recording your message for your advert is generally free - you just call a free phone number. However, you pay a premium rate to leave messages in response to an advert and to collect the messages left for your ad.

Be aware that ads can remain live for longer than the person is looking. So don't worry if the ad-poster doesn't reply; you don't know when the ad was posted and if they're still checking messages.

Lost in lecturing

Steven worked in a university, but despite trying everything from speed-dating to blind dates, he couldn't find anyone he found attractive. He spoke to the person running the speed-dating session to complain and they offered him a free session. Before the session the organisers checked out the female attendees and were quite happy that they were all attractive and in different ways. To their surprise, none of them even remotely registered as interesting to Steven. Finally, it transpired that Steven refused to flirt with someone unless he thought they were going to be 'the one'. The organiser explained that you have to kiss a few frogs before you find 'the one' and friendly flirting was a great way to get to know a frog before you get to the tonsil hockey stage. Steven decided to give it a go and before he knew it he was surrounded by flirting opportunities. Working in a university gave him plenty of colleagues and staff to choose from. Before he knew it he was well into his flirting zone and eventually found a frog that met his specifications.

Open your eyes to the opportunities that surround you to get your flirting momentum going.

Aim to sound attractive when recording or leaving a message. Practise your message in a sing-song manner to improve the dynamic sound of your voice. You may feel ridiculous, but as these recordings are generally such poor quality, using this tone actually sounds more 'normal'.

Setting up an advert yourself

Some publications allow you to set up ads attracting written responses - but charge a fee for the privilege. You only get what you pay for when it comes to lonely hearts ads.

Don't reinvent the wheel when writing your own ad. Have a look at the ads you find most eye catching, then craft yours along the same lines.

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