� the advice column for intelligent single adults �
Philippa Courtney, the author of the book
It Pays to Advertise
I really get a kick out of reading the romance print ads. Someone at work met their boyfriend this way, but I don't know if I have the nerve to try it. I have a thing about artists. Can I meet them this way? Is it safe to meet people this way? What do you think?
If your concern about using the romance print ads is safety, I don't think that you are at any greater risk meeting someone from the personals at a well-populated place, than you are meeting someone at a party or singles event. However, I think it is a good idea to be cautious about whatever dating activity you choose.
Placing your own ad is the best way to protect your identity. With the right ad, you can attract just the kind of person you are looking for-not just fit into someone else's selection process. You need to ask yourself what your intent is for using the romance print ads-to date more? find one special person? get married? Don't limit the number of responses to your ad by including strong intentions. Save it for the voice mail message if it is really important to you. Not everyone knows they're ready for a serious relationship before they meet the right person.
Remember, romance print ads are advertising. Following basic advertising principals will get the kind of responses you want.
Find a way to get attention and differentiate yourself from all the other ads. Don't use a similar headline. What sets you apart? What do people find interesting about you? Say what you have to say concisely. Limit yourself to just one or two key thoughts. Save your qualifying information for the voice mail message. Remember, the personal ad is just a mechanism for grabbing attention and influencing the most broadly qualified people to call your mailbox.
You said you liked artistic types, so you might try something like:
Notice how you get attention by immediately saying something artistic guys can relate to: galleries. Then you intrigued the guy with a little physical description. Finally, you appealed to his creative ambitions and romantic dreams.
Suzy, you need to figure out what kind of person you want to meet-the qualities and traits that are most important to you-and work it into your voice mail message, not just saying what you want but focusing on the other person. Be "you" oriented; it's more appealing. In your case, you might talk about how you find yourself most comfortable with artistic men because you enjoy their openness to new ideas and experiences. This way you've told them that you are adventuresome, too, but you stated it from their point of view.
Good luck, Suzy. Find yourself a masterpiece.