Responding to Online Personal Ads
Dear Cousin Butchie,
I am out of school now and I'm having a rough time finding dates or even friends using one of the free services (Craigslist) and a few others. I have answered some ads and received really stupid replies. I know that this kind of thing works for some guys, but it's driving me bonkers. What do you suggest?
The free online dating sites can work, but you must keep some of thee pointers in mind so you don't have a problem (or two or three) with your online quest.
First of all, be honest in the ad you place or answer. BUT DON'T BE SO HONEST THAT YOU GIVE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS OR ANY INFORMATION ABOUT WHERE YOU GO TO SCHOOL OR WORK OR HANG OUT.
Secondly, be sure that you get as much information as possible from the person who wrote the ad you're answering. He may say he doesn't want more than a few emails, but tell him that you need this to know what's right about meeting him. AND IF YOU MEET HIM AND HE IS NOTHING LIKE THE DESCRIPTION OR PHOTO HE SENT, GRACEFULLY SUGGEST THAT YOU THINK YOU WANT TO LIMIT THIS TO A FRIENDSHIP. If he gets aggravated, so what!
Third, be honest about yourself... but don't go into identifying yourself in a way that the dude can know your full name or address, etc. I'm stating this twice because it can be a real horrendous situation that you create.
Fourth, if you do mutually agree to meet-- make sure it's in a public place, like Starbuck's or Burger-King or a restaurant/diner. MAKE SURE THAT YOU TELL SOMEONE ELSE WHERE YOU ARE GOING. Arrange for your friend to phone you at a certain time. In this way you can let your friend know you're okay and not feeling in danger OR you can react as if you're being told about an emergency and must leave immediately.
Fifth, Don't agree to meet at one of the adult bookstores or in some desertred or out of the way place. Red flags all over on this point!
Sixth, most of the time, a dude who places or answers an ad is looking for some sexual encounter. Make sure you know a lot about the dude and also explain what you're looking for. Demand safe sex if it comes to that.
Seventh, there is usually a place with online sites listed as "strictly platonic." That's a good way to form friendships which may or may not blossom into relationships.
Cousin Butchie wants to be sure you protect yourself-- physically and emotionally. Often these platonic postings lead to a good friendship which might develop into more in time. Just read those platonic ads carefully. I was shown a few, and the writers obviously had no idea what "platonic" means.
Take your time and Mr. Right will probably show up and surprise you. The answer is never that you should lower your standards, unless you have impossibly attainable standards. Like- there was this one friend of mine who said he will only settle for Matt Damon or Prince Harry. Well, it ain't gonna happen.