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This article appears in the book, "Confessions of Shameless Dating: Using The Power of Effective Self-Promotion To Attract The Right People" by Debbie Allen.

Now available! - To order, click here!

Confessions of Shameless Dating
25 Words or Less
This article appears as the foreword in the book, "25 Words or Less: How to Write Like a Pro to Find That Special Someone Through Personal Ads" by Emily Thornton Calvo & Laurence Minsky. To order, click here!

Larry's Review: Well written. "Who me? I'll never be desperate enough to pay for a personal ad!" If you've ever made that statement, you haven't read what these two professional copywriters have to say about it. Even if you never place a personal ad, you'll find this book enlightening and entertaining. This book refines the art of the personals to a distinct science. "I especially liked the Foreword," he said, "with his tongue in cheek!"

25 Words or Less:
Connecting With Personal Ads

Larry James

Cartoon Does this sound familiar? You only intended to get something cold to drink at the local Quick Trip® and on the way back to your car, you stopped by the rusty rack outside and scanned the selection of local magazines chock full of personal ads.

You couldn't resist picking up the copy with a picture of a good looking couple proclaimed to be their most recent "personal ads" success story. Suddenly, you find yourself scanning the "personals," strictly for entertainment purposes, of course. You flip over to whatever section you might fit into to see what kind of people might be there. Oh, what fun!

You notice that there are some words in those ads that always seem to pop up; attractive and fun loving. Pretty redundant, huh? The people all appear to be exercise freaks, love to have fun and love the outdoors; surely they over-exaggerate. Your chances of meeting that special someone from this motley crew are about as slim as winning the lottery.

What kind of a person would really advertise for a love partner? They would have to be someone who can't get a date; social outcasts, right? They all have to be fifty pounds overweight, totally desperate for love and look like Elmer Fudd or Roseanne.

Your thoughts turn to who would actually be brave enough to call the phone number listed at the end of the ad and just how much cash would someone be willing to part with to place these silly personal ads or make that 900 number call?

Our passion to find a playmate with whom we can share laughs, have fun with or perhaps even spend the rest of our life with is so strong that we often go to almost any lengths to make the connection.

Personal ads is big business. You will find them everywhere; magazines, newspapers, television, radio, billboards and the latest high tech ads are now appearing on the internet and the online services.

Those who are willing to learn the strategies of placing an ad, using the right words for maximum results, how to return calls, introducing yourself and where to place the ad, may be in for a great surprise. What if they worked?

While some might scoff at the very thought of "advertising" for a love partner, the many successful relationships that have occurred as a result of personal ads tells me that it is a viable way to attract a playmate, with a few caveats.

By applying the appropriate safety precautions, i.e., never give anyone your home or work address and avoid home phone numbers until you know them better, meet in busy public places (preferably in the afternoon), and in the beginning avoid "romantic dinners". . . meeting people by personal ads and online has come of age. When you discover someone you want to meet, ask them if they mind if you bring a friend. If this freaks them out, run the other way.

By the way, the same advice is relevant for people who decide to meet someone in person that they have only met in an online chat room. Remember, it is very easy to hide behind a screen name.

Advertising yourself is a fun way to meet people. It's about meeting people for the purpose of having someone special in your life, to have someone to talk with, to develop a healthy love relationship with, for mutual interests or just for the fun of meeting new friends.

My work with Dr. John Gray, Ph.D., author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus," as former host of his online chat room and my "Relationship Enrichment LoveShops" presented nationally, have highlighted two of the most common problems that occur in relationships.

First is undelivered communications.

When meeting singles through the personals, it is wise to play your cards close until you have had several face-to-face meetings and feel comfortable enough to begin fully sharing yourself. This occurs when there is a real connection; a mutual attraction and you both choose to pursue a relationship together.

Often we withhold what we know really needs to be said and by doing so, we temporarily shut down communications in the relationship. Trust is the foundation of all healthy love relationships. There can be no trust without conversation; no genuine intimacy without trust.

One of the secrets to having healthy love relationships is to never be afraid to openly and honestly discuss whatever is relevant to the success of the relationship.

The second most common problem in relationships is unfulfilled expectations.

When looking for a serious love relationship in the personal ads, it is important to put aside your expectations about how you "think" things will work out and be okay with the way they do.

Once you know you are moving in the direction of a relationship, it is wise to let go of all of your expectations. A problem occurs when we expect our partner to love us a certain way and when they don't, we are disappointed or, we expect them to do something or behave in a certain way, they don't (they missed our subtle hints), and again we experience disappointment. By the way, subtle hints don't work. No one can read your mind. Unfulfilled expectations cause relationship problems.

Instead we must learn to focus on what we "need" from the relationship. Everyone needs love. Discover the freedom that comes from allowing our love partner to love us the way "they" love us not the way we "expect" them to love us! We can best accomplish this by first discovering what we individually need from the relationship, then mutually communicating those needs to our love partner.

So, if you decide to try the personal ads, here are my suggestions in 25 words or less:

  • Express yourself with honest words. Exercise caution when answering ads. Drop your expectations. Be yourself. Meet in a public place. Focus on having fun.

When you are ready. . . love will find you.

Copyright © - Larry James. This article is adapted from the introduction written by Larry James for the book, "25 Words or Less: How to Write Like a Pro to Find That Special Someone Through Personal Ads" by Emily Thornton Calvo and Laurence Minsky. Published by Contemporary Books, Chicago. This book is available in Larry's Book Store.

  If you would like to talk one-on-one with Larry James about relationship issues related to this article, you are invited to arrange for a private coaching session by telephone. Go to Personal Relationship Coaching for specific details.

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