How to Succeed with Online Personals - Where the Boys Are

Written by Jennifer Strailey

Where the Boys Are 

The women we talked to also praised the powers of an ad that is specific, honest and includes something that will appeal to the opposite sex.

"I got a lot of response because I mentioned that I was totally into football and totally into hockey. I knew that would make guys' ears perk up and it did," says Laurie Brookins, a 30-something from New York City.

In a town where some folks frown on inter-league relationships (Brookins is a die-hard Dolphins fan), she thought it best to let love-seeking Jets fans know the truth up front. "I do believe the greatest tragedy in professional sports is Dan Marino's lack of a Super Bowl ring," she wrote. With one line, Brookins showed she had a sense of humor and really does know something about football.

"Find some real things about yourself and share that," advises Colleen Brewer, another 30-something New Yorker. She shares Strauss' mindset that specifics are good and boring is bad, but weird is worse.

"My ad wasn't especially creative, but it was honest," confesses Brewer. "I said I like adventure and that I like all things French: food, wine and films. I didn't do anything over the top. I came across as outgoing, and I think fairly normal."

Their advice to men: Try being honest about why you're using the dating service. If you're looking to get married and have kids, say so.  Because if it's a sports buddy men want, it's a family women want. "One thing that catches every woman's eye is a guy who says he's looking to get married, settle down and have a family.  Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!" exclaims Brookins. "Every woman's gonna respond to that!"

While you want to sound good on paper, avoid giving us your resume. You're looking to make love, not a career move.

And never underestimate the sex appeal of normal.

"I was looking for someone down to earth, normal," says Brookins, who has since taken a hiatus from online dating. She was certain she wouldn't find it with the guys who wrote: "I'd like to meet someone for fun in the afternoons."  "I was looking for just a regular guy. He didn't have to be a doctor or a lawyer, just someone I'd feel comfortable talking to and having a beer with in a bar with the basketball game on."


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