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An Open Letter to Men Who Post Personal Ads on Craigslist

Updated on October 24, 2016

Dear men who have ever posted a personal ad on Craigslist,

To be honest, I don't even know where to start. I guess a good way to begin would be to ask what on Earth are you doing? Are you writing a personal ad in hopes of turning off the rest of the female race, because if so, congratulations. You've won!

On a more serious note, we need to talk... about your grammar, your title choices, and definitely about your included pictures (or often lack thereof) among a few other things. If you're serious about finding a date through Craigslist, you've got to put your best foot forward and present yourself as a suitable mate. However, with the dozens of horribly written personal ads that I find, you guys are just shooting yourself in the foot.

I browse the Craigslist personal ads every now and then when I have nothing else better to do. I'm not really looking for anyone in particular, I just look through the ads as a source of entertainment, though if I were looking for someone then I'd be let down completely. So since I have to endure treacherousness personal ad after personal ad, I've decided to toss together a few tips for you guys to follow in order to make yourselves stand out more. If these tips don't help you get at least a few emails from prospective women, then I'll be surprised.

Choose a Good Title

The first thing that women see when browsing through the personal ads on Craigslist are the titles, so it's important that you pick one that will grab their attention... and not in a bad way! Make sure that your punctuation, grammar, and capitalization are well done, and try to be witty if you can. Make yourself look good! Before I forget, please stop writing your titles in all capital letters... it's annoying!

Examples of Good Titles

  • Single and Looking for the Right Woman =)
  • Witty, Sarcastic, Handsome, and Reliable -- That's Me!
  • Looking for a Date to the Aerosmith Show on the 14th. Want to Go?
  • Everlasting Relationship Wanted

Examples of Bad Titles

  • a nice guy
  • hey what's up
  • looking for a sexxy women

I think it's pretty clear why the top titles are good examples and why the bottom titles aren't. Unfortunately though, those bottom ones are 100% real titles that I quickly just pulled from my local Craigslist listings. Thankfully the top ones are real too, at least!

Seriously . . .

While we're at it, stop with the sexual stuff in your ads! This isn't the No Strings Attached section, so you really don't have an excuse for looking for sexual favors. If you're looking for a one night stand, look elsewhere.

Make it Your Own

Taking the same tips from above, when you're writing your description, use proper grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. Other than that, it's important that you try to reflect yourself in your writing the best that you can. Include activities that you like to do, favorite shows/movies/musicians, whether or not you have a job, your strengths and weaknesses, etc. Don't just toss a few sentences out there and hope for the best.

Do you have any kids? Live at home with your parents? Don't like dogs? You should remember to add these facts and details into your ad, but try not to make your ad too long - there are some who like to write a book telling their whole life stories on Craigslist, and that really isn't the way to go. Two or three short paragraphs are just fine!



Possibly one of my biggest pet peeves with personal ads on Craigslist would have to be the use of photos in personal ads. Half the time there aren't even photos, and a good portion of the other half of the time there are photos, but not of themselves (i.e. a picture of a mountain range or that sunset photo we've all seen at least once in our time online). It's rare when we see an ad with actual photos of the person in question, and it's even rarer when those photos are decent!

To make it clear, stop with the stock photos or pictures that aren't even of yourselves. The last thing us women want is to click on an ad that promises photos, only to see a picture of a smiley face with the words "your pic gets mine!" Instead, just don't upload a photo altogether and save us the headache.

It's true though, that ads with pictures are way more likely to get replies than ads without pictures, so including a few photos (of yourself) is always suggested. If you're going to go this route, please please please stop with the shirtless mirror pictures and the "I-just-took-this-picture-with-my-phone-and-i-look-angry-at-the-world" shots. We just think you look silly and childish. Even more so, stop with the naked pictures. Again, this isn't Casual Encounters!

Try to add at least one full body shot picture and one head shot picture, in both of which you shouldn't look as if your mom made you sit on Santa's lap and you're thoroughly pissed. Don't be afraid to smile or add pictures of you being silly and doing what you enjoy: girls love it!

Also, no you cannot substitute actual photos of yourself with your car.

Let's pretend that this is the man in question, and that dog is definitely a Scottish Terrier.
Let's pretend that this is the man in question, and that dog is definitely a Scottish Terrier. | Source

Good Example of a Successful Personal Ad

Single and New to the Area, Looking for Someone to Get to Know!

Hi there, my name is Mike and I'm 26 years old. I've just moved to the Portland area about a month ago so I haven't really had a chance to make any new friends yet, so I'm giving this a try. I'm ultimately looking for a girl that I could get to know and be friends with, and then later on hopefully that turns into something more.

I'm a college graduate with a BS in English and I currently work at Bank of America. I live alone with my dog Chip (a Scottish Terrier), but I usually have friends over. I'm not much of a homebody though I love to chill out in bed on the weekends and watch TV. Some of my favorite shows are Dexter, Weeds, and Law & Order. I also love snowboarding, hitting up the beach, and road trips... maybe we could visit Seattle?

In a girl, I'm looking for someone who is patient, understanding, loves dogs, and has a great sense of humor. I'd like it if she had a job and a place of her own, and could hang out with me and the guys as well. Girls who enjoy baseball are a plus!

Well I don't want to make this too long, so please don't hesitate to get in touch if I sound interesting at all!

That's It

See? It really isn't that hard to write a decent Craigslist post! Especially since I've laid out those tips and even the model personal ad for you to use as your own starting point. Now there really shouldn't be any excuses as to why I see poorly written personal ads on Craigslist, and I hope to see a major improvement over the next few weeks... or at least an improvement at all!


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    • JRhodesHarvey profile image

      Jill Rhodes Harvey 

      5 years ago

      This is a GREAT hub, loved this article, full of really observant and very useful advice for men who do post personal ads. You have got the guys well summed up, lets face it, the ones you refer to are either emotionally immature or hung up on just getting sexual favors..or may be both! As a researcher in the dating industry, where I've worked now for over 13 years, I can tell you selected the MOST annoying facets of men writing ads. So agree, what is this posting of pictures of mountains, Groucho Marx, cars or some celebrity ( which I've seen) it is so immature and shows the level of communication skills of the poster. And again I agree with you - want sexual favors, don't look in the personal ads section or even touch upon sex in a personal ad, those that do are looking for just casual hooks up. Really enjoyed reading this, made me smile. Thanks.

    • Wasteless Project profile image

      Wasteless Project 

      6 years ago from Worldwide

      Haha, a witty and funny article. Though I am not totally sure the dog-loving beach boy would really attract my attention. My best advice would be - guys, be yourselves. If your favourite free-time activity is collecting stamps or building miniature battle ships - so be it, the girl will find out about that anyway rather sooner than later. You don't have to be the tooth-paste picture perfect guy (and sporty and dog loving), but just yourselves (which hopefully isn't always the "looking for sexxy woman"-jerk) - and then let's all just hope that it's true and that there is "the right one" out there for everybody.


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