New Study Says Be Suspicious of Promises in Personal Ads

Tuesday, November 23rd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

As though being single and looking for that special someone wasn't hard enough,
a new study says there's more reason than ever to be suspicious of promises made in those personal ads. The News on Six tells you how to read between the lines.

Can you believe everything, or anything, you read in the personal ads? What are people looking for in their mates? "Someone with a good personality,” said single guy Alex Hernandez, “and a good sense of humor.” Betty Saldivar, a single young woman, says he doesn't have to be real wealthy. "I have no bank account,” said single guy Jason Holm. “I also have no good looks, so I'm pretty much going to take whatever I can get in that department."

At least Holm’s answer is honest. According to the findings of anthropologist Douglas Raybeck in a study of personal ads, that’s what women say they want. He also found 58% of men and 62% of women claimed to be lovers of the great outdoors, and most just can't get enough of cozy fires." Sound romantic?

Cyndi Sweeney says people aren't always what they describe in the paper. She's the personal ad director of Urban Tulsa Weekly. "People talk about they like the outdoors,” she said. “They write down they like hiking. They like wine by the fire and Yanni on the stereo. Realistically you don't see people setting around doing these things every day," she noted.

Does that mean people are lying to get dates? No, according to anthropologist Raybeck. He says you simply need to read the layered messages in the personals. Someone who says they love the outdoors may be an avid hiker or may just prefer nature to the artificial trappings of modern life. Cozy fire lovers may not have a fireplace, but may have a burning desire for a warm home-life away from the frantic bar scene.

Perhaps the best advice is to tell the whole truth, but only believe half of what you read.