In preparation for my big move to Pennsylvania this summer, I thought I might try and meet a few folks ahead of time so as to have some kind of social network when I arrive. How did I go about doing this? I placed an ad in the personals…

I’ve used personal ads many times to meet people in cities that were travel destinations, and it usually has been a successful venture, the main problem being that there is a certain mentality that accompanies personal ads. I’m very clear in my user profile, right off the bat, that I am looking for friendship. But yet when I’m browsing the profiles, I’m not looking with a “friend’s eye”, but that of a potential lover. And I suppose that makes sense, as any friend could be a potential lover…but…

I’m hoping people will overlook my physical flaws and get to know me a bit, and so I created a rather thorough and representative profile. But when I’m browsing, it’s hard to find a written paragraph that doesn’t contain atrocious spelling mistakes or tell me what I already know. Needless to say, it’s not always easy to find friends. Still, I’ve met a few folks who have sparked my interest, and another few who haven’t. I tend to be attracted to the guys whose personalities shine through in their profiles…but let me tell you, the forecast is a bit cloudy.

So this brings me back to the whole physical description because truth be told, I’m choosing people that I’d like to meet, if not based on their profile solely, then definitely by looks. And while it would be nice to be chosen for my looks (stop laughing), I think I’d rather just have a good friend. And how important are looks when it comes to friendship? I mean if we chose friends solely by how they looked…

Here are 15 reasons why browsing the personals for friendship is tricky:

Neediness: Why hasn’t Person A responded to me?
Neediness revisited: Why won’t Person B just write back and give me a chance?
Response to rejection: Screw person A, he must be a loser…and I didn’t really like his profile anyhow.
Fear of religion: Person C is cute, but he goes to church too often.
Fear of failure: Person D lives with his parents? Yuck!
Fear of commitment: Person A wrote back and he seems very cute.
Fear of the rebound: I wonder if Person E used to date Person F.
Fear of facial hair: See now, Person G would be much cuter if it weren’t for that weird beard.
Fear of fat: Person H – too fat.
Fear of death: Person I – too old.
Fear of Person J: Person J – too, I dunno, eeewwwwww.
Facing the fact that I have no current social life: Person A – he’s just a player wanting to screw around (so, what’s wrong with that? at least he’s getting a little something something)…
Fear of acceptance: Person A wrote back, he seems funny.
Lust: Person K – ohhhh, baby, gimme a little something something.
Fear of confusion: Ok, person F is not interested…why? Who doesn’t need friends?

And after this kind of behavior, I’m left wanting to avoid the personals for the rest of the afternoon. It’s hard to make friends through a process of searching and choosing rather than leaving it up to sister serendipity because the worst part is the judging…ughh…the judging…I mean, I think I know how and why I’m approaching this, yet when I actually do browse the personals, I seem to have very different motives…and so if nothing else, this search for a social life has me searching myself and asking, “What is it that I really want?” And every time I judge a potential friend, I suppose I’m really appraising myself.


3 thoughts on “Personals

  1. So funny, and yet so sincere and thoughtful all at once. I just died when I hit : “Fear of Person J: Person J – too, I dunno, eeewwwwww.” Hee! Although for us straight girls, the fear of person J is ” I dunno, there’s something creepy-seeming about him, ewwwwwww.” Seriously, I have had more friends reject guys over that than anything else. Well, me too in the past. My favorite excuse ever, which likely was fear in a way, was from one guy I knew who rejected someone because, “He reads Ayn Rand? Really? And enjoys it??? Ewwwwwwww.” (Please note his “ewwwww” was the exact one people make when they accidentally step in dog doo.) I don’t know why, but that was the funniest rejection I’ve ever heard someone voice. I dunno, maybe it was just in the way in which it was said.

  2. Marlen, if you think relocating as a straight couple and finding a social network is any easier, let me tell you…. 8^D *^D P^D It’s a total laugh. Steph and I have been around here for almost two years, and in that span of time let me count how many non-work-related friendships we have: ZERO! In reality, people are aloof. Everyone. If you approach somebody, the immediate reaction is “what do they want?” “how can I get rid of them?” Of course, it doesn’t help when Steph is terminally shy.

  3. MarlenI really don’t believe you can force a friendship – you just have to open yourself up to enough people to realise that you aren’t ever going to be friends with persons A-T; but you have to first meet persons A-Z in order to know that A-T are not for you.When you meet Z – and he doesn’t really care about your flaws – he has flaws too and you both think each other are entertaining and you herald from the same value family – then it will all be okYou just have to get out there first.I’m not big on friends having said all that – the ones I have I love – but I have a dog for uncomplicated and dedicated friendship.Good LuckHeather

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