Personal ads

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With its rise in popularity, the World Wide Web has also become a common medium for personals, commonly referred to as online dating.Personals are generally meant to generate romance, friendship, or casual (sometimes sexual) encounters, and usually include a basic description of the person posting it, and their interests.In those analog days, you had to call a 1-900 number to “hear the voice behind the ad,” after entering the four-number code at the end of their listing.You could also send a handwritten letter of response (and photo) to a P. box; the recipient would decide what to do with you after reading your note and gazing upon your studly/sultry visage. ) I scoured a bunch of “Strictly Personals” ads from issues of New York published in 19 (more than 20 years ago, unbelievably; a digital lifetime ago), collecting those that gave the best sense of how we did things back then, and some that I just found hilarious.The site also includes forums that offer advice and info about online dating.Are you looking for someone to date, or a long-term relationship?The noun sense of "newspaper item about private matters" is attested from 1888.As "a classified ad addressed to an individual," it is recorded from 1861.

The usual business model is for the advertiser to be enticed to place an advert free of charge (using an 0800 number or equivalent); those replying (and also the advertiser, when they want to check for any replies) must use a premium-rate line.

Newspapers and magazines that take personal advertisements often provide a reply forwarding service; in this case, the text of the advert will include a unique box number and anyone wishing to reply to the advert sends or delivers their reply to the publisher's address in an envelope bearing that number.

The publisher forwards replies in bulk to the advertiser at a given interval, for example each week.

A lot of people try to be clever, others play it so straight it’s a little cringeworthy: just like today, and yet, retro! What divorced fireside philosopher/sort of celeb who was in his 50s and dating in the early ‘90s in New York City might this possibly be?

It seems like men have always been wanting younger women. What else can we learn about how we used to promote ourselves in the pursuit of relationships? The only girls I’ve been meeting are very beautiful, very depressed, very bulimic and very dysfunctional. Moderately Famous — Academic scientist, fireside philosopher — attractive, tall, athletic, Manhattan-based, divorced white male of 52 years, with warmth, wit, convertible, canoe and Upper West Side real estate — seeks outrageously bright, attractive, and largely happy woman under 40, who, in the unlikely event that all should seem right, would be willing to consider marriage and children. Also, kind of captivated by “largely happy” and “unlikely event that all should seem right.” Hopes: appropriately middling. Witty, Warm Woman — Late 40s, attractive, interesting, outdoorsy, degreed, solvent, looking for easygoing Alan Alda/Garrison Keillor type.

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