Singles Looking for a Date Learn It Pays to Advertise

From United Press International

Golden boy, you've lost your golden touch.

Your eyes are looking far too hungry at the singles bars. Everyone seems to have moonlight and love songs, except for you.

Your girlfriend moved on many months ago. Said she needed more space.

And you think you'll gag if you have to endure another Friday night going out for Chinese food with your roommate.

Looking for Love

Looking for love in all the wrong places?

Try a personal ad. It's the growing rage in the noncommittal '80s. And, as the Bob Dylan preamble goes, "When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose."

Try this one, for instance:

"We could meet on the ski slope or at the Music Center, or wave from passing sailboats or an airplane--I love smoking sections. But it will probably be quicker if you drop this romantic, 40-carat man a note."

Susan Block, 30, has turned the personal ad into a science. She teaches classes all over the Los Angeles area to dateless desperadoes on how to write the "perfect personal"--several lines of poignant, sensitive prose designed to summon that magical person into, as they say, a meaningful relationship.

"I see the personal as a window to our culture," said Block, author of "Advertising for Love: How to Play the Personals."

"It can tell us what we fantasize about, what we think and feel."

Making a Pitch

In a rootless society coupled with high divorce that force people to play the frenzied mating game, making a clever or passionate pitch for a partner has become as natural, Block said, as "a Virginia Slim lady looking for a Marlboro man."

"There's a whole underground network of people meeting each other through the personals," Block said.

"Yuppies are probably the biggest force behind the personals. They feel they deserve the best, and the personal allows you to be specific. It's a very verbal way to express exactly what you want."

Block, a free-lance writer, said she began as a personal ad voyeur several years ago while living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She read them in the San Francisco Bay Guardian and would later write an article for the weekly, titled "Romance Between the Lines."

The story touched a sexual nerve.

Responses poured in from "sensuous, attractive ladies" and "sensitive, loving men" who enjoy "candlelight dinners and moonlit beaches," as well as "warm and caring" women "looking for hot-blooded" men.

Making Personals Score

Block knew then the time was right for a book on winning with personals. After interviewing scores of people across the country as well as hosting her Saturday night KIEV radio show--"Susan Block's Date Night"--she is well-versed in how to make your personals score.

The first thing, Block said, is to sit down and compile a list about who you are and what your really want from your life and a mate.

"Then look through what you've written in terms of selling yourself," she said. "Pull out a line that grabs you and get the ad to convey your sense of humor, your personality."

Avoid cliches like "attractive." Use description. And don't be too ruthlessly honest, meaning avoid "overweight man looking for . . . . " Use the euphemism, "Rubenesque," Block said.

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