From an actual personal ad:

Gorgeous blonde model, tired of being patronized. Looking for sincere, understanding man. Must be willing to listen to stories of alien abduction.

(Source: The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said Calendar 2004)

Would anyone out there answer this ad?


  1. #1 DRR
    August 13, 2006

    I am willing to bet that there are some folks out there that would stop reading after the first three words and send a response.

  2. #2 Greco
    August 13, 2006

    tired of being patronized

    Gee, I wonder why.

  3. #3 DRR
    August 13, 2006

    Also, it reminds me of this ad:

    (the picture there doesn’t actually go with the ad. I don’t know why someone attached the two)

  4. #4 wolfwalker
    August 13, 2006

    I wouldn’t answer it, but OTOH I’m not sure how stupid it actually is. That last sentence is a mighty good way of rapidly filtering possible respondents.

  5. #5 Amy Alkon
    August 13, 2006

    I heard an interesting presentation on the personals by Barbara Fasolo at the Human Behavior & Evolution Society Conference in Berlin a few years ago. First, she reviewed data from studies of consumer reactions to limited or wide variety of choice, including one comparing the response to two “exotic jam” stands. One stand had 24 exotic jams for sale; the other, only six. More consumers approached the 24-jam stand. But, surprisingly, with more choice, there were, in the end, fewer purchases, and more regrets about the particular purchases made.

    Fasolo explained why: The EEA (Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness); ie, the Pleistocene, during which we adapted to have the psychology that still motivates us today, “shaped us to deal with very simple decision environments.” “Only a few options, one at a time,” explained Fasolo. The contemporary environment “simultaneously gives us a huge number of options,” she said, and added that too much choice leads to what Grinde called “Darwinian unhappiness.”

    I think, to be successful in Internet dating, you need to use a site like, where there’s a good filtering engine, and also put stuff in your profile that filters out, in this girl’s case, anybody rational. In my case, when I was on the market, I advertised for my “mate minimums”: Tall, rational, evolved, man of character who thinks for a living and cares about making a difference in the world. I also explained who should not apply: god believers, Hollywood lawyers (although I would date civil rights lawyers and constitutional scholars).

    Before I met my boyfriend, I was a dating snob, and not in the usual way, and I think it’s important to be snotty enough in your descriptor of who you don’t want that you chase many or most of the unacceptable away. The language that chases them away will also serve as an attractor to those you want; ie, “I don’t have an astrological sign. If pressed, I’ll admit to my sign being ‘no parking, street cleaning Wednesdays, 11-noon.’

  6. #6 Kiwiwriter
    August 14, 2006

    I’ll bet there are also a lot of men who read that who are hoping that her experience with the space aliens turned her into a nymphomaniac with low standards.

    Although it actually sounds more like one of the many excuses girls gave to avoid going out with me, back in my celibate youth.

  7. #7 Allison
    August 14, 2006

    I’ve got enough experience with online dating to verify that DRR is sadly correct about those who’d only read the first three words before responding. Pathetic.

    Amy, your description of how to filter men during online dating is absolutely on target. During my early years (should I admit I’ve dated online that long?), I had a profile that was “the girl guys want to date.” Eventually, I got my brain in gear and realized that I didn’t WANT those guys. Hope you don’t mind if I quote you.

  8. #8 George
    August 15, 2006

    Okay. You bet. It is just like the Salvation Army. You get a meal, but you gotta listen to the sermon….

  9. #9 Julia
    August 16, 2006

    I know someone who might respond. Might. Unless he was serious about having given up on women….

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