A lonely hearts ad usually restricts you to a few words and we mentioned earlier some of the abbreviations that people use: GSOH (good sense of humour), WLTM (would like to meet) to reduce their word count whilst getting their point across. Even seasoned users of personal ads columns are sometimes confused by them!
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Most online dating agencies are better than lonely hearts ads in so much that you can usually write much more than you are allowed to in a newspaper. Some agencies don't put any limits on the amount you can write but increasingly these days personals sites are coming to the conclusion that between five hundred and two thousand characters (not words but individual letters including spaces) gives enough space for someone to put their point across.
In a reverse of the word restrictions that most personals columns put on you some agencies are even setting minimum limits that you have to write. They have also become quite sophisticated in detecting that people may just hold down the space bar for a few seconds to get around it!
While being made to write something about yourself may appear to be a real nuisance, if you think about it for a moment you'll understand why. Not only does it make an online dating agency look good with many more detailed profiles, it also deters the less than serious who are quite happy to click a few check boxes but who won't bother to complete the profile if they have to think of something sensible to write. This is good news for you, the serious user, as you won't waste time on people that can't be bothered to make the effort - as their profiles will never even see the light of day.
Rather than try to fill up your profile with unimportant items keep it relevant, current and long enough to show you are an interesting person that has taken some time over it, but short enough so as not to bore people with your life history! It should be longer than the usual thirty five words or so that many personals columns allow you but probably no more than say two hundred and fifty words. Some people will find this bit harder than others, as not everyone can be gifted at writing about themselves. Perhaps you just don't know where to start? If that's the case why not ask a couple of friends how they see you and what they think you find important in life. Hopefully their thoughts will trigger off other ideas in your mind and soon you'll be struggling to get it all down on paper quickly enough! It is important to say something meaningful about yourself and also the sort of person you are looking for. You can include any pet hates. For example, if you really don't want to meet someone who say smokes, or is a major football fan then use this as an opportunity to say so. Don't be shy or nervous about writing something about yourself. See it as an opportunity to show that you have a unique and interesting personality that someone else really should want to get to know better.
Next - If I start online dating should should I talk about my bad points as well?