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A Craigslist thought


May 19, 2005 by Dan

Tonight, I spent a good hour and a half reading through the Craigslist personals. No, I’m not cruising the ads looking for a date or a quick hookup–I was actually doing research for an upcoming episode of The Chronicles.

What an amazing cross-section of humanity it is. The ads are all different, obviously, but there are themes that run through each section. The m4m section is raunchy, w4w almost wry, w4m perfunctory (I get the feeling you could write pretty much anything in there and get responses), and the m4w sad, almost desperate.

It’s really interesting; I think I’m going to read more of them at work tomorrow and see what other themes I can come up with.


  1. alice says:

    it really is hard to read some of those m4w ads. i start to worry about these guys. . .

  2. Dan says:

    Yeah. I’ve been reading more of them, and the undercurrent of sadness is…wow. It’s kind of tough. Maybe it’s just because I’ve had a crappy week.

  3. alice says:

    i think there needs to be an open dialogue in america about lonely men. men who just can’t catch a break with the opposite sex. queer eye helps some of them out with the hygiene and lack of style but the psychological stuff is also pretty intense. maybe i should start a workshop or something. . .

  4. Dan says:

    Wow. I know about six or seven dudes who could use that. I mean, I’m single and have been for a while, but don’t seem to have that many problems meeting people, and if I really wanted to put on the relationship full-court press, I could probably get it done.

    But I have friends who definitely base much of their self-worth and their self-image on whether or not they’re with somebody. It feeds on itself, and they’re so lost, so confused, and trying so unbelievably hard to find someone. It’s palpable and sad, and they end up losing themselves in their quest. Anyone care to add? I bet some of the women out there have had some experiences with lonely guys.

  5. alice says:

    i think the problem is that when a dude is really looking for someone, his loneliness can just be really heavy to be around. loneliness isn’t such a bad quality in someone if they can balance it with a good attitude. you just want to know that the guy has other things going on in his life (like friends, interests, family relationships, travel plans, etc) besides hanging out with you. you want to know that if you go out on three dates and there isn’t much connection or compatibility that they aren’t going to be writing your name in bathroom stalls and giving you the evil eye everytime you see them out and about if’n you have to break it to them that’s it’s not going anywhere. i don’t think a guy has to act super aloof or confident to get a lady. i find a little bit of loneliness and vulnerability endearing and attractive as long as i know the person isn’t going to dump all his issues on me in the first couple weeks we hang out. i am a bit of a sucker for a guy in a low mood though. i have that whole ‘i want to heal him’ bullshit inside me that gets me trying to connect with that person and let him know that he’s not alone.

  6. Dan says:

    True. Why is it that guys are more lonely, though? I really think that’s true–I channel a lot of it into fiction, I guess. Of the stuff that I write, the protagonists are guys, and they tend to have this pathos, an undercurrent of loneliness and near-despair. I never really thought about it until now, but it very much reflects that theme in the m4m ads.

    Am I lonely? Sometimes, sure. But I’m not afraid–I think that somehow fear is the differentiator. This is way platitudinous, and a bit high-level, but somehow true.

  7. alice says:

    i think dudes are less able to talk about their loneliness and channel it into positive action. that’s why they look so isolated and depressed. chicks are better at finding ways to curb that loneliness through spending time with one another and finding ways to distract themselves.

  8. Bлacть says:

    Интересно написанно, я бы так не смог.

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