University educated guy, 40, down to earth, in good shape seeks mature genuine and athletic soul mate. I'm thirty something, presentable, an easy- going personality. Looking for men around my age. Serious about life and caring about other people. Still looking for a partner? Would the personals work for you? What about all the horror tales you have heard? Should you still give it a shot? To help you make up your mind lets put personals under a microscope. Each one of you would have heard a horror tale related to a personals ad. I sure have. Jacob, a 30- something guy advertised in a personals magazine and thought he had found his partner. After numerous phone calls and emails, Jacob and his heart-throb decided to meet up. At this meeting Jacob discovered that the 'well built attractive thirty something lawyer' was in fact, a fifty something heavy guy (At least 40 pounds heavier than he had claimed )! Jacob was so put off by the dishonesty that he swore off personals. Marion and Vinny came face to face with a different problem. They met through personals and exchanged emails. Excited with their online interaction, they decided to meet up to take things forward, only to find that face-to-face, their sizzle factor was zillllllllch! They just had no chemistry! These two examples point towards the biggest drawbacks of personal ads. The anonymity of personals can be misused to construct fibs and lies, because you don't meet the real person until much later. As an extension, lack of direct interaction means physical attraction and chemistry, crucial to the development and sustenance of any relationship, are often ignored till very late into the interaction. However, there are those who swear by the personals. Richard met Lee through the personals and they have been together for three years now. Richard who admits to a fair share of disasters with personals, says, " The key to avoiding pain and problems is to meet fairly early in the interaction. Once things reach a stage of positive interest an attempt to set up a meeting should be made. If repeated attempts to set up meetings are rebuffed, take that as a red flag and back off." Max, runs a personal ads service for gays, taking personals ads and making sure they get coverage online and in print, with at least two to three repeat views says, " The terrible reputation suffered by personals is not in the least justified. People come to us and say 'I'm sick of looking for a partner, put up a personal ad about me and help me find my soul mate'. Contrary to expectation, most of these people are well educated, high caliber, self confident guys." Guys who put up personal ads are serious about meeting other men. Contrary to popular belief about con men ruling the roost, men who actually put up personal ads are often people who are sick of being picked up in bars and discos. These guys are also in a more receptive mode than they would be in other socials situations where instant face to face interaction is required, making personals a good way to meet up with other single guys. Max also points out that there are more single men out there than you can physically meet. You cannot possibly go to every club, bar or party searching for a mate. Personals give you a wider set of people to interact with. The key to finding success through personals is to be honest. Study the ads carefully and chose the ones that meet your requirements. If you are looking for fun alone, don't reply to an ad from a guy looking for a long term commitment, however interesting the person may seem. Only if you keep your integrity can you expect others to keep theirs. Meet up with people of interest fairly early into the relationship to avoid later disappointment. But, and I can't repeat myself enough on this, meet in public places. For some reason, safety as a factor is often undermined when talking about men meeting men, but that does not mean it's not an issue. Once the first meeting is over you can take your time about it or hurry up, depending on your interaction with the person in question. If you are the one putting out an ad, make sure it appears several times in different print or online sources. One ad is not enough. The more eye balls that notice it, the higher are the chances of the right guy being one of those. Finally, don't let one disappointment or failure bring you down. Like any other mode of search, a few misses will lead to hit. Just hang in there for a while!