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For years, personal ads sat tucked away in the back of the black and white newspapers, cast aside even as they held such mystery. In your younger days, you probably looked through them with your comrade romantics wondering if the hottest guy in the class was pouring his heart into little scribbles that he would eventually send to the personals. With any luck, you would find your descriptions there: "Athletic blond with a penchant for knowledge seeks the book worm with smart glasses and an endearing shyness for tutoring and more."

And although the confession may have never come, at least you've learned a lot about the finer points of nontraditional communication. After all, most of those newspaper personal ads shared the depths of one person's heart with an entire reading audience in just under 25 words. The effect is astounding, when such is considered.

Flash forward about 20 years and you may find yourself and some of those same buddies perusing the online personals at Craigslist. Once known primarily as a place to meet service providers and hook up with potential bosses or clients, the Craigslist website has finally realized that it may provide for a niche adult audience by posting the personal ads that have endeared readers for black and white papers for decades. Reaching out to the lonely masses, Craigslist offers individuals seeking romance, friendship, or just the opportunity to be heard, maybe for the very first time, a voice. Such a service is mind boggling at the least. Imagine a world where everyone has the opportunity to proclaim something as kind and uplifting as "When you smiled, my day turned around and I realized there could be sunshine in the rain."

Reading that one, you can't help but to contemplate the chance that individual had taken. There are three very notable possible outcomes: the smiler finds the ad posting and reaches out to the lonely single, the smiler sees the personal ad and feels threatened or disinterested or the smiler never even reads the ad. On some level, it really does not matter that the message is delivered to the correct person. What really matters is that the speaker/writer finds him or herself liberated by the sheer ecstasy of speaking out for once. Doubtless, they'll check their messages or the ads themselves to see if their adoration or attraction is reciprocated, and there is some heartache in never hearing back or in receiving a rejection. But for many, taking a chance is worth it.

If you've ever seen the movie, Desperately Seeking Susan, you may remember how it captured the romantic imaginations of Gen Xers and their close relations. Sometimes, as this movie illustrates, the wrong reply can lead to the perfect results for the ideal date and a relationship that works. As unorthodox as it seems, Craigslist or any other web dating sites, may not be a terrible way to meet another lonely heart. Key to making such a connection work is to behave in a safe way, be practical in your meeting choices and remember that all you have to go on is a poetic introduction found in the back pages of the online social networking and internet dating pages.

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