DEAR ABBY: May I sit in your chair and give some advice today? It's aimed at men who place ads on dating sites and then wonder why they can't meet "quality" women.
I'm an educated, decent-looking, middle-aged widow who has dated quite a lot through such ads and local social groups. Yes, it can be a jungle out there, but the Internet is a wonderful tool for bringing people together.
I live in a small town, and the pool of eligible men is smaller here than in metropolitan areas. That said, there are few profiles that attract my attention and that of my divorced/widowed friends.
Gentlemen, some pointers:
1. Smile! A dour expression is unpleasant.
2. We may want to see you with your shirt off after we get to know you, but it's not the most appealing or refined pose for a first look.
3. Be realistic. If you are Joe Average, we Jane Averages would enjoy meeting you. Are you REALLY going to hold out for a model who is a decade or so younger than you?
4. Be kind to the English language. You don't have to be a genius, but it would be nice to know you can competently communicate in writing.
5. Consider a shave. Some women like men with facial hair; the majority of the ones I know do not. About 75 percent of men over 50 have a mustache, beard or both. What are you hiding under there?
6. If you're married and miserable, for goodness sake, go for marriage counseling or get a divorce. But please don't deceive women who want to meet a nice guy to share life with.
In case you think I'm being too harsh, we gals welcome any suggestions from men who scroll through those female profiles looking for love. -- SURFING IN PETERSBURG, ILL.
DEAR SURFING: I'm printing your letter, and I'm sure the reaction will be interesting. The No. 1 complaint I've heard about Internet dating has to do with misrepresentation on both sides of the gender divide.