The Secret Language of Personal Ads

Men are more likely to start their lonely-hearts search by casting a wide net and trying to arrange dates with as many eligible women as possible, according to Douglas Raybeck, a professor of anthropology at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.

Women are more selective. They’re more cautious about embarking on serial dates and more likely to focus on one prospective mate at a time.

The good news is that most lonely hearts are honest about themselves. The personals are probably not a hotbed for liars and imposters, according to Raybeck. However, novices should be aware of common literary double entendres before arranging dates.

Here are a few to keep in mind:

Full-figured — Obese or overweight

Discreet encounter — Married man anxious to avoid a real-life re-enactment ofFatal Attraction

Enjoys fine dining — A woman seeking a partner willing and able to spend money on her

Enjoys cozy nights by a warm fire — Possible couch potato

40-ish — Closer to 45, or possibly 50

Enjoys movies — Probably spends more time watching TV

No head games — Looking for a sincere partner willing to make a lifelong commitment

Tired of the singles’ scene — Hoping to get hitched. Fast

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