Monday, November 24, 2008

Love crimes: the experiment

I finally kicked off the personal ad experiment. I posted a sociopath-seeking-love ad in four different cities in four different categories on craigslist. If you're interested in what the ad looked like in its final forms, here's New York, London, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Craigslist doesn't have permalinks and they'll only be up there for a few weeks, so sorry if the links don't work for you.

I've already gotten quite a few responses -- I'll let you guess which ad most of the responses are coming from. If I ever do the experiment again, I think I would add words like "sinister" and "emotionally unavailable" to the description because I am getting several responses like "that sounds like me." I wonder if there really could be that many narcissists or sociopaths out there, or whether people are just ignoring the negative parts of the description and projecting what they want to see.

This has been some of the most fun I have had recently. There have been a few very sincere responses that made me feel funny or a little evil. But I quickly got over it. Mainly I think the responders are suckers, "asking for it," or that they would do the same thing to me if they had half a chance. More details on the responses later.


  1. I believe your assumption of the readers projecting what they want to see as being the main factor in positive responses to your posts.

    You must consider that those who are looking for relationships via a computer are not going to be the most social people. They themselves may have those traits and to see those negative traits for a brief, but powerful, second in another allows them to feel connected - not alone. They are so desperate for approval and love that they ignore the clear negativity of the portrait you listed.

    So are they asking for it? If they're not going to take the time to really look into something as signifigant as a relationship with all of their mind-power, then yes, they do deserve it.

  2. gosh, unfortunately i am just reading this post in august of '09. would have found it very interesting to see what became of it. (my guess for the city with the largest response, is of course, los angeles!!)

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