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Personal ads combine both passive and proactive forms of dating. They are proactive because they force you not only to build an ad and evaluate yourself, but also to hone your ideas of who you would ideally date. You are also putting yourself out there -- you can't get more proactive than that! Personal ads are also passive – in a good way – because they allow people to come to you. In a sense, online dating is a screening process, as you only have to deal with those who express interest in you. It is also non-aggressive; you don't come on as unpleasantly intense or desperate.