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We’ve all been there—an online date that goes horribly, hilariously wrong or starts so badly it never gets off the ground in the first place. Don’t just tell your friends... TELL IT TO THE WORLD!

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Now you can turn your dreadfully funny experience into COLD HARD CASH with the Mercury’s “Online Dating War Stories” Essay Contest! We’ll print the most entertaining true tales in an upcoming issue of the Mercury, and the best of the best will win $300 cash!

Here are the rules:

• Write your TRUE story describing an online date that went terribly wrong (or flopped even before it began) in 500 words or less, leaving out the names of the guilty and innocent. (Your story can be anonymous, but if you want to be eligible for the prize, please include your name in your email. We won’t print your name, we promise!)

• Email your story to datingwarstory@portlandmercury.com by FRIDAY, JANUARY 31.

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• We’ll contact you if your entry is chosen to be included in a future issue of the Mercury, and one lucky entrant will win a whopping $300!

This contest is a great way to get a crazy story off your chest while warning the world of the “do’s and DO NOT do’s” of online dating.

So what are you waiting for? Send your true online dating war story today to datingwarstory@portlandmercury.com! And good luck out there—because LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD.