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“Man!” I thought as I sat around feeling rejected. “I only get a small amount of time to make an impression and get judged so quickly! And those few moments don’t even represent 1/10000000th of who I am! If she only knew who I truly was underneath, she would be extremely impressed!”
That’s a thought that most guys probably have at some point in their lives. Interestingly, it describes one of the most common problems in any business situation. You’ve developed a good product and want to let others know about it. That is generally a time consuming and costly process, so why should dating be any different?
In this case, the good product is you, and you need to let people know about it! What to do? What to do? There are only a few moments to catch their attention and sell them on how good of a “product” you are! So you dress flashier, you smile more, and act friendlier in general. For a while, you feel happy. More people are looking at you and talking to you. Maybe you actually do go on a few more dates, but it generally doesn’t seem quite “right”. So you’re making “progress” right?
Let’s roll back a little and look at the problem with you as the consumer. Let’s say you are out buying a cell phone. You see two phones, one really glittery and “cool” looking while the other is kind of plain. So you pick up the cooler looking one and buy it. For the first few days, you’re like “OOooooo… so glittery and cool looking!! ” A week later, the design of the phone becomes really normal looking to you and you forget about it.
Since you were so excited the first week, you’d told all your friends. Now, they call you and want to talk to you on your “cool new phone”! Unfortunately, this phone keeps dropping your calls. Every time your friends are like “OMG! You’re so awesome! We should …”, the phone goes silent without anyone noticing! Then they’re like “Hello? Heeelllooo? HELLO? Oh… the line got disconnected…” Additionally, the battery life is only about 45 minutes, and the stupid thing doesn’t charge fast enough to use when it’s plugged in!
“Ahhhh!! What is wrong with this phone?” you exclaim in frustration.
“Yeah, it sucks! We all returned it last week!” your friends tell you, “Don’t you know that this other one has the best reliability and battery life?”
“Oh! Wait…”, you stare at their phone, the exact plain looking one you’d passed up.
The next day, you’re so sick of this flashy “phone” that you take it back to the store. “Take this piece of crap back and give me the other phone that actually works!” you exclaim! The store owner throws your flashy phone in a pile of other ones just like it that other people have returned and gives you the phone that everyone recommended.
Take a look at that big pile of flashy phones that don’t work. Would you want to be the manufacturer of that phone?
Really Improve Yourself
As a phone manufacturer, your main purpose is to offer a phone that works. If you can’t fulfill that function, no matter what you do, it’s not a phone. Similarly, as a person who is looking for the possibility of a relationship, your main purpose is to offer a stable, productive, considerate, fun person as a potential partner. If you can’t fulfill that function, then it doesn’t matter what your packaging looks like. No amount of flashiness is going to make a phone that doesn’t work work!
Therefore, you should always assess whether you are ready for a relationship. Figure out how good your phone is as a phone. What do you have to offer the other person? Are you a stable, happy person? Are you currently doing the things you want to do? Do you have time to offer another person? Are you a person you would want as a friend? Are you reliable and considerate?
When you look at yourself and you say, “I am proud of this person and would recommend him to anyone”, then you are ready to market your “product”.
Until then, what is the point? Even if you did somehow “sell” yourself to someone with flashiness or packaging, they’ll eventually just “return” you in the form of a divorce/breakup! You need a solid product underneath in order to sustain consumer loyalty (in this case, a life long relationship).
Word Of Mouth Is Everything
So you finally ended up with the plain looking but very functional phone. Do you remember how you heard about it? Remember when you were completely pissed off with the flashy phone that didn’t work and all your friends told you about this one? Yeah. It didn’t take much convincing for you to buy it right? So why is this?
Well, your friends told you it works and you trust their judgment! This is the same in any kind of marketing exercise including dating! If a trusted friend of yours told you that a long time friend of his is really nice, wouldn’t you be very inclined to accept that as a fact?
Compare this to if a person walked up to you and told you that he was nice. Would you believe that? It’s like a salesman walking up to you and saying, “Buy this phone! It works perfectly!” Because the information comes from an untrustworthy source, it doesn’t really mean anything!
So how does this information about you spread around? Well, people just naturally talk! For example, when I was playing poker in college and winning a lot of money, I didn’t really go out of my way to talk to anyone about it. Yet, it seems like every person I ran into knew that about me – even people I’ve never met before!
Therefore, all you have to do in order for information about you to spread is to be yourself! Just be social to an extent and people will talk about you at one point or another. What they say about you though, depends solely on you. That is why it is important to improve yourself and be a genuinely good person. If you are reliable and consistent, people will know!
Of course, you have to interact with the same people over and over again in order for them to get a decent picture of who you are. After all, if you keep “meeting people” all day, they only get to see the “product” for a short period of time. How can they make any recommendation on based just on that?
This is where life long interests become very important. If you want to meet the same people over and over again, you generally have to have a long term interest in common with them. Otherwise, there would be nothing to talk about and do together!
What can be a better recommendation than from that of a mutual friend you and a potential date have both known for 5 years?
In order for that to happen though, you need to actually have close friends you’ve known for 5 or more years!
On another note, consistency also leaves behind a trail. A potential date can see signs of that by speaking with your friends and hearing about your achievements. Wouldn’t you be more likely to trust someone who has a history of finishing the things he commits to?
In a way, having a dream and pursuing it is precisely what accomplishes all three of these goals. You are improving yourself constantly to strive towards your goal. You are remarkably consistent in working towards it, and everyone sees that and talks about it!
Of course, the irony is, you wouldn’t be specifically looking for anyone in that case! But hey, wouldn’t it be so much easier if leads with good potential came to you instead of you going out to look for them?
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