The world of dating has changed. It’s no longer innocent and cute. It’s now a death match for survival. It’s The Hunger Games; only one comes out alive. If you’re lucky it gets to be you.
Looking for ‘Love’ (and I use air quotes as I am still not 100% convinced that it actually exists) these days has become somewhat of a mission. As such, I have entered the world of online dating. But before ya’ll start judging, let me explain…
I have always been a bit of a shy person, meeting new people has not always come easily to me. Now combine that with a lack of time to go out and actually meet people in their natural habitat (pubs, parks or wherever normal people spend their time). You only have one option left. And you’re looking at it right now. The majestic, beautiful, know-it-all goddess we all love. The internet.
So I’m not going to lie, I’ve toyed with the idea of internet dating for a while, and I have dabbled, but I’ve recently decided to give it the attention it deserves. I decided to attack this issue with my business brain. I am going to market myself right. I am going to pretend that I am a product, a product that needs to be sold. So I started thinking;
– Who is my target market?
– What is my target market looking for in its products?
– How does my product (me) fit into the needs of consumers?
– How do I market my product (me) to gain the attention of the consumer?
After considering all the above points I produced a profile that would make my university marketing lecturer proud. I then showcased my profile to a test audience of friends for feedback; these are the kinds of friends that are never shy about telling the truth (even if it makes me cry) so I got some great, constructive (if not slightly hurtful) suggestions. With all of these points, I was ready to market myself to the world (or maybe just my local area). I just want to point out here that I didn’t lie in my profile, I was just strategic in the information that I displayed.
As my marketing lecturer use to say, “If you market it right, people will want it.” I was hoping that she was right.
So I waited.
Then I started getting messages from some suitable contenders. This is when you step into the Hunger Games arena…
Some conversations ended as quickly as they started. They were the first to loose their lives. Slowly one by one the tributes were dropping leaving only the strong contenders.
I went on dates, I met new people, and this is when things got a little interesting. I realised as I was going on these dates that I didn’t really know these people. For all I know they could be psychopaths. They could have a dungeon in their house where they keep the victims of previous dates. All I had to go by was their online profile. I’ve seen enough crime shows to know how this ends…
This is the problem with online dating, you spend some time talking to these people, be it a couple of weeks or maybe longer, and you start building an image of them in your head and then you meet them and they’re not that person. If you’re lucky, they’re better than the person you were talking to, but more often than not, they’re simply not the person you thought they were. We all market ourselves. We put the best version of ourselves out there for people to see. But how much of that is actually us?
That’s the thing about marketing. If it’s done right, you think you need it when in actual fact you could be happier without it.
It might be marketed as the best thing.
Like a razor blade off an infomercial.
But It ends up being blunt and you’re a weird shade of pink that no one is expecting.
I’m still in the arena, but for how long?