“Nothing Helps a Bad Product Fail Faster Than Good Advertising”

I’m often asked what I think about fudging the truth on photos and personal descriptions using online dating services. Being in marketing for so many years, I learned that there are various stages to developing a relationship with a customer, and some of these lessons can apply to flirting and dating as well.

  1. Have a good product that meets a market need.
  2. Identify those characteristics that best suit the market and present them honestly to those who are most likely to be interested.
  3. Put the product in the place of most potential.
  4. Stand behind the product.

What does this have to do with relationships? Well, before you go looking for love, it’s a good idea to assess your “product.” Are you well groomed? Do you have interests? Are you ready to go to market? If not, don’t try to package yourself with whitewash.

What’s the point of trying to sell yourself using a photo or description that doesn’t reflect who you are today? Assuming you do get to the face to face for coffee, your encounter is sure to disappoint as “not as advertised” and there you’ll sit, feeling foolish and rejected. Why subject yourself to that humiliation?

But assuming you are honest with your assets, and want to meet someone who might just be interested, it’s essential to do some advance work and determine where such a person might be found. Putting yourself in the place of most potential means you have to think through the likely places you’ll meet someone who’s looking for someone like you.

And finally, when you do get to meet someone interesting, be yourself, but be your best self. He doesn’t need to know your life history or medical conditions. He doesn’t have to be pulled in to your family drama or career insecurities, at least not at first. Allow some time to get to know each other, a little at a time, until he wants to know more.