When it comes to the summary of ourselves we often find that we are all the life and soul of a party; an incredibly successful person who loves their job and we are all Gods in the bedroom. As for hobbies we all tend to like travelling, exotic locations and crazy adventurous holidays. We create this persona that is so fantastic that it is hard to recognise who we actually are!
Don Draper would be out of a job, as far as an advertising campaign goes. But in truth this perfection that we have created to sell ourselves to men or women, does very little to entice our audience, especially since the product is similar to the next product we are going to view; so how does one get a person engage and reading their profile?
Perhaps we should watch a few episodes of Mad Men to gather some advertising ideas or turn to Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, and his 1920’s women’s cigarette smoking campaign and work out what we are selling.
For women, we are selling everything and in that everything is contradictory. We need to sell our looks, sell our sexuality and at the same time sell our stability, we need to be the perfect person and hit all the aspects of the man’s tick list- good with children, we may need to be independent and fun and flirty. We are sex, we are mother, we are innocent vulnerable girl, we are virginal, we are devils…
Personally, I have experimented with my online dating blurb as language can mean so many things. When I started internet dating, I innocently put the words ‘open-minded’ on my profile. This was probably the worst and yet most effective two words I have ever put on a dating profile, as I was popular and the dates were rolling in. I went on a number of the dates, only to find I was being contacted because ‘open-minded’ meant I was ready to do anything, the term ‘open-minded’ which I took as to be accepting of others opinions and beliefs, has so many sexual connotations that most men thought I was just a woman who was ready to try anything with random strangers and that does probably include all your sexual fantasies that you can imagine. Naturally, I removed it.
I then went for brief, fun-loving and with the idea that one would want to introduce me to their family. This got a relatively busy response and whilst I was not as popular as I was when I was being ‘open-minded’, I did manage to meet some lovely people. One who I had a true honest connection with, which is incredibly rare now that we have so many choices that we have become indecisive and would rather continue searching because a person does not meet all our standards and when they do meet the standards we find excuses or we increase the bar- that is a conversation for another blog.
My final blurb, is probably the most honest and truthful one I have ever written.
And here is my edited profile:
“I am a really lovely person, often too kind, often too generous. I see the world as beautiful and that we are all living in our own tragicomedies, for no one is exempt from pain, especially if they are willing to risk being in love.
I do not need someone to support me, I work and I enjoy my job but I would like to share my life with someone.
Whilst we have all been emotionally hurt and have experienced pain. I am now in a position where I feel whole, it takes ‘two’ to work at a relationship and ‘two’ to break a relationship. I am willing to share the responsibility.
I have a fairly traditional value system
I know that to fall in love, one needs to be physically attracted to each other, sexually matching or developing together sexually and share similar beliefs and values. One needs interdependence and that ability to be free but together.”
The problem with this profile blurb is that it is too wordy. People don’t read it. Naturally, I think it is a brilliant piece of writing, it shares my beliefs, hopes and desires. And sadly, this new profile blurb has had two responses. The truth doesn’t sell me.
So in order to get a date, I need to sell myself in a glossy and I am beginning to tire of the word but ‘superficial’ way. I need to hide my true identity just to meet a person. Therefore to seek out the man that I can grow old with I need to revert back to the stereotypical blurb, were I tell everyone that I love my life, I am happy, but there is something missing that I am seeking, will you be it? Oh and that I am well travelled- in fact I travelled the world twice!
And this raises the question: Why do we lie to ourselves?
The truth is we are products, and we are selling ourselves to the highest bidder. Ready to be thrown away when we tire of the one or the desire for a better model comes out. In fact, we are pretty much just like an Apple product!
Don Draper, can you sell me as a product that will last a lifetime?