How to "Market" Yourself for the Dating Scene without Compromising Your Values?
When people mention the word "marketing," usually negative connotations spring to mind. We start to think of business people in suits, advertising executives spinning products, ideas, and such, in offices far above the general public, influencing us even against our will. And so, when the suggestion that we market ourselves for our dates is made, we often have a very strong reaction against it. We don't want to be manipulative the way advertisers and marketers so often are; we want to be honest, present ourselves as we are, and hope that our date will accept and love us just like that.
The truth, though, is that we are not always exactly the same person every second of the day. When we wake up at 4 in the morning with a head cold, we are different than when we are dressed for success to go to an important meeting with the heads of our department. We look different, we feel different, and we act different, in such situations, and many more! This doesn't mean that we are flaky, or shifty; more that there is no person in the world who maintains the same demeanor, appearance, and so forth all the time.
So, why not put your best foot forward when you are dating? He might as well see you at your most attractive as when you are not. Don't you think that he's doing the same thing? If he's wearing sweat pants and a tank top to a four-star restaurant on your first date, you will probably run out of the building. Well, that's marketing, because you can be sure that at some point, you will indeed see those very sloppy clothes. And you won't think any less of him for it, just as he won't think less of you when, a year down the road, you pull out those terribly comfortable flannel pajamas. The same goes for manners as well as clothing -- why not be on your best behavior while dating? Yes, at some point he will see you when you are in a bad mood -- but why should he see this on the first date?
However, appearance and behavior aside, the one thing you should never do when "marketing" yourself is to really and truly make yourself into a different person just to please this guy. Not only is it immoral, but the reality is that either you will have to keep up the charade for the rest of your life (assuming you two end up being together), or you will have to tell him that you have deceived him. Either option is no good. So, for example, if you think he will like you better if you tell him you don't want children, but really you want five of them -- do not even think of saying it! Eventually the truth will come out, or you will have to live without something you really want.
In short, dress for success, but underneath those beautiful clothes, radiant make-up, and a killer smile should be you, with your true beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. This is the best way to prepare for a winning evening.