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Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

Marketing the Inner Self

It seems these days, that life has become so commerce driven, that it often resembles one huge advertisement. Even the most humanitarian of efforts, relies upon some form of promotion in order to get noticed, expand, survive and grow.

"Success," in any situation, is usually defined as: "having a product or service that satisfies a need." Just as in business, “success” in every avenue of life, includes the growth and longevity, along with an ability to continually attract, retain, and maintain whatever that need happens to be.

In dating, the “need” might be expressed as a social desire, to connect with another human being, on various levels, beginning, perhaps with friendship. Providing that need, or responding to it, requires many different factors, such as, mental awareness, cognizant response, and physical presence. Another important part of the equation, is attraction, which, arguably, is one of the most key elements. Often, attraction consists of a compilation of those aforementioned components, though it can begin merely with physical presence and appearance.

 As difficult as it may be to do it, if you think of yourself as a commodity or offering, and those that you are considering as dating candidates, clients, it may be easier to confront and develop guidelines to achieve your goals in that regard.

The challenge facing those who endeavor to expand their social sphere in the realm of dating, for those who desire to connect with another person, is to match the needs of themselves (similar to “product offerings” in business) with the perceived needs of those individuals they are trying to attract (similar to “clients” in business). If one is correct in the "match" of needs desired, there is a high probability of success, if not; one's endeavor may not come into fruition.

In business, there is often a "make or break" situation, in terms of product development, and attracting enough clientele to survive. Similarly, in relationships, there is only one chance to make a good impression, and often, behaviors are measured very quickly in determining good dating candidates. The more serious dater, will develop a pattern of essential items to evaluate, so that it becomes much easier and faster, to determine whether to proceed with a specific individual or not.

Just as in business, with respect to proper market offerings (yourself) and clients' needs (prospective dating candidates), it is essential that a true understanding exists of what both parties require, in order for success to occur. Misunderstandings in this regard occur in business and personal relationships, and can be equally frustrating. For example, according to a recent business poll conducted by an online business guide, 60% of the consumers in the health and fitness industry, have a negative opinion of the industry's marketing and believe that marketing campaigns are not relevant to their needs. Similarly, a high percentage of persons seeking to enhance their social dating sphere, have reported that, on their own, they are experiencing difficulty in finding suitable candidates to form relationships with, though there seems to be an abundance of people ready, willing and able to involve themselves in casual dating situations. Thus, they turn to alternative means to find what they are searching for.

In an effort to attract customers, businesses enhance their offerings to include perks and programs designed to develop long-term clientele. Comparatively speaking, with dating, people often begin to assess what they have to offer, working on things such as health, physical appearance, etc., in order to become a more attractive commodity within their social dating arena.

In business, programmatic shifts do not always lead to increased profitability, or even client satisfaction, mostly because they do not address the true needs and desires of the client. While developing a healthier lifestyle, attitude and appearance is fine, it should never be relied upon to simply attract people; the considerations of what is important to you, are just as important. Too often, people rely upon responding to those they attract, rather than really assessing whether a certain individual fits within their needs, as well.

Classic examples in business can include products that are developed with regard to an individual target of some kind. Eye-catching as those products may be, they often dissolve like a flash in the pan, since they are based upon trying to be “fashionable,” vs. an overall goal that could be reached, which is really what many people look to when making their purchases. There are plenty of people who indulge in “impulse buys,” however, the serious-minded shopper usually doesn’t waste time on those types of items prone to being impulsive acquisitions.

Casual daters often are seeking to indulge in the pleasure principle (The tendency to seek pleasure and avoid pain. In Freud's theory, this principle rules the Id, but is at least partly repressed by the 'reality principle'. The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy). Relationship-oriented individuals, however, are usually seeking to find a quality situation that offers far more than instant gratification, and are looking at the long-term happiness quotient, realizing that the return on that investment will reap far more in the long run, than if they indulge primarily, solely in, casual dating.

By knowing what your goals are, what you have to offer, and what is being offered specifically, one can gain a sense of empowerment in managing and hopefully improving, their overall well being.

More of today's daters seem to be looking for quality individuals who have the potential to become life partners who will share and enhance their lives, rather than simply those to spend time with to have “fun” and nothing else.

At the end of the day, it is just as important, in personal relationships, to “know your audience,” and be able to constructively compare it to what you desire, and what you have to offer, as those things are, in business and sales. It is only then, that you can find what you wish to have in your life, whatever that may be.

Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.

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