The other day, I took an online quiz that was supposed to tell me my personality type based on the things I hate. (The fact that I took a quiz concerning things I hate should really set the scene here.) The result labeled me a frustrated idealist:

The things that you hate reflect your frustration when the world does not comply with your grandiose visions. It comes from a place of passionate idealism and not a bad spirit.
You have strong beliefs, and want everyone to live up to those expectations. As far as you’re concerned, an ideal world is possible as long as people put their minds to it. Keep working on your goals, you really can change the world!

Right. Well, I don’t — I can’t — necessarily disagree with any of that. Seriously. Playbuzz hit the nail on the head. I really do wish more people thought like me; though, then I wouldn’t get to have as much fun explaining myself all the time.

But the truth is, the world doesn’t think like me. I am not claiming to be unique, but I also would not consider myself part of the pack. A prime example of this is the vast ocean of love — in which I am perpetually sinking and swimming back to the top, gasping for breath. It’s a vicious cycle of pain, disappointment, hope ☺, and self-doubt ☹.

When it comes to dating, I’ve found that most guys operate according to the same plan:

Go out -> find a girl -> go home with girl -> get into girl’s pants

I am not most guys. I play something I like to call the long game. Instead of focusing on rocking one woman’s world for one night, I devote my time to making sure as many women as possible love me for as long as I can sustain.

This sounds ridiculous, I know. But my goal during any gathering is to get every woman in the vicinity to fall in love with me. Why? Because the ideas of commitment and a closing window of opportunity terrify me. Because I regret things I don’t do more than things I do. Because what if I make the wrong choice?

I’m not interested in surface encounters. I’m not interested in small talk or flirting or trying to guess how many sexual partners a girl has had while she tells me all about her semester in Spain. But I listen anyway. People do crazy things for love.

I am interested in having a plethora of options. I’m interested in having a pool of women to choose from when I decide I want to try to be happy — er, settle down.

I’m interested in taking a girl to meet my parents on Thanksgiving and feeling awkward when she and my mom don’t get along. I’m interested in having another girl on-deck, ready to step up to the plate for Christmas.

Ideally.

If you don’t know Gary, definitely check this out.

About a year ago, I began following Gary Vaynerchuk, a brutally honest entrepreneur and marketing dude. (I use dude because expert and guru sound lame as hell.) Gary’s social media marketing strategy — and the title of one of his books — is Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. This is how I approach dating.

(Now, that is not to say I hit women. If that’s what you got out of the last paragraph, kindly reread. I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the fact that women are not commodities…)

The concept of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook involves a patient, calculated approach to getting what you want from a customer. Or in my case, a woman. As a marketer/dater, you can’t always go for the hard sell right away. You must first establish a relationship with your target, forming a bond built on a foundation of trust and mutual interest.

A successful strategy will incorporate a consistent stream of relevant content, as well as an open line of communication between seller and potential buyer.

Several pieces need to be in place for a transaction to occur:

  1. Customers must be aware of your brand/product/service.
  2. You must have a product or service customers want.
  3. Customers must be able to obtain your product. / It must be available.
  4. Customers must trust your brand and be willing to purchase (and have the means to do so).

In terms of dating:

  1. Women must be aware that I exist.
  2. I need to be desirable in one way or another.
  3. I must make myself available, and my target(s) must be in the market for a guy. (This means: A. She must be interested in men. B. She must be single or unhappy with her current relationship. C. She must be open to meeting someone new.)
  4. She must trust that I’m not a threat to her safety.

Without these four preconditions, the business is destined to fail. In terms of dating, there will be no business.

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

While many men are successful when it comes to dating, I don’t seem to have the luck. Or maybe I’m just too picky. Or maybe everything I’ve said above tells the whole story. (I am drawing parallels between dating and marketing.)

Still, day in and day out, I find myself going out of my way for women — friends, girls I’m interested in, and even complete strangers — simply for the sake of making them smile. These small, sometimes random acts of kindness serve two functions: 1. They show women they are appreciated. And, perhaps a more selfish purpose, 2. They remind me I can make a woman smile.

These actions include but are not limited to:

  • liking her Instagram photo or Facebook status (❤)
  • holding a door open (chivalry lives on)
  • letting her car in front of me in traffic (power/sucker move)
  • complimenting her physical appearance (Sometimes, a simple “You look nice” will do.)
  • using Emoji/exclamation points (ugh) even when I don’t think it’s necessary
  • smiling at her first

If smiles were currency, I’d be fucking loaded. But I must mention that these smiles do not always translate directly into sales. A heavy majority of the time, they don’t even get me lunch meetings.

Regardless, I have nothing to lose by being nice to people — women especially. Because if I throw enough jabs now, my eventual right hook should be extra effective. Now, I may never land that knockout, but I might just become a better person in the process. Shortsighted strategies yield short-term results. I call this the long game for a reason.

And I know, this approach leaves me vulnerable to nightmarish things like the Friend Zone. But trust me — I know what I’m doing.

I think.


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