No, I Don't Want To Meet You IRL, Chad
The Dating Game
One of my very first articles was called Get Your Audience to Swipe Right on Your Content. As you can probably surmise from the title, it was about what dating apps can teach us about messaging. If you're looking for a laugh, I highly recommend you smash that link and check it out. With 2020 being the pandemic and all, I have only recently begun to date again. For those who used to follow all my well-documented dating exploits, I'm sorry to inform you that I don't have any trainwreck stories right now. But just knowing the world of dating apps, that will likely change.
Read Between the Lines
The trouble with online dating is the lack of nuance. Just like any digital-only conversation, it's hard to know what someone is really saying or as my mother would phrase it, how they're saying it. You can't understand tone and often even attempts at humor can get misconstrued. Think about a text conversation between you and a friend and now multiple that by the fact you don't know this person and have no context by which to frame their responses.
I was going back and forth with a man on Bumble and it felt time to suggest we take things to the next level (Meaning talk or meet. Get your mind out of the gutter people!) Now, during the pandemic, I discovered that a Zoom or FaceTime date was a great way to weed out the wrong people. You not only get to establish if you have anything to say to each other, but you can make sure the person looks like their photos. It's a win-win. And I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I've gotten more stingy with my time and leaving the house is not something I do effortlessly anymore. Ok, if ever. So the idea of making sure this person is spongeworthy (to quote Elaine Benis), in other words, warrants hair and makeup, and clothing with buttons and zippers (or even pants in general), is important.
Bend it Like Beckham
So I suggested we do a FaceTime and go from there. Immediately he came back with "Why? I'm vaccinated" and then proceeded to tell me about a 2-hour call he had with a woman with whom there was no chance he would now meet. Now, putting aside that no first phone call should be 2 hours long, I assured him we'd chat for maybe 20 minutes, that this was a good way to ensure we connected and liked the look of each other and that frankly, as a woman, my process to get ready for a date is a bit longer than his. In other words, I was asking him to understand what it might be like for me and to be flexible.
And, I never heard from him again. What this tells me is that: a) He's unwilling to compromise b) He can't put himself in someone else's shoes c) He only concerns himself with what he wants d) He doesn't know how to listen to his audience Maybe there's an e) where he's just a douche but let's focus on d) for a minute. I expressed what I needed from him and he ignored it. What would it have hurt to do a video chat before meeting IRL? It might even have saved him time if we weren't a match. But because he had one bad experience, he wasn't willing to listen and therefore didn't land the deal. Or close the sale. Or get the girl. Or any other cliche´ here.
It's Not About You
While in dating, yes, of course it's about your needs, but it's also about listening to your potential partner and understanding theirs. And if someone won't even listen from the get-go, or a company doesn't listen to its customers, well, neither relationship will last very long. So ask yourself, are you listening to your audience (or partner) and more importantly, are you hearing them? Not sure what you can do to get them to swipe right on your content? I can help.