Thursday, February 3, 2011

Project Valentine

A few months back, my makeup artist mentioned to me that his friend in Dallas, Lisa Linehan, had started a campaign called “Project Husband” - she had picked a wedding date for herself - February 15, 2011 - and that her goal was to meet a husband between now and then. He told me how she had decided to use the world wide web to her advantage to advertise her search for a husband on YouTube.

Click link below to see Project Husband:

(helpful advice, if you click onto this at work, lower your volume).

As of today and over 57,000 clicks, 80 something dates and a five month relationship, there is no husband. In fact, with less than two weeks to go, the woman behind Project Husband has decided to offer the free wedding dress, wedding cake, etc. donated by inspired vendors to a worthy couple looking to tie the knot.*

Now, I know some people watching the video of our solitary crooner are derisively labeling our protagonist as “desperate,” “pathetic” or some other variation of these words because she made her search so public. I would actually like to give this woman credit for proactively taking action to get what she wants. For whatever reason, fate had not dropped her perfect mate on her lap and at 35 she needed to take matters into her own hands (if you think 35 is old in NY to be single, imagine what it's like in Texas). The problem is she clearly went about it the wrong way.

So, what can my loyal readers learn from our groomless bride’s mistakes?

(1) When casting a net, don’t cast such a wide net that it seems that anyone will do. This woman’s lyrics and opening remarks make it seem that really any person with an x chromosome would suffice (the video starts with the request asking you to listen to her song “if you’re a potential groom or know someone who could be.” Not "if you're a wonderful guy looking for a great partner"). Where does she say what she is looking for in someone? Or ask "do you measure up?" No ones wants to feel as if they are simply a means to an end. You want your potential partner to understand that you could have your pick but you choose him or her because of what makes that person unique.

(2) In your search for a partner, you also need to let the other person know what YOU bring to the table. Glaringly absent in our protagonist’s song are lyrics about WHO this woman is and what makes her interesting, what makes her desirable? What does Lisa do for fun? WHY would someone even want to date her, forget about marrying her? Oftentimes people assume that the qualities that make them unique and interesting will be readily apparently to another person - but that is not always the case. If you are not conscious of how you are presenting yourself to prospective love interests you are potentially losing opportunities (and then possibly scratching your head wondering why no one appreciates how wonderful you are!).

(3) People want what seems difficult to get - it is important to create a sense of desirability. Remember that crafty trick you used to see in old sitcoms when women would send themselves flowers to make their boyfriends jealous? People naturally want what they believe other people want.** Had our Dallas friend marketed herself as having a full life with lots of guys chasing her - but not the right one yet - she would have appealed to guys’ sense of challenge and competition. Instead, by asking if someone will marry her, she just comes across as needy ... and any guy will tell you that they RUN from needy women.

(4) It helps to have an understanding of the opposite sex. At some point after the singing portion of her video, Lisa L. should have stepped out in front of the camera to show her body. The one photo of her holding her pooch at the end (and which looks outdated) simply doesn’t cut it. If a woman doesn’t understand that a guy is not going to be interested if he doesn’t immediately want to see that woman naked, then she really does not understand men at the most basic level. Ladies, put on some sexy (but tasteful) clothes and show your feminine side. A women who understands how the male brain works has a serious advantage over the women who do not (and the same goes for the men who understand what makes women tick). Men and women do not think the same way. Period.

(5) Attract with happiness and positive energy. Words such as “alone” and “tears” should never have made their way into the Project Husband song. I have said it many times in prior blogs, but I will say it again - people are attracted to people who exude happiness. As I am constantly telling my clients, a happy, fun demeanor is one of the most important things you can bring to the table on your date and in a relationship!

Hopefully, we have all learned a valuable lesson from our misguided songwriter. This Valentine’s Day, you don’t need to post a video on Youtube to meet your dream partner. Just be smart about how you go about your search and market yourself properly. Let people you trust know that you’re serious and looking, hire a professional, make your online profile the best it can be and use your dating time wisely. I admire Lisa in many ways as she had a plan (and has a beautiful voice) - even if it hasn’t succeeded just yet. At least she’s going after what she wants and I hope next February 15th she is happily laughing with her fiance about what she had to do to get there.

Now don’t blame me if, like my boyfriend, you can’t get this song out of your head - it is catchy ...


** This concept is known as social proof - a cognitive shortcut to help people prove they are making the right decision.