Friday, May 6, 2011

A "Connection Experience" for Adult Singles That Actually WORKS!

I'm  going to show you that there's a better way than Online/Internet Dating for single adults to connect in a natural, more stress-free way:
  1. Put a large group of eligible adults together, sober, for couple of hours for an interactive seminar. 
  2. Share a lot of the stuff I've learned about how to increase your professional exposure online quickly and simply.
  3. Talk about what works and what definitely doesn't with dating past 35-40, 
  4. Then let them have a drink or two and meet each other for an hour after the seminar.  
How'd I arrive at this notion?  Some of my readers have wondered why Rex is languishing, where Regina came from, and why I haven't continued the post series: "I'm Pregnant With Charlie Sheen!"  that I threatened to write about my re-invention on what I call my "professional" blog outlet.  All good questions!

I haven't been away on holiday, I've just been busy with intense re-invention activity.  I recently read a Newsweek article "The Beached White Male: He had a BIG job, a BIG office, a BIG bonus.  Now he's all washed up and doesn't have a freakin' prayer."  Ouch.  "Dead Suit Walking: Can Manhood Survive the Lost Decade?" shouts the article header.  Hello? 

This article comes a bit late for me, as I hit the crisis point quite some time back, but I've lived it and one day not long ago I woke up and realized something that we all kind of know, intuitively, but sometimes don't articulate to our inner selves: I'm not alone.  No, I don't mean romantically (we'll get to that in a moment), but rather as another underemployed Ad Guy who's industry basically imploded as the 'push marketing model' we'd suckled at the teat of for countless decades vanished with a click of the Internet.  ("What?!?  You mean you didn't ENJOY us playing the same TV ads at you over and over and over...?" -- and for all of you still suckling, it really is over, folks.  Figure it out fast as the end is 'nigher' than you are currently prepared for.)

I don't have all the answers on what my cohort can do next (though I've got some pretty solid notions), but I do have enough peripheral answers that I can certainly be a lot more help than mere blogging alone can do for them.  All I've been doing to help so far is blogging, and there is SO MUCH SHIT out here on 'the Internets' that NO ONE can aggregate and filter and select the most helpful shit (and certainly not many people are reading mine!).

To really help you have to sit down and have a long chat about the subject, face to face, 'holding hands', so to speak.  And another key challenge that I hadn't really thought too much about in the past, is SOBER.  That's right (horrors!), our cohort is getting to the point where trying to talk about important life-altering stuff can no longer be done effectively (with clarity of thought and a useful level of recall) over beers or a bottle of wine, we have to do it cold-hard sober, and maybe with a notepad in hand.

Another tidbit of statistical info for you: most of us are single.  Yes, the majority of us over 35-40 are divorced, or even never-married.  Who'd have thought?  We're unattached, really quite desperate to find a new partner, yet most of us aren't about to return to the methods we used to use to 'hook-up': the bar/party/club scene.  Partly this is connected to my SOBER point above, but not entirely, the real reason is that our needs have changed, or should I say our demands have changed.  Our demands back then were: "Is he/she HOT enough and willing to date me?", with maybe a secondary consideration of "Is she/he nice enough to seem like he/she will be a good partner/parent?"

And VOILA!  A long-term relationship was born!  No -- seriously.

Yes you'll argue that I'm oversimplifying, that considerations about earning potential and emotional stability did come into the equation.  Bullshit!  If the other person was hot enough, you 'projected' onto them all the hopes and dreams you had about what they could become with your incredible support and pushed past those concerns.

NOW things are different.  You learned from the mistakes you and your friends and siblings made.  You have a very stringent list of criteria, NOT exactly the early-30's woman's list of 300 demands for a second date (I call them 'queens' and interestingly they haven't given a passing whiff of consideration to what they offer in terms of character or conversational skills, because they're still 'hot' and now also have a job, a condo and a car, so you better score 299+!), but you do have a fair number of 'deal breakers' standing in the way of getting to date three.  What that means is that you have to evaluate potential mates in sufficient depth to uncover the subtle clues you are looking for.  New news, you can't do so with a new prospect in a bar once you've had a few drinks.

Another news flash: you need to meet a LOT of prospects to be able to come across enough who titillate you visually.  One person is going to find that geeky prospect kind of interesting, while another is after a super-hottie, and neither really finds the opposite type very appealing.  Who hasn't walked into a cocktail party with 60 people milling around, done a quick appraisal and said "Nope, there's no one for me here"?  We have to first get in front of the 10-15% of the population who we find attractive and only then try to find the few of that group who are both single and seem interested in us.  We have to get in front of a TON of eligible prospects to turn up a few appealing, mutually-interested ones who we can then further evaluate.  It's a tough, highly selective process.  Frustrating.

Many of us thought that this new online dating thing would simplify and streamline the process, making it supremely 'efficacious'.  Ha!  NOT!  Turns out Internet Dating is fatally flawed and can't work the way we all hoped it might.  It's not a bad secondary tool in your dating toolbox, but we shouldn't be putting more than about 20% of our total available date-making time and energy into it.

So, what does all this lead to with regard to my future career?  We've got a bunch of under-employed adults struggling to adapt in a new world of 'social media', and a majority of them are single.  I've got a few strengths: I'm good at hyper-analysis of new technologies and of human behaviour.  I'm a strong presenter and writer, quite good at teasing out human insights.  For me to help a bunch of 'mature singles' learn more about how they can leverage what I've learned about increasing their online presence to help their careers, plus how to best approach the challenge of meeting eligible prospects online and off, I have to get them into one place in large numbers, initially sober, explain what I've learned with entertaining stories, examples, straightforward instructions and tips, then facilitate their meeting each other. 

So what have I been so busy inventing and re-working?  (Click pic for the link.)

If you think there's any merit to it, sign-up and come out this fall on a Tuesday evening at an auditorium on UofT's downtown campus. 

Hope we'll see you there!

Cheers, Kevin

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