So, you’ve spent some time thinking about your personal brand. You’ve reflected on your core values, you are clear about your lifestyle preferences and have a pretty good handle on your personality. You have even sorted out your (genuine) deal breakers and you feel ready for dating action.
So what next?
It’s time to take your self awareness and internal brand and translate it for the outside world. You’ve done the hard work, now it’s simply about making sure your outside impressions match how you feel on the inside.
This is the essence of authentic communication – making sure your external world matches your internal world.
1. Your online dating profile
Start with your top 3 values. Without mentioning the values themselves, find a way to express your values in the written text of your profile. For example, if you value family you might write about the importance of your family in your life and the fact that you have weekly family dinners and annual family holidays together.
Using behavioural examples like this will communicate a very clear message about how you live your values, and what is important to you in life. This will also act as a screening mechanism; any potential dates who do not value family and have no interest in spending time with your family will probably choose not to connect with you. This is good news for you!
Also, you can use your photos to clearly communicate your values. Rather than randomly choosing photos of your ‘best angle’ select some shots that show you living your values. So again, with family as your highest value, you might highlight a picture of yourself with your nieces and nephews with a caption about family.
2. Your verbal communication on dates
A great way to prepare for dates is to develop a few stories from your life experience – stories that illustrate you living your values. Prepare the stories as if you were preparing for a job interview (I know that sounds weird, but it works).
Let’s say adventure is your highest value. You might think back over your life and identify a couple of examples where you were being highly adventurous. Maybe you took a holiday and went white water rafting, went sky diving or swam with sharks? These are the stories that define who you are, the stories that say ‘this is who I am and I’m looking for someone who can complement me’.
Prepare 2 or 3 stories like this one before your next date and notice how confident you feel when sharing your stories.
3. Your non-verbal communication on dates
Did you know that your non-verbal messages are responsible for around 93% of your communication?
So, you might share some great stories about your values but if your non-verbal communication is inconsistent with your internal brand, you will have trouble building rapport.
Consider your values and your personality, then make sure you reflect these in your:
- Language and tone
- Dress and grooming
- Gestures and posture
Let’s say honesty is one of your highest values. You could make sure that you use open hand gestures, a genuine vocal tone and an open sitting stance on your date.
These 3 tips will help your dating brand come to life. Do some reflection, think about how you want to present yourself and be mindful on dates.
There’s nothing wrong with excusing yourself and popping into the bathroom for a quick chat with yourself in the mirror if things feel ‘off’. Give yourself a pep talk about your values, your lifestyle preferences, your personality and get back out there and connect!