I’ve long been of the opinion that what you do to “catch” someone is what you have to do to “keep” that certain someone. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ve seen me write about it before.
Last week, I was listening to a truly awesome sermon series by Andy Stanley and he expanded on that premise. He was talking about the commoditization of women and how prevalent it is in our culture today. He first made us all laugh by bringing up the fact that every time a dude comes up with a cult idea it includes some divine reason that he needs to have sex with as many women as are currently available. He pointed out that these men effectively make those women a commodity.
“Commodity”: A generic, largely unprocessed, good that can be processed and resold. Commodities traded in the financial markets for immediate or future delivery are grains, metals, and minerals. They are generally traded in very large quantities. See also: single women in typical American dating culture. (last sentence mine)
But then he went on to point out commoditization in the common American dating culture. Where women dress to display their “assets” and men treat women as a disposable good or service to be traded up or down at will. Hello on-line dating. Let’s take Match.com for example. I happen to like Match. It works for a lot of people. But let’s face it, if you don’t have a good picture on Match, you get no attention. And, as a girl, by “good”, I mean… showing some sort of “asset”. Usually baiting the hook with your body… sad but true. It happens. Often.
And I don’t think the single guys are totally un-commoditized either. Many guys bait their hook with pictures of them by expensive cars, on expensive trips and engaging in expensive hobbies. (And yes, lots of pictures holding big fish.) Or by showing off their 6-8-12 pack that took hours of carving at the gym. And I bet, they get a lot of attention because of it.
So, how do you “bait your hook”? Do you commoditize yourself? Have you bowed to the pressure of sending “more pictures” when a guy asked for them? Do you find yourself bragging about your job, income or lifestyle when on a first date? Do you wear something that purposely flaunts your “assets” while out and about?
Andy encouraged a zero tolerance policy for being commoditized. And I have to say, I agree with him. It’s sometimes harder, and at times chancy, to not lead with your “catch all” bait… like looks, wallet or other easily “valued” skill. But I’m thinking that taking the slow road of requiring someone to really get to know you would lead to a better quality of relationship down the line.
We all want to be loved as a unique, one-of-a-kind person rather than just another hot bod or a fat wallet that can be traded for something bigger and better. So, is it worth the risk to narrow the quantity of dates in favor of the quality by baiting your hook with your more intangible qualities?
Or, perhaps you are already there. You’ve switched bait and started fishing for a different kind of fish. If so, what do you think? Have you gotten better relationship results when you bait your hook with something like intelligence or personality? Does it work to try to lead with qualities rather than commodities on on-line dating sites?
Or do you think it’s a hopelessly idealized thought in the modern dating world?