Too Many Fish in Your Sea

The natural reaction to the incident in yesterday’s post would be to move to Washington Heights. That’s where all the other singles are, and if I want to remain competitive, I’d better get up there with them. Follow the pack. It’s a standard business practice, and it works for many Fortune 500 companies.

That works fine if what you’re looking for can be filled by sheer numbers. Sheer numbers of available singles. Sheer numbers of eyes noting your existence. Sheer numbers of first dates with sheer numbers of first daters. It’s like being at an expo. Companies hand out samples, hoping you’ll come back later for more. Get brief face time with enough people and some of them are bound to remember your sparkling personality and chase you down for a date.

But does it work that way?

Every marketing strategist knows that you have to differentiate your product in the minds of the consumer. How many “Just another accessory” ads have you seen recently? How about “this shampoo will clean your hair,” “this jewelry is sparkly,” “these shoes will protect your feet from the concrete,” or “this car will get you from point A to point B”?

You are more likely to hear “this shampoo will clarify your hair without drying using a patented amino-acid based formula that will make you look like the model in our ad.” Or, “this car is manly, has the smallest turn radius in its class, is so safe you could let your kid drive it, and speaking of kids–they never ask ‘are we there yet’ when you drive this baby.”

So, in a sea of singles, what makes you stand out?

If it’s not your good looks, dazzling charm, and incredible personality, you may want to steer clear of the school.

It’s well known that too much choice overwhelms people. Given the option of two shampoos, most people can make an intelligent choice after analyzing the options to determine which best meets their needs. They may consider sulfates or parabens or additional moisturizing ingredients. They may consider the greenness or reputation of the manufacturer or the apparent value offered. But given an aisle full of shampoos, most people gravitate toward the classiest packaging or the most appealing price or some other very simple criteria.

A recent study shows that when it comes to choosing dates, people aren’t much better at dealing with overwhelming choice. Given a ream of eligible bachelorettes, a guy is justified in tossing some out based on their photograph. Or height. Or hair color. Or whether he actually knows one of the references. Hey – -he has to narrow it down somehow. Maybe none of that actually has anything to do with whether a potential would make a good mate. But this stuff counts too, right? And you have to shave down the pack somehow.

So, what’s a girl to do? It’s obvious, I think. Move out of town. If you’re one of very few fish in the sea, you’ll get more individual attention and deeper scrutiny by local bachelors. After all — from where you are, all those people crammed into Washington Heights are currently geographically undesireable. All the more reason for a guy to consider you seriously, based on more than just your height, weight, and hair color.

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8 thoughts on “Too Many Fish in Your Sea

  1. “If you’re one of very few fish in the sea, you’ll get more individual attention and deeper scrutiny by local bachelors.”

    True. But if your OOT location hosts about 10 local bachelors, and you date them all in a span of 6 months and nothing happens, how far does that get you? What do you say then? Take it from an OOTer who dated all the local guys…and ended up with an NYer (though I never did move until afterwards).

  2. While I think you make some good points, I disagree with the overall idea here. I lived in the Heights and found that, actually, this was a more efficient way to date because you could readily weed out so many people by having actually met them first. Instead of a guy (or girl in this case) being besieged by similar sounding resumes that have no humanity to them, you walk into shul and know pretty quickly from interacting with the people around you that they are or are not worth pursuing. Instead of a saturation effect (which is more likely when divorced from the actual person’s presence), one would instead soon see that quantity did not breed quality. I am a big fan of living in places where you have the most access to single people for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that when you are a person and not a piece of paper you tend to stand more of a chance, not less of one.

  3. Was your car ad original? If it was, I love it, and think you should leave whatever field you are in now and go into Marketing or something in the same genre…

  4. Paraben-free is the way to go, and sulfates are not necessarily problematic unless hair is colored. I buy my shampoo online by people claiming to love the earth or something. It could be a front.

    I have been asked from time to time why I don’t live in the city. There are some who think it Mecca, others who think it a portal into evilness. My reasons not to are fiscal and an intolerance for roommates. But in any case, there are many OOTs flooding the NY area as they believe there are no opportunities where they live, whether business or dating.

    I find it funny when OOTers end up with other OOTers after they meet in WH. Kismet, to marry a fellow non-NYer in NY.

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