Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Casting a Wide Net: Good Practice for Freelancing and Internet Dating

 Photo courtesy of larrygerbrandt on Flickr

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite bloggers wrote a post about setting parameters when looking for love online. I wholly appreciated her post, not only an ex-online-dating-champ, but also as a freelance (under-employed) writer who is searching for matches online. Just like a single gal on a dating website.  

Back when I actually was a single dating gal, I employed a tactic I affectionately referred to as Operation POE. Process of Elimination. I realized that It didn’t matter how many dates I went on—good or bad—as long as I stayed clear in my own head about who I ultimately wanted to find. I knew that the more people I let into my life, the better my chances of meeting the right guy, thus making every earwax-talk-filled dinner worth it. 

That said, when I set up my "seeking" list on Yahoo! Personals, I included "college degree"  as a must. 

In my mind, college degree = smart. And that's what I was really hoping to find. Someone intelligent, ambitious, open-minded and creative.

It was pure luck that Mr. Wonderful made it across my criteria drawbridge. Like the late great Steve Jobs, Mr. W is a brilliant college dropout. Which is likely why he was smart enough to lie about his education on his dating profile (I think this is the only honesty infraction he’s ever committed since I’ve known him). Had he told the truth, me and my rigid standards may have ruled him out.

Being clear on what you or I hope to find is always the best starting point for attaining it—whether it be a man or a job or a house. I don't think anyone can make their dreams come true without knowing first what those dreams really look like. But I learned from the old online dating stint that you can't just size up the exterior of a package and label it "not the one" without taking the time to open it and see what's really going on inside. 

I have to thank Jane for reminding me about all this as I try to build up my copywriting work. It’s best for me to cast a wide net and try to connect with as many potential clients as possible—and not worry that one may appear to be an imperfect match on the outside. Because the truth is, I won’t know how compatible we are until the first or second date. 

And if the client isn't really who I'm looking for, I’ll just tell them I’m really, really busy next time they call. Process of Elimination style.


  1. Aw! Glad I could help in my weird little way. It reminded me also I need to cast a wide net for my job search! I'm trying to stay open-minded as much as possible, but keeping up standards (hard drugs? no gracias).

    I have a first date tomorrow that seems promising, so fingers crossed!

  2. Being an independent contractor and dating have so many similarities. A balance between casting a wide net because, yep, you never know, and not feeling like you have to say yes to everything because "What if?" I am not sure I am good at either, but I've gotten better. :)

  3. I love the connection you make between online dating and freelance writing! It totally makes sense.

    There was a time when I refused to consider men of divorce. I was in my 20s and felt anyone in their 20s who was already divorced, well, I didn't want to be a part of that picture.

    Fast forward to my 30s and maybe my parameters were looser or maybe I was wiser. Either way, men of divorce and men with kids were now OK, assuming other things were in check. Into my life walks Sweets, a man of divorce. A man who divorced when he was in his late 20s (I think). To think, I would've walked right by him in another life. What a shame!

  4. So true. Mr. Darcy wouldn't have originally fit my criteria for dating either. I mean his profile was fairly scant on details and he also was a college drop out. But here we are 2 years later!

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