Rebranding has become an interesting phenomenon these days.   It’s all about putting a new spin on items we’re familiar with in order to change our perceptions about the core product.  Sometimes the rebranding involves a very minor change.  Other times, the overhaul is actually quite huge.

True rebranding usually happens all at once.  But it can also be an evolutionary process that occurs over a long period of time.  Either way, I am struck by thoughts of how similar this concept is to the work we do as Navidaters.

On the most basic level, we are all perfect just the way we were created.  And we need to stay in touch with feelings of self-love and worthiness.  However, when it comes to dating, as with many pursuits, there is a practical side to it called “marketing.”  People who are in the dating arena will experience the most success if they are able to convey their best selves.  For many individuals, this comes quite naturally.  But for others, because of various minor or major reasons, their best selves are sometimes hidden from potential suitors.

As a Navidater, I am committed to helping my clients become their very best dating selves.  This is achieved by getting to know them on a meaningful level and together sorting out misconceptions, behaviors that are not necessarily helpful when on a date and sometimes even addressing emotional blocks that can get in the way of a more successful dating outcome.

Once we’ve identified opportunities for change or merely tweaked a few questionable behaviors that could use some fine tuning, for all intent and purposes we have achieved a level of rebranding that can literally change the playing field in a wonderful way.

Meet Judy, (names have been changed), a 23 year old woman who is as lovely as can be.  She shares with me the fact that she has never gotten past date two with any of the dozens of men she’s been set up with.  It was hard to believe, since Judy is quite charming, bright and friendly.  I couldn’t imagine why any man would not immediately be drawn to her.

As I dug just a little deeper, Judy shared two very meaningful facts with me that I felt were extremely relevant.  Firstly, that her father held the voice for both her parents.  Though her mother was a wonderful person, she was very much on the quiet side and left most of the verbiage to her husband, who dominated all conversation.

Secondly, one of the messages her mother instilled in Judy from an early age was “men like to hear themselves talk.  Be a good listener and don’t get in their way.”  Apparently, Judy took this message in all too well.  In fact, it would seem, to the point where her quiet demeanor masked her wonderful personality and allowed her dates to view her as dull and boring.

Sometimes people don’t stop to analyze whether the mantras they’ve been sold by their parents and continue to retell themselves are actually useful or even accurate.  We tend to carry with us ideas from childhood on, and that’s usually a good thing.  But occasionally these ideas are false and hurtful.  Once Judy was able to disconnect from her belief that her parents’ marital dynamic was the only way to go, Judy was able to find her voice on dates and no longer obscure all she had to offer.

Next case… Jeremy came to see me because he too felt that something wasn’t working in his favor while dating.  Once again, I found this hard to believe.  Jeremy’s deep dimples conveyed a sweetness and caring nature that became apparent to me immediately.

As we discussed his background, I learned that his parents had divorced when he was all of six years old.  And though not the norm, his father had custody of him and his brother.  Jeremy seemed rather unscathed by his less than perfect childhood and explained that his father was and is a fabulous person and did his best to provide everything he and his brother needed to feel happy.  And they were.

When it was time to begin high school, Jeremy and his brother were sent out of town for Yeshiva, where they both seemed to have thrived.   At 24, Jeremy seemed grounded, focused and an all-around great catch.  Scratching my head and trying to figure out what the problem could possibly be, I suddenly had an idea.  I suggested that we schedule his next meeting with me during my lunch break, since my day looked packed and suggested that he bring along some lunch for himself.  I knew that what I was trying was a long shot, but I felt it was worth a try.

Sure enough, my suspicions were proven correct.  Observing how Jeremy ate, down to how he held his fork and pushed food onto it with his finger, told me that he missed out on the necessary guidance we all need in order to learn proper etiquette.  Not surprising, considering the fact that he never had a female presence in his life.  This lack of cultivating proper manners, possibly extending to other areas in his life, was probably off putting to women he went out with.

Though Jeremy was a home run in so many ways, the fact is that many women are taken aback by a date who doesn’t open a door  or chews and talks with a mouth full of food and in general, lacks finesse.  Lucky for Jeremy, this issue was easy enough to resolve.  A little coaching in the right departments, and Jeremy was good to go – the full package.

Call it rebranding, call it selective coaching, call it whatever you want.  The bottom line is that with a little bit of “navidating,” many formerly obstructive issues can be resolved or at least minimized – allowing one’s perfect true essence to shine through.

Esther Mann, Navidater