If you see this question in an examination hall, what will you write? Your name, age, place of origin, educational qualifications and hobbies. The usual stuff we all put in our job CV’s. But do they answer this question? If they do, you might as well use your CV as a selling tool in the marriage market.
But I doubt if it can get you a husband. That is what many women are doing. They are brandishing their academic and background credentials, their beauty and fashion power as their unique selling points, USPs. These credentials can no longer get results because they do not really show who you are. A man will do all he can do to find out your character and fidelity before he proposes marriage.
So who are you? Think about it. Beyond your beauty, what are the qualities in you that people admire? Your beauty is no longer a selling point in today’s market. If it still is, ugly women will not be getting husbands. A woman may not look fantastic, inside, she is a jewel.
But a man will not know it until he gets close to her. Yet if you ask her, Who are you? She will not describe the jewel inside which is what a suitor wants. She will tell you she is the daughter of a chief in her town. May be she is a graduate of Economics or a marketing executive with a bank or oil company. So what is she marketing? Is it her qualifications, her official position or her bridal value?
A man who is considering you as a wife, begins his enquiries from your character, chastity and stretches the effort to your family background and job. If your content is bad, he goes away. You see, you fall in love with a person, but you have to live with a character. Your background may be wonderful, but if your content is bad, you cannot convince any man to propose marriage.
Forget how beautiful you are. It is no longer a selling point in today’s 2M. The better option is to market the good qualities and strength in you. Any one of them can be your USP. Let’s mention some of them. It can be your industry, how peaceful, compassionate and submissive you are, your spiritual and other gifts, your good character. Many men chose their wives because the women are “down to earth.” Find out what they mean by that.
Your USP may be you can endure pressure, you are prudent or a motivator. It can be you are a very good cook, you are hospitable, you can accommodate others, you are good at conflict resolution, a good homemaker or you can manage children well.
Your USP is something special about you that can make life easier and better for other people. If you have the power to persuade others and can express it in writing, you will make a fantastic copywriter. You can use this skill (not love letters) to get a husband.
Do not overlook any quality in you no matter how irrelevant you think it is. These are what men want in a wife. The more you make them visible, the easier you can get a husband. Now you are doing an exercise which management experts call SWOT Analysis. The full meaning is Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Companies and organisations use it to plot marketing strategies that can help them to win in the marketplace. You can also use it to win in the marriage market where competition is increasing.
The first two letters S and W are about your person. The list you have drawn up on your USP is part of it. They include your strength and assets. Assets are the things you have that are positive, that can bring results, yield money and help you to sell and prosper. What about your weaknesses? Write them down. Everybody has weaknesses so do not pretend here. They include your bad habits and the things you do which make people to complain about you.
You acquired some of these weaknesses as you grew up. Are you a gossip? Do you have expensive taste? Are you easily deceived? May be you cannot cook well, you are hot tempered, selfish, the jealous type or quarrelsome. They are weaknesses. In business, your weaknesses are known as liabilities. They are things that will cost you money and reduce your ability to win.
Opportunities come in various forms in the marriage market. You can take advantage of them if only you can identify them. But do not be deceived. They may confront you as problems or broken hearts not as open doors.
If the economy of your location improves substantially, and more men get jobs or their businesses boom, chances are that many of them will marry. If a new trend emerges such as stiffer immigration laws, it may mean marrying less of foreign women. This creates an opportunity for more indigenous women to get husbands.
It may even be a problem opportunity. For example because of increasing economic pressure, men may prefer to marry women with jobs. This will make available men who earn less than you. This means you will pick 70 per cent of the wedding bill. Will you marry such a man?
The threats are there too. Your success in business or job may threaten the ego of many men in this market. They may feel intimidated especially if you are not humble. Such men will not propose marriage to you. Soon you will discover to your dismay that the more you rise in your career and grow in influence, the less your chances of getting a husband. Nothing challenges a man’s ego like a successful woman. You can now see how your success is also a threat to you.
Your success should not reduce your ability to be a good wife but it may threaten your suitor’s ego. You can confirm this with married women who become more successful than their husbands. The question suitors never ask women is, “Since you earn more money than me, will you submit to me?” This is a dilemma for successful women and others with good paying jobs. Some of them who can buy their own cars refuse to do so for fear of scarring away suitors. It is like the more she succeeds, the less marketable she becomes in the marriage market.
You now see why you should do your SWOT analysis? It helps you know your profile, make amendments and how to package and brand yourself to stay ahead of competition. If you know your strength, you can use it to get the type of husband you want. But you still have to take care of your weak points too.
Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, www.ezinearticles.com and www.writingcareer.com. He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at http://sallywantsahusband.blogspot.com