I am writing this because I just keep seeing the same thing over and over and it is making me crazy. I know most dating websites have general tips and tricks on what works and what doesn’t work in dating profile photos. I am not sure who is reading the advice given because I just checked my Match.com profile and in one day saw so many great examples of what NOT to do…I felt compelled…the blog must come out.
In general, have a friend preferably a female friend or a sister someone close to you look at your profile BEFORE you post photos. A lot of grief and effort is saved with just a cursory overview by a trusted female. An ex-girlfriend could be an even better judge as long as you are on good terms and you do not suspect that she might have an agenda. Don’t ask your mother to do pick your photos, trust me on this one.
1 – A photos of yourself with an ex-girlfriend with the woman’s face blacked out - When there is a big black box over the face of a former lover it speaks volumes. It says a lot about what you think of that person, and what it is saying is not good. The same goes for the artful crop, that is we can tell that you have carefully cropped out a former love. It’s fine on one photo but not so cool if all of your photos are like this.
#2 – Bathroom Mirror Self-portrait – If you are really going to the full cliche then take every photo of yourself sans a shirt, make sure we can see the cell phone in the photo and make it clear that you are in your bathroom. If you really want to push the levels of cluelessness then post nothing but bathroom mirror self-portraits and get every beefcake muscle-bound shot in.
3. Every photo is a group photo. – You would think this one would be obvious. It says something about you if every single photo is a group photo…and what it is saying is that yes, you have friends..BUT you are hiding something…not good.
4. Only have one shot taken from a far distance, and then the rest of your profile just include landscape photos. - I don’t get the landscape photos, or photos from vacation that include no humans whatsoever. A photo of a nice sunset is lovely, but it says very little about what you look like.
5. Really old photos – Some guys take this to the extreme, I have seen photos from the 1970′s complete with the yellowed sepia 1970′s film quality and obvious hair and wardrobe choices that are clearly not from this decade. It’s great if you had a wonderful bushy stash in the year in which I was born….but I would like to see what you look like now.
6. Nudity – The only exception to this rule is if you are looking for hook-ups or casual sex and you are making that very clear on the rest of your profile. Then by all means…show the goods. But if you are looking to date, even date casually a lot of nudity will freak most women out. Men and women are wired very differently, if you don’t believe me ask a female friend. I am speaking only of straight men looking for straight women here. If you are a gay man…ask a gay man. I don’t really know what to tell you.
7. Scuba Gear – I have seen so many profiles in which the majority of photos are a man in scuba gear. Not one photo, but every photo. To me that says the man is either married, not confident in what he looks like, or embarrassed by being on an online dating site. Well get over it and show your face! Scuba gear gets its own category because it is nearly an epidemic online. I have no explanation for it, but it drives me crazy!
8. Sports - Sure some women love sports maybe even more than you do, but if every single photo of yourself on your profile is one of you playing a sport, it might be a turn-off for some. I keep seeing this one over and over again, it is not the worst thing you can do and it does say to any potential date…”I love sports!” But you might want to throw in a straight shot of yourself just hanging out, instead of having every single shot in tiny little running shorts covered in sweat.
9. Gay Face – Super smiling grimace. OK I know some people will come down on me for using the term “Gay Face” but I got the term from my many gay male friends. What is it? I don’t know how to describe it, but when I see it…I just think GAY. And yes, my gaydar has obviously been off before (my ex-husband) but when in doubt have some straight female friends look over your photos.
10. Ironic boa, dress, women’s clothing – WHY? WHY? WHY do I keep finding these? It definitely helps me weed a man out of a search immediately but I think most women would keep on moving when they see these. Although I did see one man’s profile in which half the photos were of him in men’s clothing and half in full drag. He was open about being a cross dresser and I had to give him kudos for that. Sure, he will turn off most women, but for the women who are actually turned on by cross-dressers the profile will be a magnet for them with no surprises down the line! Eddie Izzard has legions of female fans and he hardly hides his love for wearing female attire.
11. None with a clear shot of your face – When I see this I just think married or living with someone and most women should. Physical attraction is hardly blind and no women or man is shallow for desiring partners that are physically attractive. Besides beauty is in the eye of the beholder so even if you think you aren’t attractive, chances are someone will love exactly how you look.
12. Only one shot - You can’t be bothered. And it increases the likelihood that you won’t look like this one photo. I have found a good rule of thumb is 5-6 but it never bothers me when a man has 20, as long as 10 of them aren’t landscape shots.
I know men read this blog, because I can tell when they search for it. Hopefully some of them might re-think their online profile photos after they read this, but maybe not. I want everyone to find the love of their life out there, so put your best face forward…and please show your freaking face!