I’ve been wading through so many online dating profiles and here are my tips for the people who are trying to find someone special. This is geared more toward women, because I know what I would like to see, and what I’m not seeing…or what I am seeing and really do not want to see.
So here are my tips:
1) Make sure your picture is up to date: Make sure the picture is recent, if you only have one picture of yourself don’t say its from 2003. A lot can happen in 8 years, you’re almost better served not posting it. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, if you do look exactly the same don’t say the picture was taken in 2003.
2) Show what you look like: Have at least a full figure picture of yourself, maybe from the side. Don’t hide who you are. If you’re a bigger girl, it doesn’t matter. Sure, you think you might be able to woo the man with your mind, your witty banter, your luscious descriptions of your baking/cooking skills, and that might be true. But the wooing comes undone with some old fashioned, what do we call it, lying. Eventually he’s going to meet you IN PERSON, and unless you’re even prettier, he’s not going to appreciate the lie. And it is a lie because it’s an intentional absence of the truth. You have an opportunity to take a real picture of yourself, do so. Some people are way more attractive in person than they are in photos.
3) The dreaded arm picture: If you own a camera, taking 10 pictures of your face with those arm away from your body photos…it’s stupid. You’re making me suspicious, honestly. “What is she hiding?” Those are the thoughts on my mind, and probably on the mind of guys. Sure we’d all like to think that physical attraction doesn’t matter. But it does and we tend to think the worst when we don’t get a good look at you. Because if you don’t want people to get a good look at you, there’s something shady going on. And you know what, the concept of internet dating should be to find someone you want to be with romantically, not to get some attention from the opposite sex to make yourself feel good. And if you want to find someone you want to be with, then he/she is eventually going to have to meet you. It’s better to be honest, and show him what you look like before he meets you.
4) No good can come from using someone else’s photos. No matter what please make sure the picture is of you. One of my friends had the dubious distinction to arrive at a date and a completely different girl was at the restaurant. She had used her friend’s pictures because she wasn’t beautiful. So she portrayed herself as someone else, hoping that the mental connection she had made with my friend was enough. It’s never going to overcome the lies you told. Hell, I’ve heard stories where the woman is even MORE attractive, but looks totally different just to play a mind game where she makes sure the man really loves her for her…it’s still messed up. When my friend met with her, he looked at her exasperated and asked her, “what did she expect from this.” She told him tearfully “that he would have never come to meet her if he had known what she really looked like.” He agreed but his point was, “the time you were wasting trying to trap a guy who was falling in love with the woman you were posing to be could have been better spent finding the guy who would have loved you for you.”
5) Do not post pictures of you in lingerie or a bikini: in theory, it sounds awesome. You show yourself at your very sexy best. And some guys will be very attracted to that, your physical attributes…since they’ll be able to see almost all of them. But you should wait until you’re ready to show a guy your sexy best and it should be a surprise for him to see it, and a very pleasant surprise at that. Not just that, even though in this day and age most guys know that they’re not likely to be your first, they also don’t want to know that every other guy on the site can see you in the same outfit. They’d like to think that view is special and unique and crafted just for them. Not for every Tom, Dick and Harry of okcupid. I’m not saying it makes sense. I’m saying, it’s how some guys think.
6) Group Photos: No guy likes to play “pin the tail” on the girl he wants to get tail from. As crude as it sounds, we don’t want to guess which woman is you in the gaggle of ladies. This especially goes for the women who only have one picture of themselves in a group shot. Which one is you? The focus should be on you, and even if there are more pictures that clearly identify which one is you, the focus isn’t squarely on you. One girl on okcupid had a picture of herself and a friend. The friend was drop dead gorgeous, and she was, well, not. Maybe she thought she could lure guys in, with the picture of her friend, but what she was luring in were guys interested in someone else.
7) Children and Pets: If you are a single woman with a child, I know it must not seem easy to jump back into dating. You’re looking for a partner who will accept your situation and at the same time you have to deal with the massive number of sharks out there who think that maybe dating you is an easier path to sex than a woman with no baggage. I know they like to say men don’t pay attention to women but in the online dating arena, we do read certain things carefully. We look at your ethnicity, age, marital status, if you smoke, your body type, and if you have children. You don’t have to show us pictures of your children. We don’t need or want to see pictures of your children. We especially don’t need it to be the main picture of you, and we really don’t need to see a picture of JUST your child. And that goes for your pets too. I know you love your pets but what the hell is the point of posting a picture of JUST your dog? I’m not going to date your dog. I love pets, but I don’t pick women based on their choice in canine companions.
I know some women are going to be upset about this bit, but I’m not looking to date a woman and her kid, I’m looking at dating her. Now you might argue that I am not accepting of her situation but that’s not the truth of it. I will date a single mother and have done so before. But I’m not going to meet her child for at least the first few dates, maybe not even until we’re exclusive. So I don’t understand all the pictures of the kid being in her dating profile. You’re not being dishonest by withholding pictures of your kid(s). You’re giving us too much too soon. I mean, I don’t need to know what your child looks like..is he coming along on our dates? I hope not. It’s a dating profile, not a life profile.
And an addendum to this: Come up with a legitimate determination of what your body type is and be honest with yourself. You’re not curvy if you have no curves. Being large does not make you curvy. If you don’t have a curvy butt, or boobs, or hips, but are just large, it doesn’t mean you are curvy. If you’re larger than average, don’t say you’re average!
Just be honest. With your pictures and with your words.