I’ve shared before how overwhelmed I felt with eHarmony and that my dating coach had helped me figure out an online dating strategy that would work for me. I really have been looking at my matches and trying to think only in terms of ‘could he be my next date’ rather than ‘is he Mr. Right’ but I have to say, the photos are often a stumbling block. So I’m wondering how much weight to place on photos.
There are of course the photos with the sunglasses and the baseball hats which really disguise how a person looks. My dating coach has also cautioned me that a hat is often used to hide baldness. I have heard some people say that looks aren’t important to them and that personality is what really counts. Well, I’m making no apology for saying that looks do count for me. Physical features are important and so too is grooming. I’m not going to base my assessment solely on a photo but not being able to see how a guy looks is a big obstacle.
Another reason why I’m hesitant when I can’t see someone’s face is that when he’s all bundled up, disguised, it says lack of self-confidence and confidence is one of my core values I’ve identified. I want to be with someone who’s comfortable in his own skin, imperfections and all.
Activity shots where there’s more of the scenery than the person … yes, I get that activity conveys the person’s interest but it’s the person that’s important to me, not the scenery. Being atop a mountain somewhere with a group of buddies each bundled up in a down jacket, hat and goggles may be a great memory but again, not an enticing profile photo. I’m not going to beat about the bush here but part of the point of the activity shot, is to show your physical appearance, head to toe. For some that’s not important. For me, it’s reasonably important and it’s not just the physical appearance, again, it’s what it says about how you take care of yourself.
Another issue for me is clothing and what it says about dress sense, style and confidence. For me, other than when I’m exercising, I rarely leave the house without makeup and jewelry. Just about the only time you’ll see me wearing sneakers is when I’m exercising. When I see a photo of a guy visiting Disney with his kids, he definitely gets points for family values but the sneakers, white socks, belted shorts with T-shirt tucked in, it just screams style incompatibility.
When I asked a few of my Relationship Support Team about this we concluded that the profile photos are just as important as the personality profile and could legitimately be the deciding factor in whether to communicate or meet.
Your online dating profile is about putting your best foot forward just the same as you would with a resume for a job. That means finding photos that showcase you … it doesn’t mean finding a shot with your ex and cropping her out of the photo. It doesn’t mean taking your own shot with your camera held at arm’s length or using a photo from your webcam and it doesn’t mean just throwing up any old shots. If need be, hire a photographer. After all you’re paying a monthly fee to the online dating service.
It’s all part of being intentional about dating and if I’m having a negative reaction, if I’m getting that knot in the back of neck as opposed to the tingle down my spine, that’s an instinct I’m going to follow.