Dating and Relationship Advice

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in the age of online dating, this holds truer than ever. Snapping a selfie and posting to social media is liberating, but may not accurately reflect who you are.

Your photos say something about you, and not always what you want them to. How do you craft a great dating profile with equally great photos? It all starts with what you want to say about yourself.

Facial Expressions

If you're not smiling in your picture, you're sending the message that you are unapproachable, or worse yet, generally unhappy. Sunglasses for your first picture are considered a faux pas, and may give others the impression you are hiding something.

A smile changes the game, and communicates a warm, open personality. Play your favorite stand-up comedy routine while you snap your pics or goof around with a friend to capture the raw enthusiasm of a genuine smile.

Background

Can we talk about how embarrassing unkempt living spaces are? As humans, we tend to apply one visible trait to the rest of a person’s life. We are convinced that if a potential match doesn't vacuum their floor for a photo, then they likely don’t brush their teeth, either.

To set the stage for future romance, clear the debris to make room for someone else to join you there. You only get one chance to make a good impression, and starting off with a mess leads people to believe you are messy all the time.

Group Photos

Group shots should be far down on your profile, not the first thing people see. Crowded scenes of multiple people send confusing signals to the viewer as they struggle to figure out which person you are. Ever felt excitement for a person’s photo, only to discover it’s not the same person the profile belongs to? Not a good strategy.

The harder it is to understand your pictures, the easier it will be to move on to the next profile.

Photo Quality

Potential dates have questions and concerns about the profiles they scan. Your photos should aim to answer these questions and reassure. In complaints about bad experiences in online dating, many report that deception through false photos, “catfishing,” omitting height and weight, or outdated photos, are increasingly common.

If your photo is blurry, poorly lit, obscured, or distorted by filters, it makes people  suspicious. Be clear and direct with a headshot that presents you in your best light without filters or manipulation. Display your confidence by showing potential matches an accurate depiction of who you are, and better yet, that you like who you are.

Incorporating Your Personality

Once you’ve nailed your best Mona Lisa portrait, your other photos can help paint the full picture. The point of connecting with others is not to pretend to be the person they desire, but to let them know what your interests, hobbies, and habits are—these qualities that come together to make your unique identity.

Do you like pets? There’s no better time to include Felix and his catnip problem in your other photos. If physical fitness is a key part of your daily routine, put your hiking picture is near the top. Are you a Netflix fanatic? Have a friend snap a pic of you and Felix and a bowl of inviting popcorn on your (hopefully clean) couch.

We often make the mistake of thinking that by revealing so much of ourselves, we are giving more reasons for someone to reject us. Shift your mindset to realize you are not losing future dates—you are setting the stage for a future romance with a person who will share your passions, and want to pet Felix and feed him catnip, too. Achieve this by making a bold statement—in pictures, first.