Online dating turn-offs #2: Dodgy photos

If you decide to pop your profile on an internet dating site, you’d think the logical thing would be to include an attractive photo of yourself, wouldn’t you? It’s amazing how many guys get deleted from my matches because their photos turn me off. (Yes, I am ruthless!) I’m not referring to discarding the ugly people, but those with the following pics:

  • Shirtless. Come on. As a first impression? If you’re well-built, I’ll worry that looks are everything to you / you won’t consider any girl who’s less than supermodel-esque / you spend an unhealthy amount of time in the gym or on creatine supplements. If you’re weedy, please keep it under wraps, at least until we’ve got to know each other a little. If you’re in between, leave a little to the imagination, why don’tcha? Women are not as visual as men (yes I know, I’ve just contradicted the entire topic of this post!) and you’re more likely to hook us with your sparkling personality than your well-oiled pecs.
  • Face obscured. What is the point of putting a photo up of yourself if we can’t see your face properly? Lose the sunglasses, peaked caps, long hair, etc. etc. and just show us what you look like. I favourited a guy years ago who only had photos of himself in sunglasses on his profile – I wanted to see his eyes before I met up with him. He had beautiful, soulful eyes – no idea why he kept them hidden.
  • Webcam shots. A photo of yourself taken with your webcam will NEVER be flattering. Period. Guaranteed to give you a a big nose and forehead – and creepy pallor.
  • Unidentifiable in a group shot. So your profile pic is a little grainy but hooray, there are six other photos in your profile I can look at. Only problem is that they’re all group photos and it’s impossible to pick out which person you are in any of them. De-lete.
  • With your kids. Personally, I’m not keen on dating a guy who has kids, but then again, never say never. I just don’t think an internet dating site is the best place to show off your family photos. There are weirdos and stalkers out there. If we get chatting and I’m interested, I’ll ask to see a pic of them. Right now, I’m interested in YOU.
  • With members of the opposite sex draped all over you. Oh so you’re reeeally popular with the chicks, are you? Mr Studmuffin? Then why are you on an internet dating site? Hmmm.
  • In what looks like your wedding outfit. Was it YOUR wedding? Are you still married? If you’re divorced, don’t you think it’s highly inappropriate to use your wedding photo as your online dating profile picture?! If it wasn’t your wedding, please say so on your profile: ‘my profile picture was at my best friend’s wedding, where I was the best man’ will help put my mind at rest!
  • With a kitten / dolphin/ in uniform / [insert cheesy cliche here]. I’ve actually become good friends with a guy who used to change his profile photo regularly from one cheesy option to the next. Apparently it worked with other, non-cynical girls… For me, it wasn’t so much a turn-off as great way to tease him: ‘what’s next – you shirtless, tenderly holding a baby?’ Hee hee!

So guys, if you’re reading this, here are my tips for a dating profile picture that will at least get me clicking through to read more about you:

  1. Smile! Look friendly, relaxed, kind and approachable. (Sounds like a no-brainer but seriously, just take a browse on any dating website…) Caveat – only do this if you actually have those qualities. If you’re an unfriendly, stressed out, mean grouch, your photo should reflect that…
  2. Try to find – or take – a photo that captures you attractively and naturally. Make sure it looks like you normally look (lose the airbrushing…) so I can recognise you when we meet up. I’ll find out eventually what you really look like, so why not let me know sooner rather than later?
  3. Show your eyes.
  4. Keep your kit on.
  5. Give us something to work with. Include pictures of you doing something unusual, or in an intriguing place. I’m less concerned about the other people in the photos – I’m not interested in them. This will pique my interest and also gives me a conversation opener.

OK, I’m off to check my matches…

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6 thoughts on “Online dating turn-offs #2: Dodgy photos

  1. You are so on the money!

    I just can’t believe the photos some guys will post. But the worst? Is no photo at all. I mean really! How do you expect to get anyone’s attention that way???

  2. I totally want to try online dating, but I’m so afraid to post my picture online. I don’t know why, I’m just super nervous…any advice?

  3. I was also scared of putting my photo online when I first joined a dating site. I mean – what if someone who knew me saw me??? Then I realised that well, they were on the site for the same reason I was πŸ™‚

    More embarrassing was emailing a guy who sounded nice on the site but who didn’t have a pic – turned out it was one of my good friends. Fortunately he let me know right away, rather than stringing me along – he could have reinvented himself as my perfect man, as he knows exactly what I’m looking for!

    I’d say just go for it. The bonus of putting your picture online is that you’ll get a lot more attention and emails. AND it’s amazing the compliments you get too – great for the ego!

  4. I hate the webcam pictures. Especially the ones who has ALL their pictures like that hah. It makes them look socially disabled, like they just sit in that chair in front of the computer all the time!! yikes!!
    I linked you to my blogroll, I’m new at this blogging thing πŸ™‚

    Sarah

  5. I think shirtless is ok if it is you on the hols (after all you look a bit of a weirdo in a top on hot sunny beach).

    However even though many women say they hate guys who are showing off the guns and wot not, it’s actually a lie. How do I know you say?

    Well a while ago I created two profiles on a dating site, both identical except one had a good looking guy with his shirt off the other was me. Sent pretty much identical messages to the same women (slighty re-worded but same content, sent a day apart). And guess what, guy with no shirt always got a good positive reply. Me *tumbleweeds*. Funny thing is I don’t count myself as ugly! (http://www.plentyoffish.com/member6443273.htm)

    So women (on dating sites at any rate) do need the eye candy just like guys. After all a relationship is many parts, two of which are emotional and physical attraction.

    Which leads me to the other thing that annoys me is women on dating sites that basically say they do not want any intimate relations; I don’t mean one night stands but anything physical with a guy, or freak out at the possible mention of that in the future. Which is weird since that is a *part* of a full relationship (well in my book), otherwise get off the dating site and join a book club! πŸ˜€

    Rant over, I feel much better now πŸ™‚

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