No one wants to admit it, but dating is (at least partly) a superficial endeavor. Yes, there are those out there looking for a meaningful, lasting connection. But to even begin to find one, you have to meet people.
And meeting starts with what someone looks like.
Don’t get me wrong – choosing someone based solely on their looks would be superficial, and very shallow – not to mention narrow-minded, counter-productive and very immature. I’m not suggesting anyone do that. But I am saying that, whether you meet people online, in a bar, at a party, through friends, at a grocery store, etc. – looks play a part in whether you strike up a conversation in the first place.
Everyone is looking for something different. To some, it matters how a person is dressed. Maybe you don’t like a sloppy guy; or maybe to you, there’s nothing hotter than a woman in workout clothes. Maybe you only like guys with long hair, or maybe you can’t resist a red-headed woman. Whatever – the point is, your choice to approach one person and not another is based on something.
Maybe it’s not so much his look as it is the way he carries himself. Maybe you like the way he walks, or her smile, or his eyes. If you’re out in public, maybe the way she laughs, or the way he carries an older woman’s grocery bags to her car.
The point is, first impressions are so important when it comes to meeting others. You only get one chance to prove to someone you’re worth their time. You always want to carry yourself as if the love of your life is watching.
Like it or not, in the online world, this means there is nothing more important than a good profile photo. A good photo shows off your looks – which gives others a sense of familiarity and comfort. It captures your personality, giving some insight into who you really are. It shows you put some effort into your image, proving you’re serious and not afraid to invest some time in the whole dating process.
There are a few things to remember when you choose your profile photos:
- Have a photo. There are so many profiles that do, that if yours doesn’t, it’s way too easy to overlook.
- Make sure it’s well-lit, clear, and with a good background. Otherwise, it looks like you just don’t care. If you don’t – why should anyone else?
- Don’t use a web-cam photo. I know it’s tempting, because it’s so easy. But no quicker way to make yourself look like creepy, internet-stalker guy. Who wants to date him?
- Unless you’re on a dating site specifically looking for sex, skip the shirtless, scantily clad poses, or pictures that capture you in bed. Also that shirtless pose suggests you a) have nothing else to offer and b) really only care about looks.
- Choose at least one close-up of your face – makes you more recognizable. Also choose at least one full-length photo – show off what you got!
- If you can, choose photos that show you enjoying life – at a park, at a ballgame, at a party. But skip the photo of yourself and your ex, or even worse, a photo with you and a friend of similar age and gender. How do I know who is who?
- Smile. No one chooses their next date from the Most Wanted list. You’re not doing yourself any favors by showing off a photo that looks like a mug-shot.
Don’t think of it as superficial, or arrogant. Your eyes, your smile, even your surroundings show off who you are. Isn’t that the whole point? After all – a picture is worth a thousand words. Who wants to type all that?