We’ve all heard the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” On a dating website, the attractiveness of your profile picture determines whether you’ll get winks, nods, or future dates. That picture is the gatekeeper that allows you to move into the “worth checking out” category. Unfortunately, the time you put into writing 1,000 words about your interests and passions will be for nothing if you don’t have an appealing picture. And while choosing a few photos sounds easy enough, you must realize you’re revealing much more than your image. Take heed of the following profile picture mistakes: 1) Wearing Sunglasses
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” It doesn’t matter if Shakespeare or DaVinci said this. Those beautiful orbs convey a rainbow of emotions. You can easily find something endearing about their color, shape, or size. Staring into a person’s eyes has been a subject of romance novels and films throughout time. They identify a person just as well as a fingerprint does. Why would you cover them up? Perhaps you’re hiding something, like you’re not divorced yet. Or you lack confidence in your looks, or you think you’re too cool to be on a dating site. Unless you work for a sunglass company, don’t pick a photo of you wearing shades.
2) Blurry, old, or someone other than you
If you want a potential date, don’t throw a fuzzy picture up on the screen. Take the time to find a distinct representation of you. If you have a camera on your phone, you should be able to get a clear photo of yourself. Possible explanations for blurry pics: you’re hiding your wrinkles or some physical flaw, the picture is ten years old, or the person isn’t you in the photo. A friend told me his blind date had used a Victoria Secret model’s photo. When questioned, she explained that her mother says she looks like one. Let’s agree that this won’t fly under normal circumstances. Use a focused, well-lit, current picture, or you’ll be in for a rough date when he/she sees you in person.
3) Frowning, unkempt, or giving the finger
The last thing you want is for him/her to see you as an angry, depressed person. Unless you’re in prison, don’t choose a mug shot (and even then, you probably don’t want to bring up the prison part til at least the second date). Frowning in front of the camera doesn’t indicate confidence or high self-esteem. Unshaven and wearing sloppy clothes won’t make the women gravitate to you. Swearing in sign language isn’t funny and doesn’t translate to classy. In photography’s early days, smiling was difficult because subjects needed to hold a pose for hours. Why would you scowl at the camera? Maybe you’re an unhappy, insecure person. Maybe you hate all mankind. Or maybe you want to let people know that you’re a miserable SOB. If any of those statements are true for you, you shouldn’t be seeking a relationship, you should be seeking therapy.
4) Animals, children or friends
Golden Retrievers, Mickey Mouse and your daughter’s bridal party are great for Facebook photo albums – not dating profile pictures. This is your time to shine. You don’t want the focus of your potential mate to go from you to your golf buddies. A profile picture of a chubby man standing next to a baby elephant once astounded me. Did he think appearing with a pachyderm would make him look smaller? Was he trying to attract someone in the circus? Why use distractions in your profile pictures? Here are some explanations: You’re trying to attract a dog sitter, you want to show that you’re popular, or you’re obsessed with Disneyland. Keep it about you!
5) Chicago Bulls and bragging
The Porche may attract a “gold digger” if that’s who you’re looking to snag. A snapshot of you, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng is exciting, but ask if yourself if she’s more likely to be looking at you… or DaBulls? A photo of you beaming with pride in front of a yacht may send guys running for the hills at the prospect of supporting a high maintenance gal. Why show off your material possessions? It could mean you want to brag, you’re conceited, you’re insecure about your body and want the attention drawn to your wealth, or you want to let the world know that you’re looking for a sugar daddy who can keep you in the lifestyle you crave. Nothing is wrong with material possessions as long as they don’t define you – keep the toys out of the photo.
Your best chance of getting a wink from an attractive person is to post an equally mesmerizing photo of you. When all is said and done, take a look at your picture. Would you date this person?