We have another guest blog for you, this time from Karen Lee Poter of LoveEncore.
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 allowing you to move into the “let’s check him/her out” category. Unfortunately, the time you put into writing a thousand words about your interests and passions will be for nothing if you don’t have an appealing picture. Choosing a few photos sounds easy enough, but you must realize you’re revealing much more than your image. Take heed to the following profile picture mistakes:
1) Wearing Sunglasses
“The eyes are the windows to your 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. Starring into a person’s eyes has been a subject of romance novels and films throughout time. They identify a person equally as well as a fingerprint. Why would you cover them up? Here are some explanations: you’re hiding something like you’re not divorced yet, 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, why would you throw a fuzzy picture up on the screen? Why didn’t you choose a distinct representation of you? If you have a camera on your phone, you should be able to get a clear photo of yourself. Why use blurry old pictures? Here are some explanations: 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 used a Victoria Secret model’s photo explaining that her mother said she looked like one. 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. If you’re not in prison, why choose a mug shot? 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 scowl at the camera? Here are some explanations: You are an unhappy, insecure person, you hate all mankind, or you want to let people know that you’re a miserable SOB.
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 would she be looking at you or DaBulls? You beaming with pride in front of a yacht may send guys running for the hills rather than the prospect of supporting a high maintenance gal. Why show off your material possessions? Here are some explanations: You want to brag, because 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.
Remember showing is better than telling. Your best chance of getting a wink from the attractive guy is to post an equally mesmerizing photo of you.
Bio for Karen Lee Poter of LoveEncore
Karen Lee Poter is the writer and host of LoveEncore, an Internet talk show about dating, sex & relationships the second time around. She holds a masters degree in social work from the University of Illinois, but her expertise on the subject comes from her personal experiences after her husband passed away. Karen has 3 kids, 2 dogs, and a passion for inspiring people to laugh and find love again. She has been featured on the radio, books and several blog sites.