How to Pick Your Online Dating Profile Picture

7 ways to pick your online dating profile picture, so that you don't look like a loser.

The Dating Game

How to Pick Your Online Dating Profile Picture

7 ways to not look like a loser

-Simone Grant, Sex, Lies and Dating in the City

pretty woman sitting at a dinner tableI have (many, many) years experience as an online dater. And so what I’m telling you I’ve learned from personal experience. No man is going to read your profile unless he thinks you’re hot. Not even if you have a super cool user name and a great headline. It’s just not going to happen. Guys don’t work that way. Yes, if you have a profile up without any pics at all, you might get a tiny bit of traffic. A tiny bit. But not much. And depending on the site, maybe none at all.

So please don’t bother wasting your time writing a sassy little essay about yourself and what you’re looking for in a relationship until after you’ve figured out what pictures you’re going to use. No, I’m not joking. The pictures really are more important. Really.

With that in mind here’s a list of 7 things that every girl should know about online dating pictures before she hits that upload button:

1. You MUST use more than one picture. At least one should show your face in close- up. At least one other should be a picture that shows most if not all of your body, and not from 50 feet away.

2. Use recent pictures. Men want to know what you look like now, not two years ago (even if you looked better two years ago).

3. Think twice about using the pictures of you and your kids or your nieces and nephews. I hate to say it, but a lot of guys will be turned off by these.

4. Don’t use the bridesmaids pictures. Think about the potential image they may send (desperate to be a bride?).

5. It’s not a good idea to include a picture of yourself in a bathing suit (even if you have an amazing body) unless you’re seeking a strictly sexual relationship. You will get bombarded with messages from every sleazy guy online (heck, from every guy online). Subtle is better.

6. Try to make one of your photos an action shot; for example, a picture of you cooking or mixing a drink or playing cards (something relatively close-up). This gives guys something to comment on when they write to you: “what were you drinking,” “what were you cooking,” “did you have a good hand”… It may sound incredibly lame, but by doing this you’re actually making it easier for guys to contact you. You’re giving them an easy opening line.

7. There’s no need to show deep cleavage. If that’s the way you always dress, fine. But otherwise, put’em away. Give the push up bra a rest. You want to look like you, not your slutty sister.

One final word of advice: There’s no need to go crazy and pay someone for professional pictures. I’ve had at least a dozen guys tell me that’s a turn-off. If you don’t have any pictures that you think are suitable then invite a girlfriend over for dinner and have a picture taking party. Have fun with it!

Simone Grant is writer from NYC. She blogs daily at Sex, Lies and Dating in the City.


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0 thoughts on “How to Pick Your Online Dating Profile Picture

  1. CM-JJordan says:

    That’s sad but true. I had a conversation with one of my guy friends the other night about this (and hang out with guys on a regular basis), and in general, men really are as superficial as they seem.

  2. lotsowritin25 says:

    men are pigs … don’t the descriptions count for anything?!

  3. loubell says:

    This is so true. You need to have recent photos and good ones, otherwise, you’ll waste your money on the site–this applies to men as well, no photos with your ex-girlfriends.

  4. chaucerleelou says:

    No. 7 is hilarious. ALthough, most guys would probably disagree with that one, ha ha.

  5. LISHY says:

    Some people get so carried away and put too many photos on dating sites, a few is all you need to show your true personality. It always cracks me up when guys have professional photos, they always look so contrived.

  6. buckeyegal says:

    lotsowritin25 – Riiiiiight. And looks don’t matter. ;)

  7. crazysusan says:

    It would be nice if guys were attracted by a sassy little essay, but that’s just not how it works. Gotta learn to play the game! This is helpful

  8. Singlegal says:

    Excellent advice! I especially agree about the recent pictures. I’ve actually seen people using pictures from their high school graduation – that’s a no-go! Thanks for your insight and keep on writing!

  9. Mayfly says:

    Number 6 is true – it worked for me (by accident, I guess). I started using a picture of me cooking as my main photo and all of a sudden I started to get more messages.

  10. ktlfla says:

    Really great advice – especially #1. One picture alone never paints a real picture of who you are.

  11. PiscesInPurple says:

    I love the “action shot” advice. That sooooo never would have occurred to me, yet what better way to show off an aspect of yourself? Also, in my experience men really DO need that help with an opening line.

    Also, I have picture-taking parties ALL THE TIME, for no particular reason at all. So much fun, whether you “need” a photo or not.

  12. CAMUS890 says:

    Be careful what kind of photos you place on these sites, you never know what kinds of creeps are out there.

  13. michellebythec says:

    I especially agree with #3. As a parent, I’d rather not have pictures of my children floating around dating sites. As for #6, that never occurred to me…but it makes complete sense. Action shots do seem to allow for approachability.

    Thanks for the great tips…Checking out your daily blog now, and it’s going in my reader!!

  14. SDpro says:

    I have been on dating sites for 5 years and am sort of an expert! I feel that too many people hide their true image. You must be honest about how you look. If you aren’t you are in for disappointment and hurt feelings as well as wasting your time and that of a potential partner.

    Be honest about your appearance meaning weight and current photos.

  15. HarleyGwynn says:

    I have to disagree with not showing pictures with your kids. I am seeing someone that I met online and have been seeing him for awhile now.
    If you have children then why would you want to hide the fact you have children? The man has to accept my children they are a part of me

  16. jeffery19677 says:

    Good advice on the photos. Im 41 and recently divorced..We men are visual!!! After we get to know you, we may like you, but we aren’t gonna talk to you if you don’t look attractive. Don’t look slutty until you are ready to have hot wild sex!! Don’t wear a big sweater cause you have a little bit of belly after having a couple of kids!! It makes you look fat!!
    Wear jeans and a tailored shirt that fits you well.. I like white shirt with jeans. Do not pour your size 14 ass in a size 12 pair of jeans!! Speaking of jeans…not all jeans fit your ass. Find a cut that makes you look good. You are you. Complement your positives and minimize your negatives.
    We all have negatives. I have a bald spot. I wear a flat-cap a lot..

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