Successful Online Dating Part 2: Putting your best face forward

The first step in getting the right kind of attention on an online dating site is…

Take some decent pictures – and post them.

You may think that you’re being coy or establishing a sense of mystery by not putting a picture on your profile, but what you’re actually conveying is that you don’t believe that you’re visually compelling.  The alternate interpretation is that you really are hiding, and you don’t want people in the office to know that you’re on an online dating site.  Or perhaps that you don’t want your wife/husband/significant other to know that you’re on an online dating site.  If this is the case, you’re just going to have to deal with being low-traffic, I’m afraid.

Consider that a lot of profiles get passed over first on image and second on content.  When you post your pictures, try to make sure that your lead photo (the profile default) really looks like you and isn’t overly done-up with effects or artistic license.  At the same time, if you have some kind of distinctive fashion feature – glasses, hats, etc – wear them!  The default photo, especially, should strike a good balance between who you are and what makes you interesting.

Your “support photos” (the ones that people see when they actually view your profile) should NOT include your kids.  It’s not that we don’t want to know that you have kids, but there are creepers out there in the world that will exploit them if they have a chance.  Keep your family pictures to a more established and known-safe exchange.  Now, as far as pictures of your pets are concerned… there’s a bit of a divide about this.  Your dog is your best friend, and that’s awesome, but don’t try to get cutesy and show off the pic where you’re getting slipped the tongue.  Very not sexy.  Plus, creepers can exploit that, too.

Definitely show pictures of you taking part in your pastimes.  Sitting on your motorcycle, snowboarding, rock-climbing, and whatever else it is that you day-star dwellers do gives people a good idea of what you’re all about.  Just as a point of reference, though: taxidermy, field-dressing deer, and last Halloween’s cross-dressing hoochie mama outfit might not necessarily get the responses you want.

Now, for the list of Absolute No-Nos and Yes-Yeses:


  • Your schlong.  Show some propriety, even if you’re only out for a lay.  Most sites will delete it anyway.
  • Your naked (male) torso.  Unless you have had professional pictures done, you don’t look anywhere near as awesome in the bathroom mirror as you think you do.  Yes, we can see you’ve been working out.  Good for you.  The lighting still sucks.
  • Your (female) cleavage.  Yes, that might be a selling point, but we’ve found profiles of ladies looking for a Knight In Shiny Armor, and all they’re showing is their wenchiness.
  • Duck lips.  Seriously.  They’re scary and ugly.  Bigger is not better.
  • Your wedding.  This brings in the creep factor and begs the question of what you’re really looking for.
  • Your former S.O. cut or edited out.  Just get new ones made, man.  Unless you broke up with her last week, we now know that you do not look nearly as awesome as you did back then.
  • Angles.  Back in the MySpace days, the Angles were notorious signs of a Visual Challenge.  They’re not artistic, they’re hiding a multitude of body-sins, and when we meet in person, it’s not going to go well.  It is a form of dishonesty.  These are the ones from Up High, sultry from Down Low, tilted around to show the one good body line you think you’ve got… and they are an immediate Red Flag that you are not all that.
  • You in sunglasses, hoods, or masks.  Creep factor 12 if we can’t see your eyes.  What are you hiding from again?  Is it your wife or the authorities?


  • Your face.  Yes, we want to know what you look like, especially if we’re meeting you in real life.  Standing around a restaurant with a name sign is not a fun time.
  • Your hobbies.  Show us that awesome single-gear bike and that fantastic knitted lace throw.
  • A fully-clothed body shot.  How tall do you weigh?  Numbers only go so far, so show us where your “plump” is.  Guess what?  A lot of men and women like a little upholstery to bounce on.
  • Your smile.  The Number One biggest turn-off when we did a highly unscientific poll of close friends and relatives was the Angry Face, or a complete lack of a Smiling Face.  If you’re such a sour-puss, why does anyone want to hang out with you?  You’re not being sultry, you’re being sulky.

Tune in tomorrow for more fun adventures in getting your profile to work for you!


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Dawn Written by:

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