Dating Profile Pictures - Tips and Advice

Online dating is an inescapable aspect of one’s social life these days. And perhaps the most crucial part of an online dating profile is the picture since it can make or break your chances of finding the perfect date. However this is also the part which most people get it wrong, prompted by misplaced notions of what would make them appear irresistible. So here are a few tips and tricks on how to post the right picture with your dating profile so that you get the kind of responses you want.

Be yourself but also be a little creative

In the earlier days, stylists could only depend on makeup and lighting to make their models look their best. However today digital retouching of photos can do practically anything from making you appear slimmer to even lightening the skin color. And yet the whole point of having an online dating profile is to find someone to date in the real world. So if your date discovers a huge difference between what they saw in the photo and the person they find sitting before them, they are likely to feel cheated and hardly willing to meet you again.  So instead of posting a picture which looks nothing like the real you, restrict yourself to minor corrections in your photo - like the removal of an unsightly scar perhaps or cleverly masking the receding hairline. This will make your picture look more attractive without doing away with the person who you really are.

Invest a little

While it is right to be sincere about your looks, going the other extreme and posing as if you had just got up from bed would serve no purpose either. Prepare yourself like you would for a photograph for a yearbook or a resume and if you can manage to have the picture taken by a professional, so much the better. The effect of lighting, angle and some makeup could go on to make a noticeable difference to the final result which is completely justified if your love life is at stake.

Use a recent picture

You may have been the most attractive member of your cheerleading team in your high school, but don’t make that an excuse for sticking to a ten year-old photo on your dating profile. It makes far more sense to use a recent picture and a good thumb rule is not to post anything that is more than six months old. Keep in mind that you are seeking a dating partner who would like you for the person you are right now and not a shadow of the person you used to be at one time.

Avoid photos with ambiguous poses

It is well to remember that your online dating profile photo does much more than merely tell the viewer about your looks. It also sends a message about your lifestyle and the values that are important to you. So while you may be a connoisseur of fine spirits or fond of having a good time with friends, avoid posting pictures where you are uncorking a champagne bottle or learning a few moves from a dance club hostess. Such photos may be interpreted differently by different people – those close to you may vouch for your good sense while drinking, but the presence of a liquor bottle in a photo might be construed by strangers viewing it as a tendency to alcoholism.

Group photos are not a good idea

No matter how nice you look in a group picture, ideally they should not accompany your dating profile. The whole point of your profile photo is tell a potential candidate how you look and not to tell them how popular you are and what a loving family you have. There will be ample opportunity later for you to reveal those aspects of your personality. The focus in a dating photo should be firmly on yourself which is why a group photo can prove to be quite distracting. For the same reason also avoid posting photos where you are cuddling your twin pooches or are playing with your favorite nephew since they take away the attention from the main subject which is you. This is something that single parents are particularly susceptible to. Since they want prospective partners to accept them along with their children, they tend to post pictures posing with their kids. However it would be good to remember here that the purpose of a dating profile photo is to make you come across as an attractive dating partner and not a parent. Even in case of dating websites which cater specifically to the relationship needs of single parents, it would be wiser to keep your kids in the background until you reach a stage in your dating relationship when you would like to involve your partner with your family.

Don’t use a photo to show off

Since we all live in a society where success is equaled with material possessions, you might be tempted to choose a profile photo that shows you enjoying the best that money can buy. However before you post that picture which shows you standing against a swanky new convertible, make sure that you are certain about the kind of message that you are sending across. If the car is not yours, you will be not only be cheating others into believing that you can afford such luxuries, but more importantly yourself into believing that you can keep up the charade forever. And even if the picture of the indoor, heated swimming pool actually belongs to you, it will only serve to attract gold-diggers who will be more interested in your million-dollar condo than in you.

Keep the seduction for later

Finally avoid showing too much skin in your pictures since you are not looking for a hook-up through your online profile but for a dating partner. Posing in revealing clothes will only attract contacts who are merely looking for sex and put off potential partners who may have been interested in a more meaningful relationship. The first step towards meeting a date is to find someone with whom you can spend an enjoyable evening, may be share a couple of interests and have a good conversation. Getting intimate should follow only when you are sure about making the person a larger part of your life.