Historically, I have been able to find ridiculous, disastrous romantic entanglements without the aid of the internet. In fact, I had a pretty good run. But I guess there comes a point in adult life where you kind of only know the people you know and the opportunities to meet new people become fewer and farther between. So, after years of resisting, and much to my great chagrin, I have waded (cautiously) out into the dark abyss of online dating.
Good Lord. Where to start? So many things. The sights, the sounds (of my own voice asking, “When did this become my life?”), the sexual harassment, the tears, the shitty grammar and complete lack of sentence structure. It was a lot for me to take in at first and even after a few weeks, there are somethings that still leave me shaking my head (and further cement my “single” status). For one thing, I am blown away by the number of adult males who don’t seem to understand the difference between a good and not so flattering picture of themselves.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the pictures you put up there are important. Good, bad, or indifferent, snap decisions will be made based on that picture. It’s kind of a big deal. Here’s the thing: I’m judging you based on the pictures you choose. Everybody is. And I’m not so much judging how cute/fat/bald/rich/old/young you are as much as I am judging your judgment, your ability to make good choices. (Side note: I’m also judging your grammar and how many times you use “LOL” in your profile, but we can talk about that later)
Case and point:
Sir, you thought this was a good picture. I think you make bad choices, on many levels.
Gentlemen. Let’s talk about what constitutes a good profile picture. This is where you are making your first impressions. It’s the money shot and I know you weirdos love a money shot. This is the picture that, best case scenario, could get you laid. Put in a little effort, man.
When you are choosing your pictures, especially the one that is going to be first one the ladies see, ask yourself a few questions. Is it blurry? Then don’t use it. Is it of the side of your head? Was it taken from ONE THOUSAND feet away? Then don’t use it. Look, here’s the deal: we want to see your face. Not the side of your face or your face at a weird angle and from fifty feet away. We want to know what you actually, really look like. Sorry. That’s the unfortunate truth. It may or may not be a deal breaker, depending on the lady. But even the women who don’t necessarily care about a guy’s looks still would like to know what he looks like.
Was it taken in the last two years? NO? Then don’t use it. Sure, we were all thinner/tanner/had more hair/were all around a little better looking a few years ago, but if it’s not a true representation of what you look like now, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Not only are you setting up a potential romantic partner to be disappointed by setting unrealistic expectations, but it’s just not cute. I think we can all agree that there are few things more attractive than confidence. And I think most of us want to be with someone who is comfortable with themselves, even if it’s ten pounds heavier and few hairs short of what you looked like five years ago.
Another thing: If you are going to use a picture of you and some of your buddies, you’re going to want to choose wisely. Are any of those friends better looking than you? Then don’t use it. Seriously. It’s not worth the risk. If you use a picture of you and three of your buddies, if one of those guys is even arguably better looking than you, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. Because now you have created the possibility that a girl will click on your profile hoping you were the tall one/the one on the left/any of the guys who aren’t you and will disappointed to learn that it’s actually YOUR profile. Don’t do that to yourself. You’re better than that.
Sir, what were you thinking? Even if you were the second most attractive man on Earth, you are standing next to Bradly Cooper.
You don’t have to go crazy. Just three to five pictures: one taken from straight on, a close up is probably a good idea, and perhaps a full body shot (feel free to keep your shirt on). Anything beyond that, user’s choice. But again, maybe think it through a little bit. I mean, if you have a dog, and you love your dog, and you feel it’s super important that your would-be lady really GET how much you love your dog, then sure. A picture of you and your dog, totally acceptable. But maybe not a picture of just your dog. If you use a picture of just your car, I can’t help you.
And guys, stop with the selfies. Seriously, cut it out. So many pictures taken in bathrooms and cars… There are few things that I find less attractive than a man who takes numerous pictures of himself, of just himself, with regularity. I really don’t understand selfies, we can start there. I just about never have the thought, “You know what? I should stop what I’m doing and take a picture of myself.” (And I sure as shit don’t have the thought, “You know what the world needs? An Instagram account of nothing but pictures of ME”) So I can’t wrap my mind around people who not only have that thought but, like, daily. No. It’s weird. Look, I’m not saying if your profile is made up of nothing but selfies that it’s a deal breaker. But I am rolling my eyes at you.
So many questions. Where is your shirt? Both necklaces? Did you pullover specifially to take this picture?
I think it’s weird that you struck a hand pose before you took this picture of yourself.
I also think it’s weird that you laid down in the snow before you took this picture of yourself.
So, do yourself a favor, guys. Get out of the bathroom or car, put your shirt back on, and go get someone to take a decent picture of you. I don’t care who. It could be your mom, your friend who is too good looking to be in the photo with you, your wife (because you know it happens), whoever’s around. Good luck and Godspeed. It’s rough out there. And so to lighten the mood, I will now share what should be a cautionary lesson to us all–some of the best of the worst online dating profile pictures I’ve encountered. Enjoy.