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So you want them to see your inner beauty?

I detest having my picture taken so when it came time to put a picture on my profile I used two that I already had scanned in. This way, I reasoned, I didn’t have to pose for a new one. One of the pictures was my black and white health club ID (taken from a table top camera ? the angle of which made my nose look huge) and the other one was of me in a baseball hat taken from quite a distance away (so you really couldn’t see my face) and so small that there was no way you could blow it up and get a good look at me. When I showed my mom the two pictures she stared at them for a minute and then said, “So you want these guys to see your INNER beauty?”

Profiles with pictures get read and reviewed many more times than profiles without them. It may seem like a superficial thing at first, but most times you will scan through pictures to see which ones you are attracted to before you even read their profile. Pictures give you a sense of who the person is, and not just what they look like. With a picture you can get a “vibe” about the person, get a feel for if they are silly or serious, if they are a neat dresser or an outright slob.

Posting a picture on your profile is an important step, so don’t skip it. I would also recommend waiting until your picture is physically posted on the site before you start emailing people yourself. There are several reasons for this.

First of all, if you’re new to the online dating scene, you will immediately become more comfortable when you see pictures of others who are using the site as well. It gives you a sense that you are not alone in wanting to e-date. You’ll also get an idea of what types of people are out there to meet. While a picture is just a first step, an initial scan of potential dates should immediately put you at ease. You will likely find that the pictures on the site are of regular, seemingly nice, normal people ? like yourself. The first time one of my friends sent me a link to an online dating site I was struck by how many of the guys seemed like people I might meet anywhere. While this is exactly the case, the first time you are using the Internet to date it might seem odd that there are actual regular people behind those smiling photos.

Now, I’m in no way suggesting that you judge a person by his photo alone. My reason for bringing up the picture part of the process is that if seeing the photos of potential dates will put you at ease then that same line of thinking will apply to someone viewing your photo. Imagine reading a profile of someone that seems great, but has no photo. Doesn’t it put you off a bit? Doesn’t it make you feel as if that person is trying to hide something? Of course, that same thing will apply to your profile. Don’t think that someone is going to ask you out by picture alone, but give them the best presentation of yourself by including something they can visualize as they read about you.

Now, having said that, of course it goes without saying that you can’t judge someone by picture alone. But I’ll say this anyway. Use the pictures on someone’s profile as yet another method of finding out about them. They’ll help you get a feel for the person, and in Internet dating this is very important.

One of the emails I received was from a guy that seemed to have a great personality with his emails, but his pictures were not of someone I immediately found attractive. His hair looked fuzzy, he didn’t smile very wide, and he looked much older than his 30 years. Still, he looked like a regular, sweet guy, and he was very polite and funny via email. When we finally exchanged phone numbers he always called exactly when he said he would.

When we finally agreed to meet, I was surprised to find a great looking man in front of me. I was immediately attracted to him. The hair that looked so fuzzy on his picture actually had a nice curl that was shaped in a great cut. In person his smile was sincere and engaging. After spending some time with him I found that his sense of humor was terrific, and that slight smile would often come across as a very cute smirk. In person he looked exactly the age he was, and acted like a gracious and charming guy. We went out for quite a while, and although in the end he wasn’t the right one for me, I wished him the best and think of him fondly. And so it goes, pictures have a certain importance that goes along with the total package you will present to someone.

For the photo you will use on your profile, I would recommend having a friend take a picture of you with the intention of using it especially for your online account. If you don’t have the ability to get a digital picture taken many sites will scan a picture in for you; all you have to do is send it to them. Remember to smile, wear clothes you would normally wear (don’t dress up in an evening gown or a suit if you are normally a tee shirt and jeans person), and make sure the picture is a good likeness. You want to give the viewer a sense of who you are, and also give them a way to easily recognize you if you both decide to meet.

Pictures are an easy way to let someone know exactly what you might be like, so don’t even think about not putting a picture on your profile. I came across some people that wouldn’t put their picture on their profile but gave it “upon request.” This gives the impression that you are too good to put your photo out there, even though you yourself are probably emailing people with photos. I received a couple emails from guys that wanted to know all about me but didn’t have a photo on their profile. I told them that since they could see my pictures (albeit my bad ones) it was only fair that I should see theirs. Someone hiding their photos to me indicates they are hiding from something in general.

Make sure any photo you use is of just you and you alone. I noticed men more than women seemed to have photos with other people in them, and then would say something in the profile like, “I’m the guy in the middle.” One of the guys I corresponded with for a while had a picture with him and his entire family. He pointed out which one he was but I also found my eye wandering to the guy next to him ? his extremely handsome brother. Don’t make a viewer work to figure out which one you are.

Along the same line, do not just take a picture of you and your ex, cut your ex out, and post that as your profile photo. I came across several guys that had a wonderful picture of them happy and smiling and some lovely feminine arm cut out from around them. Tacky. On several cropped photos you could see the remnants of blonde hair from the female that had been cut out of the picture, and outfits that suggested a wedding or other type of special event. One guy even said the picture was of him and an ex but since they were great friends now he thought it was okay to keep the picture of them together in tact. This gave me the impression that if he can’t even separate himself in a photo how can he do that in a relationship. No matter how great you look in all those photos with your ex, don’t use them as your introduction to what could be a potential mate. Have a new picture taken of who you are now, when you’re ready to meet someone new.

Posting your picture with someone else is a bad idea in general, even if the person isn’t someone you used to date. One guy I came across posted a photo with him and three other female friends. This gave me the impression that he had only female friends (and therefore something was wrong with him), he was gay (and hadn’t figured that out yet), he couldn’t get along with guys (and so there was something wrong with him), or that he just couldn’t smile unless surrounded by breasts (and again, something was probably wrong with him.) Internet dating can lend itself to enough questions you might wonder about someone before you meet them, don’t add to it by complicating the present situation if you don’t need to. Keep all friends out of the photo ? no matter who they are.

Some guys I knew put a picture of themselves and a friend’s kid. Another bad idea. Hey, we get that you are trying to show the world how super cool you are and that you love kids, but posing with them just seems too obvious and desperate. Even if you have kids I wouldn’t recommend placing them in the photo with you. There will be plenty of time to have a new flame get acquainted with your children, don’t put them on display in your profile. Even when you’re just proud of your kids and want to show them off – don’t place them in the in the picture with you.

While I don’t have kids yet myself I was very open to dating someone that did. Still, one guy I dated had four very young kids, and while he mentioned this in his emails he did not put them all in the picture. I was glad he didn’t. I could not imagine me scanning through profiles and seeing him and all four kids in one photo. This would have admittedly put me off a bit, and I think I would have been intimidated by even the thought of dating someone with that many young ones. After we dated a while I got a chance to meet all of them, and found them all quite wonderful. He allowed me to get comfortable in our relationship first before even thinking about the prospect of becoming an instant step-mom to such a large brood.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Online Dating lie detecting

Did you know that Online Dating is the top moneymaker on the Web?

Chances are good that if you are single, you have joined a site or two yourself.  If so, you’ve probably asked my CyberRomance clients’ top question too:

“How can I tell if they are lying?”  Lot’s of ways!  Here goes:

First off, much of “the problem” of Internet lying is media overhype.  What kind of interest would there be in a story about all the honest people who are on the Net?

But of course some people do lie, and being concerned about who is and who isn’t lying makes a heck of a lot of sense.

Reasons people lie:

  • To avoid conflict.
  • To avoid the consequences of their behavior.
  • To postpone having to make changes in lifestyle.
  • To hide something they did or did not do.
  • To avoid rejection.
  • To be in control of a situation.
  • To avoid being embarrassed.
  • To make themselves appear more successful, good, or talented than they really are.

All make terrific reasons for people to lie online.

How to detect lying:

A truthful person will be “congruent.”    That means that all the information they give out — their words, body language, they way they live and dress, everything — fits together and contains no contradictions.  People who lie will be incongruent in some way.

Here’s what to watch out for:

1. How they use words: written, on the phone, or in person —

  • Talking faster or slower.
  • Changes in voice pitch.
  • Taking charge of conversation, attempts to distract you.
  • Continual denying of accusations.
  • Unusual voice fluctuations, word choice, sentence structure.
  • Stalling the conversation by repetitive use of pauses and comments like “um” or “you know.”
  • Lack of use of contractions.
  • Prefers emphasizing “not” when talking.
  • Being extremely defensive.
  • Saying “Trust me.”

2. How they behave or the attitudes they exhibit:

  • Being hesitant.
  • Nervous laughter.
  • Smugness.
  • Uncommon calmness.
  • Providing more information and specifics than is necessary or was asked for.
  • Inconsistencies in what is being shared.

3. In-person behavior clues:

  • Touching chin, covering the mouth, or rubbing brows.
  • Crossed arms or legs.
  • Pupils narrow.
  • Playing with hair.
  • Body language and facial expressions don’t match what is being said such as saying “no”, but nodding head up and down.
  • Avoidance of eye contact, eyes glancing to the right, staring past you or down, or turning away from you while
  • They are talking.
  • Rigid or fidgeting.
  • Slouching posture.
  • Unnatural or limited arm and hand movements.
  • Partial shrug.
  • Lack of finger pointing.
  • May place a barrier such as a desk or chair in front of self.
  • Sweating, even if it isn’t a warm day.
  • Saying “no” several times.

4. Your own inner cues:

  • You sense something is not right.
  • Explanations do not feel enough for you.
  • You feel confused, you find yourself squinting or angling your head.
  • You feel a block or a wall between you and the other.

In Internet dating, or any kind of dating for that matter, keep your anxiety down, your head attached, and LISTEN to everything your date tells you in every way. People tell you about themselves constantly, from the very first second of contact. You have to be willing to hear it. Not only do they tell you by what they do say, they tell you by what they don’t say.

Many of these cues can come from simple distraction or nervousness, not deceit. New daters have plenty of reasons to be anxious. Signs of lying differ from one person to another. Don’t let your own nervousness force a jump to wrong conclusions. Give your date a break and take some time.

Often, Cyber daters move too quickly to the phone and/or a face to face meeting. Gone is the golden opportunity to safely ask questions and study answers slowly and over time. Vastly increased are tension and anxiety, which complicate clear thinking and judgment.

With online dating, you have a tremendous advantage over meeting immediately flesh-to-flesh: You have a written record of what the other tells you. Make use of it! Take your time and get to know your potential Sweetheart the old-fashioned way — through writing!

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

The Secrets of a Successful Profile

It’s supposed to happen quickly. You should be able to join a dating site, shoot out a few winks, follow them up with some emails and in no time at all find yourself sipping cocktails with someone who makes you go “hmm, I like the look of them…”

In practice though, it’s never that simple. Online dating is exactly like offline dating… but with a greater number of people and a wider variety of options. You still have to put in effort. You still have to look the part. You still have to smile, dress up and make people laugh.

But online, you have to do it all before you even meet.

That’s the part that dating sites tend to neglect. They assume you know that dating is all about first impressions, looks and personality.

But they also assume you know how to express those things online.

The truth is that making a good first impression across the Web requires some very special skills.

It requires a photograph that doesn’t just show you, but one that shows you at your best. Your features have to be clear, your look has to be appealing and your appearance has to be relaxed and inviting. A snapshot won’t cut it — any more than wearing jogging pants and a t-shirt will cut it at a party — and neither will an old vacation photo. It’s possible that you might have a good, usable photograph stashed away somewhere on your hard drive but in general few people do have one. They just have photos that make do.

That’s the difference between meeting someone wearing the first thing you picked up off the bedroom floor, and meeting someone wearing your best outfit, while feeling confident and relaxed.

It’s the difference between being just another fuzzy-looking online single and being clearly an attractive partner and an excellent date.

It’s the difference between spending months writing emails or waiting for responses, and receiving plenty of replies and dates as early as this weekend.

LookBetterOnline was created to give singles the most important tool they need to find love online fast: a look that truly reflects them. For as little as $197, we can give you a complete set of pictures designed specifically for dating sites and save you months of fruitless searching. Take look here to find a photographer in your area today, and give yourself a profile that gets results.

How to Choose Online dating photos

We like to think that when dating online, daters are spoilt for choice. With so many singles available, the toughest decision you should have to make is who to write to first.

That might well be your toughest decision, but it won’t be your first. To make the most of the opportunities on your dating site you will need great online dating photos (this is key). For many people, that means scouring through their hard drive and picking out the pictures that show them at their best. But how do you choose a photo that wins looks, emails and dates? Here’s what you should consider as you’re digging through your pictures folder.

Are your features clear?

Most photographs are taken to record a moment but a profile photo should be a record of you. “We should be able to see your eyes, your features and definitely your smile,” says Merav Knafo, co-founder of LookBetterOnline.com, a service that matches online singles with professional photographers. “Good online dating photos don’t just show what you look like, they reveal who you are.”

Are there any distractions?

Relationships are all about give-and-take but when you’re looking for the right partner for that relationship, you have to put your needs and yourself first. That means uploading a photograph that’s all about you – a picture which gives you the limelight and wins attention. As you’re doing the choosing, put aside any pictures in which the background, the foreground or your friends distract from what’s really important: you.

What does your expression say?

Every relationship starts with a look but it’s the type of look you give that determines whether the person you’re admiring looks back at you or overlooks you. Match a glance with a smile and you’re in with a shout. Combine your wink with a frown and you’ll look like someone to avoid.

That’s just as true of your photos as it is of the unspoken communication that happens at parties. “One of the questions that we always ask our photographers is what they do to help our clients relax,” explains Merav. “Your photo should create the impression that time with you will be fun. That can only come with an expression that suggests you’re happy and at ease.”

Are your Online dating photos good… or convenient?

Just about everyone today has pictures of themselves on their hard drive so uploading something rarely takes a great deal of effort. But a little extra work at this stage of your search can take you a long way. Just as you’d invest time in getting ready for a date, so it’s worth skipping the convenience of a photo you have available for a photo created specifically for dating.

You might have to do a little more than open your photos folder but the result could be less time looking for a date and more dates with the sort of people you’re looking for.

And remember that having great online dating photos is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

The Worst Ways to Start Your Online Dating Profile — Real Examples!

If you’ve spent time on any dating site, you know that after a while, all the profiles start to look and sound the same. Everyone is “loyal,” “passionate,” “honest,” “down-to-earth”… blah, blah, blah.

In this series of articles, we’re going to talk about your online dating profile and explain what you should or should not write in it.

Assuming that you’ve posted  good enough online dating photos to attract attention, people will read your profile so you’ll need to have an exciting start. You’ll need to avoid the clichés that make other daters click “next” faster than the speed of light. You’ll need to stay positive and you’ll need to avoid repeating information already on the page.

Here are some real examples of how NOT to start your profile. It really didn’t take long to pluck them off a dating site:

Openings to Make You Yawn

It’s not these these are bad starts or dishonest ones. They’re just dull and say nothing about any of the interesting things that make the person behind them unique:

  • I am a nice person with a great sense of humor. I love to spend time with my friends and family.
  • I’m looking for an honest, kind, loving person, the girl next door type, a best friend and a lover.
  • I am a simple guy that just wants to find that someone who compliments me.
  • I am an honest, loyal, caring and sincere person.
  • I am a pretty simple person.
  • Hi I’m a hard working man, that works to much.
  • I would describe myself as easy going, reliable, and honest.
  • I’m easy going, laid back, and love life.
  • I am committed to living life to the fullest.

Openings that Just Say No

Negativity doesn’t just bring you down. It also brings down the people you’re with. Who’s going to want to be with a person who starts a profile like this?

  • Disclaimer alert: If you are the type of person that believes not answering a persons email is the way to tell them you’ve changed your mind, then PLEASE move on!
  • I’M NOT INTO GAMES OR DRAMA
  • OK. I’m starting to lose faith in this online stuff.

Openings We’ve Seen Before

Sometimes a cliche can be the quickest way to get across a point. Usually though, it just says that this person has no original thoughts:

  • If your looking for a man that works hard and plays hard with a good family outlook thats me
  • I am looking for a partner, my new best friend
  • I am looking for a woman who can live life to its fullest.
  • I live life to the fullest! Work hard and play even harder!
  • Just looking to meet some fun people to hang out with and see where it goes.
  • Where to begin…… I’m tall, dark and handsome

Openings That Are Really Complaints

People come to dating sites to be happy. That isn’t going to happen if they hitch themselves to someone who’s always complaining about dating sites… like these people:

  • I think describing oneself is (or at least should be) an almost impossible task, but..
  • Oh common, how the heck are you supposed to be able to describe all of your attributes with only space enough for 3500 characters or so?!
  • Where do I start this type of thing is so not me
  • This is the hard part for sure…I never know what to say about myself.
  • Ok, I would much rather talk in person, but here goes.
  • It is hard to describe one self in a few words because we keep learn evolve and change
  • In this box I am supposed to give a short description of myself and state what I am looking for. I thought this would be quite simple but as I am finding out it is not as easy as I thought.
  • I just can’t write this sort of thing. It sounds so pathetic
  • So I have to ask myself, “what should I write here?” What do you want to know about me?
  • PREAMBLE: Wow, I can’t believe I have to lead with this, but I guess I do…Please do not judge me for never having been married.
  • Writing “about me” is not easy. But here goes:
  • It’s difficult to really cover all the facets in someones personality in one paragraph
  • My cousin talked me into doing this
  • I am filling this in because I have to, I will update it at a later time when I can really describe what my ideal match is.
  • How do you describe yourself without sounding like a used car salesman

Openings That Just Don’t Open!

You’ve got a sentence, maybe two, to grab a reader’s attention and pull them in. Don’t waste that space… like these people did. Get straight to the point!

  • So here goes.
  • Ok well a little about me?
  • Hello there and thanks for taking the time to view my profile.
  • Never tried this before but I figured why not?
  • I’m single and looking
  • I’ll make it short and sweet.

Openings We Know

The description isn’t the only place we learn about people. There’s a whole bunch of facts and figures in the check-box section, and they don’t have to be repeated:

  • I am a guy 38 years old
  • I am about 6 feet 3 inches tall
  • Me: I am 40, never married(red flag!)

Openings We’d Rather Not Know

Sometimes you can come across an opening that has you raising your eyebrows, shaking your head, and searching for the “next” link all at the same time:

  • This is my friend’s old profile. I’m just using this until I can add my own text later.
  • PLEASE DON’T BE OFFENDED IF I LOOK AT YOUR PROFILE! It generally means I’m at least interested in what you have to say 🙂
  • Ive been told that my best feature is my butt
  • **DISCLAIMER** I have tattoos
  • I am the real deal
  • Have not dated much my entire life and hope this works!
  • 2011 Update: After about six months off of Match, as I dated a wonderful woman I met here, I considered changing my original profile.
  • I HAVE NOT JOINED THIS SITE YET!!..THUS, I CANNOT READ ANY MESSAGES SENT TO ME!
  • ****Update**** Had my profile off for a long time and since then have sold Cool Change and bought a nicer boat.
  • ** WARNING ** WARNING ** WARNING ** —– CAUTION REQUIRED —– ** WARNING ** WARNING ** WARNING ** (Reading this profile may cause anxiety, uncontrollable excitement, dizziness…)
  • I’m not a paying customer but I’ve been browsing the site a little bit

Since so many people use one of the above openings, you’ll have a real advantage just by starting with something more original. Here are some ideas:

Dip into your past.

Where you’ve been helped put you where you are now. It’s a great way to build pictures and show humor.

“My Grandpa used to take me on the lake when I was a kid. He taught me so many things on those trips… like not to pee in the water when Grandpa’s trying to fish.”

Rock your world.

Everyone has something that makes them smile. You can’t ask for a more positive start than the thing that makes you happiest.

“I love techno music. It always makes me break out in wild, arm-thrashing dancing… even when I’m squeezed between two oversized commuters on the MUNI.”

Pick an Activity

What you do says much about who are. Choose an activity that you enjoy at the weekends, and start with action.

“I’m a keen Frisbee golf player. It involves throwing a set of discs around a special course. And running away before the golfers catch us.”

Start with Your Job

Yes, you can even talk about work… as long as you do it with enough flair to keep things interesting.

“I’m a systems analyst. If your system breaks down, I’ll always be willing to come around, analyze it and say that you need to format your hard drive.”

Start With a Quote

And if all else fails, you can always steal someone else’s idea. There are enough quotations out there to sum up anyone’s feelings:

“‘Life is supposed to be fun!’ That’s what Abraham-hicks said, and that’s how I live.”

Of course, to make any opening work, people have to see it. They’re only going to do that if your photo hits the spot. Pick up new, natural looking online dating photos today from LookBetterOnline, and if you need help writing your profile be sure to check out our profile review and writing services.

How do you start your profile?