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The online dating confessions of a nice guy: Part1

Meet my new friend Phil Torcivia.

One relationship disaster away from a third cat.

Phil is a divorced guy, who in his words, “Transplanted himself from Pennsylvania into the treacherous dating pool in Southern California”. His feline companions, Syd and Symon, share his home in San Diego and an occasional dish of leftover tuna. Phil loves nothing better than bellying up to the bar with his favorite social lubrication (wine) and watching the bizarre mating rituals of the locals, which he translates into humorous essays. He has been single long enough to be involved in a few train-wrecks of his own, admitting that he’s “one relationship disaster away from a third cat.”

100,000 Women want to see things like a man!

What I found fascinating is that 34,306 people follow Phil on Facebook and 56,385 follow him on Twitter!
What makes nearly 100,000 people (mostly women between the ages of 30-50), follow Phil?

Women it seems often don’t understand men, so they read Phil’s blog to see things from a man’s perspective!

A fun interview

I thought it might be fun to interview Phil, and have some conversations about online dating, love and life.

Here’s part 1 of a few confessions of a nice guy; I hope you’ll enjoy his common sense, wisdom and humor!

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lixe2cOGyUs

Click Here  to buy Phil’s excellent,(and pretty funny) books

The most important thing you need to know…get good dating profile pictures

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 with great online dating photos we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

The Aurora killer had a Match.com profile. What does that tell you?

James Holmes The Match.Com Profile

James Holmes
The Match.Com Profile

The Aurora killer had a Match.com profile. What does that tell you?

TMZ has reported recently that James Holmes, who killed twelve people in the Batman premiere last week, had a Match.com profile. He described himself as an agnostic student looking for a “sexy time.” Match.com removed his profile as soon as they learned about it but you can see a screen capture of it here.

I’m sure Match is sweating over this PR disaster. They’re probably having strategy meetings right now about how to recover from this. But is it the site’s fault? Would it have helped if they had had background checks in place?

Match.com doesn’t screen its members, and even if they did, they couldn’t guarantee that psychopaths wouldn’t make the cut.

Background checks can help eliminate people with a criminal background but they can’t stop people with no criminal history like this murderer. How can Match.com possibly know what someone will do in the future? If someone can get a gun, he can get a dating site profile.

You and only you are in charge of your destiny.

It’s up to online daters to read between the lines of a dating site profile. We have to use our gut feelings and our instincts. In this particular case, it was easy! James Holmes’ profile headline was:

“Will you visit me in prison?”

He knew he was about to do something that would put him behind bars.

So tip #1 is: Don’t ignore suspicious headlines.

Sure, you could dismiss a headline like that as a sign of a kooky sense of humor. But he could be serious and with so many other options online, why take a chance? This kind of a headline is a HUGE red flag.

(And on the flip side, when you’re creating your own profile, don’t use a headline that could raise eyebrows. Create curiosity. Summarize your life. But don’t wave a bright red flag.)

Here’s another example of a headline that should raise your suspicions. This is a real headline that… ahem, a “friend” of mine answered:

“One in a million.”

That headline could simply indicate confidence. In this case though it turned out to be a sign of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. People with this psychiatric problem often have grandiose tendencies. They tend to overplay their accomplishments and think very highly of themselves. (You can read more about dating a narcissist and how to avoid it here.)

So while you’re keeping an eye out for mass murderers and wannabe jailbirds, pay attention to signs of an arrogant attitude or people who claim they are the best thing in the universe. They could end up being the worst thing you ever dated.

Headlines aren’t the only place you should look for red flags though…

Tip #2: Read the rest of the profile carefully. ALL of it!

Pay attention to:

  • Baggage – Does the profile mention how hard it was to get divorced or what a psycho their ex wife was or how hard it is to date or how all women are gold diggers? Run, baby run! It’s too much baggage for anyone to handle!
  • Life attitude – What’s their take on life? Do they complain and blame everybody else for their problems? Are they pessimistic? Do they feel limited in what they can accomplish?  Or are they upbeat, optimistic and responsible? Those are views on life; make sure they match yours.
  • Values – What kind of values does the profile show? What do they care about most? If they emphasis that they are looking for someone “fit” or someone who “models” or “used to model” you can see that appearance is very important to them. What would happen if you were to gain a few extra pounds and a couple of wrinkles? There is more to someone than just how they look. Can they see it? Will they see it in you?
  • Occupation – This is a lifestyle issue. If the person behind the profile works 9-to-5 in a cubicle and you’re a free-spirited entrepreneur, you could have a lifestyle conflict. You might want to go for someone who is as free as you are. If they do art and are a bit on the dreamy side, but you’re super logical, you could run into frustration down the road. You might want someone more grounded.
  • Income – if you’re hoping for plenty of vacations and five-star hotels, don’t pick the guy or gal who makes less than $15,000 a year — unless of course, you don’t mind paying for everything. It’s not about being shallow; it’s about compatibility. You should find someone who matches your spending power.
  • Pets – Notice what they write about their furry, feathered or scaly friends. Is their dog their best pal who sleeps with them in the same bed? Do they have more than two cats… as well as twenty birds and a neckload of snakes? If you feel the same way, you’re match. Otherwise…

Reading someone’s profile can’t tell you everything about them but it can reveal a lot. Read the profile a few times. Pay attention to everything they write and even more importantly, notice how the profile feels in your gut. Your intuition can say NO even when their profile is perfectly written. It can also say YES when the profile doesn’t match your expectations.

If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends, it can help them avoid meeting the wrong person online.

 

The most important thing you need to know…get good dating profile pictures

Having  great dating profile pictures 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 with great online dating photos we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

A letter to women over 40 who haven’t found love yet!

Dear Woman over 40 who hasn’t found love yet,

I want you to Meet my friend Bobbi, she’s a dating coach and I think she has a VERY important message to share with you.

I like Bobbi because just like my other dating coach friends “The Amazing Clarks” she IS the real thing, she’s happy, has met her true life partner and she’s a dating coach who genuinely loves helping people. (Tip for anyone reading this, if you want to marry the man of your dreams then listen carefully to dating coaches with happy marriages who literally married the men of their dreams.)

“So whats so important about Bobbi”? I hear you say…What’s important about Bobbi is that she found love at 47.

If you are a single woman over forty, who is still hoping to meet the man of your dreams… If you’re tired of disappointing dates and feeling like it’s too late or too difficult…then please read on.

Put aside your fears.

Put aside your fears that it might be too late for you to discover love that will nourish you for the rest of your life.

I know, in those quiet moments…you feel sad thinking you will never enjoy the love and affection of a truly great man, you feel needy because a strong women like you shouldn’t feel like she needs anyone to be happy and you feel alone even though you have loving friends and family surrounding you because you feel like the only one who can’t find a man.

Listen to what Bobbi says.

“I know you and so many women like you. I was you not very long ago. You have a lovely and loyal circle of friends and you’re surrounded by nice things. Sometimes you even succeed in convincing yourself that it would be okay living the rest of your life without the love of a man-you’ve had to.
But we know the real truth, we know that all you have just isn’t enough. And when you think of sharing the great life you’ve created with someone you love — and who loves you — you know that could take your life to a whole new level of fulfillment and joy.”

How did Bobbi find (& keep) her dream man?

Well as an outsider I can tell you half the story. Half the story is how she found her man, the other half of her story is how she succeeded in dating him and keeping him!

In Bobbi’s words

When it came to finding her “dream man” let’s hear Bobbi’s words.

“I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have found and married the man of my dreams if it weren’t for my profile pictures. Literally within minutes of posting my new dating profile photos I started getting winks and emails—LOTS and LOTS of them, at least 5 times the number I had been receiving over the previous months.

The best part is that “Larry” was one of them. He winked at me within the first week after I posted my new pics; I winked back; he emailed me and told me that he loved my eyes and my smile. We emailed a few times, and finally met a couple weeks later. Within 6 WEEKS of meeting we planned our wedding. (To put this in perspective: I was 47 when we met and had never been married. I was truly waiting for my perfect match… and there he was!) On September 23rd, 2006, Larry and I got married. These have been the happiest times of our lives. I know from talking to him that it was the pictures that initially captured his interest. (Of course it’s my sparkling personality that also came through!) But honestly, Larry says he never would have even read my profile if it wasn’t for my “beautiful pictures.” I’ve read things like this for years and thought it would never happen to me. But it did!

Online dating does work and there is no question that having professional pictures taken is 100% critical to opening up the most possibilities, and the ultimate success: true love!

PS I finally talked my girlfriend into getting online and having you take her pics. Sure enough, she met the man of her dreams! The four of us spend time together and I can tell you that they, too, are another success story!)”

– Bobbi, Long Beach, CA

Bobbi’s dating profile photos

Here are Bobbi’s “before and after” dating profile photos for you to see for yourself!

The other half of the story

The other half of the Story is how Bobbi succeeded in dating and keeping her dream man. I’ll let her tell this side of the story (visit her website and she’ll give you all the tips and advice you need) Her expertise comes from decades of teaching, consulting, managing and mentoring people.  More importantly, it comes from becoming a first-time bride at age 47.

I hope you find the love you deserve
Warmest  regards

The most important thing you need to know…get good dating profile pictures

Having  great dating profile pictures 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 with great online dating photos we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Online Dating: Is it OK to lie about your age?

Just yesterday I had an interesting email from a customer of mine, here’s what it said:

“Sorry to bother you. My true age is 65, I do look much younger than my age and I’m active. When I put 65 on the profile men “half in the grave” email me. Now I put 59.  I don’t feel really good about it, lying that is, what is your take?”

This article is my answer to her (I’ve changed her name for her privacy, let’s call her Anna)

A delightful woman

Anna is a delightful woman, a truly great catch for some lucky guy for sure. She has a charming character with a blend of intelligence, humor and humility (I had the good fortune to speak with her so I can confirm this) and yes, after looking at her online dating photos she definitely looks 10 years younger.

So what should she do? Her experience is one I’ve heard from many people: she’s tired of dating men who look old and tired compared to her. Should she lie about her age, or tell the whole truth?

The question here is simple:

Is it OK to bend the truth a little in your profile—or are you asking for trouble?

OK so she’s 65 but she knows she’ll probably get a lot more interest if she posts her age as 59.

Maybe you too have the same problem as Anna, perhaps you’re a 50-year-old who’s looked after themselves, who dresses in a stylish way, you like the latest music and aren’t ready to settle into old age quite yet. Would it really be so wrong to say your age was “45-ish”?

Age is an issue, no matter what age we are, online dating sites magnify this issue because we’re given the choice of selecting the characteristics we find important  in a partner and age is one of them.

Age is important because when we date online we’re using it as one of the criteria for picking a partner rather than the old school way of meeting someone we like, getting to know them and learning how old they are later.

In our modern society youth is associated with beauty, but it goes further~ in order for any relationship to succeed, partners need to have some shared interests and lifestyle plans.
These things often are age-related, for example there’s a huge difference between the goals of a 20 year old man to those of a 40-year-old woman.

3-5 Years older

It’s been said that online daters shave 3-5 years off their ages. And it’s also been said that 80% of online daters lie in their profiles – but  they leave clues that give them away.

Some examples

“I say I’m 37 because that’s approximately the age I’m looking for in my date. I’ve had way more emails since I changed my age. I told a white lie (I’m really 42), but the people I’m interested in, (the ones who really like me), are finding me”.

“I say I’m 3 years younger than I am—it’s closer to the age I look and feel. When I posted my real age, I got emails from guys who looked old enough to be my father. So I lied and changed it to 44 and now I get lots of attention. So far, no one has ever questioned my age!”

“Many people who’ve been tempted to lie about age online think it’s a big mistake because once you start lying, you’ll end up stuck in your own tangled web of lies! Imagine telling someone that you’re a certain age and then they ask you what year you graduated. Would you avoid the issue when you meet them on a date? And if the conversation moves in that direction then do you change the subject, keep lying, or tell the truth?

“Some people say you should lie about your age if you look younger and then at the first meeting, put the truth “on the table” as soon as possible. The opinion is as long as you confess quickly it’s not really lying.”

Hm…“As long as you confess quickly it’s not really lying.”   That’s stretching my definition of lying.

I’ve heard other people say that you can tell the truth once you’ve made a connection. The opinion here is that when you’ve connected, then hopefully he or she’s is less likely to be upset at your lie and walk away.

What choices do you have?

To summarize what I’ve just said you really only have 3 options:

Be honest about your age and don’t lie
Lie about your age and confess later
Lie about your age and never confess

Now I’m not here to moralize, just present choices for you to make as an adult.

I’d say that the idea of lying about your age and never telling a partner is not really an option that many people would chose! So for practical purposes we can narrow our three options down to just two choices: either be honest or Lie about your age and confess.

Being honest

Now if you swear that the evidence you shall give online, shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth then you may meet older people, and it may take longer to find someone (If you happen to look 10 years older).

Although you could argue that “beauty is only skin deep” and you’ll find someone like you who you are better suited to.

Lie about your age and confess when you can.

Let’s look at people’s responses to people who are lied to.

My personal opinion

I personally don’t care about age differences, but I do care about lies, if she tells me that she’s 45 and I find out she’s 50, then there’s clear evidence that she’ll lie to me about the small things if it suits her. And what else will she lie about? Will she lie about how much money she earns a year or anything else, this is someone posting purposely deceitful information to further their agenda. Also my belief is that if I want someone decent then I have to be decent myself and decent people don’t lie. Also to me someone who lies about their age comes across as “needy”, so I would walk away not just from the lie but from the neediness of the lie, insecurity about age to me is unattractive.

I looked online in many dating “forums” and found that there are a lot of people who share my opinion.

Two liars meet

During the date she asked me about the age of my children, then she went quiet and I felt like she was doing the math and would catch me in my lie, so I said I want to be honest with you. I’m not 50. I’m 57.”

She said, “Thank you.” It turns out that she’d lied, too. She claimed that she was 48, but she was really 50.

A more relaxed answer

“People lie about their age, it’s not important, if they look good who cares. If you reckon what’s written on profiles is the truth and nothing but the truth then you must live with the fairies.  All lies are not created equal. Some are harmless, some are harmful. Learn the difference.”

An unrepentant liar’s answer

“Always take ten years off your age. When you’re drunk and she asks you what year you were born you don’t have to deal with the math.”

“My 10-year strategy makes it a simple. Let’s say you were born in 1967. Plus ten is a simple 1977.”

No number of martinis can tear the logic off that one!

Also there’s another reason to stick to the 10-year rule: It’s better to look too old for 42 than young for 52.

Conclusion

I hope I’ve presented you with the facts to make the right choice for you. The most important thing is to do what you feel comfortable with and live with the consequences of our choices. If you lie and get caught then don’t go whining to anyone, accept that you screwed things up due to lack of honesty.

Another approach that just might work

Here’s an approach that worked for me. I looked at a woman’s profile and it went something like this (I changed a few details to protect her privacy)

“What can I say about myself? I’m a fun loving, funny, sarcastic French curvy woman who is family oriented, I love Sports, Reading, Dancing, Spending time with my Family and Friends, I have learned that real beauty lies beyond the outside exterior of a person. I’m looking for someone who will be my best friend, my partner and my lover, someone who actually sees me, respects me and accepts me. someone who is more than willing to give me my place in their life. I don’t like games or drama, so I need someone who is straight forward, honest and has the same values as I do. I’m the kind of person who is fiercely loyal, devoted to the ones I care about, and 100% faithful to the man in my life. PS. My True age is 47 I know that in my profile I said 42, as you can see I’m active, look much younger and take care of myself, I found that when I put 47 that I was meeting men who looked old enough to be my father!”

Now reading this would you have a problem? I certainly do not, its honest and if I liked her pictures and read a little more I would not feel lied to.

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

Having a great profile 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!

Pictures to AVOID for your online dating photos!

Far away Long distance online dating photos… we’ve all seen them online the photo where the person’s as small as an ant doing something!

A couple of ways of thinking

There seems to be a couple of ways of thinking when it comes to Long distance dating photos for online daters, the first point of view is from large online dating site OK Cupid, they say that:

“your face doesn’t necessarily matter. In fact, not showing your face can in fact be a positive, as long as you substitute in something unusual, sexy, or mysterious enough to make people want to talk to you”

They do go on to say that “Of course, we wouldn’t recommend that you meet someone in person without first seeing a full photo of them, that still seems like a recipe for disaster”

Lets not forget though that OK cupid’s comments were written for people aged 18 and 32. Who live in big cities of average looks and who only have one profile picture-if you fit this profile then a Long distance photo may tell other people in their 20’s how interesting you are!

Another point of view

Another point of view is from eHarmony, and I believe is advice that will better suit you if you’re 30 years old or more!

eHarmony say that a landscape background in a dating profile photo may be interesting, showing people that you went to see Egypt, England, or Italy. But at the end of the day, if you’re dating online, the reason people email you is because your profile photos and written profile came together to spark their interest and they want to learn a little more about you!

They believe that If they see a tiny ant-like person in the far distance, you’ve given away your ability to make a visual first impression.

So what does LookBetterOnline.com think?

We’ll I think that if you are over 30 years old that the best balance is to get professional quality online dating photos of you so that you can as eHarmony say get the “ability to make a visual first impression”, and also use just 1 photos of you doing something unusual or mysterious enough to make people want to talk to you?

Don’t tell them your life story

Remember the purpose of an online dating profile is to get people interested in who you are, NOT to tell them your life story, save the tales of camel rides across the Sahara desert for later, remember too much info will overwhelm people and turn them off;  A little less information will intrigue them and leave them wanting more (Of you!)

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…get good online dating photos

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!

2 tips to help you write a better online dating profile

Here’s a standard online dating profile example!

“I’m not good at writing about myself but my friends say I’m adventurous, funny, romantic, I live life to the max and I’m career driven. I am looking to meet someone who is attractive and intelligent”

Tip#1 Don’t be generic be specific

Ok I hear you saying, this isn’t so bad what’s wrong with this online dating profile?…and at first glance this looks like part of an articulate and well written profile, written by a person who knows what they want; However this kind of dating profile is often skipped over! And this is because it’s Waaaaay too generic and average! There are literally millions of dating profiles just like this out there…there’s nothing “CATCHY” about this, nothing to make you stop and take notice (and maybe respond!)

Lets look at a more specific dating profile and see just how its more effective…

“I’m adventurous. My hobby is sailing. I have a fifteen-foot boat that I take out on the ocean most weekends. There’s room — and sail-work — enough for two and the views of the town from the sea are fantastic. If you’ve ever fancied taking a slow, very cramped, boat to China, I’m sure we could arrange something”

Tip#2 Don’t be a bore

“I went to school in the Europe, but now I work for a major financial company where I work up the corporate ladder”.

Ok, Ok, it is specific…but is this supposed to be an online dating profile or a resume or work presentation! At least if you feel compelled to say this say why you loved school in Europe, or why you want to be at the top of the corporate ladder…don’t be a bore.

A different approach

“I went to school in Oxford England, and loved studying Geography and Languages, I love to travel and my favorite trip was when I went to Borneo last summer”…

OR…“I work as a tax attorney but I try not to talk about work too often. Few people let me. The work is actually less boring than it sounds and there are times I even catch myself wide awake in the office. I promise not to discuss work on a first date (unless, of course, you insist.)”

Follow these tips and you’ll get better results dating online…

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…get great online dating photos

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!

4 tips for great dating profile photos

Here’s 4 tips to follow if you want awesome profile pictures!

1: No group pictures with lots of people.

You may be the best friends in the world, but keep them out of your dating profile photos. Don’t make people work at working out which one is you in your profile picture – it’s a waste of time trying to figure who’s who in a group of friends!

2: Take the time to create a profile picture.

Don’t cut it out from a group picture, and definitely don’t remove an ex from the picture! And don’t use your driving license or passport picture!

3: Keep your face visible

no sunglasses, looking away or hat covering your face! Your picture is how people recognize you from all the other millions of people. (And while looking away from the camera may work if you’re in your teens or early twenties may be good advice to younger people-to look away and try to be moody in your late twenties or older looks posed and ridiculous).

4: Wear clothes you feel confident in

Wear an outfit which has got you the most compliments, and remember that when you feel confident you “project this” in your photos.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…great dating profile photos make a huge difference

Having great online dating profile 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 dating experience way more fun than you thought possible!

 

What allows us to take great dating headshots

Here’s a rather Silly video that was recorded for us just for fun- Hope it makes you smile

So what is LookBetterOnline? What makes us different from every other photographer? How can we take the best dating headshots, and why is this relevant to you anyway?

Well I’m asked so many times that I thought I’d write 10 about our unique flavor here at LookBetterOnline, which will hopefully give you a few tips too!

#1 we ONLY hire the best people

…I hire only about 1 in 20 photographers…this is so important, with the best photographers minimal retouching is needed and we get great dating headshots, and we only pick people who are friendly and approachable~ No one likes to work with a moody-artist no matter how good they may think they are!

#2 We Take the time needed

I recently did a review of how much time photographers take when they create great dating headshots, now I was amazed many people take just 20-40 minutes maximum, our photographers take 45-90 minutes on shoots…to take less is to rush people-trust me on this one, it takes a little while for almost everyone to relax and almost all the work I’ve seen done quickly shows it! So make sure you have the time- You’re worth it!

#3We only give you the best dating headshots

…OK so what do I mean by this, well in the course of a photo session any normal photographer will take 2-300 photos, now some photographers will tell you that all 300 are worth having, in 99.9% of all cases this just isn’t true, from literally hundreds of pictures we choose just the 12, 18 or 24 pictures that you’ll need…and trust me again, you don’t need more than these!

4#Relaxed yet quality…not “glamor

dating headshots”, a glamour shot is not about The Real You, it’s about the photographer creating the image that they find the most pleasing. The photographer will use heavy makeup, hair styling, unnatural lighting and heavy post production retouching.

The result is a fantasy image, and it fails for online dating headshots on dating sites. People avoid them because they know no one looks like that, or they avoid you after the date because you didn’t measure up to the picture on the profile. LookBetterOnline photographers are trained to stay away from this style of photography. They take natural pictures that reflect who you really are.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…get great dating headshots

Having a great dating headshots 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!

 

Bad Things to Say on a First Date and the Worst Things You Can Do to Your Profile Pictures

Here’s a funny look at things not to day on a date

That’s a bunch of things you really shouldn’t say on your first date. They made me laugh, and laughing about dating definitely makes it less stressful and more fun.

Without decent profile pictures you won’t get a chance to say anything on a first date!

Some of the mistakes that singles make with their profile pictures are as bad as any of those in the video above.(only joking)

One of the biggest mistakes many people make with their profile pictures is to post dark and blurred photos. Profile pictures like those make even the nicest person look tired and/or shady
Here’s an example:

Notice how the darker picture doesn’t show off her beautiful skin and features?
Psychology studies have shown that people relate to brighter pictures better and choose them over darker pictures.

Getting good profile pictures makes a difference!

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 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures

I came across a very well written article online by OK Cupid called “The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures” it interested me greatly as the author had diligently looked at 7000 dating photos, analyzed much data, and seemed to find 4 myths about the way that people think about profile pictures, the article goes on to say that much of our collective wisdom about profile pictures is wrong, notably that:

Profile picture myth 1

It’s better to smile

Profile picture myth 2

The MySpace Angle Is Busted (Photographs shooting from overhead down)

Profile picture myth 3

Guys should keep their shirts on

Profile picture myth 4

Make sure your face is showing

Now let’s be clear from the beginning where they got the data from:

“Our data set was chosen at random from all users in big cities, with only one profile photograph, between the ages of 18 and 32. We then lopped the most and least attractive members of the pool, fearing that they would skew our results”

Now let me make it clear that our dating  & profile photo company LookBetterOnline.com specializes in helping people who are usually older than the 18-25 year old daters, the only reason I’m writing this post is that I’ve had a few people who are over 25 ask me if this advice applies to them and I don’t think it does, there’s a world of difference between dating in your twenties and thirties, forties and fifties! I think that OK Cupid did a pretty good job of collecting this advice for a certain kind of person in their 20’s

Perhaps a more accurate title for the article would be:

The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures for people who live in big cities, with only one profile photograph, between the ages of 18 and 32 who only look average

OK I know, I’m joking, and if it were a paper researched by Doctors or Teachers then it wouldn’t be published with such a title, but let’s not dismiss this article yet!

I had a customer who asked me why I wasn’t following this article, they wrote that “My profile pictures do not follow the advice given” and wanted to hear my comments. Now I respect their privacy so I’ll keep my reply private, what I will say though is that they did, live in a big city, I’d guess were between the age of 28 and 32, although I believe they didn’t quite fit the profile as they were definitely very good looking and wanted to post more than one profile picture

The article defines success for women and men alike based on the number of responses that they got…

Now many of us have dated online and had many, many responses, yet somehow I was left feeling that the number of responses is a slightly empty number. If your profile pictures are attracting the wrong sort of people then success cannot be measured by

numbers alone, if I post a profile picture online and  get lots and lots of responses by people who I feel aren’t a match, then I’m failing (rather than winning as the numbers suggest). There are often issues created by statistics, interpreted by the reader “out of context” they become meaningless or worse give a false impression.

Again I’m not attempting to trash data that was diligently collected in a professional way, just showing how people can read an article and possibly get the wrong idea.

Let’s look a little deeper into these myths- and please only read on if you live in a big city, with only one profile photograph, between the ages of 18 and 32 and look average

Profile picture myth #1:It’s better to smile

The article goes on to say that men and women have very different approaches to the camera~ that women smile more than men and make more flirty faces, that looking happy and making eye contact for online dating photos isn’t good advice, that women get the most messages by flirting with the camera and that men’s profile pictures are most effective when they look away from the camera and don’t smile.

Now here’s where I get to thinking, even if I was an average looking 18-32 year old, big city dweller with just one profile picture, would this be good advice for me? Hmmmm  for me personally NO…Women with flirty faces irritate me, and always have done, and I spoke with a few woman (over 25 ) who definitely don’t want a guy who looks away and doesn’t smile, (They commented that people who look like this are often self-absorbed or hiding something (Perhaps bad teeth) and they would avoid them)…for some people these photos are definitely a deal breaker!
My point is that for this advice to be helpful you have to be attracted to girls who make flirty faces or mysterious guys looking away!

Perhaps the article title should now change to:
The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures for people who live in big cities, with only one profile photograph, between the ages of 18 and 32 who only look average and who like girls with Flirty faces or mysterious guys

Just kidding…

The real question you should be asking yourself is “who do I want to attract? If you think your ideal match wants to see you looking flirty or mysterious then this is exactly the sort of advice that you should follow, but if you want to attract other things in a person then perhaps a different

approach for profile pictures will apply! If you like to smile then smile-looking confident and how you want to look is important.

In summary not smiling may work if you’re younger, but there’s still a lot of opinion out there that says  to avoid it, (example Kurt Inman wrote an article called “Run Away from these 5 bad dating Dating photos” where he gives advice to avoid people with profile pictures who don’t smile, his valid opinion is “I ‘m not talking about a huge grin here. A real smile makes anyone look very attractive. I’ve seen people scowling, glaring, on the verge of tears and staring at the floor in their photo profile. How can you think this would be attractive to anyone?”, now I know many of you won’t agree with him…but many of you will (Especially the 28+ crowd!)

Profile picture myth #2:The MySpace Angle Is Busted (Photographs shooting from overhead down)

The article says thatThe universally-maligned “My-Space angle” is achieved by holding your camera above your head and being just so darn coy, we were sure these pictures were lame; in fact, the prospect of producing hard data on just how lame got us all excited. But we were so wrong.” We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl’s shirt with the camera at that angle—indeed, that seems to be the point of shot in the first place—so we excluded all cleavage-showing shots from the pool and ran the numbers again. No change: it’s still the best shot; better, in fact, than straight-up boob pictures”

Now this doesn’t surprise me, if you take a profile picture looking down on someone then they often look better, I agree with this article that these kinds of shots when done right can be very effective, many professional photographers take photos from above for this very reason

The only time I disagree on using “My Space angle” profile pictures is if they are used to hide the body!
Let’s imagine this scenario, a girl wants to post only photos of her from overhead-down; her logic is, this way only her face and boobs show, and lets imagine it’s because she’s overweight and doesn’t want anyone to know until they meet her on a first date (She’s hoping to make a connection so that she won’t be judged on her size)
Now I hold nothing against anyone for being thinner or larger (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-I do believe that there’s a body type out there for everyone) but if this girl doesn’t show her body in any of her profile pictures then one of two things will happen; One- people will look at her profile pictures and get  suspicious and think she’s hiding something OR Two-she’ll mislead someone; I remember a date where I’d seen my dates’ attractive “My Space angle” profile pictures and invited her on a date when I met my date she was 100lbs heavier, so yes she got the date through the pictures, but would she get another date? I don’t think so!

Profile picture myth #3: Guys should keep their shirts on

Here’s a summary of this myth; The male “Ab shot’ profile picture is an Internet cliché that everyone thinks is only for bozos. Yet the data contradicts this ~ of course, there is some self-selection here: the guys showing off their abs are the ones with abs worth showing, and naturally the best bodies get lots of messages. So we can’t recommend this photo tactic to every man. But, contrary to everything you read about profile pictures, if you’re a guy with a nice body, it’s actually better to take off your shirt and why should guys with great bodies keep their best asset under wraps? Dating, both online and off is about playing to your strengths, and it should be no different for men with muscles”

Now I’m a little confused at this point, earlier in the article it says “We then lopped the most and least attractive members of the pool, fearing that they would skew our results”, and so I’m curious as they can’t recommend this tactic to every man does this make the statistics difficult to accurately interpret!

Again should the real question to ask yourself  be “who do I want to attract? If I think my ideal match wants this then this is exactly the sort of advice that I should follow, but if I want to attract other sorts of people then perhaps a different approach for profile pictures will be needed!

Perhaps the article title should now change to:
The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures for people who live in big cities, with only one profile photograph, between the ages of 18 and 32 who only look average and who like girls with Flirty faces or mysterious guys and who think that abs are important

Just kidding again…

Here’s some other really good points the article makes:

“If you’re not the type of guy who can show off your muscles, don’t veer off in the opposite direction and get all dressed up.

“For women, shots that show breasts get attention…A message like “Hey nice rack” isn’t really gonna lead anywhere, and isn’t very valuable to the recipient”

“the value of being conversation-worthy, as opposed to merely sexy, cannot be overstated”

I agree that whatever your age, location or attitude this is good solid advice…

 

Profile picture myth #4: Make sure your face is showing

Now I was as surprised when I read that “The facts were stubborn and your face doesn’t necessarily matter. In fact, not showing your face can in fact be a positive, as long as you substitute in something unusual, sexy, or mysterious enough to make people want to talk to you.”.

I laughed out loud when I read this and laughed out loud again when I read:

Of course, we wouldn’t recommend that you meet someone in person without first seeing a full photo of them, that still seems like a recipe for disaster.

Do I need to say more…
So in conclusion thank-you OK Cupid for taking the time to research and write this report, it’s definitely a great start in serving people who are online dating, and aren’t sure what do do when choosing a profile picture~ I hope that when you read this you’ll enjoy my comments on your article and I hope I made you smile too!

For readers of this post~ Both Online daters and Matchmakers alike, If you have additional questions about this article or anything else on effective, profile pictures please reach out to me via LookBetterOnline Facebook or Twitter, I’m interested to hear what you have to say.

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!