I never ceased to be amazed by the sheer number of poor dating photos I see online. After 8 years operating this business I’m still surprised by the number. People who would never go out in public with a funny hat on do the equivalent every day by the tens of thousands when they post photos that just look ridiculous. There are web sites now that do nothing but collect silly or idiotic photos of people who put such photos online, just to make fun of them.
It is utterly tragic. And as the saying goes, “it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.”
I think such people think it won’t matter. Somewhere in the back of their minds they imagine that the love of their life will see past the funny hat, the sunglasses, the goofy shirt or idiotic pose and see the real them. This may sound harsh, but what browsers see in those useless photos is exactly what the people who put them up showed to them: funny hats, goofy shirts and silly poses. The real person behind those unfortunate attributes is still hidden.
So what exactly are the biggest turn offs in an online dating photo? Since we’re “in the business” and connected to most of the major dating sites and talk about this stuff everyday, we’ll tell you.
1) The biggest single turn off in an online dating photo, the one that shows up the most, is the most ubiquitous and widespread is — wearing sunglasses. Sunglasses say precisely what you think: the wearer has something to hide. Browsers think that almost universally and skip right over every one of them. They don’t think the wearer is mysterious. They just think they are untrustworthy, and in the online dating world — doomed from the start.
2) Second are self-portraits taken in a bathroom mirror. Just like wearing sunglasses, self-portraits in the john say precisely what you think it says: lonely, desperate, and cheap. No matter how dressed up you get (and perhaps worse if you are gussied up) you’re still photographing yourself in the bathroom mirror for godsakes. Sheesh…
3) Crazy, drunken expressions are next. Toast your prospective mate in your online dating photos with a crooked grin and all you’ll get in return is a click on “next”.
4) Having an arm around someone attractive of the opposite sex comes next. Don’t do it. Just don’t. No one cares if it’s your ex. If it is, you just earned a “next”. Even if it’s your brother or sister — “next”, ‘cuz they’ll think it’s an ex.
5) Goofy or silly clothes or Halloween costumes don’t make for good online dating photos. Just ask the 10’s of thousands of browsers who skip over those types of photos every hour.
6) Leaning on your Testosterosa [sic]. Don’t do it, even if you have one.
7) Acting crazy, zany or weird with your crazy, zany or weird friends. “nuf said.
8) This one I saved for last, but it really ought to be number one: looking sad or lonely. The best way to stay that way is to put up one of those photos that shows you at your sad and lonely best. Enormous numbers of photos on online dating sites have that unfortunate quality.
The list goes on forever, really. To avoid all of them simply remember what those prospective love interests really want to see in your photos: they want the smartly dressed, honest, approachable smiling you looking your best for the camera with no cheese whatsoever.
Think About This!
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