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As my good friend says: “let’s talk about it.”

What is the “it,” you ask? Well, let’s talk about my Top 10 Don’ts for a successful online dating profile. This list is not for those exploring the intimate encounter side of things. For those unfamiliar with online dating services, every site has a list of options in terms of what you’re looking for in your life: pen pals, short term or long term dating, marriage, a little fun, intimate encounters, etc. The terminology is different depending on the site but they all have relatively the same options going on. Anything you read here and in posts to come  are geared solely toward people who are genuinely using the site to meet someone in hopes of it turning into something more. (This is not to say a situation you thought would be a fling doesn’t have the potential to blossom, but that wasn’t the initial intention…yadda yadda yadda…keep reading.) While you could apply my points below to any dating site user, the reasons behind them don’t hold water if you’re just aiming for a little frisky late-night fun. Got it? Excellent.

Alright, I’m going to start at #10:

DON’T post photos of any of the following:

  • Your kids
  • Anyone else’s kids
  • Your grillz
  • You in a bathroom mirror
  • You flexing in a bathroom mirror
  • Your car or motorcycle without you in the shot
  • Your blow-out (in a bathroom mirror)
  • You and your ex with their face blurred out
  • Groups of people who are the same sex as you and you have not indicated who you are

Let me give you the exact rundown of why each of these will result in a solid, minute-long *single blink*.

Your kids/Anyone else’s kids – The internet is a bizarro place where many feel this unwritten/unspoken need to share their innermost thoughts not realizing that now everyone can see it. Take this blog for instance. I’m an open person and I know the consequences and risks involved and I make that decision. In saying that, it’s MY choice. I wouldn’t post a photo of friends or family here or anywhere unless they say it’s okay with them. Children cannot defend themselves and don’t know that hundreds upon thousands of people on a dating site (don’t even get me started on Facebook) are now looking at your photos. It’s even easier for predators, sexual or otherwise, to see where you’re from and see your kids and the rest is an episode of 48 Hours: Hard Evidence on TLC. We are putting ourselves out there to meet people and this is not to say that there are only bad people with bad intentions looking on the site you’re using, but we’ve ALL received those explicit messages. They have fetishes we aren’t into and participate in acts we would never be involved in. Let’s protect the wee ones. You can mention you’re a parent or just click the handy-dandy option of “Has kids” and leave it at that. Once you establish what your relationship is going to be with the person you meet, at your discretion, share information/photos about your children. But this is a personal pet peeve of mine – let’s keep children safe they didn’t ask to be on a dating site.

Your grills – WHY DO YOU HAVE GRILLZ and why do I need to see them?

N.E.V.E.R.

Bathroom (selfies, gelled/blown out hair, flexing, etc.) – I’m the queen of self portraits in the bathroom. There is good light and mirrors aplenty. The difference between my bathroom photo and yours is you would never know I was in a bathroom. Most of us live in a world of smartphones: iPhones has a reverse photo option where you can have the screen pointing at yourself so you can capture your beautiful smile and have it be in frame. I am a ride-or-die BlackBerry chick, so I use my bathroom mirror to make sure my face is in the frame and then take the photo with a plain wall or door behind me. You cannot see my shower curtain or my toilet or my sink. You can’t even see the phone I’m holding to take the photo! When I can see your entire Kitchen Stuff Plus bathroom setup, it’s time to use a lifeline and call a friend. Get it together! **Sidenote: keep your shirts on, stop flexing and just pay attention to giving good face – your smile and eyes will get us before your regrettable barbed wire tattoo ever will.

One of my online “bathroom” shots. Note: you can’t see my phone, toilet, sink, shower curtain, toiletries. I could be ANYWHERE in the house. Practice taking your self portraits using the mirror to help you instead.

Car/Motorcycle/Vehicle (Things) – This person may restore vintage cars for fun or a living. This person may go to Port Dover on the Friday the 13th every year. This person may be nicknamed Team Xtreme and ride/drive every land and snow vehicle on the planet. But if your only photo(s) posted are of your vehicle and/or pet and/or latest Instagrammed landscape from your most recent trip…don’t bother. By all means include it if you love to travel or really feel these things speak volumes about who you are, but they should not be the ONLY photos available.

Your Ex – Speaking from the point of view of a woman seeking a man, I’ve seen many photos of men in the company of women. Sometimes they indicate it’s a family member, sometimes they don’t say anything. If your best photo happens to be with your ex, crop them out completely at the very least. If a club photographer captures you at your besty-best-best surrounded by ladies, legs and sparkles then keep that one for your own archives. Again, you can post what you like but I can tell you it’s not a good look. People use these because they depict their lifestyle, they want to show they’re social and have friends and other positive qualities and I get that. They may also want to attract others who live the same way but again, it’s all in how it’s presented. A slideshow of club pics or blurred out after blurred out face just isn’t a good way to portray yourself for the very first time. If I was out in real life and saw a girl with her arm draped around a man’s shoulder whom I was attracted to…I wouldn’t approach them. Could you imagine???

Oh hey, excuse me, strangers. Since this isn’t Plenty of Fish and you don’t have captions dancing around below your necks, could you just let me know if you’re just friends or family or if you’re exes hanging out. You see, I’m super attracted to the guy half of your equation. You guys seem friendly but how friendly are you? You totes don’t have to answer right now, I’ll just leave my name and number right here and if you are available, feel free to reach out anytime. I hope you are both having a great night and sorry for any inconvenience.”  *single blink*

No. That’s not going to happen. They look like they’re having a great night and they will continue to do so without interruption. If I was in a bar/club/restaurant/concert environment and saw a man I was attracted to with his arms around provocatively dressed women all night, that would be a deterrent. In my mind, he seems like he’s having a grand ol’ time with the women he has and I’m not in this world to compete. I don’t want my first impression to be of you with another woman.

Circle of friends – Another huge pet peeeve is the photo of a million mans. Stop this. You cannot post a photo of a group of men and NOT indicate which one of those men is you! 9 times out of 10, you’re attracted to the person who isn’t actually the person you’re about to message. Do you know how many photos of groomsmen or sports teams I’ve come across? Sometimes it’s easy to tell if they have other photos of themselves to view and you can clearly see that he’s the only 6’5″ ginger-headed rabbi (you get the idea). But this is going out to the people who do not post proper photos AT ALL therefore we never know. If you have one or more photos on your profile and they’re all of groups of you and your friends and you never say you’re the one in the pinstriped suit or the second man from the left, then go edit immediately.

WHICH ONE ARE YOU?

I hope this gives you some things to look out for in profiles you seek and/or maybe your own. 🙂

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