Put your Best Face Forward: What Pictures to Use for Online Dating and What Not To

Some of these pics scream stay away!
Some of these pics scream stay away!

Hello Gentlemen,

One topic I’ve had people ask me about are choosing photos for your online dating profile.

This is another gripe that myself and my girl friends desparately want guys to understand, how to put your best pictures forward and also how to not be misleading.

Let’s face it, when cruising through other people’s online dating profiles, you look at the pictures first, and if you seem satisfied, then you’ll look at the profile to make sure this person isn’t a psycho serial killer, and that you like the same movies (obviously).

Here’s a real-life horror story from one of my online dating adventures. Admist living in LA, I met up with someone I had been chatting with online at a bar/pool hall. The pictures of this guy were of him running a marathon, blond curly hair, very athletic. When we met up in person, guess what he looked like? Fat and bald, the curly hair marathoner was nowhere to be found and I was stuck with this impostor instead.

The marathoner was INDEED the same fat, bald man, but those pictures must have been 5-10 years ago in his prime. I felt so mislead, not ONE picture of him with no hair in any of his pictures. Was I supposed to pretend this was the same person? I went ahead with the date and it went awry after having a “debate” on racisim vs. feminism, so it was pretty much doomed fromt the start.

So, PICTURES, people, are supposed to show your onlookers what you look like RIGHT NOW, and not what you used to look like. Here is a List of Pictures that will lead to your detriment, and probably a bad first date if you do not heed my warnings.

1. The “HOT” Pics of you from Yesteryear – As previously mentioned, be HONEST with what you look like now. You want a girl to like you, but if your pictures are misleading, what else are you hiding?

2. The Sunglasses Pic – This is hands-down my BIGGEST gripe about online dating profiles where a guy will have all his pictures be shot really far away or with sunglasses on, so you can’t really see what he looks like. Hey, if you can see my face clearly, I should be able to see yours clearly. You’re just not playing fair and with this guys, I’m more likely to pass them up, because I STILL don’t know what they look like!

3. Pictures with other girls – This one is pretty dumb. There are guys who pose with other girls in their pictures. Usually if it’s a sister or mom, the guy will state it, but the ones where it’s not explained, you can only assume this was an ex-girlfriend… or some girl the guy was hoping to get with… or just some random hot chick that the guy swindled into taking a picture with. This kind of pictures says: I’m a player. You have to look hotter than this girl I am next to. I’m not serious at all with this dating site. If you’re actually looking for a geniune girl, she will be turned off. How would you feel if you see the girl you are eyeing with tons of hot guys? Not really the first image you want to imagine with the person you could potentially date.

4. The Party Animal Pics – Sure, you’re a fun, out-going guy. You like to party with your “bros” and you know how to have a good time. Although, taking pictures of you wasted, with a wig, dressing like a girl, etc. doesn’t really let a girl like me get true insight into your soul. It just tells me you’re the drunken village idiot, you are not to be taken seriously, and doesn’t make me attracted to you. In my previous post “The Bad Boys Complex” I illustrated how women aren’t attracted to boys, they’re attracted to MEN, and this picture here says, “I’m not reliable, please come pick me off the floor and take me home with you”. If you want a party girl, then by all means, go ahead, but if you want to actually attract someone special, best leave your wild party pics on Facebook where they belong.

So, Single Girl, what pictures should I use? You’re such a buzzkill, man…

Have a couple of pics of your face that are clear! Maybe if you had a beard before and one without a beard. No old pictures, no more than 3 years old. Have a full length picture of your whole body. Pictures with your friends, out traveling is fine and make sure to SMILE! If you have the same sour expression in all your pictures, you come across as an unapproachable guy. Have some that are thoughtful, but at least one with you smiling. Dont have a solo pic of your dog, but you WITH your dog will definitely grab some girl’s attention.

Good luck, soldier!

Have any questions for me? Go ahead and ask me what you’d like me to discuss in further blog posts in the comment section below and I will answer your questions!

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How NOT to First Time Message a Girl through Online Dating: The 5 No-Nos

morgueFile free photos
Try a little harder, buddy

So, you’ve been cruising and perusing through your OKCupid/PlentyofFish/Match.com/HowAboutWe online dating site. You know it’s tough to get a response from some of the hot chicks you see online. How do you grab their attention? How can you INCREASE the likelihood that she will respond back?

Well, hold on to you computer chair armrests, because these are the Top 5 No-Nos when it comes to first initiating contact to a real live female in the interwebz.

1. The Grenade Blast – You think you’re SOOO clever. Just message 500 girls the same message and you’re bound to get at least ONE girl to respond back to you right?

The problem with the grenade approach for any girl worth half her wits, is you can smell it a website away and leaves the girl feeling that much more NOT special. A typical grenade blast usually looks like this:

Hey girl, you’re so beautiful. My name is —- and I love to surf, hike (blah, blah, blah), we should totally hang out or something and get coffee“.

Here’s the grenade blast which also pairs up with “The Resume” (quite a popular one with the Silicon Valley nerds).

Hi there, my name is —- and I grew up in —-, I work at —- and live in —-. I am loyal, honest, and I enjoy cooking. I would be a great boyfriend and you should let me show you, I am caring, thoughtful and I am looking for an honest relationship….. (on an on for about a page)”

What’s wrong with these previous examples? Should I let you guess? What’s GLARINGLY obvious?

It’s all about the guy! How many times can this guy talk about himself? It’s obvious he took one look at the girl’s picture, decided “the grenade blast will do well here: Initiate Mission” and start sending the same message about yourself over and over. Hopefully telling a girl how fabulous you are, or better yet, keep it short but mention NOTHING about her profile will win her over, right?

Totally wrong. There is nothing in these messages that indicates that the guy even read the girl’s profile. Also, the reason why a guy has a profile is so the girl can scope out his profile without him giving a resume on why he would be the best boyfriend ever. And you totally know not to trust someone when they say, “trust me“.

The bottom line: The problem is the guy in these messages is making the very first contact about himself, and nothing about the girl. The “beautiful” remark can be said of any girl, so there’s nothing valuable to that. When first messaging a girl, write about something in HER profile so she knows you like HER and she isn’t getting an automated message and isn’t one of the 1,000 girls that got the same message. Also, when you comment on something in her profile, there is some conversation to start out on and can make her feel special.

Cause she is damn special. Sheesh.

2. “Hi” – I REALLY don’t have to go too much into this one, because you obviously didn’t put much thought into this one. Whenever a guy doesn’t give ANY effort to writing a first message and writes “Hi” and nothing else. I just move on faster to another profile. How cheap/unattentive/boring is this guy?

The bottom line: Put SOME effort into writing a first message to a girl, or else she won’t put any effort in writing you back.

3. The “Neg/Insult” – This is an ACTUAL message I got from a guy:

“I can’t decide whether you’re really hot or I suppose the alternative would be not to be. I mean it’s clear that you’re attractive and you might be really hot but darn I swear I just can’t bloody tell.”

Yes, wow. So, am I supposed to be like… how am I supposed to feel after a message like that? Don’t insult a girl in your first message (or second…) It won’t make her like you more. This guy is NOT hot at all, so the debate if I’m hot or not doesn’t matter to me, because I could tell in a millisecond I wouldn’t give him the time of day (or directions to Grant Street in SF) if I saw him in person. Insulting a girl doesn’t raise YOUR value. There’s a difference in jesting and joking and just being insulting.

The bottom line: There’s a better way to be funny and catch a girl’s attention, the insult just makes you look like a passive aggressive nerfherder.

4. “The Baffler” – Here is another gem of a baffler first message I got:

Do you like milk with ice?” and “Do you wear socks to bed?”

That is it. That’s all they wrote. Just a dumb ass question. Is Men’s Health Magazine or one of those dumb men’s magazines giving you this advice to ask a girl a really stupid question? How is that even a pick up line? This is just beyond silly and makes me confused.

The bottom line: Don’t confuse the poor girl, she’s already confused enough with online dating.

5. The Cheesiest pick-up line – And finally, the grand tamale, another real first message from my online dating adventures:

You’re so hot, I would buy you a happy meal and let you keep the toy

And this was from a guy that was 7 years younger than me. Really makes me feel like a cougar @_@

Cheesy pick-up lines are already hard enough in real life, and women still can’t escape them on the interwebz? Will the madness never end?

The bottom line: If you think that cheesy pick-up line wouldn’t work in real life, don’t even think about applying that hush puppy in real life.

Well, then, Single Girl, how DO you message a girl for the first time?

Keep the first message short, 3-5 sentences will do. Mention something you read in her profile, “you enjoy glacier rock-climbing? What a small world!?” and if you want to tease her, go ahead, “you like Miyazaki movies? You can’t be ALL that bad!”. You don’t need to tell her she’s pretty (yet), leave that for the real, live first date. Tell her to have a good day and leave it at that. You don’t need to ask her for coffee right away, just make a short exchange at first, be funny and show that you read her DAMN PROFILE *ahem* and she will think of you as a charming guy.

Phew! Write your online dating adventures in the comments below, how is messaging girls online for you?