Choosing your Profile Pictures for Online Dating

Jumping into the online dating scene can easily be overwhelming, but if you stay authentic and honest to yourself then at least setting up your profile should be a simple task.  Choosing the right pictures to go along with your profile is just as important as the words in your profile and are often the first thing that potential matches look at to get to know you.  So where to start with this process?

Ask yourself what you actually want out of this experience.  If you are looking to attract many people interested in your aesthetic but you never plan to meet in person, then Photoshop away and use the most manufactured selfies you have!  “But I can win them over with my personality!” you say? This can very well be true, but with altered images you are advertising that part of your personality is to not be genuine or completely honest with yourself and others.

If you are truly seeking an authentic match who finds even your flaws interesting and attractive, it’s time to step away from the airbrush.  To post a raw and honest picture of yourself guarantees no surprises when you meet your match in person, which can also mean little to no disappointments or rejection based on physical attraction.  It can also decrease any feelings of intimidation a true match might have from a severely altered photo.

Let’s review some of the do’s and don’ts for profile pictures:

  • DO have 3-5 pictures posted
  • DON’T have pictures more than 3 years old
  • DO wear clothes in your picture
  • DON’T cover your face (hat, sunglasses, etc.)
  • DO create curiosity by posting at least 1 photo of you traveling or doing an activity/hobby you enjoy
  • DON’T let that hobby be photoshopping your own photos
  • DO wear makeup if that is your typical look
  • DON’T post a picture that is a “one-time” look
  • DO ask your friends and family for their honest and objective feedback on the photos you choose
  • DON’T have all your friends and family IN the photos you choose, it can create confusion in your potential matches

A picture says a thousand words, so make sure your first words with your potential future partner says exactly what you are searching for by representing yourself honestly.  This will encourage like-minded people to reach out to you and potentially be the first step in a meaningful relationship.

Joy Walsh is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center.  The Lighthouse, located in Schaumburg, IL, was the first emotional wellness center to be established in the Midwest over 15 years ago, serving as a guiding light towards healthy relationships. Our counseling services are provided for couples, families and individuals, to assist them in creating happy, healthy and empowered lives. For more information, check us out at www.LighthouseEmotionalWellness.com, or call us at 847-253-9769.