“You Looked Hotter Online” – as seen on men’s t-shirts sold on the boardwalk
I recently went on a date with a guy who, right before he dashed into a cab at the end of the night, reassured me “You look much prettier in person.” Thanks?
Online dating photos are tricky. As I’ve experienced them (i.e. men living in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut region between the ages of 23 and 37), they fall into a few categories:
1.The Action Shot
This photo is meant to show that the user is a man of adventure. Maybe he’s zip lining in the jungle, or skydiving out of a plane, or competing in a tough mudder. Either way, he wants you to know that he is up for anything and possesses a wandering spirit.
2. The Mid-Stride Exercise Pic
Arguably a subset of The Action Shot, this profile picture is usually a cribbed photo from an organized race or a blurry shot from a recreational football or soccer game. Without saying anything, it demonstrates that here is a guy who takes care of himself, and chances are, his body has reaped the rewards. Perhaps you will too?
3. The Mirror Selfie
The Mirror Selfie shouldn’t require an explanation, but in case you need one, this is literally a guy, in front of a mirror, holding his phone to take a picture. Perhaps he hasn’t figured out you can move the camera around?
Maybe he doesn’t have any other pictures by himself? Maybe he’s a ghost? Avoid this one, his lazy technology skills may belie a lazy tendency when it comes to falling up after your first date.
4. “Me and a Tiger”
Apparently a lot of guys go to Asia after graduating college, and like to take pictures with tigers to prove that they have achieved supremacy over nature. See also: “Me and an Elephant”, but not to be confused with “Me and My Dog.” Me and My Dog” is legit. “Me and a Tiger” is not.
5. The Gentleman and a Photograph of His Dinner
This gentleman loves fine dining, and the picture he took of his artisanal lobster roll at Smorgasburg this summer drives that point home. Your first date will be somewhere trendy with a long wine list and a $16 cheese board, during which you’ll compare the trendy pop-up restaurants you’ve both hit up, and marvel at the fact that it took signing up at Zoosk for the two of you to meet.
6. Normal Dude Photo
This is just a dude, in a picture. And this is the ideal (to me).
What Kind of Pictures to Include On Your Dating Profile
I understand the rational behind including all different kinds of pictures in your profile but my favorites are pictures where you can clearly see what the person looks like, and he (or she!) is clearly happy. If I see someone who’s having a good time in their pictures, I’m more inclined to think we’ll have a good time together, too.
Yes, watching someone in hiking gear in front of Machu Pichu is cool, but that shouldn’t be the only picture a guy includes.
I follow that logic for myself as well. I only have one picture on my Zoosk profile where I’m with another person, so all my potential dates can clearly tell who I am. In two of the pictures it’s just me smiling at the camera, and in one picture I’m eating a cookie (shades of The Gentleman and His Dinner).
Each picture is from a happy time in my life, and hopefully that translates to all the men who scroll through my profile and pass me on the Zoosk Carousel. Judging by the messages I’ve received, I think it’s working pretty well – even if apparently I look better in person.