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Online Dating: Truth in Advertising Pictures

Updated on May 9, 2012

I am a closet fan of online dating. I think it offers a great way for busy people to meet new friends and maybe even the love of your life. I have made many great friends thanks to online dating sites. My experiences have not all been positive and I have learned a lot along the way. I am now qualified to offer a lot of sage advice!

Naturally the first step to meeting someone online is creating a great profile. Both the pictures and the introductory paragraph are essential to a successful first date. Men! Listen up! I am ready to offer some woman secrets concerning profile pictures that will grab a woman's attention NOT and pictures that will cause her to give you a second look and a careful read.

Experience has taught me a few DOs and DON'Ts when it comes to posting pictures. Apparently these tips are much needed since these pictures show up on profile after profile.

Profile Picture DON'Ts

If you want your profile picture to make a good first impression then keep these DON'Ts in mind.

1. Don't wear a hat in all of your pictures. Take it off for at least ½ of your pictures. It is shocking to see a handsome man in a hat in the profile picture and then meet a handsome bald man in the coffee shop. Please understand the bald head is not that big of a deal but avoiding truth in advertising is a big deal. Your bald head will show itself sooner or later. Be honest from the very start. If your hair challenged head is a deal breaker to a woman then you might as well know before anyone is disappointed.

2. Don't post a picture of you with your Exie and don't crop her out of a picture. Take a new picture. I know. You looked happy in that picture but you can look happy in another picture. Can't you? Take another picture, Dude.

3. Don't post a picture of you with your gorgeous 20 year old daughter without an explanation. Maybe you can add a caption to the picture that says, "Me with my 20 year old daughter."

4. Don't post multiple pictures of your car. If you must slip a car picture in the profile then make sure you are in it. Honestly! Your car? Women do not surf online dating sites to buy a new car.

5. Don't post pictures of your dog unless you are in the picture.

6. Don't post pictures of you without a shirt. Even if you are at the beach or poolside it is better to post pictures with a shirt and skip showing off your furry chest. You can show off your fur later. When she likes you she will like your fur. If it is simply random fur then it is not so attractive. Wear a shirt.

7. Please, please do not post that awful obligatory mirror picture! Ask your friend to take pictures of you. It is easy. Every phone has a camera and you take your phone everywhere. Hand your phone to your buddies at the pub or the game and smile for a picture or two.

Profile Picture DOs

Now that we have discussed some bad profile picture ideas, here are some suggestions of pictures women like.

1. Do post a clear, close up picture of your smiling face followed by a clear picture of you from at least your waist up. A full body shot is nice. If you have a 50 year old tummy then you might as we be up front and honest about it. A tummy is not that big of a deal, just be honest.

2. Do post a recent picture. I want to know what you look like today not what you looked like 10 years ago. How will I recognize you if you post pictures of you as a young stud? Save those pictures for later. We will laugh over the family album in a few months, not on the first view of your profile.

3. Do post a picture of you doing something you enjoy. Maybe you enjoy sports bars, hiking, a day at the ballpark, or entertaining family in your backyard. Pictures of you doing something you enjoy will be happy pictures. Women like to see their man looking happy.

4. Do post a picture of you in your TIDY home. Maybe you are cooking or enjoying a holiday with your friends and family. Show a festive occasion of you in your home. We really like holiday pictures whether they are taken in your home or your sister's home or your brother's home.... you get the picture. Note the word tidy above. It is scary to see a really mess room behind you. That represents future work to your date. It is better to refrain from making her tired before you meet.

Profile Wrap-up

Pictures are worth a 1,000 words and more. It is important that you post attractive pictures if you hope to entice a lot of women to read your profile. The first impression is the picture; no one will read your pithy description of your optimistic personality if your pictures are a turn-off. You have only one chance to attract traffic. Put your best picture forward and make the most of it.


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    • Ninjadater profile image

      Ninjadater 5 years ago

      Or how about the profiles where people are so demanding in them, you really feel like she's yelling at her audience. Sometimes in caps, like they're ticked off at the world.

    • Ninjadater profile image

      Ninjadater 5 years ago

      How about those Angle Shots? Just Google those keywords. Pretty funny.

    • Mary Stuart profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Washington

      Funny! We do the best we can. The photos I think are pretty funny are of cars and motorcycles and men with no shirt. Aaaarg! I can handle the hat. I just imagine a bald head under it. Unless, of course, there is a picture or two without a hat. If it is a face only photo then I see a belly. OK So I imagine the worse when I am not shown otherwise. I am really not at all opposed to bald heads and 50 year old tummies. We all age... 50 looks pretty hot to me now.

    • Ninjadater profile image

      Ninjadater 5 years ago

      I have to admit, that sometimes when I had shown up to my online face-to-face get together, I often wondered if even I was an accurate depiction of who I looked like. So far, I had no one say otherwise. So I must be doing something right.

      Though, it is pet peeve of mine when someone puts a graduation cap and gown photo up as one of their selections. :-)

    • Mary Stuart profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you, Lizzy. I did not know anyone had taken any of my stuff. I will check this out.

      OMG! I checked her out and she did steal my writing.

      I checked it out and she did, indeed, take my writing. Her URL is:

      My article on her site is located at:

      So what do I do about this? Fellow Hubbers? Can you help out?

    • Mary Stuart profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you, Lizzy. I did not know anyone had taken any of my stuff. I will check this out.

    • profile image

      Lizzy 5 years ago

      You need to check out the blog "How to put the fun back in dating" by Fiona Fine b/c she's ripped off your stuff and didn't give you proper credit. Wasn't sure if you're aware.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      While I am not online dating, my son met his wife that way and they have been happy for almost 7 years now. I think your tips for the men are very good. Interesting hub.

    • Mary Stuart profile image

      Mary 5 years ago from Washington

      I think online dating got a bad rap for too many years. It is just another avenue to meeting people who would not ordinarily pass through your life. It carries its own risks but a few safety tips helps to mitigate those. I think every new meeting carries its own risk whether you meet in a bar or in a church or anywhere else. Common sense goes a long ways!Thank you for stopping by.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am out of commission for online dating but I do think your suggestions are really good for those who are seeking a good relationship. Well covered and interesting.

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 5 years ago from USA

      One of my earliest lenses at HP was about creating a dating profile. Your hub fits in beautifully with my section on photos because you give excellent concrete steps, while I gave general guidelines. I've added a link to your page because these are such great tips.

    • passthejelly profile image

      Mark Passarelli 5 years ago from Lakewood Colorado

      Online dating is overrated.