Our hilarious and intelligent friends at OkCupid have been doing a little research on profile photos. Specifically, what works and what doesn’t. You’ll probably be as surprised as they were (and I am) at the kinds of things that online singles nibble on (pun intended, I guess).
Apparently if you’re a man who has nice abs, you ought to show ‘em off. If you’re a chick, “MySpace” the eff out of your profile photo. Personally, I think both types of photos are utterly lame (OKC seems to be in agreement with me). But let’s not all start ripping our shirts off, gentleman (and ladies, no need to perfect your coy, self-snapped photo look). According to their research, these types of photos tend to equal more messages. Does more messages mean “meeting” more quality people? Results inconclusive.
So what do you think? Does the Myspace female photo do it for you? What about a headless horseman shot (think guy with nice abs who has cropped his head out of the photo)?
Even been in a situation where you walk away convinced, I mean 100 percent certain, that the person you just spoke to is from another planet? Or is likely missing a good portion of their brain? Of course you have, and if you’ve ever online dated, this situation happens all the time. Without further ado, one of my all-time favorite “are you effing serious?!” online dating convos.
Meet Marge. She’s 27, college educated, employed and has a nice rack (couldn’t resist).
Last December, on our favorite site OKC, she was approached by Dan… a 31-year-old Aquarius from Minneapolis who says the first thing people usually notice about him is “my hair.. which is Mozart-like..or Beetoven or one of those guys.”:
This entire thread occurred in one day, between the hours of 6:02 am and 10:37am. Keep in mind, they are strangers. This is the FIRST time either has interacted with the other person. Would like to point out that Marge couldn’t keep herself from responding (even though many people would’ve stopped the correspondence earlier); she was just too damn frustrated. I’m with ya, Marge! I couldn’t have kept those messages hanging. So it begins…
Dec. 17, 2009 – 6:02am love your pictures… youre a member of the elks club?
Dec. 17, 2009 – 7:10am Of course! Like most young women these days, I am, in fact, a member of the Elk’s Club.
I like that your only picture is a polaroid? Scanned in? I think generally speaking, dudes tend to have less good photos to chose from. However, at least yours features your face rather than say…your abs or bicep.
Also – you’ve got Beet Oven hair?! Interesting….what exactly is a beet oven? Or was is Beethoven you were referencing? In which case: http://rexsy.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/Beethoven.143180205_std.jpg – stunning
DW@M note: Good start… his initial message is short, sweet and kinda funny. She responds with some light, witty banter… then points out that his photo is a scanned Polaroid, and he has a typo in his profile. I personally find this information helpful. Dan’s spirit, however, is shattered:
Dec. 17, 2009 – 8:58am umm.. im just trying to be friendly. i dont put a huge empahsis on looks. .. just trying my best on here.. i am shorter than most guys and have some disadvantages..
DW@M note: Did he really just write, “I am shorter than some guys and have some disadvantages”?! Is anyone else here inexplicably picturing a short bus?
Dec. 17, 2009 – 9:18am Sorry! I was only trying to be funny…don’t be so sensitive. If I was completely uninterested I would not have written back at all!
Lighten up a bit … no harm meant. I wasn’t saying anything negative about the polaroid thing….only that it’s notable. And it is! Is that what it is? A scanned in polaroid? You don’t see that all that often in the world of digital cameras.
AND – can’t you take a joke?! That was a funny error you made writing BEETOVEN instead of beetHoven! It’s funny. Sheesh.
Dec. 17, 2009 – 9:27am in my short time on here i had one or two girls really be mean to me for no reason.
i dont have a digital camera ..but maybe Santa will bring me one.
i will take a million to one shot and ask you.. i have a movie pass for a sneak preview tonight. It’s at eden Prairie mall.. the movie “It’s Complicated” with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. if by some miracle youd be interested in going, call me .. my number is 612 XXX 0554 (dont get texts– yeah, i know, thats worse than the polaroid..i’m behind the times).
i am very kind and totally a gentleman.. youd have a good time with me.. the movie is supposed to be very funny.
DW@M note: Decent recovery, Dan. The main problem here is that he’s asking Marge out on a date 2.5 hours after he’s initially messaged her. That’s a little quick, but in my opinion, much better than not having the balls to ask at all.
Dec. 17, 2009 – 9:53am My Grandmother is on Facebook. She just recently sent me an email asking me to explain what it means on Facebook when someone’s relationship status is set to “It’s complicated” … that was hard to explain.
However, considering your apparent lack of technology – perhaps you have not really discovered the world of FB yourself and are unfamiliar with the “It’s complicated” relationship status yourself…anyhow…
Can’t do it tonight. Thanks for the invite – never hurts to ask. How’d you score sneak preview tickets?
DW@M note: This is a nice, normal response, right? “Thanks, but I have plans.” Dan is bummed:
Dec. 17, 2009 – 9:58am I got the passes through work.. pretty much guessed you wouldnt go.. i bet if i was handsome youd go. oh well
btw , the reason i dont have texts is i was getting bugged by some client and my cell phone provider can only block the feature, not individual numbers.
by the way… just noticed The Jerk is one of your favorite movies.. it’s actually one of mine , too. And so you must be a big Steve Martin fan. So, tonight’s movie, to which i have a pass, is a sequel to the The Jerk (lying).. but seriously, it does star Steve Martin.. It would be cool to meet up for it.. maybe this will entice you.. there are often local celebs at these movie sneak previews. Didnt you always want to see Jeff Passolt in the flesh?
DW@M note: Did he really just say “i bet if i was handsome youd go”?
Dec. 17, 2009 – 9:56am oooh….Do you think Robin Robinson will be there?
Truth: my night is not free tonight. More important truth: I can’t say for sure…but I might be hesitant to do a 1st date, blind date, movie – after only a couple (and misunderstood to boot!) OkCupid messages. Just being honest. But like I said…doesn’t hurt to ask.
So aside from not take digital photos…what DO you do for a living/for fun/whatever you’d like to tell me about.
Dec. 17, 2009 – 10:07am the channel 9 tv studio is right near the EP mall.. so its possible and also possible MN Viking players will be there as their headquarters is there.
i’ve met women before first time for a movie… its tough being rejected.. it gets exhausting.. i know im nice and fun, but you dont. i’m tired of jumping through hoops to have platonic female friends. you can choose to believe me.. but i asked a guy out on here platonically (not for the movie , but i may have to).. he said hed meet me sometime.
its tough during the holidays not to have an active social life..i thought for a change i had something nice to offer, so that even if i wasnt your cup of tea, youd still like the movie. theres only so much i can do..
i just get tired of being recjeted and i know if i was really hot you’d put aside any what i feel are silly concerns about weird guys and safety,etc.
DW@M note:Whoa there, buddy. Is he trying to guilt her into a date? And what’s with the asking a dude out for the movie via OKC? And since when is it impossible for someone to believe that you have plans later that day? But my favorite? That Marge would meet a total stranger for a blind date at a movie if he were HOT. As if potentially getting raped and murdered by a hot guy is somehow better than getting raped and murdered by a “short, disadvantaged” one. “Silly” concerns about safety? Have you picked up a newspaper lately, Dan? Puhleeze.
Dec. 17, 2009 – 10:37am Man, you’re a tough one.
1. I’ve also met guys for the first time for a movie – not the best getting to know you environ…just sayin.
2. I wouldn’t exactly call this jumping through hoops.
3. Self loathing is pretty much THE most unattractive trait in a guy.
4. You’re right…I don’t know you’re nice and fun…and from what you’ve showed me, it seems you’re more unhappy and bummed out than nice and fun – (except that line about Jeff Passolt was pretty good, as well as the Elk’s Club reference)…you should keep up with the lighthearted stuff!
5. Despite everything…you can’t expect anyone to be available on the same day you request a ‘date’! I mean…even if it’s something that could be rescheduled you can’t expect me to drop what I’ve got going to go out with someone I’ve never met! Really! Think about it for a sec.
6. You do NOT know that if you were “hot” I would just throw safety and potentially severe awkwardness out the window because I’ve never met the person…
7. I went on a date with a guy who was 5′2″ on this site one time…and I never once took issue with your looks – you seem to be the one who thinks you’re not attractive.
DW@M: Well done, Marge! This is really where the story ends… he never wrote back, they never went out, and he’s still looking for a princess, prince, dog, cat (really anyone or anything), to accompany him and his Beet Oven hair to Eden Prairie Center.
Here’s a unsettling tale from my friend Jordan’s father. This woman puts the “dumb” in dumb-dumb-da-dumb (think “here comes the bride…”).
I’m married now (got married in 2006) but have an online dating story that I repeat with some consistency.
At the insistence of a friend I joined Match.com, wrote the profile, posted it, and like magic a very nice looking woman reached out for me. After a phone conversation we decided to meet for drinks at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles (I live in LA). We agreed to meet at the end of the day. New to online dating, I figured if things went well we could move right to dinner from drinks and possibly marriage. What could be better! She seemed very bright and we did manage to move to the dinner part. I felt a spark which seemed to be reciprocated. How easy this dating thing was.
Halfway through dinner she told me that coincidentally she had been on a Match.com date with a guy she met at the Four Seasons six months prior to our dinner. I asked her how it went and she said just fine up until when she awoke in his apartment (about four blocks from the hotel), in his bed, naked, with him sucking her toes and no memory of how she got there. She went on to explain that he had slipped her a roofie during drinks and managed to get her back to his apartment where he performed his deed. I asked her at what point did she call the Police and did they arrest him. She said she didn’t call the Police and actually went on to date him for another four or five months.
I excused myself “to go to the men’s room” but secretly paid the bill and left the hotel. The good thing about LA is that you can say goodbye to creeps and never see them again.
I hate to say it (because I am a female), but some women and their lack of self-esteem is just out of control. Was she thinking, “Wow! Think of all the time and effort it took to facilitate my kidnapping and molestation! He had to obtain roofies and figure out a time to slip it in my drink (maybe when I was freshening up in the ladies’ room? Cayooot!). It’s not everyday you meet a man with not only a vision, but follow-through. And I’ll bet it was soooo sweet when he threw me over his shoulder, marched out of the Four Seasons, and carried me to his boudoir. And he wasn’t even put-off by my bunions. Yes, I think I am in lurve.”
These are two obvious questions to pose, but I’m going to ask anyhow: Why would you continue to date a pervert who drugged and took advantage of you? Next question, why would you tell a perfect stranger (who you possibly want to date) that you willingly dated a sex offender who basically raped you? Not appropriate.
No, I’m not talking that amazing song from English Beat. I’m talking the unfortunate profile photo choice of many an online single: self-portrait in bathroom mirror (or sometimes a filthy bedroom). It makes you wonder a few key things…
A) Do you not have any photos taken of you by other people? Like on a family vacation? Or a friend’s wedding? Bueller? Bueller? Frye? Frye?
B) So maybe you do have photos of yourself, taken by others. Are you meaning to tell me that a self-portrait in the mirror of your grandma’s bathroom is still the best you got? Bummer.
C) Does taking a photo of yourself in a mirror require so much concentration that you cannot summon the strength to look up or smile?
No smile, no eye contact. And I know you have a better outfit in your closet.
This one at least mustered a smirk.
Props for the smile, but minus points for the crap all over the bed. Oh, and the one-finger salute.
No extra points awarded for artsy composition. Sorry.
I love the smoky treat multi-tasking, but REALLY love the fact that it appears he’s surprised himself with a photo.
This one at least looks like she’s trying (and the bathroom is very spa-ish!). Just curious about where she hid the camera.
The towels? The picture? Um, the other thing hanging on that towel rack? I hope that’s not your place.
Diggin’ the shirt. ediR eroM enO, baby!
The cocked eyebrow. Very 007.
I heart the marlin.
You know what’s funny? Sorting through these photos (seriously, why is everyone concentrating so friggin’ hard? Can you not press a button, look up and smile all at the same time?) made me realize that our friend Banana Hammock is actually quite talented in the art of self-portrait. You go, Mango!
Yeehaw! Are these awkward profile photos working? You be the judge.
Little Johnny on his third grade field trip to the Art Institute of Awkward. Um… hand check!
Surprise! It’s Chia-Date!
Is that a picture of a picture, behind a very shiny pane of glass?
This is a fake background, right? And again, where are adults getting photos like this taken of themselves?
Celestial eladrin seeks druid to cast a level five charm spell on my cat, Morwel, Queen of the Stars.
Huge grin + copious amounts of blood… hrm, something is just not adding up.
Is he real or is he plastic?
Nothin is more off-putting then some one who can’t formulate sentince, uses rong grammer or cant spell a simpul werd.
I’ve received messages from guys, looked at their profile and have literally come to the conclusion that there might be a large percentage of cognitively-challenged individuals (read: politically correct for “retarded”) trying to meet people online. Now, this might be true. But it’s more likely that the man/woman behind that horibally misspelt profile is just a bad speller, lazy, or a mixture of the two (possibly with a Forest Gump streak to boot).
Take this profile from a MN guy (we’ll call him Todd) who recently messaged my friend, Maggie.
I like sports and computer games. I enjoy dancing with the right person. Once you get to know me, you’ll find I’m a pretty nice guy.am a very nice man to get a long grate with to i like to go to the movie i love my bowling camping fishing and and haveing fun to.
The First Things People Typically Notice About Me:
I am a nice man! and down to earth. i treet women repect to.
My Favorite Books, Movies, Music and Food:
I don’t read a lot. I like action movies and Italian food. hot dog.s hamberger„s
Alright, everyone. Please file this bit of information somewhere: Did you know that you can spell check profile and messages? It’s true. A misspelled will show up underlined in red in most sites. You may consult a dictionary, Google, or click on a link that says “Check Spelling” or a button with an “ABC” followed with a “check mark.” That is the first step in making sure you don’t look like a fool.
Next, and this is huge. Ask someone you trust to read over your profile. An extra pair of eyes will help you spot any mistakes… like the difference between “to” “two” and “too.” Or the difference between “great” and “grate.” Or the difference between “treat” and “treet.” Wait. Treet… yeah… that’s just not a word.
I get it, ladies. Your biological clock is a tick-tockin’. You feel you deserve love, preferably from a respectable, honest gentleman. You’re ready to settle down, make someone happy, have babies and live happily ever after. These are all great and wonderful things, and I say if you’re truly looking for that someone special, no harm in saying so in your online profile (just don’t make it creepy by making it seem like you might be thinking, “You’re a man? You have a face? You’re not married? Perfect, where’s my ring?” Desperation is not attractive.)
I recently stumbled upon a few ladies ready to nest. They said so in their profile, and their words seem very sincere. Take abagi_luv123:
i am looking for serious date leading to marriage
I am such a merry person that one can hardly be bored with me. I am open and honest, as I believe in power of sincerity. Why should we poison our hearts with hatred and anger? I enjoy this life to the fullest, and I treat myself as a creative person. I take care of my health, as I want to create a healthy family in future. I feel like a tender flower in a desert, and I am thirsty. I am thirsty for your love and care. I can not live without feelings, and I see not sense in hiding them. I am very affectionate, and my man will be surrounded by the ocean of my love for eternity. I am very easy-going and sympathetic person. I cannot stand rudeness and violence, as well as cruel and selfish people. I always give first before asking for anything in return. I am sure I will be a wonderful wife, as I adore cooking! I think I already know the way to your heart, dear………………..
You’re right, abagi. Why should we poison our hearts with hatred and anger? And if you’re thirsty, dammit, you deserve a drink from the chalice of love. Take note, guys: This girl wants you to marry her. She cooks and will love you forever with the ocean of her love. And she probably has a sexy accent and adorable broken English (I mean, with sentences like “I can not live without feelings, and I see not sense in hiding them,” let’s hope that’s the case). Here’s the thing– our pal writes like a future wife, but looks like a one-night stand:
I’ll guarantee this chick gets plenty of emails. From potential husbands? Nah. Douchebags wanting to be surrounded by the ocean of her love? Probs.
Ladies, if you’re looking for a husband, don’t look like a ho.
Here’s another single lady, sweet_trina82, sending the wrong message:
curious ……do i really belong here???
*****if you are 38 and over, please don’t try to connect with me******i’m a laid back type, but goal oriented. Very family oriented. I think that family is very important. enjoy having my own things and not depending on others to give them to me. I work in the medical field. Time is very important, looking for someone i can possible spend my life with…and be my best friend .. A lil afraid of the pics i posted, by no means am I a party freak, i go out when i can…. but when i do, i go hard… will love to stop all those nights spent at various lounges for him.. when he ’s in the picture of course
So many rules broken here. Does this look like a family-oriented gal who’d make for a good babby momma? She posts multiple photos of herself with a dude who is clearly not “just a friend,” who is staring right at those huge tittays. I also am loving how she straight up admits that she knows her photos are inappropes, and that when she goes outs, she likes to “go hard.” Then ends with a “please save me from myself.” Not attractive.
Hey Mia– If you want a GENTLEMAN, look like a LADY.
You stumble upon an attractive photo. You click on it. The profile makes you chuckle, and you just may be smitten. You sit down to write your future luvah a message.
One of the most stressful aspects of online dating is that initial email. You don’t know your audience. You want to be clever, but it takes so long to piece together a witty, engaging note. There is no method that will get your messages responses 100 percent of the time, but I will tell you that keeping the following guidelines in mind will help.
1. Online d8ing iz nt a txt msg & u r not a tween. Write out full words and sentences. Spell things correctly. Check your punctuation. Careless mistakes make it seem like you don’t give a damn about making a good first impression. And I think you’d have to be really good looking for an educated person to not be slightly turned off by juvenile texting lingo.
2. Save the small talk for the salon. “Hey, how are you doing today? From, Scott” Um… are you willing to wait between five and infinity days for a response? Furthermore, would you be satisfied with receiving, “Fine,” as an answer? My guess is no, but that’s all you’re asking for. You can speak to someone who is in front of your face with these simple pleasantries, but it’s just not enough for an email to someone you might like to bang.
3. Talk about your positive qualities. Saying right off the bat that you’re divorced or have had bad luck in love or really need to start working out again is a terrible sales technique. These aren’t deal-breakers for everyone, but surely you have better things to offer a potential mate. Would you even bother looking at an apartment that boasted it has no parking or included utilities? Probably not. But maybe if you knew it had a pool, gym, ass-kicker of a kitchen and was within walking distance to your favorite watering hole, you wouldn’t notice– or even care– about the negatives.
4. Show you read their profile. Did the fact that they love Devo make your heart skip a beat? Tell them. Nothing sucks more than feeling like someone cut-and-paste a generic response.
Speaking of cut-and-paste responses, my friend Liz sent me this gem from our fave website, OkCupid. This man uses the word “tryst” in his username, eagerly discusses his career as a distributor of Hungarian porn (I am NOT joking… and even if he is joking, it’s just not appropriate), and asks women to cut-and-paste this message when attempting to entice him.
Oh, and clearly, he also thinks very highly of himself and probs has a closet full of douche capes a la Jon Gosselin.
Let the ridiculousness begin:
If you can’t come up with anything interesting to write… I’ve created a handy pre-built letter down below, for your convenience. Just know that you may, or may not, lose points depending on how you use it
Hi there in-tryst-ed (clever name, by the way),
My name is [your name], and I just have to tell you that I’m incredibly happy I came across your profile. You see, I’ve been searching far and wide for a handsome, cultured, funny, intellectual man, with nice teeth, great shoes, and a marathon tongue.
I had almost given up hope. But then, just when I thought there were no truly amazing men left in this world, I saw your profile. Thank you for being such a great guy.
I’d really like to meet you for drinks on a patio, a trip to a museum, an Omni theater show, or really any of the things you like to do. I just want to make you happy.
And maybe, after we go out on our fun adventure, we can get to know each other even better (wink-wink). Well, ok, let’s face it… you’re getting lucky. You sexy devil, you!
I’ll be waiting anxiously by my mailbox for your response!
Hugs and kisses (and more kisses),
I like how in the first paragraph he’s basically saying: Alright, ladies. Let’s see what you got. I am a prize to be won! WTF? Hello guy, what do you bring to the table? Why should I want to date a Hungarian porn distributor? I’m confused.
Ooooh, I see now. It’s because you have a clever username that conjures images of us meeting, probably for sex. And why wouldn’t I want to meet you and your “marathon tongue.” Not only good at oral sex, but classy and modest to boot! Yes, I will definitely leave in that part about you getting lucky… I hope you think I’m good enough to bang. Will be staring at my iPhone, waiting for your approval.
I wonder if this technique has worked for our humble tryst-loving friend. Maybe I will email him and find out.
When creating your online profile, your photo choice is of the utmost importance. Things you should aim to accomplish with said photo include, but are not limited to:
1. Showing potential mates what your face looks like (a current shot, not from a few years ago when you had a tan/weighed 20 pounds less)
2. A clothed (yes, that means wearing both a shirt and pants. A dress is acceptable if you are a female), full body shot that gives potential mates an idea of what your body looks like
3. Maybe a photo that shows you doing something you love– traveling, hiking, cooking dinner… something respectable.
I know some of us learn better by example. Here is an example of a single, Miami man who has it all wrong.
First of all, he’s completely opted out of the standard face shot for this:
Where do I even start?
Exhibit A: Your room is filthy. And apparently belongs to a woman. Pink sheets, perfume bottles, a pink camera. If you’re going to take a photo of yourself in the mirror, make sure your surroundings are at least tidy. Because at this point, all potential mates know is that you’re extremely messy, can’t hang a painting straight and…
Exhibit B: …are a male stripper. For some reason, many men who venture into the world of online love have yet to learn that women DO NOT respond well to lots of skin in photos. We are not like men in that way. At all. This makes you look like a creep and only a creep.
Exhibit C: What’s with the washer and dryer all boxed up in the corner? I guess if you’re wearing a thong all the time, the majority of your warshing can be done in the bathroom sink with a splash of Woolite. Speaking of bathrooms….
Exhibit D: DO NOT, under any circumstances, take a photo of yourself in the bathroom with your camera (or worse, cell phone). The quality is junk and you always end up looking like a cocky douchebag (even if you’re not). Additionally, it makes a gal wonder, Does he not have friends? Can’t someone help him? And why is your bathroom so gross?!
Props to our friend Mango here who can teach us all a lesson. Banana hammocks should stay on the beach… in Europe. Not as an advertisement to Amerka that you’re single and ready for love.