“You want me to upload what??! You want me to put a picture of ME on the internet??! No thanks. People will read my profile and realize I’m awesome. They don’t need to see me, and besides, I don’t want someone I know to see that I’m online dating.”
If these words have ever crossed your mind or left your lips, we’ve got some talking to do today. Believe it or not, pictures on your online dating profile are extremely important to your success in finding someone special. You may be thinking that only superficial people are going to care if you have photos or not, but you couldn’t be further from the truth.
Today we’re going to take a look at why it’s important to have pictures on your online dating profile and why your reasoning for not wanting to have them is silly.
More Than Superficial People
Some people worry that other singles are going to message them solely based on their looks. They think that having pictures on their profile is going to attract matches that only care about how they look and are not interested in much more than that. The reality is, though, most online daters like to be able to put a face with a name and a person. Almost every dater that we spoke to said that when they search for matches, they check the search box that says only to return matches with photos.
Some of these singles we know personally, and we can guarantee that they are the furthest from superficial that a person could be. They’re loving, caring people who are looking for someone special. They’re also people who spend a lot of time reading through people’s profiles before they choose to reach out. But…they don’t search for any profiles without photos.
There is something exciting about being able to see an idea of what someone looks like as you read through the information they chose to share about themselves. The romantics like to craft a narrative in their mind about who this person is, how they sound, what they’re like, what they may be like together. All of this is made infinitely easier with a few pictures.
It Gives You Validity
You may be cutting yourself out of the game before it even starts. High-quality singles know that profiles without pictures are much more likely to be spam, fake, or even worse, real and not dedicated to the dating process. If you aren’t willing to put yourself out there enough with a few photos, how are other singles supposed to think you are dedicated to the process?
It’s the same thing as when you see an online dating profile that isn’t filled out completely. It shows a lack of effort and someone who just isn’t committed to the process. Do you think that’s going to attract the high-quality singles that you’re looking for?
Putting a few photos of yourself on your dating profile shows that you’re ready for the process. It shows that you are also someone who is serious about potentially meeting someone offline for a date. If you aren’t even ready to put your pictures up online, you probably aren’t going to be ready to meet someone in person.
Ultimately, having photos on your profile is going to get you a lot more attention and potential matches to chat with. Will it attract a few bozos or floozies? It probably will, but you’re going to be able to spot them from a mile away. When fishermen go net fishing, they always get some sea junk in the net on every cast along with what they’re fishing for. Should they stop fishing with a net because they get a few undesirables they need to throw back?
A Few Exceptions
There are, of course, a few rare exceptions where you could be correct to leave your photos off of your profile. First, if you’re at a dating site that allows you to have private photos AND it shows to other members that you have those private photos, it may be ok. You are still going to get fewer matches, but it is going to tell people that you are most likely real and are willing to share photos with the right match.
Second, if you are famous or a high-profile individual, you may need to leave things off for professional reasons. If this is the case, make sure that you make a note on your dating profile about it, so anyone that happens to be reading it does not think that you’re just a fake or spam match.
We would advise, though, that if at all possible, have pictures posted on your profile. If you don’t, see if the site allows you to attach them when you send your first message to a match. This will appease anyone because it’s pretty much the same as if you had the photos on your profile already, and it might make them feel special because you sent them privately to them.
Remember, though, if you take this approach you should send them along with your first message and you are going to have to be doing most of the initiating with matches. For many, that’s ok. If you’re busy and want to control how heavily you get into online dating, this is a decent way to do that. Why is it a decent way? It’s because profiles with pictures get MUCH more attention.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking to date online, you’re going to be looking to meet people. If you want to meet people online, you’re going to have to put yourself out there a bit. It shows to other potential singles that you’re real, you’re serious about this process, and you’re willing eventually to take things offline for the right match.
If one of your friends or coworkers sees you on there, it should be no big deal! Using online dating in the 21st century is no big deal and completely normal. You shouldn’t have any sensitive or personal information on your profile anyway, so you shouldn’t have anything to worry about there. And remember, for someone to see that you’re dating online, they have to be dating online as well.
It’s like if you’re embarrassed to go to the circus because you don’t want anyone to know that you love clowns. The only way they’re going to find out you went to the circus is if they themselves are also at the circus. It’s hard to give someone a hard time for something you’re doing yourself too. In reality, though, no one should be giving anyone a hard time for using technology to help them find love.
Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, NBC, FOX, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.