8.17.2010

How Not to Pick Up Women Online

Gentlemen, it's all about the profile picture. 

I've been online looking around at the dating sites and have noticed patterns that turn me off.  I think you all need a little help.

Consider this, people scan through a hundred or more profile pictures, each photo gets less than a second's consideration. The viewers eyes won't stop on a photo unless it grabs her attention.  Her attention can be grabbed in both good and bad ways. 
These are the bad ways:

  • SHIRTLESS. Really? It's tacky. If I wanted meaningless sex, then I'd want to see your bare chest.  Maybe that's the point.  That's the message you're sending. If you want a nice girl looking for a serious relationship, then put your shirt back on.  
  • PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT:  Unless you are an actor, this screams desperate with a capital D.  This guy is so needy for a date, he went to the mall and paid someone to take his picture. Or, he's an actor. Either way, next.
  • BOY BAND POSE: You've seen these. A boy leaning against a door frame with his shirt just opened enough to tease.  Standing in the rain, looking off into the distance.  Again, this screams desperate and raises a flag that this man is overly-vain. 
  • BLACK & WHITE Photo: Pretentious. This guy is trying to stand out and look artistic. He's trying too hard. Yawn.
  • The CUT-OUT: The picture with his ex-girlfriend or wife cut out of it. You can still see her cheek against his, or her hair hanging down.  This is off-putting. Women think: This guy just got out of a relationship.  Baggage. He's probably hung up on her since he hasn't taken a new photo. And he's bitter enough to photoshop a woman he cared for out of a nice photo. I don't want him to do that to me. Moving on.
  • The PLAYA: He poses with his babes. Or maybe one babe. But there's a hot chick hanging around his neck. This is not good. First, a woman compares herself to the babe and may feel inferior. Then, she judges the man by the girl in the photo. Do you really want to be associated with the bleach blond bimbo? It also gives the impression that there's competition for this man and he's proud of it. No thank you. 
  • GOOFY HIPSTER: The guy with dirty hair and expensive old looking t-shirt in a silly pose, with a dumb hat, or wearing a costume or making a face.  It's cute if you're under 25. Over 25, and the man looks childish and immature. 
  • HUNTING SHOT: If you're looking for a Sarah Palen type, then by all means, post a picture with your rifle. Otherwise, you look like a psychopath.
  • DADDY: Risky, very risky. Men holding babies or playing with kids are sexy, but.... the first assumption is that those are YOUR kids. That's scary. If they're not your kids, don't put them in your profile shot. If they are your kids, then advertising that you're a father may seem like a good idea. However, you are losing a lot of clicks.  I suggest moving these to your 2nd photo so at least you get a profile viewing.  If she's interested enough, then she'll be okay with kids. 
  • SPORTS CAR: Or, SUV or truck. This guy thinks standing in front of his expensive car is going to make him attractive. That fact alone is a deal-breaker. 
The best kind of profile shot is simple, it should show most of your face. The action shots and traveling shots are okay.  But, those are better as 2nd and 3rd photos. We want to like your face before we take the time to click on your profile.

6 comments:

Sterling Fluharty said...

Agreed on all points.

SavvyD said...

I would like to order a hipster. :) I actually don't see very many.

SavvyD said...

Seriously--I have learned to love the Moz.

Stefano said...

I'd say: use a picture that represents you well. If you're looking for someone to share a lot of time with, he/she should definitely know who you are, at first glance. The disappointment after the first couple of dates is almost always assured nowadays. And I find it VERY annoying. (and when you check FB profile pics, you always find out that people prefer the most unrealistic ones!)

JL said...

I don't think Hipsters use the paid websites. If you seriously want one, move to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That's their world headquarters. Beware, they only mate with their own.

For me, online dating has always lead to disappointment. The best way to approach it is with low expectations. Know that the person is not who you think they are. That way, you can enjoy the date because you're getting out and doing something fun. Whatever the person is like. I've made a few friends that way. We didn't like like each other but they're nice and we get along.

JL said...

SavvyD,
That's awesome. Welcome to the cult of Morrissey. There is no turning back now, ever.