Is that you? Pictures are just a rough facsimile of the real thing

When I was first dating, I wouldn’t respond to someone if their picture wasn’t appealing, even if they sent an articulate, fun email. I also turned down any contact who I couldn’t imagine kissing, based on his picture. I didn’t meet a lot of new guys with these criteria!

Now I’ve learned that pics in online dating profiles are an approximation of what the person looks like. Even recent photos don’t reflect the twinkle in his eye, how cute he is when he smiles, or how he makes you laugh with that silly expression. So I’ve learned to give him a benefit of a doubt if his profile, emails and calls are intriguing.

The other rampant problem with photos is many folks (men and women, I’m told) post pictures more than two years old. I think it is dishonest to post any pics more than 2 years old, even if they are among recent ones, unless you put the date on them. I’ve only not recognized one guy when I met him because his pic was 10 years old. I was attracted to my first online date because of his picture with little kids. When I met him, I realized those were his kids, not the grandkids he’d mentioned to me. In other words, his picture was 30 years old!

I have also met lots of guys who posted pics from when they were 60 lbs. lighter, or had hair (or hair another color but gray). I understand they think that if they present themselves as younger, they will get more responses. Perhaps they expect they will use their charm to overcome the disappointment of their date when she is having coffee with the white-haired guy with the paunch, not the buff stud in the pic (from 20 years ago). It’s seldom worked for me.

So, the lessons for you: 1) only post or send pics fewer than 2 years old, and 2) if other things are compelling, go ahead and meet the guy even if his pic isn’t.

4 comments on this post.
  1. Gatti:

    After my own experiences (mostly good) and the shocking tales told to me by others, I believe that the picture(s) should give a decent impression of what you look like now. I agree that some people don’t photograph well (or been photographed by someone who doesn’t know how to do it well), but I still want to see in the photo more-or-less what will show up at the restaurant.

    What on earth are these people thinking? That you will be so bowled over by their personality as to overlook their changed appearance? That you won’t mind that they’ve gained so much weight that they can’t even get out of their car to greet you? (Someone actually told me this, and my question was “How did she get into the car in the first place???”).

    Start a relationship with a big lie…no, I don’t think that would work for me. And then I would be thinking “What else have you lied about?”

  2. Bookyone:

    Hi DG and Gatti,

    I agree, when it comes to pix, honesty (and up to date shots) is the best policy. That said, I refuse to post pix on dating websites; for me it is a matter of principle. IMHO, if a guy find my profile appealing then he can contact me. I know then (or at least have an inkling) that the guy finds ME appealing and not the face I present to the world.

    That said, I am physically disabled, which I disclose upfront, as I feel it’s only fair. That way any guy who can’t deal with a disabled woman doesn’t feel like he’s been cheated or lied to when he meets me in person. Dating as a disabled person is a challenge in and of itself. That’s when you find out who the real princes are, and, believe me, there are a lot more frogs out there than princes…

    Best wishes from bookyone :)

  3. Use marketing techniques for dating « Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40:

    [...] Poor pictures. Blurry, dark, or the face is covered with sunglasses and/or a hat. I’ve covered this before in “Is that you? Pictures are just a rough facsimile of the real thing.” [...]

  4. Richard:

    I would rather see a profile with no pictures than a profile with pictures where I can barely see you, pictures of your pets, pictures of anything but the person, and fake pics. If you post anything but you, then I assume you have a lack of self confidence. If you post fake pics, then I wonder what else you are not telling the truth about. With image search it is easy to find stolen pictures. If you do not have a picture, I assume you value your privacy, which is fine by me.

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