A Jewish Matchmaker Wants to Know, What’s Up with your Profile Picture?

When online dating first came on the scene, it was considered to be a questionable method for meeting your mate. Online daters were labeled “desperate” and relegated to a demographic that just wasn’t attractive enough to get asked out. My, how times have changed!

Today, that platform for the dateless has morphed into a one-night stand hookup tool, with just about every other mutation of digital dating in-between. With so many people online, so much competition for attention, and such ease of skipping from one profile to the next, why do so many profile pictures look like cr*p?

I continue to be shocked by the lack of attentiveness and concern that singles exhibit when choosing the profile pictures that are going to determine their online dating success (or lack of). Are people completely out of touch? Could it be that they don’t really want a relationship? What message are people actually trying to sending with their photos?

As a matchmaker, I advise my clients not to make strong judgements about attractiveness based upon a profile photo. I’ve been around long enough to know that photos can be very misleading. I’m sure that each of you has photos of yourself that don’t really look like you, and there are some of you who look better in photos and others of you who look better in person. The icing on the cake of the photo delusion is the fact that rarely is personality captured in a photo, and personality is most of what we find most attractive in another person. Personality is what brings facial features to life!

Given all of this, the appeal of a photo is still 99% of what makes a person decide whether or not they are interested in a match. No matter how much mental reasoning you are capable of, your emotional center takes over and you will dismiss potential matches whose photos don’t ring your visual buzzers. So, although I continue to stress to singles to wait until they meet a match in person before making judgements about attractiveness, I also acknowledge that a good profile photo is key to getting you noticed in the first place.

Imagine that your choice of photo was your only method of communication with a potential suitor. Forget the profile with your likes and dislikes for now; focus only on the photos. What do you want a potential suitor to see? Most likely, you want him/her to see who you “really” are, so there’s no need to “glam-out” if you prefer a natural look, but at the same time, there’s no benefit to looking like you just rolled out of bed, either.

But you already know all of this, right? You know it because you are responding to the photos of others the very same way they are responding to yours! When you’re scrolling through the thumbnail photos of available singles on Jdate, what are you hoping to see? What catches your eye? What makes you stop and click?

Be conscious of what attracts you to the photographs of other singles and use that criteria when choosing the photos to post to your own profile.

Try this, think of your profile pic as your visual resume. Your resume doesn’t list every mundane task you’ve performed at work, nor does it focus on your professional disappointments, it spotlights your achievements, your talents, your confidence, your ambitions, your passion. In other words, it’s the best possible version of your “work” self. Let your profile photo be the best possible version of your “visual” self, because ultimately, the photos you use are meant to appeal to the man or woman of your dreams. You are trying to capture the heart of that elusive “match-made-in-heaven” partner who is out there, somewhere, looking for you! You’ve got to stand out from the crowd!

Simply stated, choose your online photos with the intent of capturing the eye of your future beloved, and write your profile with the intent of capturing the imagination of your future beloved. Let the universe do the rest.