One of the most important aspects of your online dating experience, and one of the things that’s most likely to help or harm that experience, is your profile picture. If a picture indeed is worth a thousand words, then your online dating profile picture is worth, well, at least four or five regular pictures. In many cases, a potential date will either decide she’s interested or repulsed by a simple glance at that picture.
Now, in the early days of online dating, this wasn’t so much an issue. When the services were more or less glorified message boards, there wasn’t the bandwidth to handle thousands of pictures. Today, however, online dating sites have millions of pictures, and if yours doesn’t stand out then you’re likely to miss opportunities.
Here are some of the most common myths that tend to surround the online dating profile picture:
- It’s always better to smile in your profile picture. The fact of the matter is that men and women tend to have very different approaches to smiling on their picture. Women are about twice as likely to smile than men, and four times to make a face that would be considered flirtatious. Believe it or not, however, you’re going to have better success with the flirtatious look – but only if it’s directed at the camera. Women should trade in that smile for a flirty look. Men’s profile pictures, however, tend to get more responses when the man looks away from the camera and doesn’t smile.
- The overhead shot doesn’t work. The profile picture sometimes known as the “MySpace pose” is the one where you hold the camera above your head and look up. Believe it or not, that angle actually does tend to get more responses than a traditional straight-on picture. It’s not just the potential for cleavage that happens here, either. The statistics show that the same angle without cleavage is still better than a straight-on shot.
- Ab shots are for bozos. Here’s another one from the research that surprises most folks. Pictures of guys without their shirts on actually get more responses than those that keep their torso under cover. There is a caveat here, of course: if your torso isn’t particularly in shape, you’re best off leaving that shirt on. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you’re not a bozo if you take off your shirt, but it does mean you’re more likely to get a response.