The very first time I created an online dating profile – waaaay back in 2004, fools, and look who’s still in the game! #cries – I made what I thought was a very wise decision to *not* include a photo with my profile. I was really into this thing called “personality” back then, and I wanted men to like me for me, on the inside. It was also riiight on the cusp when online dating was moving out of the arena of creepsters/stalkers and into a socially acceptable thing – cue all the “my friends put me up to this!” and “I promise to make up a fake story to our families about how we met, haha!” – and so it was actually more rare to have a photo up on your profile than to not.
This is kind of hilarious now.
And baby, those days have changed.
As much as you might not want it to be, online dating is a visual game. I used to get ultra-annoyed at men whom I could tell had only looked at my photos and hadn’t read my profile before messaging me, until, after a certain span of time, I found myself doing the thing where I looked through all their photos before I even bothered to read their profile, too. There’s so much to say about the photo section of online dating, but first, let’s just say this:
You gots to have one.
And if you don’t, you should A., expect people to ask you why you don’t, and B., expect that people are going to ask you to send you one before they take a deep-dive into further correspondence with you.
A recent interaction I just had on OKC:
"I am definitely one of the most upfront, forth-coming honest and sexiest dudes you'll ever meet." – Dude w/ 0 photos of his face on OKC.
— AC Slayer (@amber_lcarter) September 11, 2015
And then this guy literally messaged me on there. So I basically copied + pasted this tweet back into my message with him. Good news, ladies – he recently had a run-in with a crazy stalker! And he’s just been put through the ringer by an ex! And so he doesn’t want to put photos on there in case they (both of them? or are they the same person? MYSTERY!) try to get back at him for being on OKC!
So. Much. Bullshit.
First of all: When a guy doesn’t have any photos of his actual face on OKC, just go ahead and assume that he’s not *supposed* to be on OKC.
And even if that’s (rarely) not the case, here’s one of my favorite things about OKC: You’ll see guys on there whose profiles don’t feature any or verrrry minimal photos of their actual face (like they’re perfectly posed so that you just see the briefest side of their face while they’re looking off at a distant mountain or something, or you’ll see a photo of them standing in front of a statue that looks like someone took it from across the freaking city), and then what’s the one thing they want to comment on when they message you?
And then, when you ask them to see a photo, they get all defensive, like YOU’RE the one being shallow for asking.
Guys, don’t do this shit.
The bottom line? You get to see all of MY photos and judge ME for my personal appearance, so it’s only fair that I get to do the same for you.
And I so understand the fear that your looks might get you tossed out of the gate before you even start. I do. I’m not a heartless monster (and as a woman, this is a true reality of my every damn day). But there’s no use trying to fool anyone…the basic truth is that you either post realistic, actual photos of yourself and hope for the best, or you manage to wrangle a date based on your most-flattering but decade-old photos and then you get to see the look of rejection in that person’s eyes when you show up and they realize that you sold them a bill of goods on an appearance that you actually don’t possess (or don’t possess anymore).
Or, you just keep on insisting on trying to convince them that your personality is so winning that looks shouldn’t mean anything. Which is…like…a thing that might sometimes happen and is not impossible, but it’s also one of the reasons why most people are so insistent on seeing a photo these days…because we’ve all heard the stories about someone who was so won over by a torrid message board / online msging affair only to meet in person and realize that there was absolutely no chemistry and that they had just wasted the past 3 months of the their life living in a castle made of clouds.
Or, they, you know, got Craigslist Killt by the person who was catfishing them.
So you gotta put up the goods when it comes to photos, because it does matter. Women on OKC aren’t so insistent on being as obvious about this point as the men are – i.e., we don’t feel the need to state “appearance does matter” in our profiles the way 90% of guys do (guys, stop doing this) – even though, unlike the menz, we are actually getting approached all the time by people we’re in no way attracted to (game’s up, bros – we already know hardly any women are messaging you on OKC, so stop acting like you’re just getting BOMBARDED by all of these unattractive women who are just begging to marry you). But appearance still does matter to us, and that doesn’t make us any less shallow than you.
Just post actual photos of your face on your profile, guys.
And if he doesn’t, ladies, you are absolutely entitled to simply respond back to his message with a “Would love to see a photo, thanks.” That’s it. You don’t have to say anything more, or apologize, or explain why it’s important to you. Just ask to see a photo.
And if he refuses, ask to see a photo of his wife.
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