Your Picture for a Dating Site

When you upload pictures to a profile on a dating site, it has certain advantages if you do this just right. Even not doing it wrongly can help. In general, there are certain things you should take on board before you do so to keep you out of the worst blunders.

There are a few obvious points I’m going to make, but looking at dating sites I found that even the most obvious rules need to be spelled out in words of no more than one syllable to be understood. So let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way and then progress to the more complicated part of this guide to uploading pictures to a dating site.

Use only photographs showing you, not showing anybody else. Wanting to look like Zac Efron or Princess Charlene of Monaco doesn't make you look like either of them. It therefore is advisable to stick to the truth; otherwise all you’ll get is rejection and ridicule.

Zac Efron

Use recent pictures. If your profile states 39 as an age and the pictures show you as a 25 year old, you’ll not win any prices. It’s even worse if you are 39 and your profile states 25 as an age, but that is another piece of cake. It doesn't help you either way once your opposite encounters a wrinkled up and lived down version of your profile picture.

So far it should have been easy to follow. Now comes the difficult bit. When visiting dating sites, you’ll find many people posting photographs they took by means of a mirror. While this might seem an expedient way to do it (you don’t need anyone taking your picture; it follows that nobody need know you are entering a profile on a dating site, too), it will not serve you well.

Our faces are not symmetrical; contrariwise, they are decidedly uneven. If you took half of your face, mirrored it, and then stuck it together, you wouldn't know that person on the picture; in fact, it would look decidedly alien. It also means that inverting the view on your face makes it appear completely different from its natural view. A person seen face to face and through a mirror is not the same to look at because the left and the right half of the face display different personality traits.

Finally, there is the problem of the left gaze bias; the tendency of humans to flicker their eyes to the left of an approaching face makes it so important to have the right part of the face there at the first encounter and be it only as a picture. First impressions are the most important ones, and showing off your face inverted by means of a mirror will work against you when you meet your opposite in real for the first time.

If you have your picture taken by someone else, the camera captures you as your opposite sees you; if you take your picture through the mirror, it shows it inverted to your natural state, and this will irritate your opposite at the first encounter. That opposite will not easily reconcile the inverted picture with reality.

A further problem coming from the left gaze bias is the way you choose pictures for your profile on the dating site. You are looking at your own photographs differently than anybody else; this is mainly due to the fact that you rarely encounter yourself head-on but rather by means of a mirror. You’ll probably have noticed over time that photographs that please your friends and family don’t necessarily please you. And when you put pictures out to see for others, you shouldn't be guided by the way you want to see yourself, but rather by the way you are seen by others.

And if you don’t want to admit to others that you are making a profile on a dating site and therefore don’t want to ask for help in choosing the photographs to put up for view, then use the mirror to look at them. That should help you see your face the way others do, only the other way round, if you get my meaning.

And if you plan to send a photograph of yours with your next job application, what I said above is just as applicable. Have a trusted person choose your picture to improve your chances in getting the job you desire.