The Rules Of Online Dating Profile Photos

Some people have problems that require delicate advice from a qualified professional. Others just need a random a guy on the internet to kick 'em in the teeth (with honesty, that is). I'm the latter. Welcome back to Tough Love.

Photo: Camponez

My Roommate's Boyfriend Long Overstays His Welcome

Some people have problems that require delicate advice from a qualified professional. Others just need a random a guy on the internet to kick 'em in the teeth with their blunt honesty. I'm the latter. Welcome back to Tough Love.

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This week we have a woman who's worried she isn't being honest enough with her online dating profile photos.

Note: I'm not a therapist or health professional of any kind. People ask for my advice and I give it to them. End of transaction. If you have a problem with it, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with it.

Hi Patrick,

I have an online dating question for you. To be blunt, I am a very curvy chick that happens to be extremely photogenic. I tend to receive messages from dudes that seem great, but I can't believe they would actually be interested in me if we met in person. Generally, I ignore these messages… although it sucks because I do think a lot of them are my type. I would just hate to embarrass myself and waste both our time if we meet in person and I am not what they expected.

Not sure how to handle this situation. And yes I do have a full length pic on my profile, but I did use a flattering one (sorry not going to use ugly pics, that's just silly) and yes I do check curvy or prefer not to say under body type. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Curvy Gal

Hey Curvy Gal,

Everybody uses photos that make them look their best online. It's completely stupid not to. If you've got a full body pic in there and you mention that you're curvy in your profile, you're not doing anything dishonest or confusing. For future reference, these are the big don'ts you want to avoid when it comes to dating profile photos:

  1. Don't have only one photo.
  2. Don't only show photos of your face (you need at least one full body pic).
  3. Don't use photos that are more than three years old if you can help it. Definitely don't use photos that are more than five years old.
  4. Don't have photos without you in them (you'd be surprised).
  5. Don't cover your face in every photo (sunglasses, hands, coffee and so on).
  6. Don't post group photos unless you can clearly point out who you are.

You aren't doing any of those things as far as I know, Curvy Gal, so you're all good. Those guys who are messaging you are probably into you! A lot of guys like curvy chicks, so be confident in who you are.

You'll never know what's going to happen until you suck up your fear, take a risk, and give someone a chance, Curvy. That's how online dating works! There's no sure thing, and no reward without risk. It's good to be cautious, be safe, and go in with reasonable expectations, but at some point you just have to try. Pick a guy, or two, or three, and see where things go.


That's it for this week. I probably didn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but sometimes what you need is some tough love. 'Til next time, figure things out for yourself.


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