Your Online Picture for Over-50 Dating Sites

The first thing in your online dating profile that people glance at is your picture. Many people spend only a few seconds checking out your picture before moving on to the next picture, and the next, looking for a face or smile that appeals to them. It’s not fair, and it’s not even in the web browser’s best interest, but it’s pretty much the way it happens.

The picture is more important than it should be. In real life, people take in a lot of cues at once about a person: her voice, her facial expressions, her dress, and of course how she says what she says. But online dating’s first introduction is a picture, and so appearance in online dating is more important than in real life.

Still, you can create a mood and convey more information in that picture if you pay attention to these points and take them seriously:

  • Don’t use a blurry picture. Most people just bypass a blurry picture, assuming that you used that picture because you don’t want to be seen — and perhaps that’s your reason! In any case, it’s a bad idea.

  • Don’t use an old picture. Pictures of you in high school will cause people to think that was your best moment and that you’re hiding your true self. Any picture older than a year or so isn’t a good idea.

    Consider getting a special picture taken just for this occasion. Women have an advantage in that they can wear makeup and get their hair styled to look their best. It’s not cheating to go to a salon and get professionally made up and then get your picture taken.

    You’ll look your very best for your profile picture, and you also may get some pointers that will help you look your best every day. It’s truly amazing what a skilled makeup artist and hair stylist can do to bring out your best characteristics.

  • Don’t use half a picture. People often take a picture and then cut their ex-husband or wife or kid out of it, and it looks funny. It looks like you don’t care enough to put a good picture of just you on the site.

  • Don’t use a raucous party picture. Unless you think each one of the people in this picture reflects well on you, you’ll be judged by how your friends look as well as yourself.

  • Do post a picture that looks friendly, open, and warm.

  • Do post more than one picture if the site allows it, but remember that each picture is as important as the next. Each picture should portray you at your best. It does help if you show some pictures of you doing different things: boating, traveling, hiking, painting, and so on.

  • If you post only one picture, don’t use one with your children in it. Doing so makes the viewer uncertain about your priorities or what role potential dates would be expected to play with your family.

    Be careful if you post a picture with your adult children — sometimes they look like they could be a partner. Likewise, be careful of a picture that shows you with a grandchild; that could look like you have a young child at home. For some people, that would be a deal breaker.

  • Don’t pick a picture that doesn’t look like you when you sit down for coffee. People get angry if a picture misrepresents you. It can be a good version of you — but not so good that it doesn’t look like you in real life.

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