If you’re like most single men, you probably have at least one online dating profile. But if you’re not getting the attention or results you want, it may be time for a makeover.
The single biggest reason men strike out online is their failure to capture women’s interest with their profile pictures. You can put as much effort as you want into your profile descriptions, but if your photos are boring, or worse, tacky, your single status won’t be changing anytime soon.
The key to online success is cultivating your own personal style and letting it show. Having style isn’t about being the best-dressed or wearing designer duds, it’s about portraying an image women will find attractive.
Let’s take a look at the eight most common profile pic blunders.
Hiding Your Face
You’ve seen them. Pictures showing the body with the head cropped out or with an emoji covering the face. You might think women will find this intriguing. Or maybe it’s a way to protect your privacy. Either way, it’s a bad play if you want to get a date.
If you continually post pictures of yourself from the neck down, women are going to wonder what you’re hiding. Are you a criminal on the lam? Are you married and cheating on your wife? Or are you just really ugly? Those are not the type of thoughts you want to be inspiring.
Instead, choose pictures of you smiling at the camera. Even if you’re not the most handsome or photogenic guy, you’ll have far better luck if you post a picture that doesn’t hide your face. Women want to see all of you.
When we say women want to see all of you, we don’t mean ALL of you. If you want to attract the right type of attention, you’ll keep your clothes on in your profile pics. This goes for regular dating sites as well as dating sites that are more focused on hookups and flings.
You might be turned on by profile pictures of scantily clad women, but keep in mind that women don’t think the same way that men do. You might think a dick pic will make women want to sleep with you, but it’s more likely they’ll see you as a player or a pervert. A woman interested in a relationship is going to swipe right on your pictures if you choose to bare it all.
While we’re on the topic of showing too much skin, let’s address the overdone muscle pics. You may be a buff guy who works hard on his body. But please, don’t post a cringe-worthy bathroom selfie where you lift up your shirt to reveal your abs. Photos with you flexing your muscles for the camera are just as bad. If you want to look good while you’re at the gym you definitely can. You just need to be careful with how that looks on your profile.
While women find a well-conditioned body sexy, these types of poses come off as arrogant and immature. That’s not the impression you want to give the women your interested in.
So if you have a buff bod that you want to show off, do it with style. Post a picture of you surfing, playing beach volleyball or on a boat wearing boardshorts. But try to avoid flexing or posing for the camera; it might make women think you’re just a musclehead.
Muscle pics aren’t the only overdone poses. Another pose to strike off your list is the very cliché muscle car photo–the one where you’re leaning back against your vehicle, arms folded across your chest, giving the camera a cocky grin. You might think it makes you look manly, but it kind of looks like having a fancy car is the entirety of your personality.
Instead, choose a photo where you’re doing something interesting: playing sports, working or even playing fetch with your dog. These types of shots are much more genuine and give women a glimpse of your interests.
Looking Like a Slob
You wouldn’t show up on a first date wearing sweatpants, would you? Of course not. You always try to look your best when you’re meeting a woman for the first time. The same premise should be applied to your profile pictures. Women form an opinion about a guy within seconds.
If you want that opinion to be a favorable one, then your pictures should show you looking your best. There are way too many profile pictures out there showing men lounging on the couch in an old T-shirt, sporting bed head. Trust us, this does not make you look cute or approachable. It makes you look like a slob who can’t be bothered to make an effort with his appearance.
Photos of you in a crisp button-down or polo shirt (and please iron them first!) are a great choice. If you wear suits for work, why not wow the ladies of you looking dapper in a jacket and tie?
When women see a man who’s well-dressed, that automatically makes them think he’s ambitious and has his life together. And there’s not a woman around who doesn’t like that.
Not Including Variety
If you’re one of those guys with a standard headshot—and that’s it—on his profile, you may want to reconsider your approach. No matter how great you look in that headshot, women want to get a sense of who a guy is before connecting.
The quickest way to show the ladies who you are is by choosing five or six flattering shots to post. In one picture you may want to wear that suit, but the next one can be more low-key with you wearing jeans and a nice T-shirt. A few posed shots and some action shots are a great mix. Just keep the action shots looking natural and not staged.
You’ll definitely want to avoid posting group shots or pictures of you and your pals. Women will be quick to measure up everyone in the photos—and you don’t want to come up short compared to your friends.
Posing With Other Women
This one should be a no-brainer. But given that there are still a ton of profile photos out there showing guys posing with other women, it obviously needs to be said. NEVER do this. No matter how great you look in the photo, this is not one to post on your dating profile.
Sharing photos of you with your arms around women won’t leave the women looking at your profile with a favorable impression. They have no way of knowing who those women are, so they’re naturally going to assume the worst: that you’re a player. Instead, you’ll want to stick to photos that feature you and you alone.
Not Considering the Background
When choosing profile pictures, be mindful of the entire photo. Make sure there’s nothing off-putting in the photo. If your house is messy, make sure you take photos in the least messy part of your place. No woman wants to see clothes on the floor and a sink full of dirty dishes. The same goes for empty beer bottles. If a woman sees a ton of empties lying around, she’ll think you drink way too much.
When posing for a photo, choose a nice background to enhance the overall effect. Outdoors always works well, as does posing near interesting architecture.
If you’re guilty of any of these eight common mistakes, it might be time to start over. With our advice and a little creativity of your own, your stylish profile pictures will catch the attention of singles ladies on the prowl.