You know that moment you walk into a restaurant to meet a new guy—with whom you’ve been messaging for a week—and when you see each other in person for the first time there’s an instant connection and you just know he’s the one? No? Yeah, me neither. I’m fairly certain those moments, a la Charlotte and Trey from Sex in the City, don’t actually exist in real life (or at least not in my real life, haha).
Let me explain. I know that looks fade and appearance is certainly not something I solely base my to-date-or-not-to-date decision-making on, but it is definitely a marker for initial interaction (e.g. swiping right versus swiping left). That said, I somehow missed the Tinder and Bumble memos instructing single male hopefuls to only post photos that are 5+ years old, extremely blurry or bordering on inappropriate.
Guys: help me, help you. If you currently have any of the following in your online or app dating profile, please do yourself (and me) a favor and remove immediately.
The half-naked selfie in front your bathroom (or gym) mirror
I don’t care how ripped you are, this is just bad form, especially if you’re deliberately pulling your shorts/pants low enough to expose the top of your pubic area. Ever heard of leaving a little something to the imagination? Just saying…
And to the guys who have sent me similar photos after a first date where not even a kiss ensued: What were you thinking?
The pillow selfie
You know the one where you’re lying in bed with your head on the pillow and you have that awkward “this is my sexy-cute look” across your face? Yeah, no; just don’t. This is essentially the male equivalent to the female duck face—everybody’s doing it and absolutely nobody should.
A photo of you sticking your tongue out and in between your two peace fingers
This one doesn’t even need an explanation; just remove it and destroy the evidence—stat! You’ll thank me later…
A photo of you flipping off the camera
What are you, twelve? You might as well also include that college photo where you’re doing a keg stand. Trust me, no self-respecting woman finds either representation cool past the age of 23.
Photos of you with your ex
This is just weird and there should basically be a rule against it. I realize guys don’t have the myriad photo options that we ladies do, but nowadays, when pretty much everyone owns a smartphone with a decent camera function, there’s really no excuse. Enlist the help of one of your buddies (or their girlfriends) to take some new shots of you, sans your former fling. Do this and I can pretty much guarantee your “It’s a match!” game will improve.
Photos that are more than two years old
That’s just false advertisement. I don’t post pictures of me from my twenties and unless you’re still in yours, neither should you.
Photos depicting your former (operative word being former) short-haired or hairless self
If you currently have a ponytail, but all your photos show you with a nice short do, please either chop that puppy off or take some new snaps. Don’t get me wrong, some women are all about the man-bun (not this girl), so you’re only doing yourself a disservice by not uploading current photos, showcasing you in all your long-haired glory, and appropriately attracting those man-bun-lovin’ women. The same is true for facial hair. I love me a good five o’clock shadow—on a man, not on me; they have services for that (thank God!)—but it’s rather misleading when you think you’re meeting someone who’s clean-shaven only to show up and you’re on a date with Paul Bunyan. If WordPress had emojis, I’d insert the one with wide eyes here (because I’m pretty sure that’s the face I make whenever this happens).
And with regard to the “about me” portion of your profile, please, for the love/hate of online dating, stop. Using. QUOTES! Citing someone else’s words in lieu of your own is unoriginal, annoying and frankly tells me nothing about you. It doesn’t make you sound deeper or smarter—it just tells me that a) you’re full of shit or b) you have nothing intelligent to say and therefore have to rely on a stranger to say it for you. Here’s a tip: be honest. If you’re just looking to have fun, say so. If you genuinely want to meet somebody, say so. Share a few sincere tidbits about yourself (e.g. I enjoy being active and healthy, I’m adventurous and love to travel, I adore my six nephews, my friends are an extension of my family, etc.), as that is far more relatable than some philosophical jargon you found circulating social media and figured, “Hey, a bunch of chicks liked this on Facebook, so it’s totally going to make girls swipe right on Tinder.” No; it’s not.
Dating in this day and age is definitely entertaining. Thank you, Tinder and Bumble, for continuing to provide me with awkward, hilarious and “WTF” stories to tell, as I’m pretty sure I’m helping to keep the divorce rate down by sharing the salacious (and often humiliating) details with my married friends.
And to my fellow unmarried comrades, braving the world that is online/app dating, cheers to being single and happy swiping!
– S A D Y E E V Y N R E I S H
Photo source: Real Men Drink Whiskey