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June 20, 2011

Online Dating: Do Your Pictures Matter More Than Your Profile?

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/online_dating_do_your_pictures_matter_more_than_your_profile_20110620/

Photo

6/19/11

I am currently on Match.com and it’s a drag.  Dating is stressful and exhausting.  You put yourself out there, hope someone will read your profile and think you are worth meeting.  Then you go on a date and pray they are what they say they are, and look like the picture they have posted.

I don’t know what it’s like for men, but for women, we are also wondering if we will be safe, and if can we trust this stranger.  It’s a crapshoot to be sure, but one that we do because even though we know statistically it will probably not lead to anything, there is hope that maybe it will.

While on Match yesterday, I noticed I had a couple of pictures on my profile which were over a year old.  In the interest of honesty, I deleted those old photos and left up two that were recent.  I then decided to simply take a picture on my computer and post it to my profile.

I also checked out what I wrote about myself and felt it did not need to be changed.  It is an honest and open look into who I am, and what I am looking for.  So there I was on Sunday morning, on Match, with only my picture changed, and the madness began as the hits came on coming.

By the time I left at 11 to meet friends for massages and lunch, 287 men had checked out my profile and I received an insane number of winks and emails.  The fascinating thing is that men I have dated, or spoken to in the past, contacted me.  It was as if they did not know me.

A new online picture is like chum in the water.  Sharks are circling, then when it’s posted they make a b-line for it.  Men see something new, which is not really new at all, and they are interested.  Using technology as an analogy, a new online picture is like the latest must have gadget.

Had they read my profile they would have known who I was, and had they looked at the other picture they would have seen it was me, but all they did was look at the new picture and contact me.  It was fascinating.  Men are clearly visual and don’t pay too much attention to what we write.

The picture posted on the blog today is the one from my Match.com account. It’s at home, in front of the computer, with no make-up, no fancy lighting, just plain old me, and in the end feels the most organic.  This is what I look like everyday and that is who I need to put out there.

I went through the emails and found a couple of men I thought were interesting.  I ended up chatting with a man and we met for a drink at a dive bar by my home.  I did not wear any make-up, did not do anything special with my hair, just threw on a pair of jeans and headed out.

I felt beautiful because I was myself.  I was comfortable with myself because I was not projecting something that I’m not.  I don’t always wear makeup, or a dress and heals.  I feel my most attractive when my hair is simple, my skin is moisturized and healthy, and I’m in a pair of Levis.

We had a lovely date.  It was authentic and mellow.  He came in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and we hung out.  The lack of primping altered how we were.  It was not about impressing anyone, just getting to know each other.  It was the most comfortable date I think I have ever been on.

I am going on a second date with this man, but that is just a bonus because I found myself on this date.  I am funny, smart, intelligent and lovely.  The key to my dating success will be for me to be myself, and more importantly, to look like myself.  I am good enough.

I’m not saying I won’t ever put on makeup, or get dolled up in a dress and heels, because I will.  I’m a girl and I like to look pretty. The gift here is that I feel pretty whether I’m gussied up, or a plain Jane.  My wish is that more women can embrace themselves in this way.

I have a renewed sense of hope.  Not hope that I will meet someone online, but rather hope that I am living my best life, and the knowledge that my best life will be shared with a wonderful man.  Being myself is a blessing, and all it requires is keeping the faith.

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