It is a truth universally acknowledged that the profile picture is the single most important element of any attempt at online dating.
Sorry to sound so shallow, but let’s call a spade a spade. We all know what I’m saying is true.
So why do so many men get it so wrong on so many levels?
Firstly – and this is a real bugbear of mine – what is with the plethora of Xmas jumper pics? I know what you’re going to say, but no, this is not a post-festivities phenomenon. I joined Match.com months ago (September maybe? August? All those bad dates just blur into one…) and I was amazed at how many profile pictures featured cringy Christmas attire – truly horrid jumpers, tacky tinsel, straining Santa outfits, dogs wearing glittery antlers, men with Xmas decorations dangling from their ears, etc.
Lest us not forget that this was in the heat of summer!
Sorry guys, but failing to change your festive profile picture is laziness in the extreme. I’m not asking for much; I don’t expect you to update your Match.com wardrobe with the seasons, but if you’re still sporting an Xmas jumper in Quarter 3, I’m going to assume you’re a little lazy in all aspects of life… And that does not bode at all well, my friend…
No. No. No.
The men of Match.com do seem to like to pose with animals. I’m not entirely sure why. I reckon it maybe stems from some sort of misguided belief that us women will associate them as being of highly-attractive hunter-gatherer descent and will be queuing up to drop our
Newsflash: We’re not.
I can kind of understand photos taken with the domesticated variety of animal (“I’m gentle and sweet and love my doggy” being the implied message), but many pictures feature animals of a far more exotic nature. I’ve come across photos of men with snakes (“I have a big… snake”)
Birds of prey (“I can tame…all manner of birds, if you catch my drift…”)
Turtles (“I’m a budding David Attenborough and I know the ladies love him…”)
And cheetahs (at least I think it’s a cheetah… thoughts?)
I’m assuming all the featured men reckon they’re being highly original with their animal-themed pictures.
One word: Deluded.
I have also collected photos of men with penguins, elephants, camels and replica dinosaurs, but I think you probably get the general idea from the examples above…
For years, my friend Lindsay and I have exchanged photos of men posing with big fish (yep, you read that correctly). We have a whole WhatsApp feed dedicated to the scintillating (jokes!) subject.
Literally hours of high-quality entertainment (hey, we were single and skint). You would be AMAZED at how common this type of profile picture is in the weird and wonderful world of online dating.
At first, we thought it was a Scottish phenomenon (Linds was Tindering in Edinburgh and screenshotting all the best examples for me). Men posing proudly on the banks of lochs and rivers, brandishing giant specimens of aquatic life.
Presumably this was for the approval of womankind everywhere (why else would you put that as your profile picture?) When I joined Match, I realised to my abject horror (and slight delight – so may WhatsApp opportunities!), that men in England were partial to a big-fish pose, too… Lindsay also discovered that when she went on holiday abroad, she didn’t escape the men with fishy fetishes.
I am man. I hunt. I gather.
I provide for my woman…
So. Effing. WEIRD!
I recently got chatting to a fishing fetishist in real-life – I’ve never knowingly contacted a fish-man on Match. Although thinking about it, who knows – it’s not like I actually remember messaging Pleatherman, is it?! https://whentwogodating.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/pleatherman-an-update/)
Anyway, the aforementioned real-life person (man, it’s a man; women generally have better hobbies) regularly embarks on this type of ‘sport’ fishing. I tried not to judge too much; I recently ran 26.2 miles for ‘fun’, after all. And I’m certainly not going to get onto the subject of what actually constitutes a sport and what blatantly doesn’t… (However, for the record, if you’re lying down in a special fishing bed, staying nice and dry thanks to your special big fishing umbrella, whilst drinking tea from a special fishing flask and eating chocolate biscuits, then it’s definitely not a sport, mate).
But anyway, I digress…
What Fisherboy told me was very interesting indeed (well, as interesting as any discussion about catching special fish in a big pond is ever going to be, obvs. It’s all relative, and I feel I did remarkably well to remain awake for the duration of the discussion…*)
So dear readers, I listened, I didn’t doze off, and I found out the following for you…
When these fish are caught, they are swiftly weighed, a photo is quickly taken (this may explain the particularly poor quality of many of these profile pics…), and then the fish is released back into the water so it can be caught by another eager fisherman.
Ha! There goes my hunter-gatherer theory…
But also, who takes the photos? (I’m led to believe fishing is a solitary pursuit…) Do they sit their phones on a big rock and set a timer? Do I actually care enough to find out? **
I saved the best for last, guys…
All these fish have names.
They. Have. Names.
The fish in a lake/loch/river(?! Surely not…) all have individual names.
5am runs on a Sunday morning; mustn’t judge, mustn’t judge…
Am judging massively here!
Names. They give the fish names.
Who gives them the names? Is it a ballot? A competition? The first person to catch them? How do they tell if they’re male or female? Also, how do they tell them apart, full stop?!
Take a wee minute to think about this… When one signs up for Tinder or Match, one tends to cast one’s net (see what I did there?) over a relatively small geographical area. This means that these fishy profile pics are very likely to contain the same few fish.
I’m not sure how to follow this revelation… I think the only way forward is to regale you with a selection of a few of my favourite most random profile pics. Here are some more truly ‘special’ shots for your perusal ***
And one more…
And one last one for good luck…
I absolutely love this profile picture, it raises so many questions!
- Was this picture on his camera roll or did he get a store assistant to take it specially?
- If it was on his camera roll, why was it on his camera roll?
- What does he believe it says about him? “Look, I’m in a trainer shop, I have the necessary motivation to begin an exercise regime!” or did he just think it was a flattering photo of himself?
I feel the need to reiterate at this point that Match.com is a dating site that you have to pay for; these men have paid good money and then posted the above pictures in the hope of reeling in women (I really need to stop with the fishing references).
And then you have the guys that decide not to go for the at one with nature fish and animal pictures, or the truly random, and instead opt for a trusty selfie…
Selfies are okay(ish), selfies taken in bed are not.
Selfies in bed with a girl cropped off the side are definitely not.
Just putting it out there.
Selfies in a hospital bed are properly weird.
Seriously, what possesses these guys?
Others move from the bedroom and, instead, pose for a classic Bathroom Selfie. This is my favourite one. Look at it! Would you ever contact a guy who doesn’t put the toilet seat down before taking a photo? Nope, me either.
I don’t care how many ‘shared interests’ we have, I also have bathroom-related standards.
A friend brought it to my attention recently that some men have a profile picture of a car. Not them beside a car, or in a car (although these do feature, too), but just a car. Are there women out there who date men based on what they drive? If they exist, I imagine they’re perusing the likes of Sugardaddy.com and not Match…
The profile pictures I hate the very most of all are gym shots. At this point, I feel I need to be honest and admit that when I first joined Match, I included a picture of myself post-half-marathon, wearing a race number and medal, glass of fizz held aloft (i.e. Smug Exerciser Alert) But I took that picture down. I’d like to say it was due to my aversion towards all things smug, but really it was because I know how easy it is to search for race numbers and find out a person’s full name then you can find him on Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
But in my defence, I do not think such pictures are as bad as flex-y, oily, veiny, gym selfies, or pictures of men lounging on the beach. I mean seriously, who in their right mind would contact this guy:
Or this guy:
I also tend to veto men for the following photographic failures (what can I say, I’m shallow…):
- They have multiple pictures and they are holding an alcoholic drink in ALL of them (hey, I like a drink as much as the next person, but at least have the gumption to pretend that you don’t have mild addiction issues). Top tip: If you hate getting your photo taken unless your inhibitions are lowered by the demon drink then crop your pint/wine glass/Prosecco bottle out of the picture!
- They have multiple IDENTICAL pictures (this is a lot more common that you may think).
- They have pictures of themselves that were obviously taken YEARS apart (one full head of luxurious locks, one featuring massive bald spot). Why the hell would I want to know what you looked like 15 years ago?!
- They are topless (See above).
- They are wearing fancy dress (I hate fancy dress with a passion. A guy who chooses a fancy-dress-featuring photo as his profile pic is clearly into this type of organised ‘fun’).
- They have used the type of Snapchat filter aimed at teenage girls (yeah, I sound sexist, but guys with halos of flowers… really?!) Actually, I lie. I veto them if they use any Snapchat filter.
- They have more than 10 pictures (vain weirdo alert).
- They realise that dick pics don’t get approved, so they improvise… (see below):
Look at that sign behind him.
So yeah, there you have it, a wee summary of my own personal dos and don’t when it comes to profile pictures.
*Honestly, I could have recorded this shit and made my millions selling it as a cure for insomnia. The things I do for the good of this blog!
** No, I certainly don’t.
***Pretty sure I need to give Amy credit for some of these – my screenshots and hers are jumbled together in a wonderful assortment of weirdness.