Why Isn’t An Online Dating Profile Photo Needed?

Why Isn’t An Online Dating Profile Photo Needed?

Is Success Possible Without An Online Dating Profile Photo?

I am not going to do a survey or search the internet to find out how many people include a photo along with their written profiles on online dating sites.  Discussions with any of your friends who are using online dating sites will quickly reveal the natural tendency for people to post their photos.  Three of the four participants in the solsticesisters’ series about online dating posted their photos.  The series includes four case studies: two women (Honeysuckle and Poppy) and two men (Tigers Eye and Obsidian).  Here’s what they had to say about how they felt about posting their photos.

  • Honeysuckle was uncomfortable with posting body shots.
  • Poppy felt it was important to use up-to-date pictures.
  • Tigers Eye had no problem with posting his photo.
  • Obsidian took his photo down after reading what women wanted.

Profiles with photos receive more responses.

I won’t argue against what seems obvious.  In fact, it’s said that profiles with photos receive twice as many responses as those without.  By all means, if you are concerned with the number of people who contact you, then you probably should post your photo.

As I mentioned in my post about why so many people are trying online dating, when I activated my account with eHarmony, I chose not to make my photo available to my matches upfront.

Why didn’t I post my photo?

I had a clear idea about what kind of experience I was open to having through online dating.  I felt that every time I stepped outside my door I was judged by my physical appearance before anything else was even considered.  I had no particular insecurities about my physical appearance.  I even considered myself to be fairly photogenic.  Okay, well, given the right lighting, angle, and distance between the camera and me, I could take a photo that was magazine cover worthy.  I asked myself what I could do to make the online experience different from my day-to-day experiences with meeting men.  I concluded that since men wouldn’t know what I looked like, they would have to focus on communicating with me in order to get to know me. I wanted men to be compelled to want to know more about me based on my written profile and my answers to their questions.

How did not posting my photo work?

I had approximately 150 matches through eHarmony.  It was amazing!  On the first day, almost immediately, I received “close” notifications.  Many men (approximately 25%) wrote me off without ever engaging me.  I didn’t understand why until I began to look at their reasons.  In most cases, it was because I didn’t have a photo posted.  I was disappointed, but not enough to change my approach.  I truly felt it was their loss, not mine.  I had a difficult time believing that none of my matches were willing to go through eHarmony’s process (guided communication to open communication).  As the days passed, I continued to receive close notifications, but I was also engaged in several conversations with men who didn’t seem to care that there was no photo of me for them to gaze at and to critique.  Once matches made it through the entire guided communication process, my photo would be made available to them.  I liked to imagine how the men reacted to seeing my photo suddenly appear after what typically had been several days or even a few weeks of communication back and forth through email.  I believe my photo was a surprise for most of them and that I didn’t quite fit the image they had conjured up in their minds.

I successfully connected with men who seemed to value more than my looks.

Do you want to know what happened next?

Look for the answer in an upcoming post…


4 thoughts on “Why Isn’t An Online Dating Profile Photo Needed?

  1. I’ve found that I get a lot more responses with a photo than without. My profile is pretty lean with verbage though. I find that a few choice lines and a few pics works well for me.

    1. Dramafreepaul. Love the name. I think it comes down to being willing to do what feels comfortable to you. I just want people to know that you can have success connecting to others even if you choose not to share a photo.

  2. Dramafreepaul I love the name as well. I like the fact that it’s straight to the point in describing who you are!!! Love it!!!! I also like the idea that solsticesister had about not sharing her picture, because it allows the man to enjoy your personality first before seeing the actual body with a face. I think it’s also safer when dating online for a woman and man.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with focusing on qualities other than physical appearance when you’re getting to know someone. Hmmmm…your comment about safety may cause me to make a change to my interview questions.

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