It’s an age-old line – there are plenty of fish in the sea – but look around at the world of romance and relationships and it might start to look a lot more like an aquarium. Online dating has made scoping out prospective mates easier than ever, but it’s also made rejection a lot less personal.
Sign-up and start clicking ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to matches and usually you’ll find yourself clicking ‘no’ far more often than clicking ‘yes’ – and who is actually reading those well thought out descriptions? Chances are your first impression is coming straight from the photos popping up on your news feed – we’ve all done it – but maybe we shouldn’t have.
“You have to take photos with a grain of salt,” says Match Me Toronto‘s Rebecca Cooper Traynor. “A lot of time people are setting themselves up for failure.”
In an ever-vain world of selfies, it’s easy to skip the questionnaires on dating sites and rely on photos. We rely on and appreciate appearances, but we don’t realise how we are representing ourselves in the photos we post – expecting this overarching perception. Too many photos can hinder you from putting your best foot forward. If there’s something Traynor has gathered over her booming success in matchmaking, it’s that we need to remember to put our best foot forward when we’re out hunting partners.
“They might not look like they do in their photo, maybe they don’t photograph well,” says Traynor explaining that photos can also be photoshopped, or old in comparison to what the person looks like today. While you’re clicking ‘no’ based on a first glance the person might be exactly what you’re looking for.
“So many people are way better looking in real life,” says Traynor with a smile in her voice. “They take photos they think they’re attractive in and they’re bad angles.”
It could also go the other way, a prospective partner could have gained fifty pounds, have no smiling photos because they have no teeth, or take an upwards photo to imply they’re tall. It’s hard however, when we’re encouraged to post ourselves everywhere and document our every move.
Traynor recommends knowing yourself and knowing what you want. When asked what would be better than the everyday photos of say you and your cat, she says a professional photo, like a Linkedin photo, is more appropriate.
“If you’re someone whose looking for a long term partner, you need to prepare for it,” says Traynor. While she’s careful to explain that you shouldn’t treat the first date like an interview, she says you should almost prepare for it like one. She stresses that you need to know who you are – even examining your past relationships and knowing where your faults were with your past partners.
“Honestly read their interests, that’s really where it is,” says Traynor of online dating profiles. “People don’t see the value in what the questions are.”
When dating online we have to remember that while attraction and appearance are important, we can’t always judge a book by its cover. Not because the book itself is awesome on the inside, even though it might be, but because the cover artist may just not have known what they were doing.