If you’re uncertain about dating online, trust me, I was a little reluctant at first to get on something like Bumble. But, I had been in a long term relationship that was unhealthy for me. So when it was all over, I decided I needed help, and I hired a relationship coach. We went through her program, PIVOT. I learned about boundaries, relationship alignment, and what my preferences and non-negotiables were for my next partner. I got really clear and intentional. I always say: why not be intentional with dating when you're intentional everywhere else in your life. The final part was to create a dating plan which included online dating among other things. And guess what, I met my love on Bumble. Whoop.
Fast forward, and my cat, Olive and I have been living with Justin for a year and a half and we’ve been dating for two and a half years. He’s the love of my life. And you know what, my profile had a mix of professional photos of me (I’ve had my own glam session) as well as photos of friends, travel, and yoga - my passions. When I was actively dating online, I paid a lot of attention to the photos, specifically the eyes, and what was written. I swiped right on Justin because he had kind eyes. :)
Our whole lives are online. We shop online; we date online; we network online; we do business online. More times than not, people are meeting you for the first time online. Here are 4 things to consider when you put yourself out into the world of online dating.
The only way you are going to find your partner in crime is by being your unique and beautiful self. It’s a pretty cliché rule, but in my experience, clichés always carry a little nugget of truth. When getting that perfect shot for Bumble, Hinge, Match.com, or whichever app you use, focus on presenting your authentic self. Your words are also important, so be authentic there as well.
People rarely (if ever) see themselves the way the rest of the world sees them. Quite often, this means we are all too critical of ourselves and our perceived flaws. First of all, it is way easier to have negative self-talk than it is to lift yourself up. I’m not sure why but that’s the truth. And secondly, you are way more interesting than your body is. So stop that negative self-talk.
I always encourage people to give themselves permission to look and feel amazing. It will shine through. It takes practice and a lot of positive self-talk, but owning who you are with confidence is beautiful and that beauty shines through in a photo. You’ll stand straighter, smile brighter and be more satisfied with the end results. You will feel proud to be seen, and others will take notice. That energy is very attractive and contagious.
Remember: flaws are based on perception, not reality. You get to choose how you see yourself!
As humans, we have so many sides to ourselves. It would be silly to think that one 2-dimensional photo can encapsulate everything that makes you, you. Don’t be afraid to mix up your photos to share different sides of yourself. Got a goofy side? Show off your humor with a good, candid belly laugh. Have killer eyes that you want to put on display? Consider a close-up beauty shot! The right photographer will be able to capture the "you" you're looking for, so just have a little fun with it!
And always mix professional photos with your personal photos. So put a few professional beauty or branding shots in there and iPhone pics of you with your friends, you doing your hobbies or traveling, and if you have children and pets include them too.
There is no perfect formula for dating, nor is there a perfect formula for dating app profile pictures. Finding the right fit romantically comes down to so many factors－the photos you choose for your profile are just the beginning of introducing yourself.
My best advice here is acceptance, not resistance. Where your attention goes, your energy flows. We’ve all had good and bad experiences, I’m sure. Dating online is just one way to meet someone special. Life is an ever-evolving journey. Putting yourself out there and letting it unfold makes life so much richer. Experience life－and dating－as it comes. The rest will fall into place!
Maya Angelou says, "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
If you want to continue this conversation, I’d love to. Please comment below and let’s get connected.