What draws potential mates to your online picture?

Posted by Ria, 25 May

They say a picture says a thousand words. Well according to a video by Bustle.com, it sure does. And your profile picture is the what determines whether a potential mate will read your profile or not.

Apparently when dating online, it only takes us one-tenth of a second to make up our minds about someone - in this case, someone's photo. And some people can spend hours on end scrolling through photo after photo without giving them much of a glance. So as an online dater, you need to get it right to increase the chances of someone at least giving your photo that second glance or contacting you - even if its just a 'flirt'. So what makes someone spend more than that tenth of a second on a photo?

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According to Dr. Laura Germine, researcher in Psychiatric Genetics, when it comes to attractiveness, there are some things that people generally find attractive; say symmetrical faces. However attractiveness isn't something that is universal. People have varied views of what 'attractive' is. One person's '10' could be another person's '4'. She gives an example of 100% genetically identical twins who, much as they share 100% of their genetic creation, studies found that they significantly disagreed on which face they find attractive. So why is this so?

Well, what we are exposed to over the course of our lives shapes our tastes when choosing our mates. Another factor is: we find people who look like us attractive - we tend to be drawn to facial features that are familiar to us (the man in the mirror kind of thing).

According to Dr. Chris Olivola, an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, in that tenth of a second, we don't just decide who is attractive and who isn't worth our web-time. We also make judgements about people's personalities and character traits based on photos - Are they trustworthy, fun loving, introverts?

So what can make that photo of yours get more than a tenth of a second's glance?

For men, success in online dating comes with how fun and outgoing you look. Women on the other hand are less successful online when they look smart and serious.

Apparently women get experience more success when they look at the camera, smile a bit, and appear flirty (NO DOLL FACE). Also take your pics outdoors or in bed (Yes you read right - BED!!!) This is according to Jimena Almendares, an online dating Chief Product Officer. As for men, holding a pet or going shirtless works wonders.

Well, online dating photographer, Amber Marlow has a tips on how you can turn things up!!!

  • Forget the neutrals. Bright colors like a red will make you stand out.
  • Look straight at the cameras - engage from the word GO. As for men, looking away from the camera makes them a mystery women want to unravel.
  • Wear something sleeveless... showing a little skin works.
  • Wear RED lip color.
  • A little concealer works for both men and women.

If it works for you, please give us some feedback so the rest of us skeptics can get with the 'program'.

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