The Rules Of Selfies On Dating Websites


How does a selfie get you hooked on a date? The answer may surprise you.

We see countless selfies on an array of virtual mediums from Facebook, to Instagram, to Tumblr, SnapChat, and Twitter (and don’t get me started on the LinkedIn selfie). They are on dating websites where it would probably make the most sense to have a selfie, ranging from OKCupid to Match. When we’re trying to find a future date via virtual reality, we all know the number one thing that is judged is our pictures. It's an odd ritual in the process to try to find a wife, but it's the reality of dating as it stands.

So, a picture is worth a thousand words, huh? Is a selfie also worth a thousand words? And, if it is, what do those thousand words actually say about us? Essentially, what does a selfie communicate to your social audience? As with most depends.

As a lady, I know the hardships of being all dressed up with nowhere to go. I’ve fallen victim to this many times: teetering at harsh angles with my big, fumbley tablet in front of the mirror just to try to get my cute shoes in the shot. I’ve also fallen into the "I’m having a good hair day!" selfie category. It’s scary that my Facebook feed has turned into a bunch of singular floating heads with great hair styles. There is also the "make my ex want me" selfie, or as I like to call it “get my ex back” selfie where we do our makeup and hair fabulously and upload it post break-up in hopes that one, single picture will bring them rushing back to us before they unfriend/unfollow us.

There is definitely a time and place for the selfie. I’m just not convinced it belongs on dating websites because of what it may or may not communicate to those who are browsing your profile:

  • Man, her mirror is dirty.
  •  She has a great smile, but all of her photos look the same.
  • What is that in the background?
  • Her bathroom looks great, but I wish I knew more about her life.

Maybe there could be a worse offense than using a selfie to represent yourself in the dating world. If you find yourself with a lack of options because your ex has literally photo-bombed his way into every picture you’ve taken in the past 2 years, I offer up some guidelines:

  1. A selfie can show off some of your best features: your smile and your eyes. It’s true that when you smile, your eyes do sparkle. So, don’t forget to show off those pearly whites!
  2. If you want to get artistic with it, you can start a "selfie" project. Taking selfies only at certain places or times of day (my favorites tend to be the “bed head” selfie projects, but I’m not sure those are applicable here). If your favorite food is sushi, for example, you could run a “Sushi Selfie” project where you record each time you’re enjoying some nice, raw fish. This also gives your audience clues into what you like!
  3. A selfie is still a selfie if it’s full-body and someone else takes it. Go out and act like a tourist in your hometown and ask a stranger to take your picture (people aren’t as scary as they seem, I promise!). Unless you come across a man in a windowless van who asks you to go for a ride in the pursuit of his lost puppy. In that case… Run!
  4. Even if you’re totally against the selfie and have strived to avoid it at all costs, a selfie can provide something that a group shot can’t. It gives your audience a closer view of you and your features and that can say something huge about confidence: that you’re willing to put everything on display that closely. In a day and age where almost all women are suffering from some kind of self-confidence issue, a selfie can strangely be a first step in proclaiming to the world, including all those prospective dates, that "This is me and I love me."

Overall, while some of us despise the selfie, I wouldn’t undersell it… Unless it’s a hazy bar photo of you trying to play pool. Delete that pronto.

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This article was contributed by Jenn Treado.