Cupid's Pulse Article: Online Dating: Are Pictures Worth 1000 Words?Cupid's Pulse Article: Online Dating: Are Pictures Worth 1000 Words?

By Marni Battista

As much as we may try to seem above it, there’s no denying that photos are a major factor when choosing whom to pursue in the online dating world. While I always encourage women to look beyond a man’s physical characteristics and delve deeper to determine overall compatibility, online dating presents a whole different animal.

Other than the mysterious algorithm working behind the scenes, most online dating sites give you a guy’s stats, a few sentences, and a gaggle of photos to base your first impression on. It’s only natural — and wise — to read into the pictures these potential men choose to provide. So that you don’t step on any online dating landmines, here’s a Dating with Dignity guide to potential photo faux-pas:

Related Link: Dating Red Flags Revealed on Facebook

Obviously Outdated

It’s tempting for us all to pick the fit, tanned photo from senior year sorority formal over the slightly paler and softer-around-the-edges candid photo from brunch last weekend. But the most secure and successful daters realize the value in posting something more recent and realistic. Guys who’ve posted something clearly from decades past are cause for a red flag. There’s something on the outside or the inside that they haven’t quite come to terms with.

Angles and Filters on Filters on Filters

Women have long been accused of using “the angles” in online photos, but just as many men are guilty of snapping profile pics from unnatural vantage points that put their most flattering face (or body part) forward. Popular apps such as Instagram add a whole other layer to the problem: This and other photo-editing apps can make any average Joe look like an A-list Hollywood stud.

Again, when you encounter someone who feels as though they need to dramatically alter their photo in order to appear attractive to potential women, you’re likely dealing with someone who carries a level of insecurity, narcissism, or some combination of both.

Related Link: How to Be Successful with Online Dating

Another Lady

It blows my mind when I hear of men posting photos with significant others, whether past or present, to their online dating profiles. However, it’s not uncommon to encounter men online who have purposely included photos with girlfriends, wives, fiancees, or even blatantly exposed wedding rings. Some dating apps, such as Tinder or Hinge, pull profile photos directly from Facebook, inadvertently including cuddly couple pics from profile pictures past. But beyond that, there isn’t much of an excuse for this kind of online dating behavior. Guys with other girls have got to go!

No Picture at All

A man who foregoes photos doesn’t constitute an automatic deal breaker, but proceed with caution. Reasons abound for choosing to remain physically anonymous on an online dating site. Perhaps he’s new to the concept or simply hasn’t yet taken the time to upload any.

If a photoless gent reaches out to you and the conversation flows freely or something in his profile piques your interest, be sure to ask for a photo or at least a last name for a Google background check before meeting in person. But if his words aren’t impressing and he balks when asked to put a face to the name, it’s time to move on to someone who isn’t afraid to show his true self.

Marni Battista, founder of Dating with Dignity, is an expert dating and life coach with a 10-step system to manifesting love for your self and others. You can contact Marni at