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Why You Should Look at Photos Last
By Laurel House
This is what you (and most other online daters) are doing wrong:
You sign up for a dating site and begin to scan the online dating pictures of potential matches to try and decide who is worthy of a more in-depth examination. You click their photo and explore their profile. But before you read the “about me" section or even scan their basic stats, you click to see more pictures. If you are looking for a serious relationship, doing this is a big mistake.
Sure, swipe features on apps such as Tinder and the Zoosk Profile Carousel, which adjusts match suggestions according to past swiping patterns can be fun and addicting, but can you really make a decision about a person based purely on a few pictures?
Don’t skip the essential, pre-qualifying steps of reading a potential match’s basic written information. Read what they have to say before letting your eyes glass over as you become entranced by their sweet smile, chiseled body, and fun demeanor. Unless, of course, you aren’t looking for something serious.
Of course, most people need that initial hit of attraction and chemistry in order to make a relationship work. Well, the best place to find that spark is not in someone’s online dating pictures. There are many more relationship sustaining needs that can be truly and deeply sexy- like how the other person makes you feel, your stimulating conversations, and the fact that you feel like your best self when you’re with them. While these things are more difficult to determine during a 3-second visual scroll of an online dating profile, you should be able to gather hints if you take a few extra moments to peruse the words they write in the descriptions of their likes, dislikes, favorites, and daily habits.
So, why exactly should you look at photos last?
Each element of someone’s character should be weighed appropriately. When it comes to lasting love, do looks really rate higher than core values?
It is easy to become so entranced with physical appearances that you fail to see the glaring red flags. Be honest with yourself about what you're looking for in a partner and what needs you have in a relationship. Sites like Match.com help with this by sending users daily matches based on personal preferences.
Are you looking for someone who is financially stable, loves to travel, educated, witty, leads a healthy lifestyle, has similar religious or political beliefs, wants or doesn’t want kids, has kids, lives nearby? Put your needs in an a priority list and use this list to guide your dating decision making. Your standards will help keep you on track. If someone doesn’t match up to the characteristics you marked as most important, they probably aren’t worth meeting.
Now that you can determine whether or not a potential match meets your personal preferences, it is finally time to check out their pictures.
The photos can be surprisingly revealing if you allow yourself to see more than just face and body. Try to analyze the photos from a more finely focused perspective. Look at their activities to get a read on their lifestyle and attempt to understand if they look happy, fun, like a player, intellectual, an adventurer, family oriented, outdoorsy, sophisticated, a pet person, etc.
This online dating strategy takes a few extra moments of your time. But wouldn’t you rather “waste" them on the front end while reading their profile and examining their images, as opposed to “wasting" time in real life. Now put yourself out there on one of the best dating sites available and build a lasting relationship.