How To Select The Best Photo For Your Online Dating Profile

Branden Lee is a blogger, screenwriter, producer, and actor, currently residing in Boston, MA. Follow Branden on Twitter and Tumblr.

2013 is already more than halfway over, and summer is coming to a close. Before you know it, the fall will be upon us, and the cold weather will arrive. Winter is coming, and nobody wants to be lonely. It’s time to reactivate or create those online dating profiles to get a man/woman/whatever you’re into!

Personally I think the fall is always the time when I want a boyfriend the most. I’d love to have a boyfriend by Halloween so we can coordinate our outfits together. My birthday is in November so I’d love to receive birthday sex, and also to actually have a guy give me gifts. Christmas is in December so that means even more gifts. January has New Years and I’d love to have a New Years’ kiss. Finally February is Valentine’s Day and I’d love to finally have a valentine.

I haven’t had much to do this summer, so lately I’ve been obsessing over my online dating profiles. I don’t really date during summer, but during the school year I go on more dates than anyone I know. I’ve been utilizing online dating sites for over 2 years now, and still haven’t found a boyfriend on any site, but life is about the quest! Like Miley Cyrus sings “It’s about the climb.” There’s no telling if or when a relationship will happen for me, but it’s better to be the person who’s actively putting themselves out there and going on lots of dates, than to be the person who’s sitting at home alone with no potential love interests in their lives at all.

From January-April I went on 9 dates with 7 guys, and I’m hoping to break that record for the upcoming semester. I know it would be better to find one guy to have all the dates with and finally find a loving committed relationship, but you never know what you’ll get online, so might as well enjoy as many free meals as possible for as long as I can.

Choosing the right pictures for your profile is essential. So here are a few of my rules for selecting the best photos to represent yourself online to acquire the most dates.

1. NO SUNGLASSES IN YOUR MAIN PHOTO

I never even notice people’s eye color, but eye contact is essential on a date. If you’re only allowed one photo for whichever dating site you’re using, don’t hide your eyes. Some believe “The eyes are the window to the soul”, but I just believe your eyes are an important part of your face, so show them off. No one wants to message someone who you can’t fully see their face, so make sure yours isn’t masked by anything. When someone messages you, or you message someone, both parties want to see exactly who they’re communicating with, and if there’s a potential attraction. Everyone should always ask for additional photos of whoever they’re chatting with, but no one should have to ask for additional photos to fully see your face. If anything, your face should be the most prominent part of your body displayed in your primary photo.

2. NO MAKEUP IN YOUR MAIN PHOTO

I don’t wear makeup often, but as a feminine flamboyant gay boy, I do love to wear makeup whenever I go clubbing.  On average I go clubbing once a week during the school year, and probably less than once a month during the summer. Sometimes I get amazing pictures of myself from my clubbing nights, that I want to show off.

Unfortunately the gay world is extremely misogynistic and bashes anything feminine. Most guys are constantly displaying how they only want a “masculine” guy on their profile, or are “masc4masc” only. Granted I know better to not message a guy who clearly stipulates this, but I randomly received several prejudiced messages recently saying how I’d be so much more attractive if I wasn’t so feminine and didn’t wear makeup.I don’t see the point of messaging me at all if you don’t like feminine guys. I clearly state on my profile if you don’t like girly guys then you won’t like me. Also what’s the point of messaging someone to say you aren’t attracted to them. Even if you say I’m attractive, but hate that I wear makeup or that I’m feminine, that’s clearly an insult. I don’t message people to tell them I’d be attracted to them if they were a different person, and would prefer it didn’t happen to me. But there’s nothing I can do to change it.

 Granted I think if you are a gay boy and love to wear makeup, definitely have at least one picture wearing makeup, because I’d rather attract a guy who accepts and isn’t bothered by my love of makeup. It’s part of who I am, and if some guys can’t handle that, then they obviously aren’t someone I’d want to be with.

But my reasoning for no makeup in the display photo, unless you wear makeup every day is because, like sunglasses, makeup can hide your natural appearance. Everyone wants to see what they’d be getting when they message someone, so show off your natural face. Granted if you wear makeup every single day, then obviously post pictures wearing makeup in most your photos.I’m in no way saying hide your femininity or don’t post pictures wearing makeup. But if you don’t wear it often, like myself, and the guy can only see one picture of me, then I should show my face in it’s natural state which is makeup free. If your face in it’s natural state is covered in makeup, then by all means post as many pictures wearing makeup as possible.

But don’t ever make your main photo of yourself in Halloween makeup or costume attire. It can be one of your other photos on your profile, but it’s always important to show off your everyday face.

3. WEAR A SHIRT IN YOUR MAIN PHOTO

The internet is filled with a surplus of freaks and perverts. and you don’t want to attract them to your online dating profile. Though it’s impossible to prevent them from messaging you, and no matter what you are wearing in your main photo you will attract freaks and perverts who are solely messaging you for sex. But one way to detract those kinds of people is to wear clothes. I love to dress slutty, so I can’t help posting pictures of myself scantily clad, but I refuse to post any shirtless pics as my main pictures on my profile. Sexy selfies are best saved for private pics or to exchange later. But for you main display pictures always wear clothes. If you have to post a shirtless pic, just make sure your nipples are covered and it’s from the shoulders up.

If you’re just looking for a hookup online, then go ahead and post your shirtless mirror pics or bikini beach pictures. But if you’re hoping to attract someone who’s attracted to your face/self instead of just your hot body, then cover up. You don’t have to dress conservatively or not like your natural self. I’m not going to only post pictures of myself online dressed in a suit and tie, since I don’t even normally dress like that. Show off your natural self, but your natural clothed self. So basically even if it’s a belly shirt or tank top, just make sure you’re wearing some kind of shirt.

These are just a few helpful tips to help you with your online profile. Please keep them in mind, and good luck getting dates!

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Branden Lee is a blogger, screenwriter, producer, and actor. Branden studied Communications at Northeastern University while minoring in Production. Branden's writing has appeared on Thought Catalog, The New Gay, Examiner, and he's currently a celebrity gossip contributor for Wish I Didn't Know.

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