profile picture

If you are on a dating site chances are you are there to find a possible partner. In order to do so you need a profile that grabs people’s interest. Your profile picture is the single most important key item in your whole profile. Everything stands or falls on this single choice. Yet, this is the one thing most people mess up horribly.

One year ago I moved to Scotland. New country, new city I’ve never been to before. The only person I knew in the new environment was my brother. No friends, and as I moved out of professional reasons, no new group of people that I would join. I felt lonely. There’s no shame in that, everyone would have. So what do you do? You get on online dating sites. Easiest is the one where you swipe left or right depending on your preference, although it is believed to be more a hookup app then for actual dates. Anyways, I signed up, set up a profile with my better looking photos and a quote from a song that perfectly describes me and started swiping.

Boy, oh boy. Scotland being the land where all those hot actors (hello Gerard Butler, Richard Madden, James McAvoy, Iain Glen, Ewan McGregor, Sean Connery) come from, these guys on here were not even close! I couldn’t believe it there were so many guys with badly setup profiles that were preventing them from getting noticed and even putting women off.

Below are the most common mistakes that I noticed men make with their dating profile pictures and some tips how to get things right.

Group photo


It’s great to show that you have friends and are sociable, but your future date is here to see you. As this is the very first time they see you, they won’t know which one you are in the group. So, unless you are the hottest in that group photo, ditch it. You can’t even imagine how many times I’ve clicked on guys’ profile for there was one super hot guy in the profile group photo only to find out, that they are in fact, that  unattractive guy somewhere in the background. It is very disappointing to say the least.

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If you have a group photo where you look good, you can upload it, but either crop it so only you are visible or hide the faces of other people in the photo. You can use emojis for that.



Choosing a mugshot as your dating profile picture is not a good idea. No matter how good you look in the real life, if you get a mugshot-style photo it is guaranteed you’ll look horrible. And you don’t want your potential date to judge if they want to go out with you based on that terrifying mugshot, do you?


Use any photo of you where you look amazing. Preferably one that was shot on a holiday so you look happy and chill.



The “I made this selfie just to have something” won’t work. No one will swipe right on your bored, sad, angry face. You don’t seem happy with your own company, others wouldn’t want to be with you either. It’s understandable. Don’t choose any selfies where your face is hidden – in a shadow, under a mask or sunglasses. This is very important as your next-hot-date-to-be needs to see you to be able to decide. Same goes to bad quality photos where one can’t even make out your face and the ones you took in the mirror, not looking in the lens but down on the screen of your phone.


Think of something positive until a smile lights up your face. Then take a selfie. Boom! Good profile photo guaranteed. If you want to take a full  body mirror selfie (great, seeing you in full height is an advantage!), practice your poses for a few minutes first. They will help a great deal with your confidence as well as with your posture – they are called power poses for a reason, after all! Then, when you feel like a superhero, ready to take the world, take that selfie. Your confidence will show not only in your posture but in your eyes too and confidence is sexy!

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Avoid using any photo where the background is a mess. Trust me, it is more important than you think. As this is the first time your portential date sees you, it is very important what message your photo conveys. A messy background says you don’t pay attention, are lazy, don’t care and don’t appreciate neither yourself nor your surroundings.


Choose a photo with an organized or blurred background. If you have a photo that is great, but the background is not so much, you can use a photo editing software to blur certain parts of the photo.



A photo of any body part as your profile picture is not a good idea. You are proud of your biceps or six-pack, I get it. And yes, your next hot date-to-be will appreciate it too, but if you use it as your profile picture, they will swipe right only for that body part. Unless that is your goal, don’t make it your main profile picture. I feel an obligation to mention photos of genitals here. I’m not making it up, I’ve run into profiles like that. If somebody would want a photo of your certain parts they will ask for it. Otherwise, keep them in your archive.


You can use photos of your body in addition to your other pictures. They are great to show that you are willing to put effort into something, are not lazy and take good care of yourself. That’s an indicator that you could take care of others too. And I know it’s a great feeling to show off a bit.

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Goofy photos


Photos that were taken while you were goofing around with your friends can be fun for you, but without context they may seem like something totally different. I saw a profile pic of a guy who was dressed in blood-stained white crime scene suit, wearing goggles, protective mask covering his mouth and rubber gloves, holding a head of a doll in a plastic beer cup.I want to believe it was only for Halloween, but the photo gave off such a creepy serial-killer vibe that I chose to swipe left.


Make sure that the photo is easy to understand at the first glance. If not, provide a short story in the description. Goofy is good. It shows you have great sense of humor and don’t take yourself too seriously. Just make absolutely sure it’s not misinterpreted.

When you are done with profile picture, don’t forget the personal introduction. If you leave it empty, it means either you don’t know yourself, are too shy to talk or are hiding something. None of them are good. Be honest and say what you are the most passionate about in your life. This is not a boring job interview, you are here to find someone who preferably has the similar passions as you.

Teo is a freelance writer and illustrator. She's been writing stories that touch people's hearts and makes you think - and she loves what she does. On her current blog she writes about Scotland where she moved a while ago, the beautiful sites and the everyday stories with a uniquely captivating witty style.

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