I Look Better In Online Dating Photos Than I Do in Real Life!

I Look Better In Online Dating Photos Than I Do in Real Life!

I recently decided to take a break from online dating. I am exhausted and my ego is a little wounded. I am told I am very photogenic so I am finding that I probably look better in pictures then real life. So, am I supposed to take bad pictures so I look better in real life? It’s not like the pictures are airbrushed or years old. I am not ugly but not the cheerleader either. I’m the cute cheerleader’s friend. What do men want?!!!


There’s a lot in your short letter, so let me break it down for you quickly:

  1. If you’re exhausted and your ego is wounded, do yourself a favor:

Vow to approach online dating differently than you have before.

You know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

You know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. That’s what it’s like to date online, hate it, and then go back for more – with the same exact approach.

My program, Finding the One Online, will take all the guesswork out of it for you, holding your hand, step by step, to show you how to choose a dating site, write a profile, post better photos, reply to men, initiate contact with men, and lead men from the dating site to a quality first date. Check it out and let me know when it makes a difference for you.

  1. You should not take bad pictures so you look better in real life. You should take accurate pictures that reflect how you look now. Finally, I’ll remind you that a camera only capture what’s actually there. Which is to say that if you look good in a photo, you look exactly that way in real life. Please don’t continue to believe false and negative things about your own looks; it’s disempowering. You may be the cute cheerleader’s friend, but guess what? Guys find her attractive, too!

3.  Men want to feel instant attraction to you. Attraction is not a conscious choice. It’s a visceral reaction of finding someone sexually appealing.

There’s only so much you can do to affect this – you can’t change your face, for example – but a little effort makes a big difference.

I pay for all my Love U Masters clients to have professional photos at LookBetterOnline. And I encourage everyone to reach out to Kim Seltzer for image consulting that projects more confidence and femininity online and off. Her results are staggering and are guaranteed to attract more quality men to your profile.


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  1. 1

    As a guy that uses online dating apps. The thing with women (and they know how to do this very well) is they will take pictures from a certain angle, So it makes them look a LOT slimmer than what they actually are….or they use a picture from 5+ years ago when they were 20+ pounds lighter.
    The other thing is makeup. They use a picture where their makeup was done very well or is more than they normally wear…and then when you meet them and they have “toned” it down, they look like a completely different person.

  2. 2

    Men do the same thing, except the makeup part. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve met guys who are a decade older than their posted pics. One was about 100# heavier IRL.
    Online profiles are highlight reels; of course we want to look our best. But it should be an accurate and honest representation i.e, you should be recognizable when meeting someone for the first time. Goes both ways, for women AND men.

    1. 2.1

      Hi Kath
      “Men do the same thing, except the makeup part. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve met guys who are a decade older than their posted pics. One was about 100# heavier IRL.”

      You forgot to mention baseball hats in every picture, we all know what that is about. 🙂 Before I met my hubby, I met men 50 lbs heavier and much grayer than the decades old pic, downright lies about age, height and smoking habits. I honestly don’t care about height, and in many cases the REAL age was acceptable to me, but the fact that they lied about it, was a no. One man I met online and dated a few times, was gloriously completely bald and all his pictures proudly showed it. I like the fact that he didn’t try to hide his bald head at all !

      My profile showed recent accurate pix with me looking my best, but not disguised. I put my pix in order from most recent and the older ones that showed a special interest side of me. All pictures had dates on them, so even the pix that were a few years old, listed the date. (and really, not much change occured except for the length of my hair) My hubby said the first thing he thought when he saw me IRL for the first time was “Wow,she looks JUST LIKE HER PICTURES”. He too experience a lot of nonsense and false packaging when he was in OLD.

    2. 2.2

      I don’t see the guys on the sites usually….cause I ain’t looking for guys. LOL
      But that sucks they do that.
      I know I can’t stand when women do it, so I try to make sure that the pics I have up of me are recent and accurate. And make sure there is a full body picture, so they can see a full length of me.
      But I guess it makes sense guys would do the same.

  3. 3
    Christina Whipple

    I went to the Kim Seltzer link and put in my info but it says that the list is not active. Hope I did not just sign up for tons of junk mail!

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      You didn’t. We dating coaches aren’t always as great with tech as we are with helping people. 🙂 I’ve let her know to fix it.

      1. 3.1.1

        Her site is a mess. I clicked on the Virtual Makeover button and got a pop-up window that said “Create marketing funnels in minutes: Unpause your account to remove this banner.” I was forced to click on “Learn More” to remove it and ended up on a sales page for Click Funnels. You’d think that an image consultant would project a decent online image.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Be more forgiving. People who are great with people are usually not great with technology and vice versa. Me included.

    2. 3.2

      I just opt-ed in for the Kim Seltzer body guide and it is working! Try it again I am not having that problem.

  4. 4

    @Seth and Kath

    I had online dates that posted photos that turned out to be a decade older, in one case two decades old! And yes, the men who posted photos when they were X pounds lighter, though they were rarer. Maybe weight is not such an issue for men when dating. When people do this i think they are either unconsciously setting themselves up for failure or are genuinely delusional and think they still look that. In fact, i think it is quite often more the latter than the former! It seemed to me that for them striking out when dating wass easier than to accept that they did not look the way thet used to.

    1. 4.1

      I have always wondered that about people. It’s like sure you know you look way different than the picture you are posting…and the end goal is to actually meet the person you are talking to….so wouldn’t you want to make sure you look like your picture? LOL

  5. 5

    While we place a great value in photographs when online dating, the reality is that they can never capture the entirety of our presence and personality when people meet us offline. Not even a lengthy email correspondence can do much to shorten the gap between online and reality. Your voice, mimicry and movements make you into an entirely different person* than the photograph. That, plus people can fabricate an idea of how you are going to be based entirely on your photos, online bio and list of interests. This leaves so many gaps that they fill them in with the wishes they have for their ideal date. No wonder most dates do not lead to a second!
    This difference between reality and the concoction that is the mix between our profiles and their wishful expectations is something that all but the very experienced online dater find hard to wrap their heads around. Yet take heart in the fact that most people learn to minimize their expectations and to go into an date with an open mind sooner or later.

    Greetings, A woman who is so transparent that her character lines disappear from her face when photographed, giving her mucho baby-face at 38.

    * It also makes you way more interesting than any photograph could properly convey.

    1. 5.1

      I’ve always thought a video feature would be terrific, even 30 seconds of seeing the “real” personality.

      1. 5.1.1

        “I’ve always thought a video feature would be terrific, even 30 seconds of seeing the “real” personality.”

        In the 1980’s there was a tv series called “30something”. A couple of the characters joined a dating service that did just that – had videos made of themselves and paid to look at videos of others. Back in the VHS days- lol.

        I saw a Youtube video of a young man advertising himself for dating a few years ago. It received negative publicity because he said he did not prefer Asian women. Be careful what you wish for?

  6. 6

    @Malika, well said. It is easy to fabricate a fantasy based on a profile. Men and women alike can have unrealistic expectations, which I call the Shiny Penny Syndrome. Personally, I try to keep an open mind, but if I would have to be senselessly inebriated to kiss a guy, game over. There has to be some form of physical and emotional attraction.

    @SparklingEmerald- yes, there are those baseball cap and sunglasses photos. I theorize that some men and women aren’t secure in their physical appearance and hope that when they meet someone based on their outdated photos, they can dazzle with personality and witty conversation. That can work to some extent, but generally not. When I am dating online, I lean back and stay neutral on the outcome. Makes “nexting” a lot easier.

    1. 6.1

      Apparently, honesty online is more than a little uncommon. My personal favorite example of “what not to do” : I went to meet a woman I had met on Match for drinks and conversation. When I got there, I looked high and low, but couldn’t locate my “date”, until I finally saw a woman I did not recognize at all waving to me from a table across the room. I had no idea who she was, but I walked over, and as I got to the table, she smiled, called my name and said “Hi, I’m ______.” I guess I looked surprised (maybe because, among other things, I was looking for the stylishly-coiffed and attired, somewhat curvy brunette I had seen in her online pics, and this was a shorter, rather frumpy woman with frizzy, thinning, bleached blonde hair, a good 50 pounds heavier, and at least 10 years older). I suppose she sensed my confusion because the next thing she said was, “Oh, I didn’t have any pictures of my own so I used pictures of my sister instead”. Really? I would have never guessed, because there was exactly ZERO resemblance, family or otherwise, between her and the woman in the photos!

      I’m certain no woman here would ever do anything like that, but if you’re ever tempted, consider my response to that one. I smiled, threw a ten spot on the table, and said, “That should cover your drink. Have a nice afternoon…by yourself. I do not drink with liars!”, and with that, I turned around and walked out. I’ve seen “down-angle” selfies, all manner of photoshopped photos, and a lot of obviously ten year old photos, but that one was more than a bit too far beyond the pale.

      BTW, I assume, based on stories I’ve heard from women, that guys do the same and worse online, so this isn’t about the gender of the offender. I like Nissa’s idea of a video clip instead of a profile. It would give a better hint as to personality than a written profile (possibly copied and pasted and/or “ghost-written”) but then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if some creative man or woman found a “ringer” to fill in for them on a video clip as well. I guess, in online dating, even photos lie, these days…

      1. 6.1.1

        Buck said “I suppose she sensed my confusion because the next thing she said was, “Oh, I didn’t have any pictures of my own so I used pictures of my sister instead”. Really? I would have never guessed, because there was exactly ZERO resemblance, family or otherwise, between her and the woman in the photos!”

        OMG, my hubby had the EXACT same thing happen to him, a woman used a photograph of HER SISTER for her match profile. He and I both experience a lot on nonsensical dishonesty in OLD. He said when he met me, his first thought was “She looks just like her picture !!!!!!”.

        I really don’t get why someone would tell big whoppin’ lies online. Once you meet, the cat is out of the bag. I wanted someone who was attracted to ME, the real me, not some 20 years ago, airbrushed version of me, not an uploaded picture of a Victoria’s Secret model, but ME. And if they state an age preference, and education or religious preference that I don’t fall into, then I won’t lie or pretend.

        1. Buck25

          Thanks for sharing your hubby’s experience! I don’t know quite how to feel, though; I don’t know whether to take some solace in the fact that my particular experience wasn’t unique, or feel disappointed that least one other woman old enough to know better had the same unfortunate idea!

          I don’t get it either; I was hoping to find someone attracted to me as I am, warts and all, not someone looking for a phony image of something I’m not, and never could be. I guess some people just feel they have to game the system somehow to get what they want, the consequences be damned. Maybe it’s just a thing in our current American culture; if the truth isn’t convenient, just tell a lie; what’s the difference? It’s an attitude I just don’t understand…

        2. Paula

          This is ballsy and I’m not sure I would ask it of someone, but a friend of mine insists on exchanging spontaneous photos via text before meeting – for example, she will ask the guy to take a selfie while tugging on his left ear, and she’ll return in kind. Not everyone is willing to comply but in her mind this weeds out the fakes and/or the ones who probably aren’t inclined to put in as much effort.

  7. 7

    Ironically, I’m the opposite; look much better IRL than in photos. Facial features just don’t photograph well but since I work hard at staying healthy, don’t have to hide my body by sideways shots etc. Most of us have dealt with the 10-20 y.o. photos. Have had two guys so unlike their photos that I walked right by them without recognizing them. Never understood why someone would engage in a practice that’d get them rejected from the get-go.

  8. 8

    I don’t understand the instant attraction thing. Why place so much importance on something so fickle, out of your control, and that quickly fades? But hey, that’s me.

    Pictures can definitely not look how the person really looks. It’s just a point in time. A reference point. Sometimes a good reference point, sometimes a faulty one. You have to meet a person, in person. Besides we want healthy and sane and a photo can’t tell a thing about that.

    I’ve had pictures done years ago by Look Better Online. It was a fun shoot and they are fun pictures but they look way better than I do in real life. Way better. I stopped using them when I was OLD and started using more real life photos and they worked just as well. More realistic. A guy who was attracted to me with the real life photos, really was attracted to me. Usually, cause I was doing something in the photo connected to who I am. This worked a lot better for me and our connection usually was a bit stronger.

    So I feel for the OP. Peoples’ expectations can get blown out of proportion by a photo and she’s tired of that. I think she should take her break, goodness. Enjoy it. Just be out in the world doing what she wants to do for her right now. And when she’s rested she can come back with a fresh perspective.

    What is wrong with taking a well-earned break and getting out of one’s head for a while?

    1. 8.1

      For me as a guy, I am a very visual person. The woman has to catch my eye.
      And I want her to be a fit/healthy weight.
      So to some extent I accept that those things fade….but there is still the ability for the person to make an effort to keep a healthy/fit weight. And I guess that is what I want to see….because I make an effort myself.

      1. 8.1.1

        @Seth 8.1

        I probably shouldn’t respond to this because I can tell we have two very different opinions. But I’m foolish and curious so I will. 😉

        We are all visual people. No one is immune to random physical attraction. But my point is, if you have physical attraction and the person is crap underneath it, what does it matter? In my experience, which is just my anecdotal experience, the most attractive men haven’t really developed their personalities enough to turn me on emotionally/mentally. No mental or emotional? Physical attraction goes bye-bye. It’s really that simple for me.

        I would rather have sex with–and have happily–a morbidly obese person who is always there for me, treats me like gold, and was the kindness person I know, than someone thin and attractive whose personality was less than that to me. Sure, I make an effort to stay healthy but that’s far lower on my list than having a lover who is one of the best people inside that I know. That’s what lasts over years. And it’s rare for me to find an extremely attractive man who is also extremely kind and emotionally available.

        I understand if that’s not important to you, Seth. I get it. Many people, men and women, express opinions similar to yours. But do you understand the traits that appeal to me and why?

        1. Seth

          @S. 8.1.1
          I agree with your point. Completely. But we are speaking of dating apps, so the initial catch will be one of visual appearance….correct? At which point then if we both “swipe right” on each other, then we can talk and get to know each other more and in depth.

          Now being as how I have said the things I have said, I can understand your assumption of me. And if you were to see me in person, you would probably solidify your opinion of me, which is fine. I have talked with women who when they have seen me, have had their assumptions about me, but were pleasantly surprised that I was nothing like their assumption.
          I do want someone who, not only do I find attractive, I am able to talk, have fun with, do things with, share experiences with, can handle tough situations as adults, and who can communicate (openly).

          You may or may not think those things are important to me, but they are. So I can understand what appeals to you and what attracts you. I think ultimately I feel the same as you…..
          Just where I am at in my life, I know what I am looking for….so the physical/visual aspect is high on my list of qualities that attract me.

        2. S.


          Thanks for your thoughtful reply. 😉

          I haven’t really been on a dating app. I just got a Smart phone three weeks ago. I know, I’m a dinosaur!!! LOL. But it also speaks to who I am. I was on dating sites. No swiping. I used Evan’s 2/2/2 method and got to phone calls fairly quickly. I minimized the priority of photos because I know they are dependent on so many factors. I surely didn’t expect a guy to look exactly like his photo. Some did, some didn’t. None lied. It’s just . . . a photo. An image of one point in time. I was about getting to the meeting with the person. I like meeting people and talking on the phone.

          “I have talked with women who when they have seen me, have had their assumptions about me, but were pleasantly surprised that I was nothing like their assumption.”

          What assumptions did they make? I haven’t seen you so I have no idea and haven’t made any assumptions based on that. Interesting, though.

          “I think ultimately I feel the same as you…..
          Just where I am at in my life, I know what I am looking for….so the physical/visual aspect is high on my list of qualities that attract me.”

          To understand this further, I would need to know more. What do you mean by ‘where you are in your life?’

          I am puzzled. I don’t think we feel the same, which is fine, as you said. To each their own. 😉 No matter where I have been in my life, personality has mattered more than appearance. From the first flush of attraction I felt for a boy at school at age 11 to now.

          Yeah, one can and I hope has some basic attraction. But personality will always trump that basic-ness for me. I will become attracted to the guy with the best personality. I will on some level to his body, but most of it really is mental and emotional. It doesn’t seem like personality trumps appearance for you. But please let me know if I’ve misunderstood you.

          Also, what happens if the woman meets your level for attractiveness and fitness, but is unkind or you can’t talk to her or she shows signs of not being able to support you as a person underneath that? Does your attraction to her instantly decrease? Cause that’s what happens for me. 😉

        3. Seth

          You are welcome. 🙂

          The Smithsonian called, and they know you have wandered off, they would like for you to return at once. LOL
          Ok, regarding the assumptions that women have of me.
          That I am a pretty boy, I am not looking for long term, that I jump from bed to bed, that I might be cocky, arrogant and rude. A partyier.
          About me and my physical appearance. I am 6’1″, around 170 lbs, in pretty good shape I would say (6-pack abs), most people when I tell them my age and how old my kids are don’t believe me…they thought I was 5-10 years younger.
          I do not smoke (never have), I do not drink (never tasted alcohol in my life, other than medicine), I don’t do drugs. I am fairly reserved I would say. And I try to be very respectful of others, unless they give me a reason to not be.
          “Where I am at in life”
          I am 41 yrs old, divorced father of 3. They are 18, 14 and 13. I have custody of them. My ex was the first person I ever dated and ever kissed. We were together over 16 years and married over 14 years of that time.
          For me right now, while I am not looking for marriage, I am not opposed to it happening again with the right person. But I have a list of criteria that I am looking for….some of it I have listed in my earlier response to you. My ex wife had control and anger issues, and their were two instances of physical abuse (her to me), I was never able to express myself with her or talk with her as two adults that may have differing opinions on things, but at the end of the day are still on the same team.
          If you would like more info, I can give more, but that is the quick and dirty.
          Regarding your last question to me, if she has the look and fitness about here, but then personal characteristics are “ugly”. Then I will walk away. I won’t be with a person who has an ugly personality and will not treat me with common decency and respect.

        4. S.

          @ Seth . . .

          The Smithsonian joke did make me smile. 😉 I am older than you but I look younger cause I’m short and well, melanin has its benefits.


          Now I can make assumptions! LOL, no. But I can ask questions. It is rare that I know men who are considered by western society to be above average in looks. I don’t meet men with six-packs. It’s one thing to be relatively fit, but washboard abs takes a dedication to one’s body that I have but in a different way. I don’t work out but I’m scrupulous about the food I put in my body. I spent two hours a day prepping and cooking food from my CSA from scratch. But I don’t force this sort of thing on other people. I guess it’s consistent, I’m most concerned with what’s inside! 😉 I walk a lot which keeps me from getting round. It also clears my head.

          But I digress. You seem nice enough in your comments and you didn’t react badly to my opinions as some people might have. I guess my only assumption would be you don’t have to work too hard for sexual opportunities? And it seems to be what you’re saying that you can be picky.

          Actually, I was mistaken as we have more in common than I thought! I have not been married but I haven’t dated as extensively as is ‘normal’ for the culture I’m in. I prefer to be with one person I know.

          Did your wife met your physical criteria? I guess her other traits came out later? It sounds like an abusive situation and I’m sorry you and your kids experienced that. I would think that you’d be even more cautious about personality after that.

          Makes total sense that you will not tolerate being treated less than you deserve. I haven’t been abused but I must be hypersensitive. The moment a man even takes a ‘tone’ with me, I’m done. This has only happened once but it was memorable. The physical chemistry was off the charts, but speaking to me like that? No, no, and no.

          I hope you find a really kind person. I’ve recently met some exception human beings who are friends and bring so much joy and nourishment to my life. I don’t even know if they are attractive cause I don’t see that, just their spirit. People I can really be me with. I can’t express how invaluable it is.

          I’ll find it with a special man too someday. I’m on that path. I hope you find it too, though, that person might not meet ‘everything’ on your criteria list. I just hope she treats you well as you seem like good person who deserves that.

        5. Seth

          Gotta love having a darker skin tone, you age really well then… 😀
          I will say with my “washboard abs” it’s because I like working out and lifting….it is a chance for me to get away and in my own little world.
          And I do a lot of walking also, I live close to the beach, so I will go down there and walk it for 2 hours from time to time…good light cardio.
          The person I go hiking with, her and her husband do the CSA thing, they seem to like it. I think you are doing right by watching what you put in your body. I think a lot of people would be better off if they paid attention to what and how much they ate….but as you said, you can’t force these things.
          “Don’t have to work to hard for sexual opportunities”
          Let me start off by saying when it comes to women and talking to them, it is a lot harder for me then what people assume when they see me. So for the opportunities side of thing I guess if I weren’t so picky, I would have a lot of options. But I am not looking to see how many bed I can jump into, I actually would like to find someone that I am happy to be around and be with. So if that means I am being picky…then I guess I will be. Can I afford to be picky? I guess to some extent I can, but I also know what I bring to the table in a relationship. And for the most part, people when they see me can see I have a decent physique, because I tend to wear clothes that fit me. But I don’t really try and draw attention to that aspect of me. Of course if I go to the beach then yes I will take my shirt off….but this white boy needs a tan. 😀
          But people will approach and comment on my physique and I will gladly tell them all I know and do to get what I have.
          Regarding the dating, may I ask your culture?
          For me and after what I went through with my ex, when I left, I decided at that point I was going to make sure I met women and dated women before I thought of marriage again, because I refuse to be in a similar situation again. I would rather die alone. So while the idea of being with one person is nice (and I thought that would be my case)…..I can say now, you have to be careful and be sure….I missed a lot of red flags and warning signs when my ex and I dated. I think had I dated and met other women, I would have been able to tell “something isn’t right, this is not how one person should treat another person”.
          But I know now…just a hard lesson learned.
          I would say yes my wife fit into my criteria.
          The only problem was I was young….we started dating when I was 19 (almost 20). And as I said above, I didn’t take notice of all the red flags in our relationship.
          And it was an abusive relationship. Mentally, physical, verbally and emotionally. And after 14 years, I was a rather broken person. I wasn’t happy, I was miserable. I couldn’t enjoy my kids. Getting up the courage to tell my ex I was done and wanted out, was hard. But looking back for myself and for my kids, it was the right thing to do. I am happy I did it.
          While I won’t go so far to say that if someone raised their tone with me, I would end it and walk away….I expect at times that can happen. Especially in a relationship. If I have been with a person for a while and there are qualities about them that I like and I think are good. Then I will work to get things right in our relationship.
          But I can understand if you won’t accept something similar. I have known a couple women like that.
          I know if someone gets me to the point where I am really mad and have raised my voice….then they have done something. I try not to get worked up over things. I don’t like confrontation.
          Thank you for the well wishes. I appreciate it.
          I hope you too find that special man you are looking for.
          You seem like you would be fun to sit and chat with.

        6. S.

          Whew. That two hours of chopping does take its time. But it smells like homemade marinara now. Hmmm.

          Thanks for you’re appreciation of us melanated ladies! I won’t say we get all the love on the dating sites. Unless one looks like Tyra Banks. Who would have no need to be online whatsoever. 😉 But I did okay. Just got tired of the eternal sifting, through profiles, dates, venues. Connecting and learning about men in person has been much more satisfying.

          You also seem like an introvert. I am too but it doesn’t seem like it at first since I’m so friendly and yes, chatty. 😉 But I recharge at home alone.

          I’m learning a lot from you, Seth! I should wear more fitted clothes but it attracts too much attention when you have an E cup. I’m realized I’m fitter than I thought when I when hiking for five hours a day on vacation last week. It was glorious. Hadn’t done that in years. 😀 I wear clothes that are comfortable. I’m happy in my own skin, though I don’t show a lot of skin!

          “You seem like you would be fun to sit and chat with.”

          I am. I do a lot of chatting and am gathering a lot of male platonic friends. I’m only attracted to one of them but he’s too young, just a boy. I would like a leetle more romantic attention but I don’t want to actually date any of them. Then I read an article today and on reddit that said many men are actually attracted to most of their platonic female friends! Interesting. Mine have indicated nothing.

          I’m African-American. My family is deeply rooted in the South, though I’m a city girl. 😉

          The guy in question didn’t raise his voice. There was just derision in his tone. The way you’d rebuke a puppy who peed on the carpet. I wasn’t doing what he wanted. I didn’t like the tone. It was unkind and self-interested and I remember my heart pounding. No one speaks to me like that. I have disagreements with plenty of people. But always respectful, even when heated. This was not that.

          I should probably flirt more with these guys I know but eh, the spark isn’t there with them. And it takes me a while to grow comfortable with someone to flirt with them. But that’s me. Still waters. . . 😉

          Glad you are on the Evan boards. We need more men here with senses of humor! Sometimes it gets soooo serious. It’s summertime, time to lighten up a bit, though humor is difficult to parse on the internets. Glad people try, though!

    2. 8.2
      Emily, to

      “For me as a guy, I am a very visual person. The woman has to catch my eye.”
      It’s no different for many women.

      1. 8.2.1

        @Emily, to 8.2
        That is good to know.
        What are things that catch your eye?

        1. Emily, to

          “What are things that catch your eye?”
          Large package. Tight rear end. (Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)
          There aren’t certain physical attributes that catch my eye. The attraction happens from the whole person, but, at the very least, I’d like to be able to think, “Oh, he’s pretty cute. I could see something happen.” I like zowza. A little zing.
          I responded to your comment because I have NEVER met a man who said he wasn’t visual. Men have a tendency to announce it as if it’s something unique to them. But there are some women who are also very visual. They like what they like. Not all, of course.

      2. 8.2.2

        @Emily, to
        LOL Nice I like it…..just FYI, I do plenty of squats. 😉
        Yeah I guess as a guy, we don’t really expect women to be as visual as we are. Seems when I talk with women, the “visual aspect” isn’t high on their list….

        1. Emily, to

          “LOL Nice I like it…..just FYI, I do plenty of squats. ”
          Ok, so you’ve revealed how you exercise the butt muscles, but how do you exercise the package? 🙂
          “Yeah I guess as a guy, we don’t really expect women to be as visual as we are. Seems when I talk with women, the “visual aspect” isn’t high on their list….”
          I think for some women they look at the whole man — his voice, his mannerisms, his physical appearance, the way he carries himself. But all of that is still visual/physical. And there are women who have a specific physical type that catches their eye. I have a friend who really likes big, really built, very masculine men. Any hint of effeminacy and she is turned off.

        2. Buck25


          “I guess as a guy, we really don’t expect women to be as visual as we are. Seems when I talk with women, the “visual aspect” isn’t high on their list…”

          Yeah, some years back, women were just as visual as now…only, most simply wouldn’t say so out loud. These days many more women seem to be more up front about it than say, 25 years ago. I found this a bit of a culture shock when I started dating again 6 years ago, but on balance, it feels more honest to me.

          It’s like some other things in dating; never mind what women SAY they want, watch what they actually respond to…

        3. Emily, to

          “It’s like some other things in dating; never mind what women SAY they want, watch what they actually respond to…”
          I’m not going to apologize for the fact that women can be just as shallow as men. I’ve got my hunk pic board … and most of them are young dudes … because, why not? 🙂

        4. Emily, to

          “You have a valid point there. I think women do take in a lot more of the physical appearance/features of a guy than what a guy does with a woman.”
          SOME women take in the features of a guy. Some really consider his personality. For others it’s just about physical appearance, just like it is for guys. For example, I was telling my friend about a guy I met at a meetup, and her first question was: Was he cute? (which is the first question most women would ask)
          “Sounds like you like fit/muscular guys?”
          That’s my friend’s type. Not mine. I don’t like bulky. It’s like being pinned down my Mr. Clean. 🙂

      3. 8.2.3

        @Emily, to
        Oh man….I need to behave.
        You can come find out about that exercise routine. 😀 😀 😀
        You have a valid point there. I think women do take in a lot more of the physical appearance/features of a guy than what a guy does with a woman.
        Perhaps evolution?
        Sounds like you like fit/muscular guys?

        I’ll agree with you on that. Women are a bit more vocal now then they were before.
        Not a bad thing.

      4. 8.2.4


        I’m auditory

        1. Emily, to

          “I’m auditory”
          Of course you are. 🙂 What I meant is .. it’s all about the senses. It ain’t got nothing to do with the intellect. I think we’ve been told for too long we as women can be won over with good character, a man showing up, etc. Character and showing up are huge, but a man still has to get past the “senses test” … to what extent depends on the woman.

        2. Marika

          Haha. Em, sorry, the emoji didn’t work. I should’ve said something like “I’m olfactory”. I was agreeing with your point. Guys here keep telling us they’re ‘visual’. Oh really, cause I approach people with my eyes closed….
          All (seeing) humans are visual! It’s our main sense.

          What happens after the guys realize the good visual is completely incompatible or completely nasty, is what we’re really interested in…

        3. Emily, to

          “What happens after the guys realize the good visual is completely incompatible or completely nasty, is what we’re really interested in…”
          Ummm … they hit it for a while and then move on ?? 🙂

        4. Marika

          Of course everyone starts from the visual. Unless there are people out there sniffing butts..?

          After we get past that initial visual, I think then, maybe guys have a slightly higher tolerance for meh -personality? Is my guess. I personally could never get hooked on a guy who was just good looking & fit (and I’m not talking about money here or prestige, it’s not that) – wit, intelligence (at least street intelligence, not 8 degrees) and humour. If he’s witty, funny, sharp, personable, a bit cheeky and I find him attractive, I’m a goner and I’ll make excuses if he’s a bit of an ass-hat. Conversely, I *think* if a girl is good looking enough and not horrible, guys can get hooked even if she doesn’t have much going on in the skull region. Is my guess. I mean look at Seth, a 40-something father of three with sole custody and I haven’t seem him even mention that his partner-to-be would need to be organised, patient and able to handle being pretty much a full time step mother.

        5. Lynx

          Oh, Marika. The daily news may be filled with one horror after another, but I am guaranteed a laugh when reading your comments: “Unless there are people out there sniffing butts..?”

        6. Marika

          Look, Lynx, I’m open to the possibility there are. I’ll never forget being scarred for life as a young child seeing a group of people sniffing underarms as part of a research study in something like National Geographic magazine. I asked my Mum about it, she explained about pheromones etc. So, maybe we should be using our other senses more!

          Actually, there’s a record function on POF where you can record short sound clips. Some guy once sent me one allll “hello lady” and it was very sexy indeed.

          Touch we can accomplish on the first date. Taste..let’s leave for a bit.

        7. Lynx

          Confession: the last line of my boyfriend’s (well-written) online profile casually but strategically tossed out his English accent as bait. Like your typical woman in the USofA, I totally took the bait.

          But can that really be considered auditory, because I read it. Does that mean I’m visual? 😉

        8. Marika


          I’d say that’s most definitely auditory. You heard the accent in your head, right? Then swiped right with gusto!
          You may, in fact be auditory! Or A-V, if he’s a British hottie.

          Is it the English accent in particular that gets you Yanks going? Is it the poshness?

        9. Lynx

          Actually, Marika, I don’t think the accent weakness has anything to do with poshness (for me, anyway). To me, it’s a presumption the person has a richer life experience since they’ve chosen to move far from home. Not necessarily fair or accurate, of course.

          If I were living in the UK, I imagine I’d be less susceptible, especially if the person had stuck close to home. How much variety in experience could there be for someone who’d spent their entire life in, say, Birmingham? Is England even as big as California — No, just looked it up, CA is almost twice as big as the entire UK.

          Further, the posh British accent has been intentionally cultivated over the past couple hundred years. Apparently, the American English accent is older and more similar to how the British spoke back when they landed on Plymouth Rock. So, one man’s posh is another man’s poser. Just sayin’.

      5. 8.2.5

        @Emily, to
        Your hunk board? LOL
        Gotta have it I suppose. 😉

        1. Emily, to

          “Your hunk board? LOL
          Gotta have it I suppose. ”
          Jones Brothers are on it now. Well, mostly Nick. The other two bore me.
          The board’s in my closet. I don’t have it hanging in the living room or anything.

      6. 8.2.6

        @Emily, to
        Well wasn’t thinking Mr. Clean fit/muscular….there are varying degrees of size. LOL
        The Jonas Brothers…I know they are a group, I couldn’t tell you who is who though. 😀 😀 😀

        1. Emily, to

          “Well wasn’t thinking Mr. Clean fit/muscular….there are varying degrees of size. LOL”
          Well, size does matter. 🙂 (Actually, it really doesn’t. ‘Tis better to know what to do with it. 🙂 )
          When I think of bulky, I think of Mr. Clean. Now, I wouldn’t throw Mark Wahlberg out of bed, but he’s an exception. As a general rule, that’s just too much. To me, that’ someone who spends 2+ hours in the gym everyday. That’s too much focus on appearance.

  9. 9

    S: “I don’t understand the instant attraction thing.”

    Just a guess, but maybe one reason ‘instant attraction’ is important is because many people are so very busy…if I only have a few hours available to socialize each week, then I don’t want to waste them on meh activities (or people). But if I have lots of free time, then my tolerance for the so-so goes way up.

    1. 9.1

      IME, Lynx, people who are into the instant attraction thing are very into it. Talk about it all the time. (Think) they need it. My guess is they’d rather have 60 short instant attraction relationships than one long-term relationship with more focus on compatibility. The people I know like this aren’t necessity short on time, but are big on instant gratification.

      The old photo thing is bizarre. The only time I understand it is if you’ve recently redone your online profile and aren’t a big selfie taker. This happened ro me recently. I don’t have any photos of just me from this year, but they are all within around 3 years. That’s more laziness than trying to hide things. And the average guy is probably even more lazy with photos than me. But 10 years? Ridiculous. And lying about your age? Hello??! The last thing you want is to walk into a date and see their face drop as you’re clearly waaayyy older/heavier than stated. I’ve had dates where I was like…’Steve?’…he looked vaguely like Steve, or maybe Steve’s Dad, but I wasn’t sure….

      1. 9.1.1

        You’re probably right, Marika, I do think some people believe instant attraction is the only way.

        Maybe I’m the only one who experiences what I hereby dub the Time/Tolerance Dating Principle. I did online dating twice, in 2013 and 2018. The first round was really fun — a 3 month period where my kids were with their dad half the time, and so I had lots of availability. I had energy for all kinds of activities (not just dating, but Meetups, events, etc.)

        In 2018, I had my kids full-time and far less availability to date, maybe one night a week. I,found I had a much higher bar — I just didn’t have time to waste. I was only online for a month or so and realized it just wasn’t enough of a priority and shut it down.

        In my 2018 stint, I did notice a couple of guys who were actively online and using the same photos they’d used 5 years earlier. Made me wonder how old the photos had been back in 2013!

    2. 9.2


      I still don’t get it unless you want a one-night stand or just a sex partner. Then yes, you have no time (or inclination) to get to know a person. It’s just a body.

      But we all know to really get to know someone takes time. And that ‘instant’ attraction isn’t long lasting anyway. So why give it much importance?

      And we have to redefine ‘meh’. I define it with personality. I have met hot guys with ‘meh’ personalities because they haven’t had a need to develop outstanding personalities or extraordinary kindness (a must for me) to get sex. It’s not everyone but a few guys. So yeah, I had instant attraction but it wasn’t the most efficient use of my time since I want a relationship. That said, it’s time I have to spend. That’s dating.

      1. 9.2.1

        Nor is attraction – even the instant kind – black and white. Someone I wouldn’t necessarily immediately drop my panties for is not always someone I would judge as unattractive.

      2. 9.2.2

        S: “But we all know to really get to know someone takes time. And that ‘instant’ attraction isn’t long lasting anyway. So why give it much importance?”

        Only speaking for myself here, I don’t demand instant attraction, but when I’ve got a busy schedule I’m far more likely to put in the extra effort to do date #3, #4, #5, etc., if there was an initial spark.

        With spark: sure I’ll meet across town on a Wednesday and stay out until 2am even though my alarm rings at 6am.

        Without spark: sure, I’ll meet within a 10-mile radius of my home on a Saturday night as long as I’m back by midnight because Sunday is laundry day.

        1. Marika


          You’re likely being a bit tongue in cheek here Lynxy, but it’s an interesting concept/topic: what we will commit to in a spark/no spark context.

          For me ‘spark’ would have to include a lot more than good looks to trek across town for a midweek 2am party. If he was good looking but boring: NO. Funny, cool, talk- for- hours- and- lose- time I would go for with or without great looks. If he had all of those things, I would stay over 😉

          I’m happy to let things develop, but if was ‘meh’, you’re right, that would have a time and location limit. I’ll meet within say 10kms or so of work/home and unless it went really well, would aim to be home at a reasonable hour. I’ll do that twice and see what develops. Then, hopefully we get to chatting, kissing, and I turn into 2am in Prague girl ;)…

          (VERY tongue in cheek to anyone who wants to jump down my throat about any of that – just thought it was a fun chat).

        2. Lynx

          Fun — that’s what seems to get easily lost in online dating, and maybe relationships in general, right?

          I’m a sucker for witty banter. Give me a clever, articulate, energetic guy and it barely matters what he looks like, I am absolutely Prague Two AM!

      3. 9.2.3

        And this is a good question:

        “What is instant attraction?” For me, it always has to do with personality and not just looks. Usually over the phone there is something . . . so I don’t go on dates where there is nothing. But that’s not really instant. That’s some minutes spent on the phone talking. Two calls, at least.

        The flash of attraction of looks isn’t enough for me. The flash of attraction of personality helps to spark the physical. I know, I’m unusual but I’m embracing my outlierness. 😀

        I don’t know if I’d go on a date with a man where I just felt physical attraction alone and the phone calls were blah. The calls would dampen the physical and I would politely decline. That’s why it’s rare that I really connect with men I just meet out and about. The conversation, the banter would have to be scintillating! And usually there isn’t enough time for that. Otherwise, I’m just polite. He’s just a body until we speak. Yeah, I may feel something initially, but I’m waiting to see what his WORDS say to adjust that feeling. They are everything. Accompanied with that physical something, sure. But not that alone.

  10. 10

    I can’t stand guys that post pictures of pictures, and when you ask for a recent picture, they tell you some bs about having a phone that doesn’t take good pictures, but why don’t you still meet them, so you can see them irl… non. I’m not wasting gas to go find out you are 10 years older than that pic, or 30lbs heavier… And yes, the hat in all the pictures… nothing wrong with balding. This guy kept his hat on during our whole date… inside a restaurant, at 8pm… when I asked him about it the next day, he got really offended and became very rude, so I cancelled out second date. Miss me with the bs…

    1. 10.1

      The man likes his hats. He might have a few tin foil hats.

    2. 10.2

      Haha, once I went on a date with a guy who also wore a baseball hat to a fancy lounge, his age in the profile was exactly as mine and there was no way he was my age. I started to ask him different questions about his life’s timeline and somehow he got a degree when he was only 15.. 🙂 After I pointed out that he must be a genius, he got angry, told me I am old and ugly and no one would ever want to fuck me and he gets 30 year olds on left and right. He texted me every few months after to check in. Probably if I hadn’t died from an old age..

  11. 11

    I have a friend who doesn’t like when her dates lie about their height. Her answer is to claim to be 6′ tall.and hope her date doesn’t notice. She’s 5’11’ in high heels. One person’s embellishment is another person’s lie. Online dating is one big fib fest.

  12. 12


    When I was a contractor, potential customers were always shocked when I showed up at the appointed time and then, provided them with a written bid or estimate when I said I would. Landed lots of paying gigs that way. When I was doing online dating, my approach was the same. Recent pics, no hat, and no lies about height, age,weight, occupation, etc. Again, shock that I was who I said I was, however……..many, many women that I met up for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, were nothing like who they said were in these dating apps. Initial attraction for me is visceral: Do I want to have sex with her? All that other fluffy stuff like personality and cooking ability comes later. THIS. IS. HOW. MOST. MEN. OPERATE. It’s not about attraction. It’s about arousal. I work real hard to stay fit, healthy, and solvent, and really dislike getting fooled in a real life meet-up. I suspect that women hate getting fooled too. Here’s my suggestion to the OP: Get the hell off dating apps and play some day game. Work on conversational skills, go where potential partners are, get involved in the community, ad nauseum, but do not rely on dating apps to a rejection buffer. Do what I do. Talk to everybody, volunteer, flirt at the hardware store, screen and ask someone out face-to-face. I know, I know, easier said than done. Especially for women. Even as an “older” man, if a woman in my age group is fit, engaging, and showing some initiative, I might ask her out. Fit means not overweight. I don’t really care about gray hair or crow’s feet, that just shows character. Fit means that she likes herself enough to not abuse her body and is a clear indicator of discipline, good eating habits, and a desire to enjoy herself.
    When I hear men in my age group pissing and moaning about the lack of potential partners they find attractive, I tell ’em to go stand in front of a full length mirror…..naked. Some guys just don’t get it and neither do some women.

    1. 12.1

      My thoughts exactly. I am in the same boat as you….
      I work hard to take care of myself and stay in shape. Not easy being 40+.
      So for dating apps when all you have initially is a picture, I am looking for someone who may have a similar mindset as me.
      And honestly there are a lot of women who are 35+ and just let themselves go and then try to play it off by taking pics with certain angles that will hide that physical aspect….so I always get nervous when I “swipe right” on someone…..especially when their pics have been taken from these angles.

    2. 12.2

      Olongapo: “When I hear men in my age group pissing and moaning about the lack of potential partners they find attractive, I tell ’em to go stand in front of a full length mirror…..naked. Some guys just don’t get it and neither do some women.”

      Best dating advice ever (with all due respect to EMK)

      Staying in decent shape really shouldn’t be that hard for most people — I don’t understand those who just give up. It’s not simply about looks, far more important is how you feel in your body, and your energy level to do fun activities.

      I’m very open-minded about appearance when it comes to genetics: short, bald, weak jawline, whatever. Can’t help that. I confess to being way more judgemental about those areas inexpensively within your control: calories in vs out, and exercise.

      1. 12.2.1

        Overweight(and jobless) are my only deal breakers. These issues are way too common.
        Men who eat healthy are attractive yet I know a few women who want a fit man but they still have weird views about men’s diets. They don’t freely admit it but they don’t want “grass eaters”. Deep down they want cheeseburger and steak eaters, not salmon and broccoli eaters. Men who lean vegetarian and snack on apples make them feel self-conscious. Some women don’t want a man who eats better than they do.

        1. Seth

          While I don’t view myself as a grass eater, I do eat a certain way to maintain a certain physique.
          But that being said, I will at times throw down a cheeseburger
          And believe I did it on July 4th the other day. 😀 😀 😀

      2. 12.2.2

        But it really does get harder when you get older. When I was in my 20’s, I was a stick figure, and ate TONS of junk food, and not really on an exercise regiment. Now, I struggle to maintain a weight that is about 10 lbs overweight according to the charts, even though I take regular exercise classes at the gym (about 6 -9 hours per week) take a half hour walk after dinner with hubby 3-7 evenings a week, drink green smoothies, cook with lean proteins and fresh vegetables, etc. Yes, I occasionally indulge, but my 20’s were one big indulgence and I was skin and bones. As a senior citizen who works out and eats healthy I now have a few extra pounds. I have gained 10 pounds since I got married, my hubby has gained about 30 and we both eat healthy and exercise very regularly.

        Luckily, I “wear it well”. Most people are surprised when I tell them my weight. Even the nurse who weighed me at the doctor’s office looked at me, looked at the scales, and when noting my 10 pound weight gain asked me “Where are you hiding those extra 10 pounds ? In your big toes ? “

        1. Lynx

          Absolutely, it’s more challenging with age. I think a huge mistake many people make is thinking that being active means you can eat more — no. There’s no escaping the need to cut calories as you age, because your body needs fewer.

        2. SparklingEmerald

          Hi Lynx – “There’s no escaping the need to cut calories as you age, because your body needs fewer.”

          And the really sucky part is you need to INCREASE some nutrient intake while DECREASING calories. Also need to INCREASE exercise as your energy levels decline and stuff starts to ache.

          Luckily, I started off y life as skin and bones, so my age related weight gain doesn’t look to horrible. Also, my hubby has gained more weight than I have, so comparatively speaking, I still look thinner :D.

          There are too many benefits to a good diet and regular exercise though, so I won’t give up, despite not having the weigh loss results I want. I have increased my bone density, lowered my cholestrol and blood pressure through my lifestyle. Also, I thought I might need to get surgery for “trigger finger” but once I took classes designed for seniors, my trigger finger has resolved itself. Also, I guess if I didn’t live the lifestyle I live, I would be 50 pounds overweight instead of 10-15. Sigh, but I still miss the ease of being naturally thin without having to work at it very much.

    3. 12.3

      “All that other fluffy stuff like personality and cooking ability comes later.”


      I’m smiling at your word fluffy. You sure are different from me. I rarely look at a man and think I want to have sex with him. Sex is so . . . intimate. What I do get is sometimes I feel drawn physically to him but that’s about it. No naked imagery!

      Good thing I’m not drawn to ‘most’ men, though. And that’s why I don’t wear distracting clothes. I don’t actually want the first thing men to think about is having sex with me when they see me. But I accept that by doing that, they immediately put me in the friend category forever. The one thing that is easy with most men, though! I can put on one dress, once, and I can see the thought bubbles over his head!

      So for me, having men see me sexually is always possible since it’s so easy to do. Too easy. Having him think about the fluffy stuff? Much more of a challenge. 😉

      As for fit: I don’t exercise regularly, other than walking which I use as transportation too. I’m just really blessed to look what’s acceptable to the western world though internally it might not be that healthy. No one cares about that, though. (Too fluffy. ;-)) It’s no indication about my character, just what my body does on its own. It is a bit harder as I age, but not really. For my mom too. We can lose just by changing eating and walking. For other people, it’s much, much, much harder. Their genetics differ so I have compassion for that. For them, staying fit would to be a lifetime of thinking consciously about it and hard work. Which honestly, I wouldn’t want to do so I understand the weight.

      So interesting! And I never understood the difference between arousal and attraction made here on this blog. But I’m not asking anyone to explain it!!! Please, please don’t. Just know for me they are one and the same whatever the definition.

    4. 12.4

      I had a thought in the shower today looking at my fluffy towel . . .


      LOL. 😉 😉 😉

      I think a guy goes on a first date thinking, dunno about her personality but maybe I’ll get lucky sometimes soon sex-wise and figure that stuff out later. I go on a first date thinking (and remember this is a guy I already have a baseline attraction to), I probably will never have sex with this guy, but maybe his personality means we’ll have a fun evening. I’ll see if this baseline attraction thing is worth pursuing later.

      Operator: I think we have a disconnect. 😉 I tell you, it’s a pure wonder people get together at all!

      In reality, I dress up so he can figure out if he’s really attracted to me and I guess he gets to do whatever he does personality-wise (banter, I love subtle banter!) so that I am put at ease about that. Self-awareness is good.

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