They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Still I am a little embarrassed to admit that the first thing I look at on an on-line dating profile are the pictures… It makes me feel shallow. But physical attraction is an important part of romance, right?! And the pictures put on a profile not only show what a person looks like, they also give an image of who they are.
It was apparent rather quickly that the pictures on his profile were not so recent...
I still remember the first guy I responded to and eventually agreed to meet in person. His pictures were cute and playful. Our e-mailing and subsequent texting had moved towards much of the same with random questions amongst the typical get-to-know-you conversations. With nervous excitement I approached the restaurant where he was waiting out front. As soon as I saw him… my stomach dropped with disappointment. It was apparent rather quickly that the pictures on his profile were not so recent. Unfortunately the remainder of the date didn’t live up to the cute and playful interactions of before either.
It may well be that my expectations sabotaged the whole date. But, as with first impressions, initial disappointment is difficult to overcome. After the first in-person sighting I’m afraid to say this guy didn’t really have much of a chance. It may have taken more than a thousand words to repair the damage.
I had two thoughts in that moment, though:
Ensure my own profile picture(s) are as recent as possible; and more importantly speak the words I want prospective suitors to hear.
And look at all profile pictures from here on out with the understanding that the words they speak are very likely not the complete story.
As I went back on-line later that night, not having been given a reason to not check my messages, I still looked at the profile pictures first. But I did so with new eyes...
As I went back on-line later that night, not having been given a reason to not check my messages, I still looked at the profile pictures first. But I did so with new eyes and ears. I saw signs of confidence and insecurity, life experience and youthful spirit. I heard stories of travel, friendship, hobbies and interests. But more so I was confronted with the empty spaces in between. The silences that are sometimes louder than the voices trying to drown it out. In some cases I knew right away that I wasn’t interested. There was no need to read further on in the profile.
With others, it was the silences I found most intriguing. They contained the mystery and unknown possibilities of learning to know each other over time. I realized that while the pictures of a profile were important, it was the blanks that I wanted to fill with what followed after the first thousand words.
Beth Ann is an aspiring relationship counsellor and closet romantic. Broken, bruised, and blessed by love; continually seeking to re-discover hope for herself, her friends, and future clients!