Wait…what? You’re WHO??

Circumstances have made you single again and you’ve gotten to the point where you feel you’re ready to put yourself back on the proverbial singles market.  In this day and age, that’s very likely to include setting up a profile on one or more of the multitude of online dating sites.  Here’s a piece of advice – post a picture post a current picture with that profile.

Most online dating sites will recommend posting a photo with the justification that it will increase your chances of having someone actually view your profile.  For you ladies, I can tell you first hand that guys are very visual and if it isn’t the photo that draws us to your profile in the first place, its certainly one of the things that keeps us there.

Posting a current photo is a good idea for more than a few reasons.  The one that comes up most often is the horror story of finally meeting up with someone face-to-face, but that face isn’t the one that was seen online.  It doesn’t matter if your college roommate says you haven’t aged since we roomed together 10 years ago, you have, and its essentially lying to misrepresent yourself in that manner.  Posting a current photo ensures that you know what you’re ordering from that online dating store.

But I digress.  The trigger for this little rant wasn’t a face-to-face meeting with disappointing results.  No, this was more along the lines a late Friday night online chat rapid e-mail exchange that rather quickly progressed into adult innuendos, only to realize that it wasn’t an anonymous stranger on the other end.

It started innocently enough.  A quick e-mail from me at 1:30 am saying “hello”, “saw you online”, and asking “what are you doing up at this hour?”.  I got what seems to be the standard response of “not much, what about you?”, and so it began. After more than a few back and forth e-mail messages it finally progressed to one that made me scratch my head.

HER: Too bad my kids are here. I’d be able to come round to chat in person with you.

ME: How many kids?

HER: Both Niall and Thomas are here.

This very casual revelation of her children’s names after a few e-mail messages struck me as odd, more than her willingness to chat in person at such a late hour.  It was then that the gears started turning, or perhaps some of the alcohol released control of my brain, but looking at her photo more closely I realized that I know her…or her older sister!!

This wasn’t just a random person that I had seen at the corner grocery.  This woman was the ex-wife of a friend an acquaintance of mine!  They’ve been divorced for over a year, and he’s remarried, but regardless the moment suddenly became very awkward.  What made it more awkward was that she knew exactly who I was!

Seriously?  This woman that I’ve know for more than a few years, who knows that I know her ex, she would actually consider coming over for a 2:00 “chat”?  Never mind; she had here kids and wasn’t going anywhere.  I’ve not pursued it any further.

But her photo.  I’m sitting here, sober, looking at it now as I write this and its not her.  Not the her I know.  Not at first glance anyway.  I have to look at the photo very closely to even think about it being her.  Even with the clues in her profile I would have never guessed.  Honestly though, I don’t recall her being a redhead the last time I saw her, and considering how much I fancy them my decision to initiate contact was very subjective at that moment.

It all comes back to the photo.  A photo that was not taken in recent days, weeks, nor would I say taken since her divorce.  A photo that made her look like someone I had never seen before.

What if this had gone in a different direction?  What if we had met somewhere for coffee?  no… not at 2:00 am Better Worse still, what if she had come over?  What would my reaction had been at the door?!

Its a simple rule: only post current photos!

The only exception according to me: Along with the current photo you may post older photos, provided they are being posted for some entertaining reason, and you notate when they were taken!

I’ve gotta go now… I have some self-portraits to take.