From the first episode of Sex and The City, I was hooked. As each season went by, I fell more in love with Carrie Bradshaw and, of course, Big (I’m saying it again, as nice as Aiden was, I was ALWAYS for Big).
Now, more than two decades on, I live in a cool(ish) apartment, own a MacBook and I’ve been given the chance to step into Carrie’s Manolo’s. At least, metaphorically speaking.
For the next 12 weeks, I’ve joined forces with eHarmony Australia for their Single in the City campaign.
Think of me as your go-to girl for all things dating. Email me your questions. Tell me your stories. Ask me on dates. Just kidding, about the dates anyway.
I hope to put my own spin on some of the challenges of online dating from how to write a great profile and what photos to use, to how to navigate a date and what to do if things go pear-shaped (grab a bowl of ice-cream because you know I have some great break up stories!).
If you’re already loved up, stick around, have a laugh and enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the singles scene … you might even be able to give me some tips on what worked for you!
Now, in all honestly I’m the first to admit that online dating isn’t for everyone and in the past I haven’t been a fan, but with my last relationship done, dusted and all traces of it deleted from my phone, I’ve decided this summer is the perfect time to turn up the heat on my love life.
The first step, of course, is to set up your profile.
eHarmony’s point of difference is their compatibility matching (think Perfect Match’s Dexter but with a few more bells and whistles) so instead of just asking you to choose a cheesy username and unleashing you on the singles scene, there is a detailed questionnaire to fill out to determine what your key values are when it comes to finding a partner.
They ask everything from your music taste (so bad it’s good) to what books you’ve read, what you’re looking for in a partner and who has been the most influential person in your life.
And then comes the tough part—choosing your photos.
Given I’m a bit of a selfie-aholic, I had plenty of photos to choose from but I soon discovered picking pics doesn’t come easy to some people. It seems like choosing bad photos is some people’s hidden talent.
In just a week I’ve encountered bathroom selfies (including the urinal), shirtless selfies, under the chin selfies, fancy dress (including face paint), group shots, shots with women, one that looked like a wedding photo with someone cropped out and one guy who looked like he may have bodies buried in his backyard.
It made me feel like hosting an open day photo shoot so people could come along and have half-decent photos taken.
And it’s not just on eHarmony that people miss the mark with their profile photos—my all time favourite Tinder photo was a guy with shoulder-length curly hair whose profile photo was him front-down (thank god) in the bath with his head and his bare butt sticking out of the water.
Needless to say, we swiped left.
So, in a bid to help the world find love, or at least a date, here are my top 15 tips for perfecting the profile photo:
1. Selfies are okay but not if you’ve taken them from your lap while in your car/truck/bus/bed etc. This is not, I repeat, this is NOT a flattering angle. On anyone.
2. Don’t sprawl across the floor trying to look sexy. Or even sit up and try to look sexy. You can’t make sexy happen, you’ll just look a bit creepy.
3. Do include photos of activities you enjoy doing (travel, sport, out and about). It’s a great way to give an insight into your life and also show what you’re passionate about.
4. Include a full-length photo. If you don’t have one ask a friend to take one, it’s their chance to still play wingman.
5. If you absolutely believe the most flattering picture of you was the one you took in the public toilet mirror, at least crop out the urinals.
6. Actually, give the bathroom selfie a miss entirely (or at least know that women will also be looking in the background to see how clean you are).
7. Leave your ‘toys’ out of the photos, this isn’t a weekend shopper ad. If someone wants to date you just because you’ve got a jet ski, motorcycle or nice apartment, they’re probably not a nice person. (Having said that, if you’re actually on the jet ski/boat/kayak, that’s passable. Just.)
8. No wedding photos. Seriously. (This seems kind of self-explanatory if you’re on a dating website.)
9. No group photos—are you the guy or girl second from the left? Or the waiter lurking in the background?
10. Leave out photos with members of the opposite sex, even if it’s your mum, sister, brother etc.
11. Don’t choose photos that are years old. I included a couple from my travels (because traveling is important to me) but dated them all so people knew they were 1-2 years old.
12. Make sure all your profile photos don’t have your face obscured by something—hats, goggles, sunglasses, a scuba mask, face paint. We want to see your face.
13. No guns.
14. No long shots. Once again—we want to see YOU.
15. No scenery shots; you aren’t trying to score an art show for your photography skills, you’re trying to score a date.
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