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This is, unsurprisingly, pretty strongly gendered: There are tons of men who are, say, 36, and list their dating age range from 20 – 35, or women who are 28 and list their dating age range from 29 – 44.
So, welcome to Internet Dating Bootcamp, where I'll teach you how to trick unsuspecting users into thinking you’re actually cool and normal. You need to be you in your online dating profile, but the process of creating one is a good time to think about what kindergarten teachers call “being your best self at school.” If you’re attracted to Type-A go-getter types who get up at 6am to exercise, emphasize your similar love of hard work. Want someone who shares your taste for obscure French films? No, not everyone wants to date a carbon copy of themselves, but most of us want to be with someone with some overlapping interests.
There’s nothing wrong with looking for a little naked fun, but keep in mind that your co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances also have access to the internet.
And seriously consider whether you want to publicize your wheelchair fetish, your juggalo ex-boyfriend or the crimes you regularly commit.
Shirtless photos for men (or bikini photos for women) say “I vacation on the Jersey Shore, pump my fist to house music, use tons of hair gel and probably have at least one tribal / Chinese symbol tattoo.” Myspace-style chin-down eyes-up pouty-face selfies say, “I want to look pretty and am not particularly intelligent.” Far-away vacation shots say, “Have I mentioned that I travel? Use proper punctuation and make sure most of the words are spelled correctly.
I’m sure I mentioned it like 56 times in my profile, but just in case you missed it, here is me in Laos. Love it.” Think beyond “this is a cool / funny / flattering photo that I like” and ask yourself, “How is a total stranger going to view me and my life when they look at this photo? This one should be obvious, but unfortunately it’s not. The exception to this rule: You are a moron who would like to attract other morons. One very reliable red flag on online dating sites: People who list the age range of people they’ll date as significantly younger or significantly older, but not overlapping with their own.
If you like low-key creative types, share what it is you make. Put forward the version of yourself that’s most attractive to the person you’re trying to see naked.