The Best Dating Sites of 2019

Partnered with

7 Online Dating Photos You Don’t Want to Use

By Erika Ettin


In most of the online dating advice I give to both clients and friends, I share pointers — things to do to attract attention and get a date. However, this time, I’d like to shed some light on things not to do when it comes to your online dating photos. Whether you’re using a dating site or an app, you need to make sure that your photos, especially your main profile picture, are showing you in the best light. Physical impression is key in dating and you want to make sure you are NOT doing any of the following.

Here are some bad dating photos and the reasons why:

1. Do Not Use Old Photos

do not post old photos

As cute as you were in high school, people are more interested in seeing the person who is actually going to show up on the date. No amount of chemistry can overcome an egregious lie about your looks. Use recent photos that will give a true image of what you look like.

2. No Photos With Friends Where We Can’t Tell Who You Are

no photos with a group of friends

This isn’t a guessing game! If someone can’t immediately pick you out from the crowd, he or she is likely to pass on you. Do you really want to be compared to your friends and have a doubt that maybe that person is more interested in your best friend than you? Leave the mysterious you for another date and make sure it’s easy to tell it’s actually you in that photo.

3. Do Not Hide Your Face!

hidden face

Can’t see what you look like? Pass! You might have an attractive back, but people will go to the next profile where they can actually see the person’s face. Don’t hide your face in your profile photo and choose one that you feel most comfortable with.

4. No Photos That Make You Look Like An Alcoholic

[no drinking photos]

Even if your crazy drinking habits are a once-a-year occurrence, the photos you post are representing you, so people will assume things based on them. Unless you want to give the impression that you are immature or not interested in anything serious, I suggest you avoid posting drinking photos.

5. No Photos With Hot Girls Surrounding You

Surrounded by girls

It might be with your best friends from elementary school, or even your pretty little sisters. But this type of photo is intimidating. Does he have time for another woman in his life? How do I compare to those hotties? It’s just too much pressure so just don’t.

6. No Bathroom Photos

no bathroom photos

I get it, you got ready to go out, looked in the mirror and liked what you saw – so you took a picture. Well, the intention was good but thinking about a dirty bathroom is about the last thing anyone wants when perusing the online dating sites. Keep it classy and simple.

7. No Selfies… And If You’re Going To Do One, Make It Flattering

Do not post selfies

Ah, selfies. I can’t tell you not to use them since they are so ubiquitous, but if you are going to, please do make sure it’s clear and flattering. Preferably, just ask a friend to take a picture of you rather than take a photo of yourself from a funny angle.

If you are not sure what type of photos to have, just follow these 5 tips:

  1. Less is more. I recommend uploading only three to five photos

  2. Have at least one clear photo of your face, preferably your main one

  3. Be by yourself in the shot

  4. Have one photo where you’re doing something interesting, giving people a reason to reach out to you

  5. Be accurate – use recent photos that show what you look like right now

Of course, the photos are only half the battle. For more pointers on both the photos and the profile, read the 6 Tech Tips to Improve Your Online Dating Profile.

Advertising Disclosure

This site is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to its visitors. Please be advised that the operator of this site accepts advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, and such compensation impacts the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented, and in some cases may also impact the rating that is assigned to them. To the extent that ratings appear on this site, such rating is determined by our subjective opinion and based on a methodology that aggregates our analysis of brand market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, compensation paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including pricing, which appears on this site is subject to change at any time.