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Behind the Picture

Some people love hamming it up in front of the camera and sharing their snapshots with others—they get a kick out of sharing aspects of themselves freely. For others, though, the very thought of putting themselves out there can be an experience marked by insecurity and vulnerability. The “what ifs” invade:

  • “What if someone doesn’t think I’m attractive enough?”
  • “What if someone only wants to get to know me on the basis of my photos?”
  • “What if I look different in photos than in person?”
  • “What if…?”

The list goes on and on. And these concerns are valid. No one wants to feel as though they may be judged negatively on the basis of their appearance, especially when they’ve already decided to take the chance to meet someone truly good for them—a new experience for many people. It’s important to remember that eHarmony is a relationship service that matches people on what’s most important: who you are on the inside.

Countless studies have shown that dimensions such as character, intelligence and energy level are far more important than appearance when it comes to long-term happiness in successful relationships. But let’s face it, we’re all just as curious about what our matches look like as they are about what we look like. As we imagine someone to spend time and share ourselves with, we try to imagine a face, and that face is the first thing you see when you view a match whose pictures are posted. Your picture combined with your “About Me” introductory information is your first impression to your matches.

What’s in a picture? Your First Impression.

First impressions are important, but don’t forget how uniquely special you are—your physical appearance is just one aspect of you. Photos aren’t the only thing evaluated in the minds of those viewing your profile. In fact, along with your photo, matches view your name, geographic location, occupation and then your answers in the “About Me” introductory information section.

If you find that you are not getting the responses you would like, and you already have lots of great photos posted, you may want to revisit your answers to the introductory information to see if they could perhaps be more descriptive or reflective of more of your great personality.

It can be frustrating to wait for someone you’ve been matched with to communicate with you. Even more so, it can be painful being closed out as soon as a match notification is received. One can’t help but think that their photo must not have been good enough to warrant even initial interest. But keep this in mind: the person that closes communication on the basis of photos alone is losing out on the wonderful experience of getting to know people with whom he or she is extremely compatible.

The same goes for you, too—if you find yourself closing communication on the basis of a match’s photos alone and maybe a brief scan through their profile, try a new approach. The introductory information is meant to be just that—an introduction. Go beyond that first impression to ask the questions important to you. Commit to getting to know that person and have fun expressing yourself on how you feel about life situations and issues of all kinds. What have you got to lose?

Say, “Cheese!”

You don’t need the skills of a famous fashion photographer, but you should do more than point and click.

Follow these photo guidelines to put your best face forward.

There is a joy in getting to know someone even if it does not lead down a road you would like, because of what it does for you. Unlike other getting-to-know-you situations, the level of honesty that eHarmony’s safe, anonymous communication fosters allows you to get to know someone truly from the inside out while at the same time strengthening your knowledge of who you are and what you really want.

And who knows?—you might surprise yourself. The very person you could have closed out could be just the person that makes you feel like no one else in the entire world. You don’t have to impress everyone with your visual charm. All it takes is two special people: you and the one who realizes you’re a great package deal—inside and out.