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Man holding a fish.

Man holding a fish.

EIGHT TIPS for men uploading photos for your online dating profile:

  1. Do not make the one where you’re holding the fish your main profile photo. Or the other one where you’re holding a fish.
  2. It is obvious which photos were taken in the 1990s. We don’t need those.
  3. Please upload photos of yourself. The photos of your bicycle, your car, your boat, your Harley, your grill, and all those photos of the fish you catch are missing the point, which is that we want to know what you look like.
  4. Smile. None of your buddies can see you here so you don’t have to pretend you’re a baddass thug. Well, if any of your buddies do see you here, then they probably think you are more attractive when you smile, too.
  5. Multiple photos of places that you have seen and/or like, including images you took from the web (yes that was obvious too)…particularly when there is no caption…do not enhance a viewer’s knowledge of who you are.
  6. Selfies in the bathroom are gross. And not just because you haven’t cleaned the glass for 18 months.
  7. All six of your photos are you mugging for yourself in front of your computer screen. I can tell because your face is lit up with blue light and you have the same exact expression. There must be a photo of you somewhere. Ask someone to take your photo. Do you have friends? Co-workers? Anyone? Hell, I will meet you for coffee and take your photo.
  8. I see that you love your dogs, but do not upload more photos of them than of you. No, not even the ones when they were puppies, or the one when they were fetching sticks in the lake, or even all the adorable photos of when they are napping on the couch. No really. Just one photo of the dogs is sufficient. Just. One.
{photo by Emmet McCusker}


I’m single and busy with work and all my extra-curricular activities, and in years past I spent a lot of time parenting. A schedule like that means I do not meet eligible men. I am comfortable with a computer, which leads me to blog, but it also leads me to online dating sites. I’ve used online sites for over 10 years now, whenever I’m in a drought of meeting people. I’ve had great luck with the sites, and meet mostly genuine people who are in real life the person they projected on their dating profile. In a decade, I’ve only found one man to date long term, but better than that: I’ve made several great friends out of it that still keep in touch. And I have gone on very fun dates. One was a day learning stand up paddle, and I had a blast. The number of people I meet online is exponentially greater than the number I meet in person. Overall, it’s worth the effort to me.

{photo by Stephen Trulove}


Last week, after spending an hour or so reading profiles and looking at photos, I stopped shaking my head and laughing long enough to realize I had been composing a letter in my mind to these guys about Do’s and Don’t’s of online photos. In a moment of inspiration I posted my tips on facebook, and the response was great! My step-dad added his own tip: “To the women, please include a photo of your boat.”

What I did not expect was that in response to my facebook post, my friends (men and women) started replying with pictures of fish. I’ve included a few of them here. Obviously, I had asked for it.

I dare you not to pee while staring at a waterfall.

I dare you not to pee while staring at a waterfall.

Arno showed me this photo he took from the men’s restroom in the Oregon Convention Center Saturday while he and the boys were at a Lego Con. I love this intentional manipulation, playing with our inability to resist allowing a photo of a waterfall to trigger the need to urinate. We all know the sound of running water tugs at our lower genitourinary tract. There is some brilliant designer somewhere who needed to find a way to get folks in and out of the bathroom quickly, to ensure the Convention Center lines rotated through people on break as quickly as possible. If only the boys could have peered into the women’s bathroom to see what they have. Honestly, I don’t think a photo of a waterfall would be sufficient to get the women to take care of their business and get the heck out of there. You’ve seen the lines to the women’s restroom. It would take a cowboy with a red-hot branding iron, threatening to brand “Dawdler” onto her round pale butt if she didn’t wrap it up in the next 10 seconds. It reminded me of the flies in urinals in Amsterdam. You know, you remember that email that was forwarded to you in 2008, and 2005, and 2004? An article from NPR explores the idea a little more, to my savage delight. It explains that the forwarded email is true, and further, it’s scientifically supported that when men have a target, they aim for it without even knowing they’re aiming. And aiming for a fly is more appealing than aiming for a dot. Is it really proof that men never outgrow boyhood? That when faced with the mundane task of relieving themselves, they can be immediately side tracked by the opportunity to drown a fly? That when thinking about the totally cool Lego Hogwarts replica – complete with quidditch field – they can be so easily reminded that they are in front of the urinal for a single reason, and that is to empty their bladder? Oh, I love you men. I foresee a lifetime of continued amusement for me. 😉

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