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Office Hours With Dr. Jim
by James Houran, Ph.D

In this column, "Dr. Jim" honestly and candidly answers your questions about dating, love and sexuality. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Dr. Jim is committed to offering you guidance based on responsible clinical practice and hard data from the latest scientific studies. Send Dr. Jim your questions today for consideration in an upcoming issue.

Online Dating Profile Photo Tips | Emails Not Being Returned

Quick Access:
Online Dating Profile Photo Tips
Meaning of Not Receiving an Email Response?

What should I emphasize in my online profile photos?

I find it hilarious – albeit also tremendously sad and borderline pathetic – that some self-proclaimed online dating profile “specialists” have totally hideous profile photos. And I don’t mean that said gurus have these photos buried in their closets; I mean they have them posted them on their websites and blogs. What makes these photos so hideous? Well, all too often they’re of poor quality, they try too hard to be artsy and cool and they frequently incorporate silly props that are inconsistent with the context (I’m not kidding here – some of these props include small wilderness animals). Indeed a lesson in here is to be wary and critical when considering your money or time consulting the services of a profile enhancement service! There’s another lesson that seems also to escape the attention of even profile gurus – online profiles exist to emphasize you and you alone.

That sounds so obvious, yet take time to browse a large selection of profile photos and you’ll see that it’s not so obvious after all. You will often see everything except a good shot of the person’s face! Profile photos are meant to give others a sense of the physical chemistry that others might have with you. Oh, photos can also convey aspects of your personality – and that is extremely important – but there are many other tools and resources that are used to demonstrate your inner beauty like online profiles or other writing samples, personality tests and, of course, your screen name and headline.

With this in mind, it’s best not to distract others from the “star of the show” (i.e., you) with overly creative lighting and intrusive props. Instead, show your face (and perhaps shoulders) in close up and in good lighting for your primary photo. That’s the one picture everyone wants to see. For your supplemental photos you can be more creative and exhibit different poses, props that show off your interests and energy level as well as photos that showcase seductive lighting and colors to hint at the different moods that define your personality.

What does it mean when someone doesn’t email back?

I don’t know exactly, because there are many possible explanations. It could be that the person is ignoring you and wants you to go away. Of course, there are other equally plausible scenarios such as the person is preoccupied with work or home life and has not seen the message, the person has seen the message but has not had the chance to respond or the email was bounced for some technical reason.

The point is to never just jump to conclusions. Rather, it’s best to send another message expressing anticipation over hearing from the prospect. If a reply is still not received within a week or two, then perhaps follow-up that message with another email that is short, polite and expresses concern about the person. You might even offer to help in any way possible, if that’s needed. If there’s still no reply, then try your best to let it go, not write any nasty or vindictive emails and give the person the benefit of the doubt. Yes, people can be rude, but it might be something that’s well out of the prospect’s control. Leave the door open, and you might find a “familiar face” in your inbox in due course.

Related Links:
» Dr. Jim: Online Dating Profile Photo Tips
» Dr. Jim: What Colors Should I Wear for my Online Dating Photo?
» Creating a Better Online Dating Photo
» News: Profiles in Photos Most Important to Online Daters

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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