One thing I forgot to share about the profile without pictures was that there was about a hundred of closed communications (that is when eHarmony sends you “check out this match” and you decide to close it for whatever reason), with the sole reason of profile missing the pictures.
This is important. In fact, this is the most important thing ever. eHarmony pitches itself as a service that matches you on a zillion levels through their overly complicated and annoying questionnaire process. However, think of it this way – if you have decided to bite the bullet and pay for matchmaking service, you want to get your money’s worth. Without an excellent picture in your dating profile you are wasting your money. Was that the idea? Hardly.
No matter how many questions you answer and how carefully eHarmony’s algorithm will be picking your matches, if your potential soul mate will see a garbled picture with someone wear something flashy shot against some kind of car – you pretty much making sure they won’t be interested. Imagine the girl of your dreams passing by because you yourself didn’t make any effort to make the connection.
One good thing about eHarmony is that even after another party has decided to close the connection, you still have a “grace shot” at it, sending your kind of closing message. After I have posted pictures to my profile I went through most of closed communications and shot back with “I have uploaded the pictures”. I bet only about 10 – 20% of ladies will give it another look. Just think about the rest of them and how much you are missing by simply being a lazy ass and not posting your pictures.
Remember: before you can get to her ears you need to please her eyes. Regardless of how many questions eHarmony will have you answer, not a single one of them makes you closer with your match.
Since we have suggested a number of dating web sites on this blog, I have personally decided to bite the bullet and went undercover into some of the web sites we have listed – and some we have not. First hand report – read below.
First dating web site I went to was eHarmony – since they are the most advertised, or rather, were the most advertised when I was signing up. For full 2 months I kept my profile without any pictures – the matches were pouring in no matter what. I even started a conversation with some lady. I didn’t feel bad – 80% of matched profiles were without pictures as well. Of course it’s important to match on those hundreds of factors, but if there’s no picture – still, I’m not a game. I am, therefore, suprised that about 10% of matches did start some sort of communication. They must be either terminally naive or dead desperate. Judging by pictures of a few who had them – second reason makes incredibly more sense.
Overall, the picture scene on eHarmony puzzles me to no extent. A lot of good looking ladies have their pictures with good looking men – without any explanations whatsoever. I mean – this could be brother, uncle or gay friend – I couldn’t care less, but if you post a picture of yourself hanging off the neck of another guy – there better be an explanation of that. Sometimes there are two or even three guys who freely hug the lady. I have no objection to that in porn movies, but on a dating web site that pitches itself as a source for matching people for long term relationships… I don’t know.
Now to those party shots. I understand – you want to look sociable, friendly and nice. But if you’re the only one who’s looking 45 in the picture named “Me and my classmates from college” and your profile age is well under 40s – maybe you should reconsider the pictures you’re posting. Same goes for those pictures with bunch of drunken people in it – you’re not telling me you are sociable, you are telling me you hang out with drunks.
And last, on the topic of pictures, if you are paying money to find a match – shouldn’t you be a little more concerned with how you look in the picture? Invest an hour of your time as well, do your make up (or shave), brush your hair (if you have it), ask a friend to hold on to your point-n-shoot camera – look presentable.
As a second part of my research I have uploaded two pictures that in essence – similar to those that appear on user’s profiles. Third part, as you might imagine – uploading NORMAL pictures and measuring the difference. My prediction, based on current experience with eHarmony – it will not make any difference whatsoever. Why? Stay tuned.
There’s an interesting article about dating assistance posted on TechCrunch a few days ago (just to take your minds off the story for something refreshing). It talks about virtual dating assistance where the dating services of “busy guys” gets outsourced. Of course, I’d be more than happy to hear your thoughts on this, and while you contemplate your response to this topic here’s another little story.
A friend of mine who has some nice people skills was working part-time as a dating assistant couple of years ago. Her part was to scout dating web sites for candidates that would fit her client’s requirements and contact them on behalf of the client to arrange a meeting. Now, so far this sounds just short of pimping – while it’s not. A simple code of ethics had actually increased her success rate – I ran statistics for her and it turns out she got up to a bit over 80% from just below 60%.
The rules were simple:
- no last names – if her client and his date decide so, they’ll exchange it, if not – then not, but she’s not disclosing neither’s personal details beyond the point of what’s neccessary to arrange the meeting
- a picture is worth a thousand words – if her contact didn’t have a dating profile picture and hadn’t sent her one, then meeting a no-go. If you’re not up to putting your decent picture into profile, then it’s not worth spending time on meeting you – plain and simple.
- she’s assistant – not personal counselor. Some ladies thought that by sucking up to her they could win some big guy and his money. Since my friend was getting a fixed rate she wasn’t interested in setting up some deals, and she was up-front about that.
- she’s assistant – if you’re interested, then you will meet the gentleman personally. She wasn’t attempting to pretend that she is her client. First of all – because it’s not ethical. Also, because it’s simply not that easy and anyone really paying attention would really be able to spot the scam. Since the whole thing was run mostly on reputation (as almost any other decent business) – the consequences could be just tragical.
- Look decent, act decent, be decent – if you plan to show up in miniskirt that ends a little earlier then legs start, or if you’re going to unleash your naughty self on the first date – then you are a wrong candidate. She had no problem with people wanting to have fun, it’s just wasn’t the goal of the job (for those who keep track – that’s the major distinction from pimping). All this was done in order to assist people in finding a person for long-lasting successful relationship, not a one-night stand.
There were a few others, but they pertained to specific demographic, so I am skipping all that. As you can see, there was nothing wrong with personal dating assistance. At times, when my friend was asking me for some advice, it felt more like recruiting a right candidate for a job rather than getting a date. Apparently, most of the candidates felt the same way, because the gig turned to be a major success.