Web Dating 101: Always Trust the Worst Picture

Let’s say you’re going out on a date with Meg Ryan, but have no idea what she looks like. Maybe you’re not a big movie person, or maybe you’re not a big shitty movie person, but the point is, you couldn’t pick Meg out of a crowd. So, being the conscientious dater she no doubt is, Meg sends you a few pics…

Wow. Cute, wholesome, I’m liking the sound of this.

Damn. A little older, a little sexier. Sign me up!

Holy Christmas! That is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. I have no idea why she wants to go out with me, but I AM IN!


Three great pictures, all a little different, all splendid in their own right, and one hellacious photo of the Lip Monster from the Isle of Botox. So what do you do? You ignore the bad picture, figure she looks great in three-quarters of the photos and agree to get all Sleepless in Seattle with Meg on Friday night, right? WRONG.

Always Trust the Worst Picture. I can’t say this enough. Always Trust the Worst Picture. Every dating profile on the Internet has a mix of photos, some good, some bad, and we have to decide what the person actually looks like. I find that if I really like a lady’s personality, if we’ve established some quality email banter, then I’ll ignore the bad pictures, talk myself into the good, and head off optimistically for a sure-fire dating success. Then I see her in person and, realizing I that have an hour ahead with someone I’m not attracted to, mutter to myself, “Always trust the worst picture!”

Hooochi mochi...

I know this sounds pessimistic. Maybe it even sounds a little jerky. But people post their best pictures so you can see how hot they can ideally be, then they post the worst ones so you won’t be disappointed by the reality. I mean, come on, ask yourself this, “why would someone display a bad picture if it’s not what they look like?” Are they really as irresistible as the first three Meg photos, then they just added in the last one to balance shit out, so you don’t have an excitement heart attack on your way over? Or maybe they called up one of their computer buddies and said, “You know how I’m super hot? Well, I was wondering if you could take a picture of me and make it look entirely the opposite. Yeah, old, kinda crazy, with a real bird’s nest on my head. I’m thinking…one of Marge’s sisters from The Simpsons. Actually, you know what? Just make it look like I smell. Can you do that? Why? For Internet dating, you silly…”

It’s an understandable instinct to want to look as good as possible online. Some people, that’s where the instinct ends – so all their pictures are from two years ago, before they put on 15 lbs and lost their arm in a horrible tractor accident. Other daters know that it’s important to be truthful, and balance every great photo out with an average, everyday snapshot. Then there are the select few who are actually super hot and look as good as any picture every could. Those people are called “motherfuckers”, and they’re too busy at George Clooney’s Italian villa to date online.

So don’t complicate things. Ask yourself this simple question, “if he/she looks as only good as their worst picture, will I want to date them?” Because let’s be honest, they’re gonna look only as good as their worst picture. Don’t obsess over their profile trying to decipher which shot looks most accurate, which lighting seems more true. Just accept the facts and see where you stand. If you always trust the worst picture, you’ll be fine.

Oh, and if you get a chance, dress up like Einstein. I hear Meg’s into that…

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8 Responses to Web Dating 101: Always Trust the Worst Picture

  1. J says:

    That’s my mantra. Always trust the worst picture. And be wary of the weird-angle-but-good-looking-anyway photo. That’s their good side – they know it. But it hardly ever shows up in public.

  2. Mark says:

    God I love this site, it’s incredibly hilarious. Informative too!

    Make sure to also beware of face-only shots.. oh, how many times did I convince myself “With a face like that, how can it go wrong??” Stupid me.

    Anyway I love that there are frequent updates to this site. Every time I check back there’s lots to read and keep me laughing. Keep it up!!

  3. bruce says:

    …but what about the profiles when the photos go from bad…to worse…seriously, i sometimes want to email them and offer my services…photographic that is, just so the multitudes wont be so horrified…

  4. bruce says:

    oh, btw…since i’m in my 50’s….i’d date the last picture .

  5. NcF says:

    so true so true so true… but why do I continually tell myself that maybe “this guy” is the exception to the rule? THERE IS NO EXCEPTION.

  6. Misty says:

    I don’t know. The thing I learned as a woman not to trust is the height listed. One guy said he was 5’7″ but turned out to be around 5’2″. What a turn off.

    One of the guys I met actually turned out to be better looking and in better shape than his pictures. That was a pleasant surprise. His pics online were kind of dorky and since I am an average looking woman myself, I thought it was safe to meet him. In the sense, he didn’t have unnatural expectations about me. The thing is, more often than not, some good looking people don’t come out too well in pictures. They aren’t photogenic. And some people come out to look better in pictures then they are. It’s a gamble either way.

  7. Wayne says:

    Having done a considerable amount of online dating I totally agree with the author. With the right camera angle most people can take a decent picture. The worst of the bunch is probably the most accurate picture. And if all the pictures are taken from a distance that makes seeing much detail impossible, contact at your own risk. And if you have seen a profile on several sites and there is always only one picture, assume that is the only flattering picture they have (sometimes years old as well).

  8. Philip says:

    Met up with 3 women the other day, and 2/3 were actually better looking in person, one of them by a long stretch, seriously she jumped up a good 2 points in real life. Makes me wonder about trusting the pictures at all. Of course not enough to not blindly trust the pictures. But was a pleasant surprise anyway.

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