This Is the Biggest Turn-Off on Your Online Dating Profile, According to Eligible Singles

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Dating often feels like a game of chance. But there are some variables you can control. Case in point: Your dating app profile. Whether you’re on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge or all three (no judgement), first impressions—in-person and virtually—matter. That’s why Hinge recently polled users of the app for their dos and don’ts when it comes to profile pictures. Read on for their findings, including why it might be time to put the kibosh on selfies.

The Is the #1 Trait People Over 50 Are Looking for When Dating

5 Photos You Should Include on Your Dating Profile

1. Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Most of us have a friend who would swipe right on someone solely because of the adorable dog in their profile picture. According to Hinge, 35 percent of users are more likely to send a comment if someone's profile picture includes a dog. Even if the pup is just borrowed from a friend, it can be an excellent conversation starter.

2. Travel Pics

When it comes to dating apps, wanderlust sells. More than half of Hinge users are more likely to send a comment if someone's profile picture shows them traveling. Plus, with travel restrictions lifting post-COVID, it can be a great way to open a conversation by saying, “Omg your Rome pictures. So excited to get back to traveling.”

3. Sporty Pictures

Whether you’re training for your fourth marathon in as many years or you decided to snap a few pics on the annual hike your college roommate makes you do, include those photos on your profile. Fifty-eight percent on Hinge users consider pictures of any kind of physical activity to be a good sign.

4. Candids

Striking a balance between solo shots and group pics can be difficult. You want potential suitors to see that you have fun friends, but too many multi-person photos can be confusing. (Which one are you? Who’s to say.) Hinge found that 49 percent of successful user’s profiles include at least one candid solo photo of themselves.

5. Clear Photos of Your Face

OK, we can’t all be Annie Leibovitz, but when it comes to choosing photos for your dating profile, you should at least put a little effort into making sure your choices are clear. A whopping 68 percent of those surveyed said that the most important thing they look for in a first photo is being able to clearly see the person's face.

4 Photos You Shouldn’t Include on Your Dating Profile

1. Mirror Selfies (Especially from the Bathroom)

A general rule of thumb is this: If it’s a photo you would’ve been jazzed to include on your first MySpace page in your early teens, maybe leave it off of your grown-up dating profile. Only 13 percent of successful Hinge profiles include mirror selfies, and 72 percent of successful Hinge users say they find bathroom selfies undesirable. We can’t say we disagree.

2. Photos with People Who Could Be Your Ex

Back to the solo shot versus group pic dilemma. Though it’s fine to include a picture or two of you with your pals, Hinge found that 73 percent of users shy away from folks who have pictures with someone who could be a potential ex of theirs. So yeah, maybe save those lovey-dovey two-person photos for your Insta.

3. Gym Selfies

While photos showing physical activity are a huge plus, gym photos are not. In fact, only 3 percent of successful Hinge profiles include gym selfies. Stick to the weights, OK?

4. Photos That Are Heavily Filtered

Clear photos are good, photos that look like they’ve been run through Photoshop 15 times are not. Eighty percent of successful Hinge users find filters on a photo undesirable. Being real trumps impossibly flawless makeup any day.

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sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...