To Internet Daters Who Refuse To Post Pictures

Dear Internet Daters Who Refuse To Post Pictures,

What is wrong with you? I mean, specifically, what’s wrong with you? There’s gotta be something, right? Because whenever I come across a profile without a picture attached, I assume there’s something crazy going on. Like you have two heads, or you have no heads, or you’re not actually a person. Maybe you’re a scam, like a weird offshoot of that whole Nigerian Prince thing, or perhaps it’s just an elaborate money laundering front. I’m gonna come clean here and admit that I don’t really know what a money laundering front is, but it’s what other people say when something seems fishy, so I’m gonna say that too. Because a profile that’s meant to attract me when I can’t even see what it is I’m supposed to be attracted to is most decidedly fishy.

Why would someone join a dating website and not post a picture? Is it that you don’t think you’re very attractive? Well, that’s just silly. I’m sure you look fine, and even if you don’t, have you poked around OKCupid recently? There’s some real trainwrecks on there. I mean, I’m on there, and I’ve already gone through like three bags of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins. And not the “fun size” either – the serious size. So come on, don’t be a wimp, show us your smile. And know this: there is no picture so bad that it will make you look any worse than what we already imagine. It’s true. When we see the “Sorry, This User Has Not Uploaded a Photo” message, we picture, like, a slightly taller Oompa Loompa. Weird and blue and creepy. You’re better than that right? I mean, it’s very unlikely that you’re blue.

This is what I wanna know: does anyone ever write to a profile without pictures? And do they respond when you write them? They don’t, right? There’s just no way. I mean, there’s effectively an unlimited quantity of people on OkCupid with faces, so why would I possibly dip my toes in the waters of the faceless? It doesn’t make sense. Why be disappointed by an empty gray box when I can so easily be disappointed by a girl with features I can identify? I guess you could try to make up for it by writing a really charming email, but honestly, I’m not sure there’s enough charm in the world to bridge that gap. I’d delete the secret of life if it came without a picture. You could promise me instant access to heaven, untold riches, and a satisfying series finale to Lost, but if I don’t know what you look like, your message is going in the trash. I’m sorry, that’s just rules of the OkCupid road.

I’ve thought a lot about this, and as far as I can figure, these are the only other reasons any Internet dater would not post a picture.

1) You’re a vampire. If that’s the case, and modern photography is genuinely unable to capture your image, then fine. Don’t post a picture. I get it. Maybe have someone do a sketch. Or just say in your profile “FYI, I’m a vampire. I can’t post pictures. Just didn’t want you to think I’m a weirdo or anything.”

2) You’re married. Apparently there are people who don’t want to be discovered online dating by their spouse, so they leave their image blank. To you I say, first of all, “Get a life.” Then I follow up with, “How is your wife going to explain finding you on a dating website in the first place? What was she doing there? Looking for vampires?” And then you will look at me with silent wonder.

3) You’re afraid of people knowing that you Internet date. This totally makes sense…if it’s 1991. Nobody cares if you’re meeting people online. Get over it.

4) You don’t know how to post pictures. My Dad is in his 60’s and he MAILED a dating website his pictures so they could scan and post them for him. I didn’t even know scanners still exist. Or the mail. If he can pull it off, so can you.

5) There is no 5. That’s it. We’re out of reasons.

So please, Daters, in closing, I implore you to get with it. Grab one of the ten thousand devices you have that can take a photo and go to town. To get more responses, to have a better love life, and to stop make us stop wondering what the heck is going on.

Everyone TC Mark

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Author of the best-selling Kindle Single “Not A Match.”

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