I like your face!
So online dating has taught me something new, I have to be really critical of people’s faces. God, Tristan, you are so shallow!
Wait let me explain… So an online dating profile is comprised of 10 or so images of the person. First factor in: The person picked the photos they think best portray who they are, then take into consideration that you have different angles, lighting, and no actual three dimensional view of their face in these photos.
Let me first disclaimer this with: the beauty of these photos is obviously subjective to who is looking, what they like, what attracts them to another human being, and so forth. No one is being called out for being ugly, just for not fitting what I or another may be looking for or find attractive.
Ok now with that out of the way, let’s say you see one image you absolutely love. And you go, WOW. This person is gorgeous, I want to know more about her! Then you swipe to the right and see image 2, you brush it off because it doesn’t have the same effect but her ass looks great, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, same reaction but to different parts of her, except the face… But you don’t care, you know she is “gorgeous” in photo one and fits the physical criteria you have set. Wrong. You have become fixated on what you want the person to look like, not the overall.
I am a victim of this. Whether you have 3 images or 100, you can literally get so consumed by one shot that really plays to what you are looking for that you ignore the other images. You are not looking at the whole picture. I am a photographer, I understand angles, lighting, and makeup… yet even I find myself having to remind myself to look at the images together. If I am attracted to 10% of her face in photos, this is not going to work. When you meet in person you are going to essentially put together all those photos like a 3D printer would, piecing together a real person not a flat image.
It is so important to like 90% or more of someone’s face in their photos because they portray a complete picture of this person. They show their good and bad sides whether intentional or not. If you can feel connection from the bad sides and the good, the real life meet is going to blow your mind. You are going to be sitting there waiting for them to walk into whatever place you are meeting, and when they finally do, you are going to forget how to be cool and how to keep it together as you oogle them. Their eyes now having shine to them, their skin complexion, their hair motion… everything turns into a beautiful moving image, what people before online dating would have called real life.
I used to be so fixated on making sure someone took care of their body, wasn’t out of shape, and presented themselves truthfully, but I was so focused on that, I would often overlook the face. The face is the part that stays as you age, the eyes don’t change, the lips don’t change, etc. This is the most important part of the body(other than your mind, haters)! The part you see when you kiss, the part you see when you wake up, the part you look at while talking about your day, the part you wanna smoosh when they are being a doofus. (I do have a two face theory as well if you are interested: http://lostintxtlation.tumblr.com/post/74653633662/the-two-face-theory )
Don’t get me wrong I still think it is important to take care of your physical as much as you take care of your mental state of health, but the face is something we can literally forget about when it comes to online dating and seeing image after image of people, flicking through them like a deck of cards. You become numb to the details. But if I can offer any advice, it is that if you don’t feel with almost 100% confidence that you are attracted to someone’s face, don’t go on the date, delete the match. Sure you might have gotten along really well as friends, and sure someones mind and personality truly do makeup for more than 70% of attraction, and it is true, I have experienced the process of getting to know someone more and finding them more attractive the more I knew, but the face is so important, it tells so much of the story. So don’t sell yourself short. Even when I have felt that deeper connection with someone, I always loved their face in every photo, in person, and in general. The rest of the body be damned.
With online dating this is even more important because when you don’t have the ability to assess them through your sunglasses on the subway, understand the dimensions, feel that strange “connection” or “attraction” first hand, see them part their hair to the side of their face, and are just skimming through a bunch of “headshots” never getting to see them act or a reel, you really need to make sure you want to kiss them every day, for the rest of your life. I know, crazy talk, but I honestly believe it. This shit isn’t organic, so embrace it and perhaps you will have a better chance of not feeling disappointed by yourself for casting your own smoke and mirrors, just to get to the “date”. It is OK to say no and it is OK to be picky. There is something for everyone when it comes to what attracts us, so make sure you are looking for the right things. That is what I am trying to do, stumbling as I go, but learning each time I stumble. And just so I feel better about writing this outloud, no I am not “trying to hard”, I am literally just writing outloud how my brain works. This is me, for better or worse, I will think about forever after before I even meet someone, but I don’t go into it expecting a fairy tale ending, I let myself be, and through being, I take a step at a time, with many educated jumps ahead of me.