Since I’ve been in a relationship for the past 8 months, I’ve been on overdrive trying to hook up my girls in an effort to help others find love. I was talking to my girlfriend and my boyfriend’s friend trying to score a love connection and both of them requested so many pictures of each other, that I lost interest in being a matchmaker.
“Send me a picture of her from this angle.”
“Do you have another picture?”
“Do you have a picture of him without glasses?”
Finally I just stopped responding to both of them, but it made me wonder if our obsession with social media has us looking for the perfect picture instead of the perfect situation?
Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have us so obsessed with getting likes and hearts on “perfect-looking” pictures that we are automatically applying that to our dating lives and much like the perfect picture is usually not real, it’s creating dating disasters and resulting in more people choosing to be single over someone who is “not picture perfect.”
I don’t mean to suggest anyone should go out with someone they don’t find attractive at all. But, I am suggesting we are realistic when looking at others.
Donna, 30, recently found the man of her dreams and says she believes focusing on the external is what keeps many of us falling so many times without landing safely in a loving place.
“With meeting him, none of that even crossed my mind,” she admitted.
In order not to be a hypocrite, I had to assess my own dating experiences. Admittedly, when I first started dating online, I went out with numerous bodybuilders, ex-athletes and personal trainers. (Obviously I am attracted to a particular body type.) I signed up for match.com and initially clicked on all the pictures of men with professional photos showing off biceps and ripped abs with a height of 6’3 and up. I remember enjoying the physical appearance of my dates but more often than not those men were focused primarily on their physical appearance and we had little else in common besides the fact that we both enjoyed looking at their body.
At first I blamed the men and sang the tune that many women sing when the man they are attracted to turns out to be the wrong one.
It didn’t occur to me that I was doing something that was attracting the wrong fit.
I was selecting men based purely on their physique and without paying attention to their character or even their profile. Later a friend determined to help me find love signed me up for e-harmony. I couldn’t finish the profile but while looking through pictures, I created the same issues I’d faced on match.com, blackpeoplemeet and even plentyoffish.com
Now I’m not crazy, my current boyfriend has the physique that I am attracted to. But, what was appealing to me in his profile was that he talked about being a great father and was just a down to earth human being. Although he was attractive, his profile wasn’t a collection of photoshopped perfection, which would’ve suggested that his best qualities were fake at best. I think I happened to get lucky because he is extremely attractive. But, then again, I think that’s what happens when you stop looking at the external and start looking past that. The universe will bring you exactly what you wanted, starting from the inside out.
I decided not to send any more pictures to my friends. If they are serious about finding something real, they are going to have to step out of their comfort zone of picking a date based on a picture taken in the best lighting. After all, life doesn’t happen behind the lens of your iPhone. Life happens within your heart and through your experiences. If life doesn’t happen that way, love certainly won’t happen that way.
So, the next time you are judging someone’s picture, if you are looking for something real, try looking beyond the filter.
Look at the person’s eyes are they filled with passion, laughter? Those characteristics are hard to capture for social media but if you stretch your imagination, you just may find something amazing.