In my mind, there are very few hard and fast rules for constructing an online dating profile. Don't be boring. Use proper spelling and grammar. Post pictures that accurately show how you look. Beyond that, almost anything goes.
But I want to propose a new rule for online dating profiles: NO MORE PICTURES WITH KIDS!
This is a problem I've been noticing a lot lately. People seem to be posting more and more pictures with kids. Sometimes, it's a niece or nephew and sometimes it's their own kid. And I honestly can't for the life of me figure out why these photos are becoming popular.
There are a few reasons why kids really don't belong in pictures on online dating profiles. First off, it's all well and good to be proud of the fact that you're good with kids or that you like kids or that you have kids. And if you want to say these things in your profile, that's fine. However, the people looking at your profile aren't considering dating your kid or your niece or your nephew. They're considering dating you. They don't care what your kid looks like and they don't need to see your kid. They need only to see an accurate depiction of you.
Beyond that, kids in profile pictures also have the same effect as discussing kids too early in the dating process. Fact is, if you bring up having/wanting/loving kids on a first or second date (or before), you're probably going to scare your date away. That talk can wait. And the pictures are the equivalent of putting it out there that you are anxious to be a mom or a dad on a first date. It's a conversation best reserved for later. Not a lot later, but maybe the third date.
But there's also a more sinister problem with putting pictures of kids on online dating profiles (or on Facebook profiles or other social media). Putting pictures of kids on your profile is dangerous to that kid. Let's say you post a picture of you with your nephew on your OkCupid profile. And let's say you also have that picture on your Facebook profile and have tagged your nephew's parents. Anyone who sees that picture on your OkCupid profile can do a Google image search and find your Facebook profile as well as the profiles of your nephew's parents. And that's without knowing any personal information about you.
So please, folks, no more pictures with kids on your online dating profiles. Nobody wants to see them.
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