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Pictures paint a thousand words - but not in this case
21 October 2009
I listen to our matchmaker in anguish describe yet another rejection for a lady she has been looking for match for. Joe says 72kgís is far too heavy for him. This lady has been looking for a match for 3 months. Louis sayís she looks too bossy, Robert says she looks like a tough cookie, and Mario says she doesnít look fit enough.

ďAre you kidding?Ē I say, ďthey wont even go on one dateĒ. Iím looking at her picture, as did these guys with little more than a simple bio with some basic facts. With 7 lines of text you canít tell you enough to know if she is fit, or if she is bossy. She is very successful, has numerous hobbies including cycling and is very eligible.

Their judgement is purely on a picture, and despite numerous other qualities that mean they will likely get on very well, they won`t get past the picture. I understand men are ďvisualĒ - Okay, but at some point you have to realise that relying on one sense to make a judgement about a partner for the rest of your life is not going to be to your advantage. Women do it too, believe me.

At SMARTdate, we donít, DO NOT - show any pictures of anyone before an event. If you ask to see peopleís faces (and I do get requests very often), Iím very happy to take your picture circulate it to the membership database and then ask who would like to attend an event with youÖ so far no-one has offered their faces for the experiment. The same thing happens on internet dating, and the biggest complaint we hear is that the pictures were nothing like the people they met for coffee. So is it worth judging on a photo?

As a good business women, I must listen to my customers. If Iím being asked for this frequently, itís probably a requirement that I need to adapt to. Watch this spaceÖ we are working on an enhancement for this. Please comment on the blog about what you think of this.

Despite may action on this, it still distresses me because I know that pictures of people never look as good as they do in real life, and your cha`racter simply doesnít come through in a picture. I am so damn stubborn, I might even run special events for people who donít care about seeing a picture, and then see how many marriages we get from each kind of event! Whose up for this?

I know some sceptics are going to say that only ugly people wont want to publish pictures. How many ugly looking people do you know? I canít name one, and Iím sure you canít either. Thatís not because all ugly people are only friends with the other ugly people. I believe itís because our perceptions change based on circumstances and time. Louise refers me to a philosophy that has relevance here, ďit is suggested that when we see beauty in someone else - it is our own beauty being reflected back at us. We are, after all - ONE - we create separateness by what/who we think we are.Ē

Iíve been told endlessly that you wouldnít want to date someone you donít find attractive. However, letís take this back to a practical situation. If you only talk to people you find attractive from a distance, and for this example youíre at a bar, youíre far less likely to succeed than you would when going along to a friendís house for a braai with a whole lot of other single folk. Meeting people in bars to date based on going up to those people who are ďattractive at a distance doesnít appear to work particularly well. Itís far better meeting people through friends, at a social function. Many, many more long term relationships have developed from this than from meeting at a club or bar. Ask around, itís fact. When you go to a friendís house you donít get a picture before the event of all the people coming to the braai, and yet people meet and hook up.

Your judgement of someone will always change when you sit down face to face for a conversation. What we arrange and it works Ė very well, is that you are forced to talk to people whom you wouldnít normally have spoken to. You are forced to overcome your first impression. Thousands of you have been through this and know what Iím talking about. So why do we resort to what we see to form judgement of personality?
I implore you to look past the faces of people. Itís hard not to judge by a face, but you are given opportunities to move past that all the time, and you need to make the most of any opportunities you are presented with. In the end you will always date someone you are attracted to anyway, but very often the attraction was not based on physical attraction at the start.

PS: 72kgís is not fat!

Comments
1 Ek stem saam dat n foto baie misleidend kan wees vra my die internet dating die mense lyk glad nie soos hul fotos nie.MAAR ek stem glad nie dat 72kg nie oorgewig is nie dit hang mos af van die lengte.Idiaal LENGTE EN GEWIG is dat n dame 35kg per meter moet weegBV die gemiddelde lengte vir dames is 1.65 en dan moet sy nie meer as 60kg weeg nie.Maar dit geld ook vir mans dit is net so sleg vir n dame om aan n oorgewig man te vat as dit vir n man is.So gewig maak definitief saak.Johan.Mosselbaai.
Added By: Johan†Kirsten - 21 October 2009
2 OK - so I can`t help but agree - if I wanted to see photos and be given the opportunity to be selec`tive and prejudge people then I`d browse thru hundreds of carefully chosen photos on the various internet dating sites - speed dating has it`s own unique advantages and has worked for thousands of couples around the globe ... why change a tem that works so well ?! i vote for no photos and vote to keep it that way (",)
Added By: kelly - 21 October 2009
3 I agree, the way I see it: No matter how nice a person may look, picture that person when they wake up one day, they are eighty years old, the mirror doesn`t agree with them anymore and their teeth are in a transparent cup next to the bed LOL. What remains is the artist and not the painting.
Added By: Dean Higgins - 21 October 2009
4 Yes, yes, yes!!! This is what I love to hear. On email we have received: Two people have commented that 72kg`s is overweight - but who cares! Weight shmeight! They missed the point. We have received photo`s from guys, but no women.... We have received a yes for photo`s from 1 women, and 12 men.... more comment please.
Added By: Jenny†Cereseto - 22 October 2009
5 Well, the Johan guy - you are just absurd. Weight shouldn`t count but obviously it does for so many south african men. One theory is that it`s the availability of pornography in these times, so men have high expectations of what they think women should look like - but those types of women are few and far between. On the photograph story - I`m up for no photo`s. There is so much pre-judgement that comes with photographs, and the person that paid R1000+ for a professional photographer will get more people interested in him/her and those photo`s are usually not close to how the person looks in reality. Don`t judge a book by it`s cover.
Added By: Didi - 22 February 2010
6 I totaaly agree, pictures can be so deceiving. I like to think Im attractive, I am slightly overweight, but have done a lot of modelling work in the UK for the curvier figure, and really dont think someone can judge a person on their weight or by a picture. Having said that, I have attended some speed dating events in the UK, and non have ever displayed photographs, the thing with speed dating is its `face to face` a person shouldnt be judging by a picture beforehand. Im attending my firt event with you guys this week, and really looking forward to it. Thanks for the great website!
Added By: Michele - 13 March 2010
7 Funny you should mention that! In my opinion people are more often than not prejudged by the way they look, because the face is normally the first thing we see when meeting another person. And believe it or not, men are also prejudged by women, often very harshly, by the way they look! Honestly, girls, would you prefer dating a guy with a beer-belly, or would you rather go for the guy with the washboard six-pack? Exactly. Maybe that`s why I`ve had more success with internet dating...
Added By: Marc - 29 April 2010
8 I did the datingbuzz thing for a while, and found myself sifting through and selec`ting profiles based PURELY on the pics, without even reading anything.(!) Then I reflected on my last 3 partners: one was well and truly chubby, one average and one very trim, petite and gorgeous. The common denominator was that I was in love with all 3 even though they looked very different. And the commen denominator for the 3 women? They all dated a very thin, not so pretty guy, WHO WOULD NOT HAVE MADE THE CUT IF JUDGED ONLY ON A PICTURE. If I had followed my datingbuzz routine with the women I met socially, I would have missed out big-time on 3 wonderfull partners. But then, shallow is as shallow does...
Added By: Piet-Pompies - 15 July 2010
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