Old photos in profiles on dating sitesOld photos in profiles on dating sites must be every man’s and woman’s pet hate. But how old are your own pictures in your online listing? What is the acceptable standard for imagery that people are using to attract their future mate?

I had a discussion with a woman on my Russian blog the other day, and she was complaining about the quality of men, and mentioned how offended she was when a guy told her that photos in her profile were old.

She said that she had some images that were taken 5-7 years ago, but also had current ones, and that she still looked the same. What do you think, is it OK to have old pictures on a dating site if you are still looking good?

My friend’s story

I had a friend who was a serial online dater. She was constantly going on first dates, and used every dating site under the sun. You name it, she was a member.

If your pictures are 5 years old, you do not look like them. Period.

However, being quite an attractive and sexy woman, she never managed to find a man to her liking. I was wondering what was going on, and asked her to show me her accounts on dating sites. Imagine my surprise when I saw photos, which were taken 8 years ago. She had gained some weight since, and definitely looked 8 years older.

I told my friend about that, and her answer was, “But I still look the same!” I said, “No, you do not”, and she got very upset. She insisted that the guys coming to dates said she was pretty, and some people thought she looked like she was 25 (she was 40, and looked like she was 39). I thought, “They said it either because they were polite, or they wanted to get into your pants”, but decided not to voice my opinions.

Since then she learned to make selfies, and keeps adding new photos to her listings. However, the guys (who sometimes fly to see her from other cities) don’t stay. She is very good at making selfies, but they are just not indicative of her actual looks, even though she is a nice-looking woman. She is still using several of her old photos in her galleries. For some reason, she believes it is OK, and that it has no negative influence on her personal outcomes.

Modern Standard for Photos on Dating Sites

If you haven’t changed, and still look great, what’s the problem to make new photos for your online dating profile?

Today we can take 100 photos every day, so there is no excuse for having old shots in your account. I believe that any picture that is more than 12 months old should be deleted from your gallery. You may think you are still looking the same as 5 years ago (or even better), but you are not.

Having old photos in your profile is misleading, and does you a disservice. It’s so much better to just grab a friend and a few changes of clothes, and get to a picturesque location to take 100-200 photos in 3-4 outfits. Then choose the best 5-10 shots and upload them in your gallery on the dating site.

I would highly recommend this. In this case, you can write in your profile, “My photos are recent and were taken last month” (or this week, or simply include the date). If you haven’t changed (or changed for the better), what’s the problem to make new pictures? Get some new fashionable clothes, and display to the world the amazing young-looking you.

A happy smile on today’s picture will make you attractive, and you will have 10 times more chances of meeting the right person, who won’t have to lie when they meet you that you “look well”. They will be relieved that you indeed resemble the photos in your profile!


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Tad Perry
Generally, no, it’s not okay to use old photos, and especially not as the main photo. It’s borderline deceitful. The photo will attract the other person, but there’s no way for the person to go back in time and have a relationship with that younger, better looking you! And, for the woman that was offended, there’s another good reason not to do it: you would rather surprise a man by looking better than advertised in person than disappointing him by not looking as good as he expected. I dated a woman for one month who used old photos in her… Read more »
Tammy J Simonson

Yea, I just met someone who’s pics were at least 20 yrs old. I don’t understand it he is still very handsome!

very true… the problem is- iphone does not make such clear bright pictures as professional camera does. Pics made by iphone change the reality from the different angles as I have noticed. Professional pictures show more with the way professional light does its job, clear quality etc. But to go to professional photographer every 12 month or more often can be a little bit pricey… But I guess it is the only way to go with… Plus some pictures show more of you “real” and more of you “natural” when the other can make you look like an absolutely different… Read more »
The article about Photos or old photos in online profiles attracts strong forthright personal positions of what is right or wrong. Likely this subject is not just related to photo’s but an overall content of profiles to have confidence and comfort that engaging a person from a static online dating profile, photos and words are absolute truth and fact about that individual. Personally do I get annoyed with the people who post profiles with two year old photos that are far from being realistic about who they really are today It is annoying as it does waste my time. My… Read more »

Gerard you make a lot of points. But interesting I just had a woman from this site ask me after only three replies what was my last name and date of birth. I just glossed over it and responded to other subjects. She then quickly told me how I had not answered her questions.

She was a very skeptical person. So it did not make sense to keep going on since she was not showing real interest anyway.

Usually people don’t change very much within a year or two, but small changes which aren’t noticeable at first add up and after a few years you can definitely see the difference, though it can differ from person to person. Pictures of last year are no problem, I think, and maybe even the year before are acceptable. But please, ladies, don’t use pictures older than two or three years! And please add pictures which aren’t professional. I would much rather see how you look in real life (though I understand that you’ll select the best pictures), than those sexy pictures… Read more »
It is absolutely true that your profile including photos should be current and a good representation of who you are. However, if you are looking for a serious relationship leading towards marriage then Skype is the answer. There is nothing better or more real than meeting someone in Skype for 5 minutes. Regardless of how you think your photos look, Skype reveals everything especially if you are thinking of traveling half way around the world to meet someone. It really bothers me when a lady says she either does not like Skype or does not have the time or Skype… Read more »
Yes the no skype thing is a red flag also. I had one that said in her profile that she worked in the financial industry but never told me what job. And when asking for her phone number she said she would give it to me later and no skype I’d since she did not have a “clever phone” . I asked again and she put me off again. She seemed very interested and responded in kind promptly. But never got past emails. I don’t think she was a scammer she never asked for anything money wise. In fact she… Read more »

I think she was just afraid of speaking English. Using a translator and actually speaking isn’t the same, right?

Well, most women on website have professional studio photos wearing a lot of make up on them, so it does not even matter if their pictures are new- how can u tell what she is by pictures? Therefore people should use video chat (skype, face time, elenasmodels video chat etc). Some men are too lazy to bother for a video conversation – that s the fact! Skype (as example) takes time and they rather go to a bar to drink with their friends (that s from my experience!). Personally I do not even trust much to the pictures- as in… Read more »
Elena’s advice on profiles, photos etc. in her blog posts is worth its weight in gold. But how do I know when my profile is “good enough”? If I get a dozen visitors per day, an occasional “Photo Like” and a few Expressions of Interest (EOIs) every day is that pretty good or pretty far below average? I could be wrong, but I’ve gotten the impression that a certain percentage of women on the site use a “shotgun” approach and just send EOIs to almost every profile they see. Another measure might be how often I am being contacted by… Read more »

It is simple, after a few emails ask her/him for some photos taken out in the park/country near where the live,some new ones, not on site photos.
My experience is some look older than their photos, and some are more beautiful than the photos.
At the end of the day, if the woman has a great heart and soul she is more beautiful than the woman with a beautiful face and not a lot of anything else.

Kim Nguyen

Well, that sounds right, the profile photos should be recent. My profile photos are 2 years old so I shall add some recent ones.

I am in complete agreement with the article. I have been rather surprised when I was able to meet in person with someone that was clearly 10 years older than the person I thought I was dating. This is my first attempt with international dating but I think it would be incredibly disappointing to travel to the other side of the world and learn that I was misled. That being said, I only post current photos. How can you build trust and actually find the mate of your dreams if you are not honest from the very beginning. I truly… Read more »

That has never happened to me somehow, though i was quiet often to those sites before i met my wife. Maybe that’s why i’m not angry or upset with this thing. Vice versa i think those people might show their young soul. They don’t feel that old as it’s in their passports. Besides you may find out something more valuable than just a picture. It’s like in the 1+1 movie if you know what i mean. So why not? Maybe it reflects things better. Oh well i go for the inner world, their personality.

The real question is will the person be disappointed with the real life version if a meeting took place? Remember, the other person may have spent a lot of time and money to make a meeting possible. If the real person is nothing like the photo then this is bad behaviour and will leave the other one feeling cheated. Also, you might attract on-line attention but it can never lead to anything if it is not a good likeness. So I would say that it is not how old a photo is but how closely you resemble the photo. Anything… Read more »


LM Saunders

Meet someone today who looked absolutely nothing like his photo, the photo was at least 15 years maybe 20 years old & he was significantly older than the age he had quoted. What a waste of time & effort why do people do this? Do they think we are not going to notice when we meet them? Makes me so mad!!!