For many people, the real moment of fear in putting together an online dating profile is the selection of a photograph to accompany your self-description. Although a human being is very different from a saleable commodity, a dating profile is scarcely different from an advertisement. You want people to think you sound and look good. There is no point in putting together a profile that would make Oscar Wilde appear witless and uninspired if you use a photograph of you asleep on a beach somewhere. It may very well be funny, but you aren’t looking to get booked for a comedy club.

The best profile photographs are ones that strike a balance between being alluring and being human. Any number of online profiles are accompanied by pictures of someone who looks like a model. In most cases, this is because the person in the picture is a model. In these cases, the model is rarely the person who has put the profile together, and online regulars are wise to that. Don’t get done up to an unreasonable level before the photo is taken, either. Should you meet a potential suitor later on, you don’t want them to think “Actually, I think I preferred the photo”.

A picture which accentuates your best qualities and makes you look friendly is the best bet. Seeking to appear like a god or a goddess will create more problems than it is worth. You want someone to think “I could happily spend time with that person”, not be intimidated by your supermodel fierceness.