Let’s Talk About Why Using Photo Filters on Dating Apps is a Bad Idea

May 19, 2021



It’s no secret that these days many photos on social media are heavily filtered. But when it comes to selecting photos for your dating apps, should you be tempted to consider using these same filters?


In a word, no.


The reality is that meeting in person (which is the whole point of dating apps) is going to be very awkward (for them) and stressful (for you) if you’ve posted filtered photos on your dating profile. Photo filters can make your date feel deceived.


A survey by dating website Plenty of Fish found that 70% of its users feel that filtered photos are deceptive. (In response, Plenty of Fish went so far as to announce in Sept 2019 that they would ban filtered photos and begin using artificial intelligence to remove filtered photos from the site.)  Another survey showed that the majority of singles surveyed would walk out on a date if the person showed up and did not look like their photo.


At best, using filters can come off as insecure. I’d go a step further to suggest that using filtered photos in your dating profile might undermine your own confidence in how you look in real life.  In fact, I heard that the number one request many plastic surgeons get these days is “Can you make me look like my filtered photos?” I think that suggests that filtered photos are not doing anyone any self-esteem favors.


Some might argue “Oh but how do you compete if others are using filtered photos.”  The reality is that confidence is attractive. Posting real photos shows that you are confident in yourself, which is an attractive quality to everyone, whether you are a man or a woman.


Instead of filtered photos, I tell my clients to aim for photos that capture their look as what I would call “date night pretty.” In other words, photos that capture what you look like as you’d show up on the date. It’s fine to use photos where your hair and makeup are looking fantastic (as presumably you could duplicate that look when you meet your prospective date in person). But you don’t want to give a visual that is going to be different from how you would look on the date (so don't use photos that are out of date or 20 pounds ago either for the same reason). Let your date be pleasantly surprised to find when you arrive that you look just like your photo.


- “Coach Cori” McGraw at the Love Academy for Women


Subscribe to our blog below to learn more tips on how to improve your interactions with men.

In any area of life, it helps to have a mentor. Dating is no different. 

See how we can help

Stay connected with newest blog posts and news.


We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.