When Looks Matter

One of the first life-changing things we learn in young adulthood is the importance of the first impression. No matter if it’s in friendship, teams, work, or love how you are perceived in that first interaction sticks. It is a great responsibility of ours to show up in our best light as our best selves so that we might pave a smoother path for our happiness and overall success.

As Kelleher International matchmakers, we facilitate introductions every day. We’ve got our finger on the pulse of what our clients are looking for in a partner and hand-select singles with the potential to be their match. And while the superficial stuff may not matter to someone down the road, in the beginning – when you’re making that first impression – it undeniably does.

Director of Kelleher Matchmaking Kimberly Colgate expounds, “We all know a first impression can leave a lasting perception. We’ve found that a typical client decides within the first fifteen minutes of meeting a potential match if they’ll ever want to be intimate with that person. When selecting a mate it is absolutely important to look beyond the surface, but don’t mistake the critical importance of how you show up in those first introductions.”

Before we dive in and explain some keys to setting yourself up for success in making an ideal first impression, we don’t believe everyone should look like Ken and Barbie. As matchmakers, we intend to boost your overall confidence by enhancing your authentic self and showcasing your best features.

Kimberly adds, “Having talked to and successfully matched thousands of singles, the number one thing that comes up over and over with clients is the aspect of physical and sexual chemistry. Men generally want to be with a woman who appears well-kept, feminine, and sexy. Women tend to focus on how men are dressed and groomed. It sounds elementary, but hygiene is key. We find that clients who take care of themselves have higher satisfaction with the overall dating experience and go on more second dates.”

Kelleher matchmaker Patty Russell says, “Most men are much more visual than women in that they want to be attracted to someone in order to meet them. On the flipside, attraction grows for women; women can overlook physical traits they aren’t crazy about if they like the person’s personality.”

That said, in the world of digital dating and matchmaking, pictures are critical. Today if someone doesn’t like the way you look they’ll never give you a chance since the culture gives the illusion of a bottomless pit of potential mates. Under different circumstances you might be their perfect match, but that slightly out-of-focus action shot of you water skiing won’t score you a chance at a first date. Potential connections swipe left, and your chances drown with that lousy profile picture in seconds.

“In most cases, people don’t submit photos that do them justice. Many times potential clients walk into our office and look so much better in person than the horrible photos they sent us,” explains Patty. “Professional photos can open up so many more opportunities for matches; it really should be a priority for singles looking for love.”

“Clients who get professional shots highlighting their best physical attributes make all the difference, Kimberly adds. “My favorite example of this is in sharing photos with clients. Typically we see more interest in clients wanting to meet a match when photos are clear and flattering. Blurry photos and more candid action-shots, along with any wearing sunglasses are usually dismissed. The perception is that the person has something to hide, is not serious about the search, or isn’t as physically desirable.”

Consider professional photos as an additional investment in your love life. “As sad as it is, we live in a visual world. If you’re going to invest a large sum of money in finding the love of your life we want you to be successful. A great photo highlighting your best attributes will get your foot in many more doors,” Patty explains.

In our experience, a few good photos can not only increase your odds of meeting singles that spark your interest but can also give you a boost of dating mojo. Matchmaker Erin Soskin explains, “A talented photographer will bring out the best in you and capture your essence in an instant. It’s a powerful moment when people truly see themselves in their best light. It can be a pivotal, transformative experience. Investing in matchmaking and professional photography is a long-term investment in yourself. The photos offer immediate gratification and are a great catalyst to start your search on a positive note. Beginning the journey with confidence, a positive attitude, and an open-mind will set us all up for success.”

Don’t change who you are, but enhance your best attributes and what makes you unique. A great way to do that is to ask for feedback. We get how hard it is to put yourself under a microscope, but ask your inner circle to evaluate your current look and style and give them a free pass to share recommendations. If it’s easier to get feedback from professionals, ask your matchmaker, hairstylist, or a personal shopper if your current look is working for you or if he/she has any recommended tweaks to boost your style and confidence. Some people wear the same hairstyle or wardrobe too long because they simply don’t know what else they might look good in or like. Being open to new ideas and feedback is a great way to live and offers opportunities to get better as you grow.

We understand the idea of leading with looks is shallow, but we live in a digital world and must adapt. It’s a short-term attraction strategy to open the door for your sparkling personality to stroll through and shine.

What do you think? Do you agree that a picture is worth a thousand words? Share your ideas in the comments section below to continue the discussion with our matchmaking team.