Archive for the ‘iBB Member Posts’ Category

The tyranny of a picture

Probably the biggest determinant of whether you are going to get a reply from that MBA hunk or the sporty lawyer on an online matchmaking website is your profile pictures.

There, I said it. I hear you protest – that can’t be true; what about my native wit and charm, my professional heft and my intellectual gravitas? Do they count for nothing? Surely looks can’t be the most important factor in choosing a life-partner?

And you would be right, but not in the world of online dating. It sounds desperately shallow and yes there are exceptions but for a majority of the male species, your profile pictures are what would turn them your way (or away).

So here is my hypothesis. That insolent guy who ignored your Like message on iBluebottle, he would have definitely talked to you had you met at the workplace or at a friend’s gathering. Politeness would have been a factor (it doesn’t appear as rude on a website to ignore a compliment) but more importantly he wouldn’t have been burdened with all the romantic baggage the online dating game brings. A Like message on iBluebottle indicates an explicit romantic gesture however minuscule, and people are going to be far more cagey.

You can’t blame them really. When you talk to someone face to face, there is a shared atmosphere and you quickly get a full sense of the person. Browsing an online profile is a completely different proposition. Even though iBluebottle’s famously comprehensive profiles are far better than other websites, there isn’t any body-language to help in your assessment. So your pictures become the main focus.

I believe understanding these differences in online and offline prospecting can be useful in your search.

A picture

Given the fact that your pictures are so important, and that you can’t pass of Katrina’s pictures as your own, what can you do?

Firstly, don’t be that gal who is too cool for her pictures. You might have tons of attitude but a profile picture is not where you show it. So smile, unless being morose is your default state. Face the camera directly and spare everyone the filters. You have Instagram for that.

Secondly, upload pictures that have you as the centrepiece. Not pictures where it requires a magnifying glass to make out your features. That pagoda you visited in Thailand, no need to show that in all its glory. The pagoda is not looking for a partner, you are.

Thirdly, get the technical stuff right. Ensure that your pictures are bright and clear. You might like dark moods but again, no need to display them in your pictures. Never ever ever (as Arnab would say) upload low-resolution pictures. They indicate that you do not think it is worth the effort to present yourself in the best possible way.

Bad pictures do a profound disservice to your profile, which would have taken you considerable time and effort to complete. Replace them and you just might be surprised how inviting your profile becomes. If you don’t have good pictures handy, go out and get them.

As narrated by a female iBluebottle member who noticed a marked uptick in her Likes after she replaced her pictures with better quality ones.


On Arranged Marriage

This ia guest post from one of the iBluebottle members. She is 22 and has just finished her degree from one of the better known liberal arts colleges in the USA.

At an age when most young women have had several ex-boyfriends and a current “it’s complicated” relationship, I’ve stayed surprising romantically un-entangled. I don’t date; I want an arranged marriage.

Of course, as a teenager I scoffed at arranged marriages, fantasized wild romances, waited to be swept away by my good-looking hero from foreign shores, our courtship involving secret kisses, convoluted misunderstandings and dramatic declarations of love, his name like a prince, from an improbable chick-flick, say Princess Diaries. But my only real exposure to romantic love came from my parents’ patently middle class, apparently boring and very much arranged marriage.


Arranged Marriage

I have since left home, gone to the States, studied and been alienated by the very entrenched and ineffectual western dating system and its soaring divorce rates. I have had some American friends express horror at what they viewed as forced marriage and others wish they were born Indian so that their parents and matrimonial websites could help them pick out husbands from a catalog.

The more I see the world and meet its people, the more I am convinced that falling in love is the easy part, getting everything else to fit is hard! (Sure, he’s gorgeous, but is he even interested in marriage? He’s smart, but does he earn enough? He’s sensitive, but will he support your career choices? He’s fun, but does he want to settle in India? He’s sweet, but does he want kids?) I see that all kinds of marriage work. (Introduced by a friend, met online, hooked up with at a college party, childhood friend reconnected; everything from Vivah type arrangement to Kannada serial shtyle elopement.)

And all kinds of marriage, arranged or “love” can fall apart because of dishonesty, abuse or financial hardship. If I can’t ultimately be sure of the outcome in any case, why not aim for the catalog of eligible marriage material to minimize risk rather than pub-crawling with potential dating material who might eventually turn into reasonable boyfriends and still later, decent husbands?

I believe that if all parties in the arranged marriage market are completely transparent about expectations and honest about assets, the probability of a successful match and enduring partnership is very high. My parents have the most beautiful, honest and caring relationship I have witnessed in all my travels. I’m optimistic and I know there’s someone out there who will make a great partner in the joint project of sharing a life and raising kids.

I’m realistic and my body’s on a clock. Expecting to bump into someone who ticks all the boxes, falling in love with, getting into a relationship with, moving in with, getting asked The Question, and getting married to that great person in the next two years is, without all other logistics under consideration, just mathematically improbable.

I returned home from college, older, wiser and so ready to meet some suitors. And what better in this connected world to meet someone with the purpose of marriage than online? I don’t know about expectations, but I sincerely hope that there are other people like me, educated and well traveled, who don’t dismiss arranged marriage and are willing to give it a shot. I did my research and calculate a high probability of success with iBluebottle.

So here I am, embracing arranged marriage, fantasizing a successful match, waiting to be swept away by my faceless hero from the shores of cyberspace, our courtship involving exchanges of photos, transparent credentials, business-like declarations of acceptance, and his name like a prison tattoo, from a probable profile designation, Profile Number D5620V09.