If you have been looking for your soulmate for a while and if your search has led you to online dating sites, you already know it: image is all powerful.

One of the first things you are asked to do, when subscribing to most of these sites, is to upload a photograph of yourself which will be part of your profile and as such will be seen other members along with the rest of your information.  This all seems very nice and harmless:  after all, if you are going to date someone, you would like to know what he or she looks like.  Wouldn’t everybody?

As it turns out, there is probably more to the photograph than what we would like there to be.  Indeed, several studies have shown that it may be the most important part of the profile.  What these studies reveal is that the photograph is often the first element that is used to pre-select potential partners.  When we do not like the picture, we often discard the candidate without even reading the rest of the profile.  This can be done very easily, without giving it (or the person) a second thought, and it allows us to browse through the catalog of potential partners with great efficiency.  Or so we think.

Because it can also mean that we are ignoring great people, among whom may be our soulmate, not because they don’t look good or are not attractive to us, but because they don’t look good on the photograph.

Now we all know people who photograph well and people who don’t, people who don’t look at all like most of the photographs they are willing to show, people who become very attractive when they move, talk or smile, etc. In reality, there is of course a lot more to being attractive – or not – than looking good or bad on a photograph.

Jose Weber, director of Simantov International, has been in the business of matchmaking for almost 30 years.  In his practice, he chooses to not show his clients pictures of the people they are being matched with before the first encounter occurs.  For him, as he recently explained in an interview with Deutschlandfunk: “photos do not say anything”.  He much prefers for people to meet in person or on Skype, as he thinks one can gets a much better idea of a person in a animated conversation than from a still picture.  This is the kind of knowledge, based on experience, that people are looking for when they turn to a professional matchmaker.

If you want to learn more about Jose Weber and his thought on matchmaking, please tune in here.