Should You Delete Embarrassing Photos Before A Date?

photographed by Lauren Maccabee; photographed by Lauren Maccabee.
We live in the age of the internet, and that means at least one thing for anyone who is dating (online or otherwise) right now: Your date is probably going to snoop on your socials. "We're only human, and it obviously gives us peace of mind to have a little bit of background on how our potential matches present themselves on social media," says Erika Kaplan regional manager at matchmaking website Three Day Rule.
Kaplan always tells her clients not to scroll through their date's Instagram or Facebook before they meet because seeing something on social media could give them an incorrect impression of their date before they ever get a chance to impress them IRL. But, she recognizes that people will snoop anyway, so your best bet is to make sure there's nothing embarrassing for your match to see. "If you're online dating or even job searching, anytime you're putting yourself out there to new people who don't know you, it's important to have an internet presence that you can be proud of," Kaplan says. So if you're looking for a serious relationship, that means deleting any photos of you looking drunk or high, just like you would if you were going for a job interview. Kaplan also suggests deleting kissy-face or duck-face photos, shirtless selfies, and anything else you wouldn't want a stranger to see.
Duck face photos, for example, may indicate to a potential date you're immature or insecure. "I think the best face you could ever make is a smile," Kaplan says. "So when you're not smiling, when you're doing a duck face or a kissy face, you're coming across as a bit less secure than you would if you just have a straight on smile."
So go ahead and delete any photo you don't want your date seeing. But don't take Kaplan's suggestions at face value. Ultimately, which photos count as "embarrassing" is up to you. If you're looking for someone who's going to go to parties with you, then don't bother deleting the party photos. If there's a photo of you making a ridiculous (and not very attractive) face, but it's connected to an amazing memory, then keep it. "Your social media should tell the story of who truly you are," Kaplan says. "At the end of the day, your partners can respect and accept you for the good and the bad." Maybe that photo of you making a ridiculous face shows that you have a fun sense of humor or was taken while you were doing something you love, like rock climbing.
When you're online dating, you can think about socials as an extension of your profile, Kaplan says. It's good to have a variety of photos, so your dates can get a well-rounded idea of your personality. "We always suggest a photo of you doing something you love, of you with your friends, and a photo that feels like a conversation starter," she says. So go ahead and delete the photos that you think put you in a bad light, but don't cut too much out of your life. You don't want to be left with nothing but smiling selfies. Because that might make you look a little too Stepford.

More from Sex & Relationships

R29 Original Series