YOU NEED SOME PERSONALITY-HEALTH-PREDICTING TOOLS! Online dating has a lot of potential for actually increasing the health of your dating life, but…
Even with all that potential, the practice of searching for first romantic contact online has yet to make full use of some key safeguards, like:
- Psycho-education of online dating service users about important signs of psychological problems evident in someone’s profile or responses
- And the creation of networks of information with reviews and safety listings FOR users ABOUT users of these services (Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science Eli J. Finkel, et.al.)
Today, in the Relationship Doctor Blog, we are exploring two tools you can start experimenting with right now in your dating life, or passing on to dating singles you know!
HERE’S ONE OF THE NICE FIRST STEPS FROM DATING SCIENCE: Online Dating Personality Clues in a Person’s Profile Pictures!
Some of these kind of health-promoting tools are starting to emerge in the scientific data. For example, a recent PsyBlog article just skimmed some very important correlations between types of photos in online dating profiles and some the key personality issues that potential daters should be thinking about when reviewing an online profile. As you read this summary of the findings, however, remember that this is only mathematical correlation you’re seeing here. Important? Maybe. But it is only one clue among many, and not a perfect predictor. The really important use of this kind of data is to combine it with your own education on personality health levels, like the examples listed at the end of this article.
- Conscientiousness (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious)
- More conscientious people used pictures that were more natural, colorful and bright.
- They expressed the most emotions of all the different personality types.
- This probably reflects the fact that conscientious people like to do what is expected of them.
- Openness to experience (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless)
- People high in openness to experience often had the best pictures: these tended to be sharper, at higher contrast.
- Their photos tended to be more artistic or unusual and their faces were often larger in the frame.
- Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved)
- Extraverts used more colorful images and were more likely to show a group of people rather than just themselves.
- Unsurprisingly, they were usually beaming at the camera.
- Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident)
- People higher in neuroticism tended to use simpler photos with less color.
- They were more likely to show a blank expression or even to be hiding their face.
- Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached)
- Highly agreeable people post relatively poor pictures of themselves……but they are probably smiling and the pictures are bright and lively.
HERE’S A MUCH NEEDED SECOND STEP: A Little Nudge to the Psycho-education of Online Daters
Often readers ask questions like “How do I know what kind of personality type will go best with my type?” Or, “How can I become a high-quality girlfriend/boyfriend?” The answer is not complicated. The answer is, always has been, and always will be SPIRITUAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH! One of the great ways levels of health in that powerful combo have been languaged is THE LEVELS OF DEVELOPMENT of ENNEAGRAM TYPE – a beautiful system developed by two of my favorite mentors in the world of personality science, Don Riso and Russ Hudson.
Let’s see if we can re-language those levels of personality health for potential quick access for online daters! Think about how some of these levels of health in dating ability might show up on a person’s profile!
IF THAT DATING SITE PROFILE COULD TALK! WHAT IT MIGHT TELL YOU ABOUT THE LEVEL OF HEALTH OF THAT DATER…
And It Was Healthy…
|1||It might say…”IF I ENGAGE IN DATING AT ALL, DATING IS A VERY HIGH SPIRITUAL AND RELATIONAL PRACTICE FOR ME – BLESSING OTHERS, AND BEING FULLY OPEN TO RECEIVE THE UNIQUE BLESSING EACH OF THEM BRINGS TO MY LIFE AT THIS MOMENT. BEING IN MY PRESENCE MAKES AWAKE PEOPLE FEEL RELAXED, ACCEPTED, FEARLESS!” (Level of Liberation: Ego Transcended — Balance & Freedom)|
|2||It might say…”ENJOYING DATING IN ITS PURE FORM, HOLDING ITS FORM LIGHTLY HOWEVER, AND EMBRACING THE RICH EXPERIENCE OF BRINGING WHO I AM FULLY TO THE TABLE IN EACH INTERACTION, AND INVITING THAT FROM THE OTHER AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE” (Level of Psychological Capacity: Ego is Identified with as the basis of a Particular Mode of Being)|
|It might say…”DATING WELL & WITH MEANINGFUL PURPOSE MATTERS TO ME (AND PURPOSES THAT MATTER TO OTHERS) – GIVING WHAT ONLY I CAN OFFER IN THIS MOMENT, AND APPRECIATING THE UNIQUE GIFTS OF THE OTHER” (Level of Social Gift: Ego Operating in a Constructive Way, Successfully Sublimating)|
And It Was Average…
|It might say…”I AM SOMEWHAT GOAL-ORIENTED IN MY DATING, OCCASIONALLY MISSING THE VALUE OF THE MOMENT WITH THE OTHER, BUT GENERALLY GOING FOR HEALTHY GOOD THINGS IN MY ROMANTIC LIFE AND SUPPORTING THOSE THINGS IN THE ROMANTIC LIFE OF THOSE I DATE. IF WE ARE BOTH WORKING ON OUR DATING PRACTICES, WE COULD REALLY CREATE SOMETHING WORTH DOING HERE.” (Level of Fixation: Losing Contact with Presence and Awareness, the Beginning of “Sleep” — as Ego-Role assumed)|
|It might say…”A MIX OF HIGH-POTENTIAL OPENINGS AND MY REALLY DIFFICULT-TO-DEAL-WITH HABITUAL BEHAVIOR UNDER STRESS, MAKES UP MY REPERTOIRE ON DATES – YET I AM ABLE TO BE REALLY “THERE” FOR THE OTHER IN SOME KEY MOMENTS. I NEED SOME PERSONAL WORK TO BRING MY DATING PRACTICES UP TO A HEALTHY LEVEL. AND YOU’LL BE AWARE OF THAT VERY SOON, IF YOU DATE ME…..” (Level of Interpersonal Conflict: Ego Controlling Environment to get its needs met — Manipulative & Defended)|
|It might say…”I AM SIMPLY DIFFICULT TO BE PRESENT WITH, MOST OF THE TIME, AND ON MOST DATES. I COVER MY FEARS ABOUT THAT, AND ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS FOR MY FUTURE, WITH AN UNATTRACTIVE PUSH FOR REALITY TO CONFORM TO WHAT I WANT, MISSING A LOT OF THE VALUE OF DATING THAT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! I AM LIKELY TO RESIST YOUR EFFORTS TO MOVE ME INTO HEALTHY DATING PRACTICES; YOU SHOULD LOOK ELSEWHERE UNTIL I HIT BOTTOM AND REALLY CHANGE.” (Level of Overcompensation: Ego Inflation, Aggressive defense of Ego-Identity. Demanding that others/reality support the ego-agenda)|
And It Was Unhealthy…
|It might say…”IF LISTED ON A DATING SITE, MY STORY FEELS VERY UNHEALTHY, OR THE PIECES JUST DON’T FIT TOGETHER IN A TRUE OR HUMAN WAY. I RESIST YOUR EFFORTS TO GET FACTS ON ME OR MY RELATIONAL PAST. MY DATING LIFE, IF YOU COULD CALL IT “DATING,” IS REALLY USING, IN A KIND OF HIDDEN FORM OF SOCIOPHATHY, FOR THE MOST PART. DON’T DATE ME BEFORE I GET TO THE INTERVENTION AND HEALING I NEED SO DESPERATELY.” Level of Violation: Ego willing to violate self and others to maintain itself. Abusive, Devaluing, Desperate (Serious pathology arises)|
|It might say…”I AM BEYOND DANGEROUS. YOU’D NEED “MONEY, GUNS, AND LAWYERS,” AS THE SONG SAYS, TO SURVIVE ANY DATING CONTACT WITH ME WITHOUT BEING DAMAGED. YES, WITH SERIOUS HELP, AND THE KIND OF PERSONALITY MIRACLES THAT ONLY GOD CAN PROVIDE, SOMEDAY I MAY BE A LITTLE MORE HEALTHY AND ABLE TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS WITHOUT HARMING THEM. BUT, I SHOULD NOT BE AROUND THE DATING WORLD IN ANY WAY, BEFORE HUGE SHIFTS HAPPEN IN THAT AREA…AND PROBABLY NOT EVEN THEN.” (Level of Delusion and Compulsion: Ego-self out of Control and Out of Touch with Reality (Major Personality Disorders)|
|It might say…”I AM SO DETERIORATED AT THIS LEVEL, THAT I DOUBT I EVEN REACH OUT RELATIONALLY, AS THERE IS NO SENSE OF SELF TO BE IN RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS. PRAY FOR ME. DO NOT CONNECT WITH ME IN ANY KIND OF OPEN TRUSTING HUMAN WAY, UNLESS THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES ARE CONTROLLING THE SITUATION, AND YOU ARE CALLED TO INTERVENE IN A PROFESSIONAL CONTEXT. DATING IS OUTSIDE OF MY ABILITIES, THANK GOD.” ( Level of Pathological Destructiveness: Extreme Pathology or death (Psychosis))|