A Dance. Or Two. A Night on the Water Under the Moon.

A young man set out from his hometown to experience the world.  He was seeking answers to life, some answers to questions that he could not quite verbalize.  As he traveled from town to village to town, he watched the different people and asked and wondered about how they came to their place in life.

Upon entering one village, he saw a man, somewhat older, but it was the way the man carried himself that caught the younger man’s attention.  He was able to catch up to the man in conversation one day and he asked him about life and how the older man was able to have an air of experience, depth, and maturity about him.

The older man chuckled, “Oh, I don’t think we have enough time for all of that, but I can tell you a tale.”

With a twinkle in his eye, the older man began…

There once was a younger man, not unlike yourself, questioning his place in the world.  This man had been through experiences of many types, worked in many villages and areas. He had created, improved, made a dent in the world in some ways.  He had loved and lost.  He had tried to be honorable.  And he wanted to discover more.

One trip he was hunting well out away from his home, but not having much luck, when he found himself in an unfamiliar wilderness.  There was wildlife with which he wasn’t familiar.  Being in new surroundings, he found the refuge of a cave to wait things out.  But while in the cave, he pondered his situation and said to himself,  “I am afraid of no man or animal, I am going back out there!”

Back outside, it was now dark.  He could hear the other wildlife, but in the distance, he saw a light flicker.  His previous fears were no longer an issue as he continued toward this flickering light.  As he got closer, he realized it wasn’t just a light, but he beheld, an angel.  A beautiful angel, as she wore a flowing dress and had a flicker in her eyes.  He took her by the hand as they went for a walk.  And under the shimmering stars, they could hear music.  They moved together, as if in a dance.  It was as if the wilderness, the wildlife, any of it, was no longer there.  As the music came to an end, they walked and talked.  Then the music began another time, and they danced once again.  After this, the man said to the angel, “I would like to see you again.”  Her eyes sparkled and she replied, “Oh yes! I’d like that!”  Meet me back here near the fountain.

The next day, the man traveled to the fountain, looked around, but did not find the angel.  He called out to her, but no reply.  A second day, he made a second trip to the fountain.  He looked again, called out again, but again, nothing.  A third day, he traveled to the fountain once again.  But at the fountain he did not find her and calling out to her brought no response.

The man stopped, paused, and cried out as if in a prayer saying, “A dance. Or two.  If this is living, then I have lived. And I cherish these moments.”

Just then, he hears a voice.  Her voice!  She’s calling out to him.  He calls out to her, “I can’t see you!”  Her voice is coming from the fountain.  She explains that she is not able to be with him right now, but is able to talk to him briefly.  But in a few days, she would be able to return to see him once again.

Each day, he travels to the fountain, calls out to her, and they converse once again, counting the days until they may be together again.  They talked about many things, one of which was her situation.  She explained that although she dwelled in another place, she could come visit him, and wanted to.  But also, the day would come at some unknown time in which she would even leave her current place and travel to a far off realm to where she used to be.  He would not be able to go with her to this new realm, but in the meantime they could be together.

moon_waterAfter several days, the meeting day arrives.  He arrives at the fountain and this time finds her.  They take each other hand in hand, just as before and walk together.  They come to a lake and on the shore of the lake is a small boat.  They ride out in the boat as she describes different things of nature to him.  Things about the ducks, the other animals, and more.  The sun is setting just perfectly, a waxing three-quarter moon is clearly visible in the night sky, an Italian love song can be heard across the lake, all seemed perfect.  The angel, sitting next to the man, relaxed slightly and snuggled up into his arms ever so slightly.  The sun finally set, the stars came out, the temperature was perfect, the water on the lake still as glass as they floated across…together.

Upon reaching the shore, they walked some more, back toward the fountain, talking so easily as always.  At the fountain, the man said, “I’d like to see you some more.”  Once again her eyes sparkled as she replied, “Oh yes! I’d like that!”

The next day, he traveled to the fountain again and called out to her, but no reply.  A second day, he made the trip again, but again, no reply at the fountain from her.  On the third day after being together with her, he went out to the fountain, and called upon her once again.  This time he heard her voice as it was sweet to talk to her once again.  But something was different.  She said that the unknown time for her to travel to the far away realm had arrived.  It wasn’t expected, but she had to leave to go back to where she had been before.

And with that, she was gone.

The man dropped to his knees, cried out in a prayer, this time with a tear in his eye, but a sweet remembrance of their time together.  He said, “A dance. Or two.  A night on the water under the moon.  If this be living, then I have lived! And I cherish these moments.”

The young man stared across the table at the older man in silence.  He didn’t know what to say.  Where was the happy ending?  Where was the solution?  What about the future?  Or was the gift in the present moments at the time?

The younger man thanked the older man, continued on his journey, but now…

…he had new wonderments he hadn’t contemplated.


Online Profiles – Photo Do’s (part 2)

Each photo really is worth 1000 words.  In an online profile, men and women both see the photos, they gain an emotion from the photo.  Having photos on your profile in a bad light give the lady an unconscious bad impression.  Likewise, photos in a good light bring in unconscious good impressions.

[First see Part 1 for the biggest Photo Don’t’s.  But do to the responses, the first article has been renamed Part 1 and we’ll continue with Part 2 of what to do.]

And the biggest photo Do’s

  • Camera with “long” lens
  • At least 1 “headshot”
  • Your first picture shows “just you” (hint: headshot)
  • Good lighting
  • 6-10 photos total
  • Smile…at least 90% of the pics
  • You looking at…camera or away from camera
  • Show pics of you “doing”
  • Photos are recent
  • Your last picture is the most interesting picture


  • Augment your personal brand elsewhere (this is really good stuff…you’ll like this part)
  • This is where you show the photos that are “too much” for your online profile

Photo Do’s to include in your profile

Camera with long lens.

We talked about this in Part 1.  It’s also spelled out in the video below at the 18:45 mark.  The long lens makes you look natural, cooler, more attractive, and approachable.  A wide lens, such as that on a cellphone is the carnival mirror of cameras and makes you looked big-nosed-bug-eyed-crazy.  If at all possible, take your friend who has the DSLR out to the park or something so they can snap a few hundred pics of your for your photoshoot.  Is your profile worth two hours?

Check out this comparison of length of lens (focal length).  This is the same model, same distance from the camera, just different focal lengths.


The wide angle of your cell phone makes you look like a loon.

Best focal length for your portraits – 80mm-135mm
Your cellphone camera focal length – 4mm (software enhanced to about 30mm…ugh!)

At least 1 Headshot

  • Your friend with the DSLR camera can do this
  • You can do this with a professional photographer
  • You can do this on the cheap at Target/Walmart photo center
  • Do it yourself

Doing it yourself is not real easy, but doable and doing a semi-good “self portrait” is something that photographers have practiced for a long time.

Take the 21 minutes and learn about it from Mike Browne on YouTube who explains so many things beautifully

First picture is “just you”

Your first photo is often your picture that shows up everywhere in the online dating site.  On your messages, on a list of guys that are suggested to the lady, or your first impression to her.

Having a busy-background-carnival-big-nose-cell-pic-with-your-ex is a bad first impression.  Have the photo be just you.  Have it be a photo that still shows you well even if the photo was very small, such as on that long list of suggestions to her.

The headshot above is a great first photo for this.

Good lighting

A quote by a famous Hollywood actress, “I would kill to have great lighting on papparazi pics!”

Lighting totally makes or breaks the photo.  A harsh flash shows you in a bad light.  Deep shadows on your eyes in bright sunlight makes you look bad.  If you watched the 21 minute YouTube video above, there’s plenty of examples of lighting both good and bad.

You control the pics you put on your profile. Let yourself be shown in the best light….literally.

For guys, the best lighting is typically:

  • Shaded from the overhead sun (even on a cloudy day) gets rid of those ghoulish eye shadows.
  • Have light coming in from the side, makes a more masculine look.

While we haven’t talked angle, for guys, we typically find the best photos taken where the camera is about even with the head or even with the chest.

About 6-10 photos total

1-4 Photos and you’re hiding something, or not interesting, or you only have a couple of “good” photos.

15+ photos and you’re trying too hard, you’re showing too much ,you’re overloading her (as she has many, many profiles coming at her), and you’re not leaving something extra out for your Bonus (which we’ll mention later)

Smile…90% of the time

The classic photo of you smiling at the camera is always good.  Especially for your headshot.

Also photos of you smiling but looking off camera (we’ll talk about that more), are also good.  You smiling in your “doing” pic is also good.

But for guys, you don’t have to always smile.  You can have that Michael Bay cool photo of you looking off into the sunset (Michael Bay paid me for name-placement).  You can be the mystery.  You can be the cool one.  You can even combine your non-smiling-off-camera-pic with your cool sunglasses pic if you want.  But only 1-2 of your photos can have this, otherwise you’ll be scary.

But make sure your non-smiling photo is not you looking at the camera.  Your non-smiling pic is off-screen only.

Looking at the camera – or off camera

One OKCupid study talks about showing your left side.  But the short version is that you don’t have to always be looking at the camera.

For your headshot, and your first picture, sure, look at the camera.

But for other photos, your “doing” photo, sure, you can be looking away from the camera.  You can be looking at something in the camera’s view, such as your son/daughter.  You can be looking off-camera, kind of like Alec Baldwin in the movie Pearl Harbor where he’s staring into the sunset spouting off meaningful things (yes, another Micheal Bay camera shot).

Here’s one angle to use, but only use it once among your profile pics:


In the diagram above, the body faces to one side of the camera, but the face is angled toward the other side of the camera.  Combine this with a long lens and a sunset and women will be calling you all day long, right?

Side-tip: the camera “adds 10 lbs” but twisting at the waist loses 10lbs.  Add in one bent-knee and you’re magically thinner! (Ladies bend the knee closest to the camera, guys bend the knee away from the camera for the masculine look). Link 1 Link 2

“Doing” pics

Some of your pics are portraits, you looking at the camera.

Some pics are “candids” of the photographer catching you doing something.  You could be walking in the park by a lake.  You could be holding a pet (this ranks high in studies of online dating photos).  A popular pic is you with your children visiting the temple grounds (so popular, however, it’s done a lot…so you won’t stand out from the crowd with that pic too much).  You could be engaged in an activity, whether clay modeling or riding a bike or bullfighting.  But the photo is of something that you do and will continue to like to do later.

Recent photos only

Do you have a really cool photo of you from way back when?  Don’t use it in your profile, save it for your Bonus (explained below).  For your online profile, your photos are only within the last year.  The last 12 months.  The last 365 ¼ days.  Got it? Good!

At your first date, you will be judged, and judged harshly as to how close you line up with your photos that you showed online.  It’s a major sticking point.  But you can also use this to your advantage.

If you look the same as your profile photos or if you even look slightly better than your profile pics, bring it up at your first date.  How you’re improving yourself, etc..  It’s a common conversation piece and you want to come out on the positive side.

If your pics are old, that will come out bad for you on the first date.

If you don’t have recent pics, then go take some.  Take the 2 hours for a photo shoot with your friend.  Go to Target for those headshots.  Get ‘er done.

Your last photo is the most interesting

This could be a “doing” pic and often is.  It could be the time you met Wayne Newton…er…I mean had lunch with the Governor.  Many guys have even created their own cliché by taking photos with a tiger.  I don’t recommend that as it shows you’re trying too hard.  But it shows that the “interesting” photo should be something that isn’t expected.  Something that’s different.  Something that she hasn’t seen before among the 58 profiles she got bombarded with today (she’s seen the tiger, as well as 13 other guys shooting watermelons in the desert).

And make it a pic of something about you.  Something you do.  And will do again. Maybe even with her.

Bonus – your photos not on your online profile

You want extra photos.  These are photos that show more of you.  In fact, you can even have a swimsuit photo among these (as long as it’s not that thong Speedo!).  You can even do a workout photo.  You could have a photo of you at the shooting range.  You riding motorcycles.  You dressed up in a suit giving a presentation at work. You can even have those pics from a couple of years ago in this bonus section.  Not too many photos, but one of this, another of that.

But these aren’t on your online profile.  So how does she see them?

The Bonus Pics are for those women that want to see a little more of you.  But you don’t give these pics to her, you let her go to the pics. And it’s her idea!

This is for those women with whom you’ve chatted.  Maybe you’ve exchanged cell numbers.  Maybe you’ve even gone out once or twice.  But in any case, you’ve exchanged your real names, but you haven’t friended her on Facebook yet and you’re not saying “look at these pics!”  It’s going to be her idea.   And when she does decide to go look at you a little more, she’ll cyberstalk you and Google you and look you up.  This is where she finds the Bonus pics.

She’ll find your LinkedIn profile with your professional pics.  Use a different headshot, you can have your business suit pics in there too.  Use the same photo rules above to make good pics.

She’ll find your Facebook profile, but she’ll only be able to see the photos that you’ve shared with “everyone” and not just your friends.  She’ll also find your Facebook posts that you’ve shared with “everyone.”  She’ll see more pics of you with your children, pets, more “doing” pics, more…of you!

What this means is that when you post on Facebook, some (not all) of your photos and posts, make sure the privacy setting is set for anybody to see them.

If you have a YouTube channel of little videos you’ve made.  Maybe with you. Maybe with you and the kids that you’ve sent to grandma.  She’ll find those too, and she’ll watch every one of those videos in her cyberstalking.

And it was all her idea.  It has to be her idea, otherwise it simply doesn’t work.

Let’s be real here.  As you learn more about her, you’ll want to know more, want to see more of her.  And visiting her online profiles is one thing that you’ll do too.  So when that day arrives, it’s simply putting your best foot forward for when she wants to learn more of you.

Ouch!  A long post!  And we haven’t even got to the writing of the profile yet.