Why using your real photo matters on dating sites?



Your profile picture is your personal brand, said, “Nakisher.” But it doesn’t mean you have to look like another person!

I am Adam, a gaijin in Japan, and I have a hilarious story to share with you. I am a big fan of dating sites. I prefer meeting people on the web because it’s easier. Clubbing is not for me anymore. No, I’m not shy, but it just works better.

And with the COVID-19 around, bars and clubs are completely empty, so people are turning to dating sites anyway. Maybe even you!

But what happens when you meet someone that looks completely different than the photo? Would you run away? Would you become rude? Or would you enjoy the show?

Well, that’s the story I want to share with you.

A gaijin in Tokyo.

I am working in a gaming company named Gree located in Roppongi Hills for about seven years now. There are plenty of Japanese girls in the company, but dating co-workers is not allowed in Japan (apparently).

My Japanese is so so, but I have been lucky to find this company who prefer English speakers for their audience market.

I have been single on and off, and I often felt miserably lonely in that big city (Tokyo).

No need to mention that, people in Tokyo are always very busy and often stuck on their mobile screens. (It’s so annoying, by the way).

Because of this giant urban Japanese city, it becomes challenging to meet people face to face and mostly, if you don’t speak Japanese.

The dating website

Then one day, I found that website, “true love japan.” (Just in case you need proof, I am not affiliated with their website. Even you can share your stories if you want by contacting them.) I tried a couple of other dating apps and websites, but I got lucky only once with the website’s j-list friends. (Now, it’s closed, unfortunately). I tried Tinder as well but it was probably the worst. Competition is too high between guys so getting a message from someone is very difficult. And almost everybody’s photos was not real. You can check by yourself if you have a free time. Unless you want to be catfished, it’s a big no-no for me.

After my first date, I was in need to find someone more like me who like gaming, so I tried true love japan, and I found someone I really like.

It might sound superficial, but the appearance was my criteria #2 after her interest in gaming. I can’t date someone for the first day if I am not attracted.

japanese friends app

She sent me her unbelievable picture. [Is it real?]

After chatting in the messaging room, she finally sent me her picture.

The picture was so appealing. The photo showed a Japanese girl with a stunning curvy body and very soft white skin; it was impressive to watch. Overall, she liked gaming stuff, and she looked like a model from a magazine (maybe too good to be true), so I said, hey, why not!!

So much excitement!

Then, a few days, we planned our first date face to face.

She wanted to meet in a public area for the first date as a safety precaution. I am totally okay with this. After all, there are so many weirdoes out there, so I wanted her to feel safe and confident.

I suggested meeting near my job since that’s the only area I am very familiar with and probably the most recommended place to meet in Tokyo for Gaijin.

I know some excellent pub in Roppongi. By the way, Roppongi is full of Gaijin, and it’s so much easier for people like me who don’t speak Japanese. 

Almost every Japanese bar and restaurant understands English. Don’t try Shibuya; you might get in trouble with the Japanese language. 

So I suggested meeting outside of the Friday’s restaurant to have dinner at first to see if all is connecting well between each other.

There’s plenty of very cool Japanese bar on the same street, so it was just perfect.

Getting ready for the date

Then, on that day, she sent me a message through the TrueLoveJapan chat to confirm our date and location. (As a side note, truelovejapan is a free website (for the cheapo in Japan) and has a phenomenon feature in the chat. She could type in Japanese, and in one click, the conversation is translating what she was typing. Dude, COME ON, seriously! That’s a game-changer for me. I am sure it made her feel so much more comfortable.)

That day, it took me 3 hours to get ready. I was so excited to meet her.

I went to the gold gym in Ginza, and then, I found my best clothes and get all ready for her with some of my best perfume.

Finally, the day I met her!

It was around 5 pm, and I was in the subway from Hiroo station to Roppongi.

As a side note, never schedule a date between 1 pm to 5 pm because every Japanese bar and restaurant are closed during that time. Trust me, it happened to see some Gaijin being stuck outside with a girl watching each other in the eyes without even saying a word. Not the best atmosphere for a first date.

I was very nervous. Maybe her picture was playing in my mind, who knows!

I arrived on time, not even one minute late because if you leave in Japan, you will realize sooner or later that timing is everything!!!

Japanese are making a massive deal with late people. Trust me, if you don’t want to mess up your first date, arrive on time and even a little bit earlier to be safe.

So, I went out of the train and walked to the Friday’s restaurant.

I walked on the other side of the street where we were supposed to meet to be safe. I know it sounds childish, but I wanted to see her from the other side before she sees me.

Maybe, I just wanted to be ready mentally speaking.

The moment of truth. [THE SHOCKING TRUTH]

Finally, I arrived and stood up myself right in front of the Friday’s restaurant on the other side of the street as planned. I hope i didn’t look like a stalker because it wasn’t my intention!

I checked everywhere, but I couldn’t see her.

Was she late?

It’s impossible; she’s Japanese, after all.

Then I kept checking again and again but still nothing.

Suddenly, I noticed an Asian lady waiting just in front of the restaurant. I couldn’t see her face well because she was looking at her phone (As usual) but she looked the same age as the photo.

Would it be possible that the lady was the one i was supposed to meet?

Same hair, but something was, hum, different.

Roppongi is always very crowded at night, but luckily, nobody else was waiting in front of the restaurant, so who else would it be.

I decided to come closer and gently approach her.

Then I walked closer, slowly and then; she looked at me with a big smile. 

She said: Konbanwa, are you Adam chan?

As soon as she asked me that question, I felt my face become quite red. I think my mouth even baffled for a moment. 

So I said: huh? Are you Megumi??

She said: Yes, yes, hello!

I gently said: Hi, but you look different than your picture.

Can you guess what happened?

Don't over-edit 
your photo

This is what happens when you over-edit 
your photo


… To be polite, she looked okay however you can add 100 lbs, and you get the REAL, her.

I was completely shocked!

I tried to look away, but everywhere I was looking to lead me back to her enormous legs or big head. My god, I feel terribly guilty and sorry to type this, but I was really expecting to see the person from the photo. Not that … Sorry, I am so much rude, but I need to be honest. That way, you might understand why retouching photos is a bad idea.

I am sure she is beautiful, but she was not my style.

It’s not a catfish, by the way, because that person is still her, but it’s like she got an overdose of chocolate between the time she sent me her photo and now. Seven days to be exact.

What a shocking truth.

I am not a bad person, so I tried to change the topic and hide my real feeling, and I just said: “okay, nice to meet you too. Let’s go eat”.

You can ask me what happened after dinner in the comment section if you are curious.

Retouching photos – Is it right or wrong?

We all want to look good as much as possible, and that is understandable. Because dating online is precisely like fishing in the ocean.

If we don’t look good enough, nobody will contact us, and it’s a fact.

Even though I agree with this fact, the result can be catastrophic.

Can you imagine how disappointed I was?

“At least, she liked gaming” …

I try to stay objective when sharing thoughts, but retouching photos should be done lightly if you are serious about meeting face to face. 

Does it mean people who retouch their photos are not being serious about dating in real? What do you think? It could be a red flag, saving you so much time!

If it changes your silhouette too much, you can be sure your next date won’t go as expected.

Btw, I firmly believe there is someone for everyone.

If you are chubby or fat, it’s okay. It would be best if you did not worry about it because many handsome guys have a crush on overweight women. It’s getting more common since a few years.

The biggest problem with all those photo apps is that it changes people’s faces and bodies too much.

We can’t look, and we should not look all like a model, and we have to accept it. 

That’s only my opinion, but i have dated a couple of Japanese girls since a few years using the truelovejapan website/app and i always kept my motto: Be yourself + Show your most normal photo of yourself with another of you on your best look. That way, the person who wants to meet you will probably be more impressed to see you in reality because you will look better face to face.

And, trust me, the first few seconds you meet your date, if she/he smiles at you, it means it’s working. After that, it’s up to you.

Being rude

If you live in Japan, you know how Japanese are polite but can also be a hypocrite (sorry to burst your bubble).

Even if a Japanese person doesn’t like you, you will still get a beautiful smile. That is just the culture. And it’s okay because it creates a comfortable atmosphere for everybody.

The problem is about what most Japanese are thinking about us recently.

Japanese think, we, Gaijin, are often rude and too honest and maybe too much open-minded people. Some Japanese girls prefer not to date foreigners because of this.

So, I strongly recommend to not being rude even if you end up disappointed, please. 🙂 Tell yourself it’s time to have a good time with a new friend, why not! 🙂

Best photo practice for men [How not to over-edit your photos]

Here’s the best photo practice for men:

Best photo practice for men

If you follow this photo guideline for your dating profile, I can’t guarantee you will get more attention from Japanese girls, hell yea!

Don’t over-edit 
your photo

You’re 75% more likely to 
receive messages and likes because it makes you look genuine.

without showing teeth

You’re 45% more likely to 
Receive messages.
Even though photos of ladies baring their chompers do better on Hinge, for men, the opposite is true. Soft smiles must be officially “Cool.”

Look ahead.
You’re 110% more likely to receive messages and likes.

Stand alone

You’re 20% more likely to 
Receive likes.



My most honest advice would be:

  1. Don’t over edit your photo. In short, stop exaggerating when retouching photos. Instagram filters are fun, even Lightroom presets for mobile or Snapchat filters are cool but it’s easy to abuse it.
  2. In your dating profile, add a minimum of four photos of yourself—one on your best shot. I mean, sexy, beautiful, but your best one and all the other images must look as you are on your daily days. It will remove that high and dangerous expectation from the others watching your profile.

And your date will be so unique, and she/he will be impressed to see you.

Think about it. A smile will be inevitable, and a smile is always the best ice-breaking for the first date!

Wow, I am still shocked when I remember that date, ah ah!!!

If you are not agree with something, please share in the comment section!


Lightroom presets for mobile in Japan

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