Kittenfishing: The dating trend that you’re probably guilty of

Have you ever spotted someone lying about their height on dating apps? This is known as kittenfishing, and more of us are guilty of it than we realise.

Kittenfishing: The dating trend that you’re probably guilty of
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When it comes to online dating, we’re often challenged to make a lasting impression that screams ‘date me!’ with just 500 characters and a handful of photos. So, it’s no surprise that we may embellish a little on certain aspects of our looks and personalities in order to gain the attention of whichever lads and lasses tickle our fancy. While some people may call this being deceitful, we prefer to call it kittenfishing.

What is kittenfishing?

While luring someone into a relationship under false pretences like using a fake persona is known as catfishing, kittenfishing - a term initially coined by Hinge - is when people represent themselves in an unrealistically positive way in order to attract dates. Essentially it’s like lying on your CV but fordating apps.

Kittenfishing is surprisingly common and can range from harmless fibs to downright lies. We’ve all seen someone add a few inches to their height or use out of date and even heavily edited photos to make themselves come across as more attractive (many of us are even guilty of it ourselves). But, while these may seem like little white lies that wouldn’t actually matter to the right person, they’re still deceitful.

Love coach Nikki Leigh explained to Bustle: ‘As if catfishing wasn't bad enough, people who are actually trying to find dates or love through online dating sites have to be concerned about people kittenfishing them.’

We have to wonder if people think this is harmless or if people do it intentionally. They may figure they'll shave a few (or more) years off their age to make themselves seem more attractive to grab a person's attention. Or they may post a picture when they were thinner, so they can get more attention in the beginning.

She continued: ‘It's sad they don't realise that they aren't doing themselves any favours and they are actually hurting their own chances if they are really looking for a date or love and they are hurting other people.’

You may be guilty of kittenfishing without even knowing it

According to a survey conducted by Hinge, 38% of men and 24% of women have been victims of kittenfishing. However, just two per cent of men and one per cent of women admitted to the act, meaning that it’s possible people are kittenfishing others without even realising it.

The sad part is the reasons we feel the need to embellish aspects of ourselves in the first place. Dating apps are becoming increasingly competitive. And, in a world where all genders are constantly surrounded by unrealistic beauty standards (hello, Instagram models), it’s understandable that we may have some insecurities. The issue is when this lack of confidence makes us believe that people won’t be willing to give us a chance as we are, so we lead people to think we’re taller, thinner, or more ‘put together.’ In reality, you may make a better impression with people if you were honest about yourself.

Nobody likes being kittenfished. So, next time you’re using a dating app, make sure to be as open and honest as possible. It’s not a crime to paint yourself in your best light; just do it in a way that’s still true to who you are and what you look like. That way, you have a much better chance of finding someone who likes you for you.

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