Beware of Kittenfishing—Online Dating’s Newest Danger

When it comes to online dating, most people are familiar with catfishing.  It’s the phenomenon in which a person presents themselves as a completely different person.  Different photos, different occupation, different everything.  It’s likely their name isn’t even real.  Consider kittenfishing a milder form of catfishing.  However, it’s just as bad.

What Is Kittenfishing?

kittenfishing online dating
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Kittenfishing still involves lying but just on a smaller scale.  Maybe someone adds a few inches to the height listed on their profile.  Or they post photos that are 10 years old.  Or they enlist their novelist friend to pen a witty, concise, and entertaining bio.  Kittenfishing is basically a name for digital little white lies.

You’ve probably experienced it before.  Many daters know the feeling all too well.  You’re excited to meet that special someone, but when you show up, they look nothing like their photo.  If this has happened to you, you’ve most certainly been kittenfished.  According to the New York Post, 38% of men and 24% of women using the app Hinge have been kittenfished.

Is Kittenfishing Dangerous?

Little white lies don’t seem so horrible on the surface.  After all, lying about a few extra inches of height can be forgiven, right?  Wrong.  If someone is willing to lie about indisputable facts, what else are they lying about?  How can you trust someone who can’t even tell the truth about basic information?

Aside from trust, kittenfishing leads to wasted time.  Those who actually kittenfish are trying to increase their odds of finding dates.  But once the man or woman shows up and realizes they’re a victim of false advertising, they won’t stick around.  They may not even make it through the first date.

What Can You Do About It?

kittenfishing couple on date
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Not much, unfortunately.  When you’re swiping through apps and exchanging witty banter via text, it’s impossible to know if the other person has presented an authentic image.  It’s sad, but all you can really do is hope for the best.

But, if you find yourself on a date and realize you’ve been kittenfished, you have options.  You can tough it out and see if the person’s qualities are great enough to override their lies.  You can confront them, and ask why they didn’t tell the truth to begin with.  Or you can leave right away.  It all depends on the severity of the lie and your personality.

However, don’t put yourself in danger. To avoid any serious confrontation, it’s best to push through and then delete their number soon after the date’s over.

Kittenfishing is yet another online dating problem.  But now that it has a name, hopefully, it becomes less common.