Online dating can be a cruel, cruel world: so cruel, in fact, that a whole new (and really quite depressing) vocabulary has sprung up around it, from ‘catfishing’ to ‘ghosting,’ ‘benching’ and even ‘zombieing.’
Now, it seems that those of us looking for love have another unfortunate trend to contend with online: ‘kittenfishing.’
As anyone who has accidentally binge-watched their way through several seasons of the popular MTV show will already be aware, the term ‘catfishing’ refers to pretending to be someone completely different online, in order to attract attention from a potential match or date.
‘Kittenfishing,’ according to dating app Hinge, is ‘catfishing lite’: a less extreme way of misrepresenting yourself online by adjusting smaller details about yourself to make them seem more attractive. Think along the lines of using a profile picture that’s five years out of date or heavily Face-Tuned, knocking a few years off your age, adding a couple of inches to your height or maybe just lying about that 4.9 Uber rating.
Some of these habits might not seem particularly insidious when take in isolation (‘Why waste those holiday photos from summer 2013?’ you thought…) but according to one dating coach, ‘kittenfishing’ is hardly the best foundation for a future relationship.
‘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,’ Nikki Leigh told Bustle.