Dating apps are awash with potential pitfalls as you attempt to wade through a bog of disappointment with the hope of making it to the green grass of love on the other side.
In the early days it felt like the only deception to be feared was encountering a catfish, who shot to fame when MTV’s Nev Schulman turned detective to break the news to heartbroken online daters that they weren’t actually being chatted up by the rapper Bow Wow.
Since those innocent early days, things have gradually got worse and worse.
Now there’s terms like paperclipping , coined from that annoying paperclip which popped up in the early versions of Microsoft Word (remember that thing?), to describe people who return unannounced and unwanted.
Gatsbying is when someone uses a date solely to post a picture to social media to make someone else jealous. The list is endless, old sport.
But perhaps the most frustrating of all is dogfishing – when people use dogs for their dating profile to give the illusion that they own a doggo when they in fact do not.
It’s been happening on dating apps for years, it’s probably happened to you on multiple occasions, but now it seems to have gained an official name.
If you use dating apps, you’ll be well aware of the worst kept secret in the game: dogs equal dates.
So when you come across that person who catches your eye and they’ve got their arm wrapped around a Golden Retriever called Cooper, you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot.
But what if it’s all a lie? Your days, weeks or sometimes even months of overly-calculated messages constructed to get you into a position petting that dog are replaced by the cold reality that Cooper won’t be joining you on the date.
With more and more people using dogs to enhance their chances of bagging a match, dating expert Erika Ettin told The Washington post she thinks people are faking dog ownership because it suggests a person has nurturing qualities, especially men.
“Sometimes women subconsciously equate things like how a man treats his dog is how he would treat a partner,” she said.
“That’s the main thing: stop borrowing dogs. It’s just odd when you’re using someone else’s dog online, and it seems like you’re trying too hard.”
So if you’re going to put a dog on your profile, at least have the decency to bring it on the date.