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What is Kittenfishing? Is That Profile Really Them?

the meaning of kittenfishing
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Hello dating world, let me introduce you to Kittenfishing, and no, this does not involve a cute kitten fishing in a pond. What is the meaning behind kittenfishing?  Defined as the younger sibling to the notorious catfishing scam (you know, cats and kittens?), kittenfishing also involves selling lies on your dating profile, albeit little white ones. Call it Catfishing Lite, if you will. Though the term may be rather new, the acts considered as kittenfish have been happening in the online dating environment for quite a while now.

What is Kittenfishing?

Basically, kittenfishing involves tweaking little details about you and your life so that your dating persona becomes more appealing to your would-be partner. As opposed to catfishing, where the person you see and maybe get to know online is a false identity and totally different from their real-world counterpart, the person kittenfishing online is still the same person in real life, just a few details short of a perfect one-to-one representation of themselves.

An inch or two – or four – added to the listed height, ten or so pounds off the real weight, maybe even a year lower than the actual age, are the common and (maybe) forgivable offenses of kittenfishers. Posting a photo of your cousin’s best friend’s girlfriend’s uncle’s Lamborghini and claiming it as yours is reaching a little bit (reaching a lot, actually!). Also, working as a bank messenger and claiming that you work in the world of finance is like buying a Tesla and saying you bought the company from Elon Musk. You get the gist.

Why do they do it?

Kittenfishing is relatively harmless. In the very competitive arena of online dating, each and every flaw is magnified and lessens the chances of getting a hookup. With today’s beauty standards nearly impossible to attain, it is not a surprise that people want to embellish a thing or two about themselves in order to get a leg up on the competition.

People who resort to kittenfishing often believe that a few half-truths here and there can optimize their chances of being chosen among thousands, or even millions, of choices in the online dating pool. They convince themselves that once their online persona has been chosen, they can then win them over with their wit, charm, intelligence, sense of humor, and their real personality in general. 

How to tell if you are being Kittenfished

How to tell kittenfishing

With catfishing,  – along with tindstagramming, breadcrumbing, love bombing, and ghosting, –  already an issue on many dating apps, the addition of kittenfishing as another tactic to look out for, can you really trust someone’s online dating profile based solely on face value? Is honesty still really the best policy when it comes to searching for that perfect someone?

Even the main photo of someone on social media cannot be trusted. On Snapchat, filters are readily available to better your looks. Over on other online dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, among others, false profiles are as common as real ones, maybe even more. With many things to consider before starting communication, or even before swiping right, let’s highlight some key points on how to tell if someone is kittenfishing:

  1. Photos on his/her profile all look different

Altered photos, or even dated ones, is an early tell that there is something more – or less – to that person. Different hair lengths or colors, I mean, how can you tell how he/she looks right now if there are so many different photos to choose from?

  1. Always wearing hats

Mostly pointed towards men, if all his photos show him wearing a hat, he may be trying to hide the fact that he is bald, or balding. They should learn to embrace it. There are people who consider baldness as attractive anyway.

  1. Photos are mostly head shots.

If half or full body photos are missing from his social media photos, then this might be a clear sign that the person is insecure about his/her body.

  1. Posted photos are taken at unusual angles

A veteran on social media, especially photo-centric platforms, knows how to show their best angle. A photo taken from above, facing down, can make you look slimmer and sexier than you really are.

  1. Inconsistencies during conversation

When a profile passes the eye test, you might decide to strike up a conversation with your person of interest. However, if you notice many inconsistencies or contradictory details in their stories, chances are they are making things up.  

  1. Lack of details when prodded for more information

If they seem to avoid telling you specifics on details they post on their profile; they may lack information about it since what’s written may not actually be the truth.

  1. Too idealistic self-presentation

If, at first glance, the profile seems to be too perfect and without any flaws, then there are mostly a lot more hidden things that the person doesn’t want you to know outright. You know what they say: If it seems too good to be true, then it most likely is.

Now that you have a general idea of things to look out for in terms of kittenfishing red flags, it’s still up to you whether or not you want to engage the person on the other end of the screen. Or maybe you’re still on the fence on whether the details you see are whole truths or little white lies. If you are still interested despite your gut feel, there are tools that you can use to further your investigation:

Tools you can use to spot kittenfishers

kittenfishing filters
  1. Talk to them on the phone before any meetups

Conversing on the phone adds a more personal tone rather than chatting it up on message boards. If he/she is as funny as who they are on their profiles, then they might just be the real deal.

  1. Use Video-calling applications

Using Skype or FaceTime is a sure-fire way to know if the face matches the photos, or if they are someone else. A live video chat can surely erase any doubts you have about the authenticity of a person.

  1. Use a People Search Service

If you want to stay anonymous while continuing to decipher the ‘man behind the mask’, then this is the route you should be taking. 

ClickSearch is a People-Finder service that allows you to obtain information on people you need to know about. With ClickSearch, you can run a background check right from your phone, tablet, or computer. In no time, you’ll discover if the person you are interested in has a public arrest record, liens, gun licenses, mugshots, and more. 

This state-of-the-art people search engine can provide a potential date’s real age, past and present addresses, court documents, aliases, and known accomplices. ClickSearch is a value-packed service that belongs to the top of the heap when it comes to people-search apps.

What to do if you’re being Kittenfished

The next step after determining that you indeed have been kittenfished, is entirely up to you. Will you stop dead in your tracks and move on to the many other dating profiles available to you? Or will you ignore all the kittenfishing, meaning you engage the person and try to pursue a relationship in the hopes of discovering a love life that has a happy ever after at the end? Whatever you do, just keep in mind the dating dos and don’ts so that you can enjoy all that there is in the dating life.

What about you? Are you guilty of kittenfishing? Maybe it’s high time to do a self-check and review your dating profiles. It’s not surprising that many of us will be guilty of kittenfishing, using little white lies in order to make sure we are the best candidate in the race for love. Remember, it’s all about putting your best foot forward. Just don’t wear a glass slipper on that foot; you know that glass slipper isn’t yours. Oh, and do keep in mind that lying about your age online will not make you any younger in real life. Don’t even try it.

Life would be so much better, simpler, if you would just get up, dress nicely, then go out and show the world who you really are! Let the magic happen naturally.


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