We don’t envy those who decided that this is the right time to jump into online dating, because they practically have to learn a second language. Phrases such as breadcrumbing, catfishing, benching or cushioning are thrown around by the community and every month a new fad appears. The current newcomer is ‘kittenfishing’, furthering the impression that all these phrases revolve around a pleasant afternoon in the park. However, the kawaii term hides a sinister phenomenon: kittenfishing is the diet cola version of catfishing, where singles make up fake identities to fool their partners. Although not as harmful, the lighter version may also lead to awkward moments and disappointment.
Kittenfishing vs Catfishing
We’ve already reported on the phenomenon of catfishing, but here are the cliff notes: the term comes from the myth that putting a cog and a catfish in the same tank would lead to the former being constantly chased; therefore catfishing is a synonym to spice up your date’s life at their own expense. A catfishing scheme involves stealing someone else’s photo and inventing a persona, complete with fake name, hobbies, jobs or whatever. Kittenfishing is also based around lying about your profile, but it’s a bit tamer. Instead of creating an alter ego, you simply improve your own. In other words, the core identity – such as name or background – remains intact, but instead you upload photoshopped or decade old pictures, lie about your family status and age or enhance the truth of your job all to make yourself seem better.
The key difference between catfishing and kittenfishing is that in the latter situation the kittenfisher applies this technique to be liked more. It’s a misguided attempt, hoping that your date would fall in love with your ‘superego’, but will continue their affection even after the truth is revealed.
How to Avoid It?
Since kittenfishing is basically a collection of white lies, it’s much harder to spot. While catfishers can be busted with a deep background search, chances are high the same trick won’t work with kittenfishing since 60-70% of their statements are true. People indulging in this activity often ask their friends to ghost write positive reviews on their profile page, further fueling this fake image. This rising trend has led to endless frustration within the dating community. Just imagine meeting your dream date for the first time, only to discover that they have packed on the pounds, is somehow 15 years older, has kids, or is even already married.
Although not having a model’s physique can be bridged with an otherwise good personality, lying about work, faith and marital status is an instant deal breaker in most cases. If you wish to avoid kittenfishers, pay attention to your partner’s dialogue in case their tongue slips. If the deal seems far too perfect or a little dodgy, try a background search. And lastly a message for those who are insecure about themselves: don’t change anything about yourself; the truth will come out no matter what. Even the strongest relationship collapses if it’s founded on lies.