Dating can be brutal these days, and if you’ve somehow made it through the searching-for-your-SO mine field without being breadcrumbed, ghosted or in much more serious cases, stealthed, count yourself lucky.
Singletons beware though, because there’s a new dating trend out there and it’s catching lots of people unaware.
Coined by dating app Hinge, kittenfishing is the new trend to watch out for – and it’s basically the little sister of catfishing.
For those who don’t know, catfishing is when you pretend to be someone you’re not on social media.
Kittenfishing sees daters lure in potential mates by selling themselves in a way that means their match might be disappointed when it's time to meet up in real life.
From profile pics that are have seen more Photoshop than Mariah Carey’s latest Instagram to something a little more severe like going all Liza Miller in Younger and knocking decades off your age, kittenfishing might seem innocent but it sets up some seriously unrealistic expectations.
“They may figure they'll shave a few (or more) years off their age to make themselves seem more attractive to grab a person's attention,” love coach Nikki Leigh told Bustle.
“Or they may post a picture when they were thinner, so they can get more attention in the beginning. It's sad they don't realise... they are actually hurting their own chances if they are really looking for a date or love, and they are hurting other people."”
Dating app Hinge surveyed their users and found the problem was pretty widespread, with 24 percent of women and 38 percent of men reported being kittenfished.