LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — If online dating isn’t getting you to the second date there may be a good reason — and it may be something you’re guilty of doing.
Imagine communicating with a woman online only to discover it was a man all along. Many fall victim to this type of online deception, including former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who made headlines when it was revealed he’d been hoaxed by an online relationship.
While “catfishing,” or pretending to be someone you’re not, can turn someone’s life upside-down, its watered-down version, “kitten-fishing,” can put a damper on a highly-anticipated first date.
“Kitten-fishing is a term coined by the dating app Hinge,” explained Talia Goldstein, a matchmaker with Three Day Rule. “It’s making little tiny tweaks to your profile to make yourself seem more appealing.”
Goldstein says if you’re online dating, it’s either happened to you or you may even be guilty of it.
“A lot of people are kittenfishing and they may not be admitting it to themselves but I see it all the time,” she said.
Using photos of models to illustrate the point, kittenfishing can range from cropping your true body size, to altering your waist or bust-line — even using filters to cover up your flaws.
“It’s not necessarily that your date is disappointed in the way you look, it’s more about how you misrepresented yourself. You essentially lied to get to the date, so they’re wondering what else are you hiding from them,” Goldstein said.
Rachael King tried online dating for three years and encountered plenty of misleading profiles after meeting them.
“Calling your parents roommates … I feel like that was intentional,” she said.
King says she’s seen it all. The opera singer who is really a waiter, and most commonly, the guy who claims to be 6 feet tall (but isn’t).
“When I come to date expecting a completely different look, it’s a little jarring and it feels misleading and I wouldn’t have cared and now I care that you hid it,” she said.
Talia says, if you’re not getting second dates, chances are … you’re a kittenfisher
Goldstein says one of the best compliments you can get when you’re on a date is acknowledgement that you showed your authentic self in an online dating profile.
“It’s really important to be authentic because at the end of the day you want somebody who loves you for you — the whole package — and you shouldn’t have to hide yourself to get there,” she said.
And if you’re concerned your authentic profile wont lure in as many matches, she’s offering some reassurance.
“You are so much better off going on three amazing dates with people who are genuinely excited to meet you for who you are than 300 dates with people who you had to kittenfish to get there,” she insisted.
Goldstein says hiring a real matchmaking service takes the guesswork out of dating. That’s because their matchmakers interview all potential dates in person before they’re matched with you.