How to Know if Someone is Kitten Fishing

By John V

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

If you’ve ever found yourself swiping left and right in the online dating universe, you know it’s like a complex puzzle waiting to be solved. Full of potential and pitfalls, dating apps can either lead you to your dream partner or into the depths of dating despair. Among the new challenges in the modern dating world is kitten fishing, a subtle trick that can leave you feeling deceived and disappointed.

Don’t fall victim to this latest dating trend! Our guide is packed with actionable insights, helping you differentiate between innocent exaggeration and a complete misrepresentation. Learn the warning signs to spot a kitten fisher early on and save yourself the heartache. Dive into our comprehensive guide and equip yourself with the knowledge you need to navigate the often-confusing realm of online dating with confidence.

What is Kitten Fishing?

Kitten fishing is a modern dating trend that has gained traction in the age of dating apps. While not as deceptive as catfishing, where individuals create entirely fake profiles, kitten fishing involves embellishing one’s online dating profile to appear more attractive or interesting. It’s a way of putting your best foot forward, but in an exaggerated manner—think of it as a resume for your love life that inflates your accomplishments and skills. From using heavily edited photos to bending the truth about your job or interests, kitten fishing aims to present you in an unrealistically positive way.

While kitten fishing may seem harmless, it can lead to a potential relationship starting on false premises. A first date that follows kitten fishing could reveal stark discrepancies between the person online and the individual in person. These fabrications, often white lies or inflated truths, can cause confusion and disappointment, making it crucial to recognize the signs early on. It’s a gray area in online dating that warrants scrutiny, as it blurs the line between innocent self-promotion and deceit.

The Line Between Best Foot Forward and Kitten Fishing

In the competitive arena of online dating, it’s natural to want to put your best foot forward. From selecting the most flattering photos to highlighting your accomplishments, it’s all about making a lasting impression on your potential match. However, there’s a fine line between showcasing your best qualities and venturing into the realm of kitten fishing. Where do we draw the line? It becomes a matter of how many white lies tip the scale from genuine self-presentation to deceptive manipulation.

Experts, such as licensed clinical psychologists, caution that a potential relationship built on false pretenses is likely to be unstable. Just one or two white lies might seem insignificant, but they can unravel trust and lead to bigger issues down the road. If you find yourself questioning the honesty of a person online, listen to that gut feeling. Your emotional investment should be built on a foundation of truth, not a fabricated reality.

Signs That You Might Be a Victim of Kitten Fishing

Photo: Canva


Contradictory Information

One of the first warning signs of kitten fishing is contradictory details across different platforms. Whether it’s in all their snapsFacebook posts, or dating profiles, inconsistency is a red flag. For instance, if the job title or age seems to change with each post, it’s cause for concern. A potential relationship can’t be built on inconsistencies; it erodes trust from the outset.

Visual Cues

Pay close attention to profile photos. If they seem too perfect, showcasing only good angles, or appear heavily edited, be wary. These are visual forms of kitten fishing designed to lure you in. Meeting the person online in person can often reveal stark contrasts, confirming your suspicions of kitten fishing. It’s essential to validate visual cues early on to avoid investing emotionally in a potential match who’s not as they appear.

Too Good to Be True

When someone appears extraordinarily accomplished, attractive, or perfect, be skeptical. An unrealistically positive portrayal could indicate they’re trying to win people over with a less-than-authentic version of themselves. Always remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The dating world is full of ups and downs, and someone who only has ups might be masking their downs.

Overly Vague or Evasive

If your potential date is often vague or dodges relatively simple questions, take note. Evasiveness could indicate that they’re hiding something or being dishonest. This lack of transparency can make it hard to establish trust and develop a meaningful relationship. If they can’t answer straightforward questions now, imagine the complications that could arise later on.

Rapid Intensification

person who quickly pushes for an intimate or serious relationship without truly knowing you may be kitten fishing. This rapid escalation is sometimes a tactic to make you emotionally invested before you discover the truth. Be cautious of anyone who rushes the pace; a healthy relationship takes time to build and should be based on honesty and mutual understanding.

>> Also Read: Can a Scammer Fall In Love With His Victim?

How to Confirm Suspicions

Photo: Canva


One of the simplest ways to confirm suspicions of kitten fishing is to ask a relatively simple question that you already know the answer to. This can be a fact they’ve stated in their dating profile or something they’ve mentioned in conversation. If they trip up or their answer doesn’t align, it’s a clear indicator they may be guilty of kitten fishing. It’s an easy way to get a gauge on their honesty level without putting yourself at much risk.

Consult a Close Friend

An external perspective can be incredibly useful. If you’re on the fence about someone, show your close friend the potential match‘s profile and get their honest opinion. Friends can often see red flags that you might have missed or ignored. They can provide an unbiased view that can help you decide whether to proceed with caution or look for another match.

Arrange a First Date

The ultimate litmus test is an in-person meeting. A first date can quickly reveal whether someone was straight-up lying or just trying to put their best foot forward. Real-world interactions offer cues and details that are impossible to fake over the long term. If the person looks and acts completely different from their online persona, you’ve likely fallen prey to kitten fishing.

Long Distance Relationship Check

In the realm of long-distance relationships, video calls serve as an excellent verification tool. These virtual meetings allow you to confirm if the person online is the same person they claim to be. If they’re hesitant to appear on camera or continually postpone video chats, it might be a sign they’re hiding something. Video calls add a layer of authenticity that can’t be easily manipulated, making them a vital step in confirming someone’s identity.

How to Protect Yourself

Photo: Canva

Be Skeptical

A healthy dose of skepticism is your best defense in the virtual world of dating apps. Trust your gut: if something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. A skeptical mindset helps you remain vigilant for warning signs and red flags, ensuring you’re not easily deceived by unrealistically positive portrayals.

Be Honest Yourself

Honesty is a two-way street. While you’re on the lookout for kitten fishing, make sure you’re also presenting yourself authentically. After all, your potential date is also seeking truth, not an idealistic self-presentation. Authenticity attracts authenticity, making your dating experience more rewarding and less fraught with disillusionment.

Report Suspicious Behavior

If you encounter deceptive or dishonest profiles, make use of the report feature found on most dating apps. Reporting not only protects you but also helps maintain the integrity of the app for others. It’s a collective responsibility to keep the dating world as honest as possible, so don’t hesitate to flag suspicious behavior.

Validate Through Social Media

Social media platforms can serve as additional verification tools. Compare Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, or even LinkedIn profiles with what you see on the dating app. Consistency across multiple platforms can boost confidence in a potential match, while disparities can alert you to possible kitten fishing.

Consult a Licensed Clinical Psychologist

If you find you’re repeatedly falling for kitten-fished profiles, it might be helpful to consult a licensed clinical psychologist. They can offer professional insights into why you may be attracted to such profiles and how to develop a more discerning approach. It’s an investment in your emotional well-being and can better prepare you for a real-life relationship based on trust and honesty.


Kitten fishing is a subtle, yet impactful, issue to watch out for in the dating app world. It takes a potential relationship and casts it in a more positive light than reality, which can lead to disappointment and a waste of time. By being vigilant and knowing what signs to look for, you can ensure that the relationship you’re building is based on honesty and reality.

Remember, in the realm of online dating, it’s always best to seek truth. Good luck as you venture further into the complicated yet rewarding dating world!

>> Also Read: How To Avoid Being Catfished

FAQs: Kitten Fishing

Is Kitten Fishing the Same as “Love Bombing”?

No, kitten fishing and “love bombing” are not the same, although both are manipulative tactics in the dating world. Kitten fishing involves presenting oneself in an unrealistically positive light, usually through embellishments or white lies on a dating profile. Love bombing, on the other hand, is an emotional manipulation tactic where someone showers you with affection and attention to win your trust quickly, only to change behavior drastically later.

How Do Dating Apps Address the Issue of Kitten Fishing?

Dating apps and similar platforms are increasingly implementing features to combat dishonesty, including kitten fishing. They may use advanced algorithms to flag inconsistent or suspicious information, and some apps have a verification feature that lets users prove their identity. However, users should always exercise caution and use the report function to flag profiles that appear misleading or false.

If I’ve Been Kitten Fished, Should I Confront the Person or Simply Move On?

Confronting someone about kitten fishing is a delicate matter and depends on the context. If it’s a minor embellishment and you think the relationship has potential, a candid conversation may suffice. However, if you uncover a web of straight-up lying, it’s probably best to report suspicious behavior on the dating app and move on. Your safety and emotional well-being should be your top priorities.





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John V

John is a digital marketing master's student who enjoys writing articles on business, finance, health, and relationships in his free time. His diverse interests and ability to convey complex ideas in a clear, engaging manner make him a valuable contributor to these fields.

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