There are a lot of dating terms that are generally and consistently unenjoyable. There was the awful but brief period where "smushing" was a thing, and the time that "swiping right" was still new and exciting and therefore referenced in every other conversation at brunch.
Sometimes, talking about dating (especially online dating) can be downright cringe inducing. But the newest dating term, "kittenfishing," is such an adorable phrase, we just might forgive what it stands for.
Except actually not, because kittenfishing is the miniature little sibling of catfishing.
Thanks to HelloGiggles, here's the definition of the cutest dating phrase you should hope you'll never have to use:
"The act of 'kittenfishing' is simple. You go online, you use outdated or edited pictures, and you lie about your personality traits. That’s it. Now, it doesn’t necessarily have to be flat-out lies. It can be inflating things about yourself to make you seem way cooler than you actually are."
So basically if catfishing were considered a felony, then kittenfishing is a minor offense that you get probation for.
Even though it sounds sketchy, kittenfishing feels like way more of a gray area than the far more ominous cat fishing. When can you no longer use a picture to describe yourself? Is it one year? Five? Or is it determined by some weird scale of how different you look from the picture, like weight gain or hair color changes?
Also, it seems like this should apply outside of the dating app world, too. Can you be kittenfishing someone on LinkedIn? If a person posts a photo of themselves from ten years ago and gets a job because of it, did they do something wrong? These are all burning questions with no answers, since the phrase is brand-spanking-new.
There's a pretty obvious bottom line here, though: the internet gives you a lot of wiggle room to basically lie, and it's up to you to decide how honest you want to be.
Let's be real, you can only lie for so long until the person sees you in real life, and it would kind of suck for them to gasp and run away.