Confessions of a Convicted Kittenfisher.
WTF is “kittenfishing?”
WTF is “kittenfishing?”
I have a friend who is convinced that I only date younger women. Now, despite my proclamations, and evidence to the contrary, she remains committed to this thought.
The fact is that I love women—all kinds. I’ve dated women older, I’ve dated “age-appropriate” women, and I’ve dated younger women. I’ve dated women of all shapes and sizes, so I don’t have a preference there either.
Logically, you may ask, do I have a type? Yea. Women.
But I’m certainly not a Lothario.
If I had to say I had a type, I’d say that I’m not much in the way of blondes, but other than that, anything goes. The biggest attraction for me is someone who is themselves.
Do I like younger women more than older women? That’s a hard no.
Have my longest relationships been with younger women? Not all, but yes, the ones that mattered.
“Misrepresenting yourself in an online profile — like wearing hats in all your photos if you’re bald. Typically characterized by using little white lies — like misrepresenting your height, age, or interests — to hook a potential date.”
And if you use an online dating service or mobile app, you’ve probably been kittenfished.
By that definition, I’ve been “kittenfished” more than once.
Four years ago, I met a woman for lunch who had clearly used a picture from a different decade. Another time, I met a woman for a drink who had failed to mention that she had FOUR KIDS. Luckily, she didn’t bring them with her …but did text with them the whole time.
An ex of mine waited about a month to tell me she was three years older than her profile said (and thus two years older than me). I didn’t think too much about it, and I dated that woman for a few years.
But now, I stand (well, sit) before you having been accused of “kittenfishing.”
My plea? Guilty as charged.
CONFESSIONS OF A KITTENFISHER
The exact time is murky, but I think it was sometime in late 2017 or early to mid-2018, I joined Hinge. I was in California on business when I saw an ad for it. Having tried OkCupid and Tinder (both with all of my correct information), this was the new kid on the block, so I figured why not?
Was/am I in the habit of shaving a few years off of my age when joining dating apps? No. I am not.
Where I have done it, it’s to screw with the algorithms and limit or confuse my digital visibility. For example, my Facebook profile has an incorrect name, and while my birthday is correct, my birth year is off by three years.
You may ask why. I don’t have a solid explanation. When I went on Facebook, it was my way of placing doubt if anyone found me.
MEA CULPA — My Hinge account is also off by three years. I must’ve shaved a few years off of my age when I entered it into the application. My only defense is that I entered it to match my FB account since I was using FB to link with Hinge.
There is, however, another possibility.
When Hinge rolled out, they were tightly linked with Facebook. So much so that Facebook was part of the Hinge profile creation:
“The dating app would pull the information it needed from your Facebook profile to make things more comfortable during the creation process.”
In late September 2018, 50 million accounts were hacked into on Facebook. As a result, Hinge cut the profile creation link between the two apps.
I was on Hinge before September 2018, and the accounts remain linked.
However, after you enter your age on Hinge, you can only change it once (see pic).
And since I am unable to change it now manually, it leads me to think that I changed it when I set it up.
I presume that holds even IF the data were pulled from FB.
But all is not lost. I just read an article that you can change your birthday on FB, and it will flow to Hinge (allegedly) — provided the accounts are linked …as mine are.
As you will soon read, this information would’ve been useful about six months ago.
Even though my Hinge account is disabled, I just spent 15 minutes now trying to change my birth year on FB before getting frustrated. I'm not too fond of FB.[update 10.11…found it on FB, changed it — and there you can only change it once too …we’ll see someday if it flows to Hinge.]
I can’t rule out the possibility that my profile got pulled from FB; I know the accounts are linked. But the fact that I can NOT change my birthday, well, logic dictates that I must’ve changed it.
And for me, the only logical explanation was to have it match my FB account — which has always been three years off.
Truth? I don’t know. However, I did know it was incorrect.
I have a fair amount of contempt for dating apps. My success rate on any of them was abysmal, so I held little hope for Hinge.
BUT, I knew it was the best way for me to meet someone.
So, while I was in California, I downloaded Hinge and used it to kill time in the hotel room. But that was all it did, kill time.
When I got back home, I did what I typically do …ignore the dating apps. Once in a blue moon, I would hop on, do some swiping, chat with a woman here and there, then get irritated and forget the application.
In Spring of this year, I hopped back onto Hinge. It had been about six months or so. Previously, Hinge was matching me with people in Long Island or Manhattan. But this time around, HAZAH! There were more local people.
At which point, I noticed my age and figured I should do something about that.
Not being able to change it, I noticed a note at the bottom of the Hinge app that iPhone users had to email their customer support team with a picture of their driver's license. So I did that. Repeatedly. It must’ve been from late April/early May to mid-August; I tried to have it changed.
Truth? I wasn’t dating, and I didn’t care enough to go on a deep dive to correct the issue because my data strongly suggested I wouldn’t meet anyone.
That fucked-up logic would soon come back to bite me in the ass.
If only I had taken the time to do that deep dive.
You see, the data were wrong. I did meet someone.
I met a smart, independent, strong, and beautiful woman with a killer smile and laugh to accompany it. I could go on but won’t. This isn’t about that.
We went on a few hikes together, had tea overlooking New Haven, played backgammon, talked, laughed, listened to music, and hung out. Pretty normal stuff. But something was different for me. I felt a connection.
Yes, she was younger. I didn’t and don’t give an age that much consideration.
In between dates, I continued trying to get my age-corrected.
Therein lies the rub.
Of course, she found out that my profile age was not my true age.
Of course, she was not happy.
Of course, she was angry.
Of course, she was hurt.
And probably a slew of other feelings.
It threw a wrench into everything.
And I take full ownership of that.
It makes no sense to say, “If I could do it over…”
Truth? I fucked up — that’s on me.
MIA CULPA — As she has since correctly pointed out — because I was actively attempting to change the date, I should’ve told her. And I didn’t.
She’s right. I was wrong. (see the truth right above)
In the spirit of confession, and upon reflection, the reason is as simple as this — I was having fun. And I think she was too. I had felt something I hadn’t felt in a long time — connection—so, purely selfish reasons.
Didn’t I think it would matter to her? That’s the problem; I didn’t give it any thought. I’ll definitely cop to that being shitty, dumb, and selfish behavior, but it was not done with malice.
Am I predisposed to shitty, dumb, and selfish behavior? No. I am not.
Does it make me an asshole? That’s not for me to judge. But probably for some, yes. I get that, and I accept that.
At the end of the day, I stand (well, sit) before you, as a profoundly embarrassed and humbled man who admits to being guilty as charged.
You see, I once kittenfished.