Was it Harry Styles or the dogs that caught your attention? If it's the latter, then you might just be the victim of the latest dating trend.
Just when you thought the world of dating apps couldn't get any more confusing, a new and utterly annoying trend enters the fray. This time, it goes by the name of 'dogfishing'.
That’s right, the latest dating terminology involves man (and woman)’s best friend – and it’s probably something you’ve seen done before, even if you haven’t realised it.
As for what it is, exactly? Well, it's actually pretty simple. 'Dogfishing' refers to when a person poses in a photo with a dog that doesn't belong to them, in order to attract dog-loving partners to their dating profile. Essentially, people are using dogs so they seem more attractive online – and then dropping the bombshell that they don’t actually own the dog once they’ve got the chance to win you over.
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Unlike the more sinister 'catfishing', dogfishing isn't dangerous in its deceptiveness, but it is annoying. Frustratingly, their reason for doing so is understandable, with several studies discovering that women find men more attractive when posing with a dog.
One particular study conducted in 2008 found that having a dog vastly increased the number of women willing to give a man their number. And another study also showed that women were more likely to see men with dogs as potential “long-term” material – because they believed dog owners to be better providers and nurturers. A final study that asked volunteers to rate people based on their photographs showed that they were more likely to see someone as happier, safer and more relaxed when they appeared alongside a dog. However, it's worth noting that the majority of studies on dogfishing refer only to men, but we're sure some women are guilty of it, too.
As for how to avoid being the victim of dogfishing? Be wary of any men cuddling pups in their pictures and don't be afraid to address it in early conversation if it really matters to you. After all, it is a dog eat dog world!
Main image by Gucci
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