In the dating world, most singles can attest to the fact that truth is often stranger than fiction.
And the truth of "dogfishing," the latest term to hit the dating airwaves, is definitely strange. Dogfishing is trying to bait a date by posing with someone else's pet -- thinking it'll make you more appealing and marketable.
Lying, unfortunately, happens often in the world of online dating, where singles often fib about their age, income, height and other quantitative metrics.
But why would people lie about having a dog? A survey conducted by Match.com found that 72% of women who responded said that the "hottest pet a man could own" is a dog -- and, perhaps due to that, men were four times more likely to admit to "dogfishing" than women.
Women, mainly those in their 20s, can correlate a man's ability to care for a dog with their ability to be a caring boyfriend, according to survey respondents, with 58% of women in this age group saying they're more attracted to someone if they have a pet. This diminished with age, according to the responses, with only 30% of women 50-plus believing this to be true.
With all of that said, what are some things to do instead to make sure your profile stands out and is as authentically you as possible?
1. Tell nothing but the truth
You're putting your integrity at risk when you lie in your profile. Even if it's a small white lie, it can lead your love interest to wonder what else you may be lying about.
Don't use your neighbor's dog, and if you do, make sure you say that in your caption.
2. Use photos that actually look like you TODAY
Your photos should be no more than 1 year old. Plus, changing up your photos often on sites can lead matching algorithms to prioritize you in search, as they favor dynamic users.
3. Look good!
Put your best foot forward, both in your photos and on your dates.
You photos should look good, and remember, people want to date the person in the picture.
4. Stop using filters
Everyone can look amazing with filters, but if that filter is making you look sun-kissed and 20 years younger, your date won't be too happy if you don't look the same in person.
5. Get feedback
Ask your most honest pals if your photos are good and truly look like the best version of you.
If the answer is "meh" or "no," get some new photos ASAP.
In today's dating world, one in three marriages take place through online connections, so even if it seems like a never-ending game of swiping, keep the faith that your potential prince or princess is out there.
All you have to do is find them.
Bela Gandhi is the founder and president of the Smart Dating Academy, a coaching agency that helps clients "make dating fun, inspiring and focused" in their pursuit of a meaningful relationship. You can follow her and Smart Dating Academy on Instagram.