We studied what happens when guys add their cats to their dating app profiles

If you’ve used a dating app, you’ll know the importance of choosing good profile pics.

These photos don’t just relay attractiveness; a recent study suggested that 43% of people think they can get a sense of someone’s personality by their picture. You might guess that someone who has included a photo of themselves hiking is an outdoorsy type of person.

But as scientists who study human-animal interactions, we wanted to know what this meant for pet owners – in particular, male cat owners.

If you’re a guy who owns a cat, what kind of effect does it have on suitors if you post a picture posing with your favorite feline?

Prior studies suggested that women do judge a potential male partner based on whether he has pets. While they favor men with dogs, the results showed that they also give men with cats an edge over non-pet owners.

Because of this, we reasoned that men pictured with cats would probably be viewed as more attractive and desirable than men who didn’t pose with any animals.

Secret weapon or poison pill? martin-dm/E+ via Getty Images

In our study, we recruited 1,388 heterosexual American women from 18 to 24 years old to take a short anonymous online survey. In the survey, we presented them with photos of one of two young white men in their early 20s either posing alone or with a cat. To avoid biasing the women’s responses, we randomly presented which photo they saw first. Each participant only rated one man, with and without a cat.

Each time the participants saw a photo, we asked them to rate the man pictured on several personality attributes, including his masculinity, femininity and dateability. We also asked the women if they defined themselves as a “cat person,” “dog person,” “neither” or “both.”

This last point may explain our findings.

Prior research suggests that women often seek masculine men – both in terms of physical appearance and behaviors. So the fact that women in our study found the photo of the man alone more masculine and more dateable supports the idea that women are likely to look first for clues related to masculinity when determining dateability.

We suspect old cultural norms may be playing a role in the responses. Past research suggests that male femininity and homosexuality are still perceived to be connected. Since cats are sometimes associated more closely with female owners – and therefore, considered a feminine pet – posing with cats may have primed the women taking our survey to default to this outdated trope, despite some popular media efforts to elevate the status of male cat owners.

Alternatively, the perception of male cat owners as less extroverted and more neurotic, agreeable and open may have nudged our respondents to put these men in the “friend zone.” In other words, perhaps seeing a man pose with the cat suggests he might be a better confidant than date.

It’s important to note that whether the women identified themselves as “cat people,” “dog people,” “both” or “neither” affected their perceptions. Women who self-identified as “cat people” were more inclined to view the men pictured with cats as more dateable or say they had no preference.

Of course, like any research, our work has its limitations. Our sample is a very specific population – heterosexual, primarily white women, aged 18 to 24 years and living in the United States. We don’t know how these results would change if we surveyed, say, bisexual or gender-fluid women, men interested in men or individuals from different cultural backgrounds.

And that’s the best part. This is a new, growing area of research, and it’s only one of a handful of potential studies on the relationship between pet ownership and first impressions on dating apps. This means we have our work cut out for us.

But in the meantime, if heterosexual men are looking to get a match, it’s probably a good idea if they save showing off their photos with their favorite felines for the first or second date.

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Read the original article here —

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The Dos and Don’ts of Dressing for a Virtual Date

Finally, once your entire outfit has been curated, do a trial run in front of the camera you plan on using. Take note of how your look changes as you sit down, and identify which camera angles make you feel best. Beyond this, you should also consider the lighting around your space, and how your makeup may change on camera should you plan on wearing any. Testing how you’ll look once the date begins is the perfect way to determine any style wildcards that may be affected by the camera, keeping you feeling poised and prepared to meet with your love interest.

While a virtual date might not have been your first choice for connecting with someone, you can still mimic the feel of an in-person date by having fun with your style choices and ideas. In many ways, dating from the comfort of your own home can put you more at ease and give you confidence you didn’t know was there.


How to nail a virtual date

While lockdown restrictions and normalcy begin to creep back to normal, and we get excited about the prospect of going to a pub, cafe, or restaurant, we at Oneder believe virtual dates are here to stay to date smarter and more efficiently. We’ve all been there – arriving for a date IRL and knowing within a blink of an eye that this isn’t going to work but being too British to not sit through the next hour or so pretending to be engaged whilst thinking you could have been washing your hair.

Malcolm Gladwell explains this concept in his acclaimed book Blink that the subconscious recognizes patterns and connections — what we call a “gut feeling” — long before our brain. But we often don’t know how or why we know something. “Our unconscious reactions come out of a locked room, and we can’t look inside that room. Guided by experience a person can become an expert.”

Anyway enough about the science – here are some tips to help you nail virtual dates in the future….

Oneder’s top 5 tips

1. Dress to impress (well your top half anyway!)
Prepare for a virtual date like you would a real date – dress up, do your hair and put your makeup on

2. Keep it eye level
Set your laptop to eye level – stack it on books if required – this will avoid any double chins or unflattering angles

3. Light up light up
During daytime face a window and in the evening check your lighting for most flattering angles. If zooming don’t forget their “touch up my appearance” setting!

4. Conversation starters
It’s no bad thing to have some standard conversation starters up your sleeve for example
What have you missed most during lockdown?
What’s your opinion about ?
If you could jump on a plane right now where would you go?

5. Ice breakers
If chatting in the evening you can suggest having a drink together to break the ice.

If you’re not drinking, think about your location and background, art works and bookshelves are also great conversation starters or even go for a walk in the park to relax the vibe.

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How to Overcome Jealousy in the Modern Dating World

I was home in bed, alone on a Friday evening. Exhausted from a difficult work week, I had turned down my friends offer of a night out. And now I was tucked in with a glass of red wine and a bowl of popcorn. It would have been perfect, if not for one crucial detail. My jealousy.  

As I was flicking through Instagram the guy I had broken up with a couple of months earlier (and stupidly not blocked) showed up. A new fling in his arms and surrounded by a lush field of grapevines. Hashtag Bordeaux

I kindly reminded myself that he had been cheap, boring and way to vocal about his skepticism against global warming. On top of this his bedroom skills had been way to one dimensional. And despite some hints he just was “not a big fan of personal development”.

Even aware of these facts the pictures of lush vineyards and laughing strangers stung me. His happiness hurt.

See, I have always been a jealous person. I know it’s not a good quality. I try to hide it, to deny it. That’s probably why I hadn’t blocked him. An Instagram denial about my own shortcomings.

No one wants to be jealous. No one enjoys being jealous.

That night I lost control. As I had finished scrolling through Instagram I went over to Facebook and checked in on at least three different exes. My face was burning. I couldn’t eat the popcorn. My soul was hurting.

Thanks to my phone all those lives were too easily accessible. I saw newly born children, marriage vows and holiday pictures. I finally fell asleep, sad, jealous and exhausted.

My own history

My love life started out with a bit of a disaster. Me and my first real boyfriend got together when we were only 18, he was my first love. I was his first love. We stayed together for far too long. 9 years to be exact. During too many of those years, we were trying to figure out if we were for-ever material or if we should just move on.

And a part of us trying to figure out what to do with each other, involved falling in love with other people and being unfaithful.

Our destructive pattern eventually led us to breaking up. He is married now, with two kids, and yes, I am a friend with him on Facebook.

In most ways I have moved on. But jealousy have the ability to keep on lingering around. And it hurts.  

Added to this mix we have the internet. A great place for connecting with likeminded, finding new cool restaurant, doing your grocery shopping on the bus ride home. A place of endless information. And for a jealous person like myself, a place of endless temptations. When I’m scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, I’m jealous of all the lives I’m never going to have.

Endless Temptations 

On top of the Friday-night disaster, I had just started my excursion into online dating. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, considering my jealousy. Online dating in general and Tinder in particular is known for its fickle and multi-dating nature. Something I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to handle. But as you may have noticed by now, I have a liking for playing with burning flames.

You don’t need to be a genius to realize I had to do something different to survive in the modern-day dating world.

The only upside to being a raging jealous monster is all the methods I came up with to try and tame the monster. I’m the disease and the antidote wrapped into one half-skitzo person.

Waking up the next morning I knew exactly what would work. I wowed to be strict about my own jealousy rehab.

If you also have a jealousy problem, you have arrived to the right place.

And yes, these techniques work for dealing with your Tinder-fling connected jealousy as well as those long-lost lovers that you still follow on social media.

This is the first rule of being jealous. Don’t go there. Don’t look at Facebook and Instagram. Don’t stalk ex boyfriends or girlfriends. Don’t try and find out what your new fling is up to by constantly checking their Instagram account.

Unfollow and if necessary, Unfriend.

If it doesn’t bring happiness and satisfaction to your life, don’t bring it in.  Put down the phone. Shut of the computer. Go out and meet a couple of friends, go for a run. Join a yoga class. The best periods of my life have been when I’m so focused and busy with everything else that I don’t really have time to look at social media.

1. Don’t give in

If you can’t handle this moderate approach you have to go cold turkey. Just like not everyone can drink moderately, not everyone can manage their social media presence without going crazy with jealousy. Just be honest with yourself.

The times I have been on a social media break has been freeing and wonderful, and frankly very productive.

Why do I get back on? Because I like to keep in touch with friends, I like to share pictures from fun moments in our life’s. Social media is a part of our community and thus hard to stay away from. But when it comes to taking care of your mental health you have to prioritize. After the Friday night disaster, I put myself on a month of social media celibacy.

2. Don’t Believe it

Social media doesn’t show peoples reality. People rarely publish their failures (but when they do, it’s always freeing and cool) What they do show is a carefully staged, diamond encrusted version of what their reality look like. All those beautiful pictures and inspirational quotes are the highlights. The insta-stories they publish is what they want you to think their life look like.

You turn on your phone and you see the tropical vacations, wild parties and expensive concerts. You don’t see all the hard work it took to reach that destination. It’s not the truth. It’s only a microscopic, carefully curated, part of the truth. We actually all know this. And yet our brain (particularly mine) believes it to be the truth.   

When you’ve had an outbreak of unnecessary scrolling, gently remind yourself that everything you saw was just a dream.

As they say, the best revenge is having a good life. This holds true even when it comes to dealing with social media jealousy.

3. Have a good life

When things don’t go my way, that’s when jealousy gets a grip on me. Other people drink or smoke or eat. I just scroll. Thus the best way to deal with jealousy is to keep yourself occupied and fulfilled. When you notice yourself being in the grip of a jealous period, do a mental checkup. Are you happy? Do you follow your passions? If not, what’s stopping you?

Be brave. Do the things you love.

And when you check social media accept that you can’t have it all.

If you are not in a good place, don’t try Tinder or any other dating app. You will only obsess.

And when you are already in that place, waiting for a text message or wondering exactly what your new tinder-date is up too, turn your focus back to your passions and friends. Don’t forsake all those things that make you a great person and totally different from everyone else.

4. Use it as Fuel

Jealousy is ugly but it’s also natural.

In a relationship that wrenching gut feeling of uncertainty can guide you towards a real problem. It’s not jealousy if trust have been broken, then it’s just instinct.

But part of our jealousy is also unwarranted. We all want things we don’t have. That’s the human nature. That’s what made us build cities, and that’s what make us travel to the opposite side of the world to start a new life. We are adventurers and explorers. We want everything and on top of that some more, please.

Let the jealousy motivate you. Instead of being paralyzed watching what everyone else have. Ask yourself what you would want. If you could choose freely, who would you be? Be brave and go for that amazing career.

When it comes to dating, set a standard. If you are worried that your new guy sees other people, tell him you would prefer if you only date each other during the get-to- know-each other phase. If he turns down the offer, just move on. He has a lot of options, but so do you.

Don’t try to find out things by using Instagram or Facebook. Dive headfirst into the unknown. I promise you that you will survive.

It’s terrible how many choices the great guy you just started dating seems to have. Terrible. Just terrible. But if you practice gratitude you realize that you have an equal amount of choices. If it wasn’t for Tinder you may already have been married with that idiot neighbor your parents kept trying to match you with.

5. Practice gratitude

If your new guy chooses someone else instead of you, he was not the right one to begin with. Go out and find someone better.

Find gratitude in everything, life consist of a thousand small details. A lot of times we are so busy with achieving something (like falling in love), that we don’t see the small things that make up every day.

It was a big realization for me to understand that my jealousy was a way to gain control. We have all been there. Encouraged by well-meaning friends I have done my fair share of modern-day detective work and cyber stalking. Trying to find out the “true” character of the different guys I dated. But it turned out that when I got the information, I thought I wanted, the only result was more jealousy. Instead I remind myself to be grateful for this crazy time-period I live in, with all its flaws and wonderful possibilities.

A final note

Now it’s been two years since that horrible Friday night. I’ve done social media celibacy several times since. I’m still very restricted about what I allow myself to see. I have got my life together, with great friend’s, fun activities and a job I like. In contrast to my old boyfriend, my new one is a personal development dream. Following a random blog last week he even made me have a nipple orgasm for the first time ever.

Sure, I’m still jealous from time to time. I can’t have it all. But what I do have is things I’m passionate about. My gratitude diary has a prominent place on my night side table. I try to write something every day. It’s easy to focus on everything you don’t have, it’s hard to focus on what you have.

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Posted by Olivia Isabey

I’m Olivia Isabey, freelance content creator with a genuine passion for writing. Currently I’m guest blogging for
When I’m not freelancing, I’m an enthusiastic long board surfer and Ashtanga lover. At the moment I’m also busy finishing up my debut novel.


My Date Told Me She Can See Ghosts

Have you ever been out on a first date with someone you’re very attracted to? It can be hard to figure out whether to order a steak or a salad, let alone drum up a witty or interesting question to ask them.

I found myself in this exact scenario on my birthday, February 26, 2020, out to dinner with a quirky mid-twenties brunette I had recently met while shopping for wireless headphones at Marshall’s

When I first saw her, I saw that she clearly put effort into her appearance that evening. Everything from her silky brown hair to her wafting perfume to her trendy leather jacket was totally on point.

Flash forward 30 minutes, and I’m just staring at this girl, wracking my brain of just what to say. I’m drawing a total blank; I can’t just stall forever until our waiter returns with our Michelob Ultra’s (Don’t judge me; I’ve improved since then).

My mind can only come up with one thing, so I go with it “Do you have any hidden talents?”

I don’t think it’s possible to ever truly be “expecting” a certain answer to that question, especially on a first date. I mean, it’s a HIDDEN talent. What the hell would I know?

But what she answered left me at first intrigued, then dumbstruck, then horrified
“Oh my god, you’re going to think this is crazy but, I can see and sometimes talk to ghosts”


I’m utterly speechless at that point. I let out a nervous laugh, half hoping she’s going to hit me with a “Gotchaaa” but that gotcha never came. Her eyes just got more and more serious as she nodded her head.

Where is the damn waiter, I need this Michelob Ultra now more than ever.

So anyways, she starts on this story about how she was at her childhood best friends’ house up in Michigan, and she saw the ghost of a little girl playing in the back yard, and apparently the house was super old and dated back to the early 1900s. To top it off, she said when I first bumped into her at Marshall’s, she felt she “knew me” already because I had apparently appeared in one of her visions into the future.

I’m not sure what my facial expression was at this point, but inside my head, I was losing it. I’ve never been too well-versed in the paranormal other than the occasional scary movie, and that one time at a Halloween party where I dressed up as the ghost of Mr. Peanut (RIP, a legend gone too soon), but this was definitely one step too far into the paranormal realm for young Alex, and I was ready to tuck, roll, and jump out of this runaway train as fast as humanly possible.

The date finished and as I was walking her to her car she hugged me goodbye. I was half-expecting her car to be a hearse, but it was in fact a Toyota Prius, which calmed my nerves. Not because it wasn’t an omen of black death, but because its the perfect combination of gas mileage and safety ratings.

I never saw that girl again (part of this was my doing by my steering clear of that Marshall’s, no matter how ridiculously-low priced their workout shorts are) but one thing is for sure, that was a Birthday I won’t soon forget.

Moral of the story? When asking a girl if she has any hidden talents, be prepared for an answer that may surprise you.

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