Are You The Victim Of Pie Hunting? It’s A Cruel New Dating Trend

“Pie hunting” is a dating trend that sounds cute, like going shopping for pies with your boyfriend or something, maybe? Err, no. Although it comes from the slang phrase “pied off,” which means getting dissed or ditched, it’s much nastier. “Pie hunting” is a dating term some men use to try to get women who’ve been heartbroken to date them.

  1. It’s toxic behavior. Here’s how the trend works: a guy sees a pretty woman at the bar and goes over to chat with her. After some talking, she opens up to him, telling him about how she’s had such bad luck in dating or how her ex hurt her so badly, and his interest in her increases. He wants to date her because he’s what’s known as a “Pied Piper”—he loves to prey on women who are vulnerable. Yikes.
  2. What exactly are “pied pipers”? According to a Mirror article, guys who call themselves “Pied Pipers” consider themselves experts. They target fragile or vulnerable women thinking they’ll be less fussy about men they date and—brace yourselves—that they’ll be grateful for anything they can get. Oh hell no. Who do these jerks think they are?
  3. Guard your heart. You might not fall for these douchebag tactics, but it still helps to protect yourself from them even attempting to enter your life. Avoid giving TMI to guys you’ve just met or gone on a date with when it comes to your previous relationships. If you’ve recently been heartbroken, it’s none of their damn business! They don’t need to know that info because you don’t know if they’re going to try to use it against you in future.
  4. Be extra careful online. On dating websites and apps, follow the same rule: avoid talking about your heartbreak, but also avoid any hints that you’re jaded about love. It might even help to avoid mentioning that you’ve recently ended your marriage. These things can easily make you a target, according to the above-mentioned Mirror article which states that these men look for women online who’ve specifically mentioned they’re divorced or have recently gone through a breakup.
  5. Men who are turned on by low confidence. A dating guru who goes by the name Rex Wood is a former playboy who’s written a book called “Sexcellence: The Sex Spreadsheet” that speaks of dating techniques like “pie hunting.” He claims “pie hunting” works because it exploits people who have really low confidence. Instead of going for resilient women who might reject them, these men choose to go for those who will be grateful for the chance to find romance, he says. These men are so messed up! 
  6. Signs you could have a “pie hunter” on your plate. If the guy you’re dating seems really interested in your past and is ladling out sympathy for what you’ve gone through, or is trying too hard to boost your ego, beware. He could be trying to get into your good books. He’ll probably also move really fast when wanting to date you. That’s a huge red flag that he’s got ulterior motives.
  7. Sometimes there’s that one pied piper who was just so damn convincing. It’s sad that once in a while, a “Pied Paper” can be so convincing that you actually believe he might be a nice guy. Yup, we’ve all been there. This trend isn’t anything new just because it has a new name, though. Toxic AF men have been doing this sort of thing for decades! Call them “pie hunters,” “Pied Pipers,” or plain old losers. Either way, they just want to get in your pants or get their egos stroked by having a hot woman on their arm who wouldn’t ordinarily date them.
  8. They’ve got issues. It’s funny how pie hunters look for women they assume have low self-esteem, but honestly, they’re the ones who have issues. Why else would a guy stoop so low as to take advantage of people who are going through tough times? A stable, self-assured man won’t resort to such disgraceful tactics. So, look out for signs that he’s insecure so you can steer clear of him.
  9. Show him how confident you are. “Pied Pipers” can’t deal with women who are strong, confident, and have their acts together—what man-children! The best way to keep them out of your life is to show them that you’re all of those things. Make sure your body language is confident to match your words, such as by walking tall. It’s a clear sign to the pie hunters that they’re barking up the wrong tree so they can do you a favor by swiping left on your Tinder profile or leaving you alone at the club. GTFO, loser!
  10. Aren’t you sick to death of the stereotype? Although this trend is scary, it’s also quite insulting. The stereotype of fragile women needing men to pick them up is infuriating AF! Although it can happen that a woman’s easily won over by a man when she’s heartbroken, it doesn’t mean that she’s always going to let a guy in after a bad breakup or that she’s super desperate for love. Come on! “Pied Pipers” need to get over themselves. They might think they’re experts who win by conning women, but they’re total losers.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.