Whether your FYP is filled with videos of cats or videos so unhinged and strange they make you wanna take a break from the internet, you might have come across one or two “advice” videos while you’ve been scrolling through TikTok. Yes, people love giving out advice on TikTok, whether it’s about how you can change your life for the better, how to make money fast, and of course, anything and everything you need to know about love.
While some of it is helpful, like advice on how you can avoid toxic partners, some of it… not so much. They might even be doing more harm than good, encouraging bad behaviour and unrealistic expectations. Today, we’ll be getting into the nitty gritty of the world of TikTok relationship advice, and why some of it is deeply problematic.
There’s No ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Approach To Relationships
Humans are complicated beings, and so are relationships. Everybody has different boundaries and expectations, so there’s no fixed answer when it comes to the intricacies of a relationship. It requires work, and you can’t Google your way out of that. You might have seen or heard of the phrase, “If he wanted to, he would.” circulating around TikTok and Twitter, which has since become an overused and frankly, an unrealistic expectation that has been put on relationships. While putting in effort is one of the important factors of keeping a relationship strong, the saying of “If he wanted to, he would,” just seems like a go-to phrase for a lot of people when things are getting difficult, as if it explains all the underlying causes of all the problems.
While it’s good that people in general are starting to raise their standards and not tolerating bad behaviour, it’s important to remember that everybody has different circumstances and that we’re all just human. Saying “If he wanted to, he would,” is just putting unrealistic expectations on your partner and your relationship.
There’re Too Many Opinions And A Lot Of Misinformation
One thing that people love to do on TikTok is set “rules” that you should follow to get the girl or guy. There’s advice telling you to never be the first one to text; only text back when you’re free; ghost someone mid-conversation; don’t explain yourself when a problem arises. There’s even advice saying how you should stare at them so that they’ll become obsessed with you. Some advice advocates for drastic changes at the slightest miscommunication, while others say that you should stick it out if you really love them. It’s too much!
While all this advice is meant to be ‘helpful’, it’s only gonna cause more confusion within your dating life. Always listening to advice on TikTok will only train you to be paranoid, always looking for clues that somebody is not that into you. Hyper-analyzing things like how long they take to text back, how they respond to certain questions is only an effort for us to gain control, when we really have none. And honestly, it sucks the fun out of dating and relationships. Letting things play out naturally, and being comfortable in uncertainty, is an essential part of love and relationships. While difficult feelings will still arise, it’s part of living an emotionally fulfilling life.
“If You’re Not Self-Improving, You Don’t Deserve Love”
Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but is it really? Nowadays, you can’t do anything without it being a ‘goal’ or a self-improvement project. TikTok wants you to self-diagnose, finding out whether you’re the reason why relationships don’t work out, or why your feelings are the way they are. If you’re single or in a happy relationship, it’s your fault and you should go to therapy or do whatever online relationship experts tell you to do. And as we all know, relationships end, and there’s no simple hack to succeed in dating. Sometimes things just don’t work out.
The Bottom Line
There is no ‘quick fix’ to your relationship problems, no matter what ‘stage’ the relationship is in. Advice that is too ‘matter of fact’ will only complicate things, since there are many gray areas in all kinds of relationships. Just take all the advice with a grain of salt, because if there is an answer to a happy relationship, it’s certainly not one that can be found on TikTok.