Kim and Pete definitely were not the ideal Harry meeting Sally, but how many of us fell for them anyway? This romance, and many more, are the reason I'm over watching couples on TikTok.
Depending on what side of Tik Tok you're on, you may or may not see a wide variety of couples on your fyp. As a long-time lover of romance, I've always had a sprinkling of perfect-for-each-other couples on my fyp since I got the app in 2019. Whether I followed them or not, their videos would show up religiously. They were adorable, healthy, and pretty much my ideal as a single college girl.
I remember Anna Sitar before she had ad deals, giving advice on how to make long-distance relationships work, based on her own LDR. I watched videos of Chris Olsen and his boyfriend, demonstrating their very mature style of communication with some pranks thrown in between. Just last month I came across a video of Kim Kardashian asking her then-boyfriend Pete Davidson if he'd join her in the shower, which received a resounding yes from Pete and a whole lot of praise in the comments.
The undeniable and unfortunate link between these couples? They've all broken up.
Break Ups Are Totally Normal...
Of course, there's nothing wrong with couples breaking up. In fact, sometimes it's necessary. Many couples on TikTok break up for reasons that have nothing to do with the app at all, including not being ready to take next steps, life changes, and ultimately, just not working out. Some couples certainly do break under the pressure of trying to be the picture-perfect, internet couple i.e. Chris Olsen and Ian Paget.
And this is totally fine! However, as it happens more and more on my FYP, I can't help but wonder: why is everything going so wrong for these couples? And more than that, why am I (and many other love addicts) watching this painful event anyway?
Just like any other negative content on the Internet, "Why We Broke Up" videos seem to pervade my mind even after I've shut them off. They seep very easily into my real life and unfortunately, my real relationships.
Internet Breakups Are Hard
It's no secret that the World Wide Web is brimming with terrible stuff. It can be nearly impossible to avoid at times. Plus, it's a well-known fact that what we see online can affect our real lives, especially in a world where content comes at us so quickly and with undeniable force.
For me, these romance/break-up videos on TikTok are my kryptonite. When I see them, a small part of me is filled with dread and my brain starts firing off, comparing what I'm seeing on screen to my real life. This is mainly because I'm one of the countless people in the world with high anxiety. As much as I try to stop it, the love content I see on screen becomes a mirror in which I feel like I need to dissect my own love life. Am I as happy as that couple? Does my partner have that red flag? Do we need to break up because of this particular issue? Is love even real and am I actually feeling it?
The last question is one that I think hurts many people on TikTok. I see it in the comments often. Beloved couples call it quits and fans crowd into the comments, wondering how this could have happened. They wonder whose fault it was, how this happened so abruptly, and of course, how could love exist at all if this very happy couple is suddenly unhappy?
The Problem with Internet Couples? They're Fake.
While I do have to work to fight my anxiety-ridden thoughts, the problem with TikTok love is that it is undeniably fake. Yes, you heard me. And I don't just mean the supposed fake celebrity relationships like Kim and Pete. From real-life amazing couples to toxic hookups- all of it should be taken with a grain of salt.
The issue is this: the internet is terribly one-sided. If you pull up the page of a couple you admire, how much of their real lives are actually being shown on that grid of videos? Among those mushy clips of fancy dates and advice on better communication, are there any videos of them fighting in real-time? Or better yet, can you find moments of complete mundanity, where they're sitting on the couch not talking, emptying the trash, or having some alone time from each other? It's impossible for one person, let alone two, to reveal themselves completely to the internet in a carousel of 1-3 minute videos.
Of course, this doesn't mean you shouldn't believe anything you see. The good stuff can certainly be real and a goal worth pursuing yourself and advice can be taken if you think it'll work well for you. However, if you're someone like me- who falls into the fantasy of literally anything she sees- it's vital to remember that you are never seeing the full story. With the good comes the bad and vice versa.
This is especially important when your favorite couple breaks up. It's natural to wonder how things ended and if there's someone to blame. Not taking sides can be a hard task. But again, as a viewer, you are very far from knowing the truth. Tearing down others in comments sections based on conspiracies is a hurtful thing to do for all parties.
Beware the Seeing of (Or Being) a TikTok Couple
Being a logical internet user is always a plus, but when it comes to the delicate and difficult fixings of love, this is especially important. Before becoming entrapped in the wonderful or horrible content of someone's internet relationship, be sure to remind yourself (as I often do) that what you're seeing is limited and meant purely for entertainment, not use in everyday life.
And if you're someone with a significant other that wants to display the magic of your relationship, then do it! Just remember this seemingly obvious advice: people are watching you. They want love and steam and easily condensed video perfection. And they'll want the teary break-up video if it comes, along with the drama of the aftermath. Are you ready to give all of that?
Love is Most Certainly Real
Recently, a very lovely TikTok couple that often passed through my FYP broke up. Their quirky, love-filled videos seemed so happy that the news completely shook me. I avoided the end of their relationship video but fan reactions found me anyway. People blamed the boyfriend, supported the girlfriend, or openly tried to stay neutral. Personally, I didn't care. I just wondered if their breakup meant that everything I had seen before of their happy relationship meant nothing. Would the memories I've made with my boyfriend no longer matter if we had to split?
The answer is no. Whether your relationship is encased in the eternity that is the internet or kept solely in your memories, everything you felt or did with your partner still happened and matters. Though it can be devastating to lose someone, it's all a lesson for the future made specifically for you. That's the nature of love, I guess. It's up and down, ebb and flow, and exactly not what you expect. Now tell me how a TikTok can encapsulate that.
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