By Ari Liakeas

Oh, the wonderful world of dating and online culture! If you are looking for love or fun, try Tinder, Bumble or for a deeper connection; Spiritual Singles. But, there are pros and cons to online dating, too, as we all know!

No one likes to spend two weeks talking to someone, only to be ghosted on the day of the date or just to be sent unsolicited pictures. (You know what I’m talking about!!) Online dating certainly breeds a culture of no accountability for your actions and potential unsavoury behaviour.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. My partner and I spent six weeks chatting on Tinder before actually meeting. We are happily together a year and a half later and actually joke about contacting Tinder with our success story to see if they would pay for a honeymoon! 

App Addiction Is Real!

But you may be letting the love of your life or soul mate walk right by you because you are too engrossed in your phone. You could be missing out on connecting with a potential mate from watching too much nonsense on TikTok.

The internet has a plethora of excellent information where we can learn and teach ourselves just about anything. I re-tiled my bathroom thanks to YouTube.

On the flip side, it can ruin relationships. Some people spend too much time on their phones or computer, causing problems in their relationships or stopping them from actually going out and meeting someone. 

It has driven me crazy in past relationships when my partner is on their phone all the time and has hardly spoken to me all day. Phone snubbing or Phubbing can make you feel they are bored of you or suspicious of their behaviour, especially if they are messaging all day. 

Ironically, my partner’s work is remote-based, so he is always on the computer or phone. We had to find a healthy way to enjoy online activities by sharing what we are actually doing and enjoying funny things, news or interesting articles together. 

But smartphone or app addiction aside, there are other ways that social media and platforms such as TikTok can ruin dating and relationships. 

How TikTok Is Ruining Dating

TikTok has grown phenomenally in the past few years; it provided hours of entertainment during lockdowns, making some of its content producers rich and famous. And herein lies one problem—the desire to be a TikTok influencer. 

This hunger for fame and fortune has people recording what should be intimate moments or participating in challenges that cross boundaries and screw up relationships. 

A survey by the app itself found that 45% of TikTok users spent the time they used to spend on dating apps scrolling through the video-led platform instead. How will they find love watching someone burping the alphabet?!

And then there is the dating advice…

TikTok Dating Tips

While some dating experiences or advice videos can be funny and taken in a light-hearted manner, there can be a darker and more dangerous side. The #datingadvice category on TikTok is full of some great tips but also too much pseudo-psycho babble that can cause more harm than good. 

Self-proclaimed “dating gurus” offer potentially toxic and damaging advice, especially since the primary audience is emotionally developing young people. Teaching people that making someone jealous or using emotional control can keep someone in your life is not good advice. There are even videos showing how you can track someone down! Stalker much? 

Disorganised Attachment Advice

One of the areas of relationship advice given on TikTok is based on real psychology. While this might seem great and helpful, reaching a mass audience and helping people grow and understand themselves, there are dangers. 

Attachment theory looks at babies’ stages in developing attachments to people. Our relationships with our parents and caregivers as small children can impact the style of attachment that becomes part of our psyche. This, in turn, influences our ability to form solid, loving relationships as adults. 

Psychologists state that there are 4 types of attachment styles—secure, anxious, avoidant and disorganised or fearful-avoidant. Attachment styles seem to be the focus of many videos on TikTok. This may seem helpful as people can learn why they behave in specific ways and find tips on how they can overcome some of the issues associated with them. 

But, and there is always a but, much of this “advice” is given by people who don’t fully understand the theories or have added their own slant to them. The adage “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” springs to mind. Without years of training and experience in dealing with people who struggle with attachment issues, these gurus could be doing more harm than good

So my great advice is: enjoy TikTok but don’t look to it to change your life or for dating advice. If you really need some help, talk to a real expert. Good luck!