Do you ever question if your partner truly loves you?

In the past year or so, there has been a massive increase in TikTok trends that “pretend” to “test” a partner’s devotion or the quality of a couple’s relationship. Generally, TikTok relationship tests are done with their partner while making a video and posting the results on TikTok for others to judge.

You know those “Would you love me if I cheated on you” or “Would you be mad if I texted my ex on a random day” tests? Yes, those.

Several tests have trended. One of the most popular is the orange peel trend, in which the tester informs their partner that they feel like eating an orange. Some couples acknowledge the comment, while others go to get an orange. However, the “winners” are those who get the orange and then gleefully peel or cut it up for their loved ones—okay!

In another popular test, female TikTok users ask their husbands or male partners to “name a woman.” If they respond with a name different from the tester’s, the woman appears shocked, surprised, or angry.

Depending on the tone of your voice, your facial expression, and the words in your answer will determine how committed you are to your partner.

If you’re thinking, mhm, this seems stressful or potentially harmful because it is.

Zan (24): “I know for sure I would never engage in a TikTok test because they just don’t make sense to me, like why?”

How might these tests be harmful? These recordings are frequently motivated by a desire for comfort about the security of one’s relationship. They can backfire, especially if the individual being mistakenly “tested” has their response broadcast online without their knowledge.

Aside from that, people prefer information that validates their preconceived notions. This is known as “confirmation bias.” If someone is uncomfortable about their relationship, they may subconsciously seek information that validates their fears or interpret fresh information in this manner. Research has found that this may cause more insecurity in your relationship.

Similarly, Sandile (25) states: “The need to engage in TikTok tests is entirely contextual. Someone may test their partner to engage in harmless fun, or they may test their partner due to insecurities they may have”.

Of course, some people publish these videos just for fun or to make others laugh. Their partner might not mind. Who are we to judge if a couple’s behaviour expresses their shared values and if these videos are done with consent (particularly when uploading a video online) and make both parties feel respected?

Sarah (22): “I’m neither for nor against them, each for their own.”

At the same time, many TikTok relationship tests presented as “jokes” will often portray women as being stereotypically jealous, needy, or manipulative. And like all media that stereotype men and women, such content can further feed sexist attitudes and harm our relationships.

But why do we watch these? Research has found that people are likely to like, share, and comment on stories when they feel a sense of moral outrage. It then comes with a pleasurable payoff once the source of the outrage seemingly gets what it deserves.

Whether we agree someone’s partner deserves to be called out or they “had it coming” with the response, we tend to feel satisfied by being part of the mob response.

Unfortunately, this motivates a hostile online environment. In such spaces, where we see others piling on the shame, we’re more likely to do so ourselves.

It is safe to presume that relationship TikTok tests fall well short of what relationship research recommends. In psychology research, there is currently no diagnostic test that can provide precise information regarding the validity or durability of a connection.

TikTok relationship trends can be entertaining but should not be taken seriously as measures of a relationship’s health. Communicating openly and honestly with your partner is crucial rather than relying on viral trends to gauge your relationship’s strength.

What do you think: Can genuine love and commitment be measured by a viral challenge? Yes or no, and why?