What is a loyalty check? The toxic TikTok trend, explained

EEven in the most loyal and healthy relationships, trust issues can arise. We all have our own personal stories to deal with, and things like our attachment style can determine how comfortable we feel placing our hearts in the hands of another. But (and it’s a big “but”), a widespread TikTok trend known as “loyalty check” is so not the answer to make sure your person is truly dedicated to you.

“A ‘loyalty check’ is a manipulative act that a person does to see if their partner is faithful, primarily to see if they are open to infidelity or cheating,” explains Lee Phillips, LCSW, EdD, Certified Psychotherapist and Sex and Couples Therapist. A common example circulating on TikTok involves one TikToker asking another to turn the concept into a verb and “actively verify the fidelity” of their partner. It feels like sneaking into their DMs, flirting with them, and seeing what happens next.

The goal here is, of course, to confirm that the partner is, in fact, loyal and quickly stopping the advancement. Alternatively, if the partner continues the conversation and maybe even comes up with plans IRL, the takeaway could be that they lack the dedication to the relationship that the loyalty check partner expects them to demonstrate. .

While this practice may have a moment on TikTok, Dr. Phillips says loyalty checks aren’t unique to the platform and often don’t end well. “There are times when a fidelity check doesn’t work, and that creates conflict in the relationship,” he says. “I’ve also seen relationships end because of a loyalty check.”

“A ‘loyalty check’ is a manipulative act that a person does to see if their partner is faithful, primarily to see if they are open to infidelity or cheating.” —Lee Phillips, LCSW

So if you’re tempted to set up a loyalty test trap for your partner, think about where that urge comes from and what it really reveals about your relationship dynamics. That way, you can honor your feelings without participating in a ritual that Dr. Phillips says will only lead to toxicity in your relationship. Below, he explains in more detail why you might want a loyalty check and what to do instead.

Why you Actually a long time to check your partner’s fidelity

Let’s get to the heart of the matter, shall we? Dr. Phillips says that if you’re thinking of ways to test your partner’s devotion to you, it means you already don’t feel secure in the relationship.

It can be the result of any number of things, and not all of them may even be related to your current partner. “[The] The partner taking the loyalty test may have grown up in a family dynamic where there was avoidance, trauma, or lack of nurturing from their parents or guardians. Therefore, since they haven’t received the love and nurturing of their parents or guardians, all of that energy is projected onto their current partner, causing them to have an anxious attachment style,” explains Dr Phillips.

It’s also possible that your insecurity stems from some aspect of your current relationship. “There is usually something going on in the relationship, where the person does not trust their partner. This can be due to past infidelity within the relationship or infidelity in past relationships. It can also be due their partner is flirting with others,” says Dr. Phillips.

In other words, if you are looking for a fidelity check, it is because some aspect of the past relationship or relationships is already making you feel insecure. But listen to this, okay? Testing your relationship will not solve the root of this insecurity. In fact, it could mean the tumultuous end of your relationship.

[A loyalty check] can be toxic in a relationship as it can create a power struggle or rift between two people where one partner cannot be trusted and the other would like to be trusted. It’s also embarrassing and shameful for the partner who is being tested for fidelity,” says Dr. Phillips. “This type of manipulation can cause them to leave the relationship.” this insecurity is crucial.

What to do In place a loyalty check if you do not feel secure in your relationship

Instead of going behind your partner’s back to test the durability of your relationship, Dr. Phillips recommends openly discussing your feelings. “I would recommend the person to be honest with their partner about their insecurities and why they find it hard to trust,” he says. “I would also talk to them about the consequences of continuing the loyalty check with the possibility of their partner getting angry or wanting to leave. They may also experience pain and grief if the loyalty check doesn’t work.”

If you have access to therapy, it’s also a great environment to discuss why you feel the way you feel before you open up to your partner.

Chances are there are unique and complex reasons why you suddenly feel the need to beta test your relationship. So take the time to learn about them before you detonate anything good. The warning ? If you want a fidelity check because you’re in an abusive relationship, do what you need to do to get out of your current situation safely. No valiant act of loyalty can replace your health and well-being.

If you or someone you love is in an abusive partnership, they can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3244 for help.

About Maria Hunter

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