Imaginationship: The TikTok Trend We've All Probably Been Guilty Of

Has it happened to you? You've been chatting online with someone for a while without actually meeting IRL, and things seem to be almost perfect. they're respectful, kind, thoughtful, interested in you, and funny. Then one day you realize that you get excited to turn on your phone every day, because you know you'll get to talk to them. Then, you start to anticipate their messages, but get upset when you have to wait. Your mood is almost entirely subject to your online conversations with this person! The problem is, you're not exactly in a relationship, are you? You're just talking, but they've seeped into your head, and they're taking up some space rent-free.

We're all guilty of finding ourselves in this scenario, and it even has a name: an imaginationship. It's like we made up the entire relationship in our heads. In fact, that's the definition of the term according to Urban Dictionary, which defines it as, "An imaginary relationship that someone makes up in their head because they are secretly very deeply in love with someone else. It falls somewhere between crush and stalking."

If you've felt this way, you're not alone: TikTok has got your back, with tons of users sharing their experiences with the love that never was. 

Does dating other people feel like cheating?

We've all got crushes. That hottie at the gym, library, coffee shop, or even your neighbor down the hall; we've all been guilty of imagining what a relationship with them might be like. Heck, there's even an entire Reddit section dedicated to this, so you're not alone. Because of the way society conditions cisgender women, it's really easy for us to develop crushes on people who may not be suitable for us. As popular Twitter user and feminist thinker @emrazz puts it, we can develop imaginationships when someone shows us basic human decency, masking the fact that they're actually, as she says, "generally a cruel f***ing person."

As if every episode of MTV's "Catfish" hasn't warned us enough, just because you're talking to someone every day doesn't mean they're the person for you. In fact, when it comes to imaginationships, you are probably filling in the blanks to make them your perfect partner. How do you know if you're in an imaginationship? There are lots of warning signs to look out for, per Thought Catalog, like if you catch yourself having an entire conversation with them in your head. The outlet also suggests that if dating other people feels like cheating, or if you're telling your dates that you're actually seeing someone else, you might be in an imaginationship. TikTok users are dealing with this exact effect, and their videos are highly relatable. 

TikTok is obsessed with the imaginationship

Just as we expected, TikTok always has its finger on the button when it comes to trending relationship issues, and #imaginationship is no different, with the hashtag garnering well over a whopping 14 million views on the platform. Popular accounts are seemingly obsessed with the term, as women keep posting videos expressing just how disappointing an imaginationship truly is while being unable to break free. User @ccnicoleeeee has a really popular, brief TikTok video where she writes that a text from her favorite imaginationship may be boring, but she still wants to respond because she likes "seeing his name pop up."  User @gold_jules says the same thing in her TikTok with over 345k likes, noting that she feels the need to keep the conversation going with her imaginationship even though it's just dull. User @lilaclaurel proudly proclaims in her popular video that "situationships are out, imaginationships are in." The delusion is real for user @eringibney when she says she won't get over seeing her imaginationship post a photo with another guy. But we are obsessed with @frazzledsongwriter's video where she writes an entire piano ballad about her imaginationship, singing, "there's a subconscious part of me that wants to preserve the delusion, so there must be a conclusion, but you're my obsession!"

If you're engaging in a little romantic delusion, let this be your sign to wake up.