Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'If He Wanted To, He Would ' Only Works Within A Certain Tax Bracket

Just like your doctor had to scold you for going into a medical diagnosis rabbit hole on Google, I’m here to warn you: it may be time to stop taking dating advice from TikTok. Or at least this specific piece of dating advice that has slowly snowballed out of control. The phrase “If he wanted to, he would” started out as a battle cry for single ladies to remind themselves to accept nothing less than they deserve when it comes to dating. But recently, TikTokers have started to lose the plot.

The simple concept meant interested men would show effort without making excuses or needing to be begged. But what level of effort is reasonable? Recently, some girls have hopped on the clock app to post evidence that their “he” wanted to, and did, in epic proportions. They’ve run with the base-level concept of demanding a two-way street in a relationship and have related it to being treated to a life of luxury.

Don’t get me wrong, I want five-star love from any man lucky enough to get a few seconds of my time. But weren’t we trying to encourage women that the princess treatment came in the form of reliability and devotion, not with a certain number of dollar signs? I’m not knocking the Shera Seven hive because, frankly, she makes a lot of good points on how to woo wealthy men. But the important value of “If he wanted to, he would” has been diluted by influencers conveniently withholding their partner’s financial security.

Because the internet is a place where the comment section can humble people from all walks of life, it’s dangerously easy to forget that we’re all not living in the same reality outside the safety bubbles of our intersecting FYPs. This dishonesty could be misleading to impressionable, chronically online girlie pops desperately doomscrolling for relationship advice. So, are TikTok influencers hiding their wealth for relatability? Let’s break it down.   

Grand Romantic Gestures Recorded For The Internet

@montanaandryanmy love 🔒♬ original sound – leyla ✮

No hate to this creator, but this is the perfect example of bending our favorite dating hype phrase into something a little more superficial. Like, if you want your man to drop a grand on a wall of flowers in a luxury hotel room at a moment’s notice, that’s great, and I’m definitely jealous (mostly of your apparent immunity to hay fever). But we are, quite notably, in the middle of a cozzie livs (cost of living crisis, for those who don’t speak internet). This expectation may genuinely be out of reach for even the most responsible, hard-working 20 or 30-something who isn’t on track to the next Jeff Bezos. This is why the comments include those who point out that sentiment rather than just blanket applause.

“If He Wanted To, He Would” Does Not Apply To Becoming A Millionaire

@joanna_spicerIf he wanted to he would be a millionaire 🫶🏻♬ original sound – Joanna Spicer

As one of my favorite creators, Joanna Spicer, summarizes pretty nicely here, a private fireworks show is probably not a reasonable show of devotion from the guy you’re dating unless he’s one of Nick’s cousins from Crazy Rich AsiansYou can’t genuinely expect Tom from the local dive bar who picked you up with a couple of vodka sodas last night to be able to rent out the entire bar next week unless you guys are scratching lotto tix every night. Even more than that, these flex dating videos are losing sight of the fact that his “wanting to” doesn’t have to come with a monetary value at all. Let’s be honest, half of these men aren’t providing first-class texts or custom haute couture hugs and kisses when you’re feeling down because they’re too busy playing video games with their friends or waiting for you to go back to taking care of them.

Are TikTokers Hiding Their Tax Bracket For Relatability?

@gechinderitu This to me feels like a flat out lie you’re feeding your audience. There no transparency. Ladies, please please please stop blindly believing people. Very few will experience these situations, and thats okay! And please don’t “dump your boyfriend because he’s not good enough” because these are impossible expectations. #engagement ♬ SpongeBob song – chris talbalz

Obviously, what you see on the internet isn’t real, and you shouldn’t apply an outsider’s approach to life to your own without nuance, regardless of the subject. But there’s an inherent trust that comes specifically with girl code (especially as it relates to leveling with each other about dating) that some influencers abandon when they intentionally misdirect from the number of zeros in their bank account. That’s why this low-stakes, high-drama influencer “scandal” (my favorite kind) is gaining traction on TikTok. When Gechi posted the above text with the disappointed Spongebob sound behind it, commentators could easily guess she was referring to the engagement of internet dream couple Lily and Scott. Lily started as a thrift haul/fashion queen whose single girl content quickly shifted to ‘look how hard my boyfriend simps for me’ once she left the streetsAn understandable pivot. Relatable, even. Until her recent proposal shocked her followers with its fairytale extravagance.

@lilybchapmanMarriage era♬ original sound – lilybchapman

@lilybchapman♬ original sound – Cody Johnson

To recap: this proposal was comprised of receiving a muli-carat ring at the end of a private snowmobile ride ending on a mountain overlook while wearing a snowsuit your boyfriend-turned-fiancé bought you, topped off with room service, a human-sized bouquet of flowers and a couples massage!!! Gorgeous, stunning, and obviously very expensive. But when curious (nosey) followers asked how in the world they could afford such an elaborate proposal at the ripe age of 24, Lily responded that her man “prioritized his income,” but going forward, they’d be eating “beans and rice” for the next few months to recover.

The issue with this? Scott’s parents apparently come from a very wealthy background (I mean, duh). Whether or not they gave him the cash for this stunning proposal obviously factors into how two young people could afford such an adventure. And yet, as Gechi points out in her subtle critique, none of that was mentioned upfront or when asked by the influencers. If Donald Trump didn’t have to release his tax returns to Congress, nor do influencers to random on the internet. However, a little transparency on your or your partner’s resources could level the single community’s expectations of “If he wanted to, he would” back to earthly proportions. Because sometimes it’s actually more like, “If he wanted to and his parents already own three different homes on the coast, he would.” That’s just life.

Marissa Dow
Marissa Dow
MARISSA is a trending news writer at Betches. She's more than just another pop-culture-addicted-east-coaster-turned-LA-transplant...she's also an upcoming television writer and aspiring Real Housewife (whichever comes first). Live, laugh, balegdah.