Richard Slatcher, a professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of psychology, recently spoke with The New York Times about a new trend that has become popular among couples on TikTok.
A popular trend has appeared on TikTok in which couples are sharing the weird and sometimes embarrassing dialects that have developed in their long-term relationships. Videos with “#marriagelanguage” have amassed more than collective 30 million views.
According to Slatcher, the trend is really “getting at ways that we express affection for other people.”
“I think we do this as a way to form connections with other people,” Slatcher said. “When we do this in our intimate relationships, it’s a sign of trust—trust that you won’t share each other’s pet names with the world—and also a sign that our relationship is special.”
Though part of marriage language is that it’s a shared secret, for some couples, sharing their marriage language publicly can make them feel closer. Slatcher explained that self-disclosure, or sharing secrets, is one of the most common ways people create connections.