What’s An Imaginationship? The TikTok Term, Defined
It’s all in your head, baby.
If you’ve ever caught yourself fantasizing a little too hard about your crush, you might be stuck in an imaginationship. This TikTok dating term describes a romantic connection that’s at least 50% made up. After meeting someone, have you ever made up scenarios of how romantic your first date would be, or dreamed up how they’d act if they ever met your parents? Maybe you’ve decided that they’re ambitious, witty, and kind, despite the fact that you only matched on a dating app a few minutes ago (and they have more than one fish-catching photo). Congratulations, you’ve been in an imaginationship.
On the app, the #imaginationship hashtag has 13.9 million views, with plenty of videos describing the slightly delusional form of crushing. But the term actually goes way back to a time before TikTok (B.T.?). An Urban Dictionary entry from 2009 defines imaginationship as “an almost nonexistent relationship, usually of a romantic nature, with one party exaggerating or imagining their closeness; a relationship almost exclusively existing in the hopeful person’s mind.” That sums up most of it.
But on TikTok, there’s an added layer of self-awareness, acknowledging that what you imagined isn’t real — even if the potential you invented is probably better than reality. As TikTok user @fiakova put it, “When you’re trying to figure out how to respond to his dry message because he’s your favorite imaginationship and you like to keep seeing his name pop up.”
Still a little lost? These videos explain it all.
Across the board, commenters were relieved to learn a term for this delusional type of crush. “Imaginationship 😭😭😭 no bc sometimes there’s no SITUATION in it,” one TikToker wrote. Another commented, “‘Imaginationship’ thank you for taking me out of my delusions with this term.”
Some users also gave unexpected advice if you find yourself in one of these situations: Leave the dry texts behind, but keep the fantasy going. “Lol just gotta stop responding and continue dating the him in your head,” one wrote.
Nothin’ wrong with a little delusion!