TikTok has a new warning for single people: Beware of Bens. Videos featuring the “Ben phase” have been going viral on the app — and they’re recommending people avoid dating Bens at all costs. So, um, what is the “Ben phase”? Basically, it translates to any period of time where a Ben is your primary romantic interest, or at least taking up a significant portion of your dating life.
The “Ben phase” has been a thing on the app for quite some time. “Phase I recommend avoiding... the ✨ben✨ phase,” user @adelynnbeam posted in February 2021. She added the caption, “If you get this it’s ok u can laugh.” And... yeah, pretty much everyone got it. Her video got nearly 500,000 likes, over 40,000 comments, and nearly 50,000 shares.
Apparently, Bens are the new J names — and TikTok is finding some comfort in the fact that pretty much everyone has been traumatized by a Ben. One video lamenting this stage of dating gained over 1.6 million likes, with some commenters realizing they were currently trapped in the Ben phase. “I am in the Ben stage I repeat ✨ IN THE BEN STAGE ✨ I’m scared now,” one user wrote.
Though the phenomenon isn’t new, it seems like Ben phases are still plaguing people on the app. On Feb. 9, 2023, @iamgubster posted, “seeing any girl go through her ‘ben’ stage,” while lip syncing, “You’d better run” from Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over.”
Here are some of the best “Ben phase” videos on TikTok:
In all of these viral videos, the comments sections seemed to be nearly unanimous, with everyone discussing their own Ben phases. “We all had a ben phase huh?” one commenter asked. (Her comment has over 20,000 likes.) A different commenter added, “we don’t talk about it!”
Apparently, the pain of a Ben phase can linger. “i still haven’t recovered,” one TikToker explained. “my ben stage ruined me,” another wrote.
Here’s hoping that everyone currently going through their Ben phase is staying strong — and good luck to all the Bens out there. As one TikToker @ben put it, “I feel attacked.” (Who could blame him?)