The phrase “if he wanted to he would” is only applicable in certain situations, where the man is disinterested and not putting anywhere near the amount of effort the woman is into their relationships.

But when TikTok started using the phrase to compare relationships and every little thing their boyfriends are or aren’t doing, the phrase turned useless and very toxic.

For example, if one girl hops on social media and brags that her boyfriend waits on her hand and foot for a week during her period, that ends up raising standards for every other man with a girlfriend, because other women see that and respond “well my boyfriend doesn’t do that” and get hit with “if he wanted to he would.” There isn’t anything wrong with men who don’t do that, but social media makes them out to be bad men neglecting their woman maliciously and thus a new expectation is born.

This doesn’t work the other way around, though. If a woman makes dinner for her man every night and brags about it on social media, she’s called a pick me because “he’s a grown man, he can fix himself a sandwich.” Which is absolutely true, and there’s nothing wrong with women that don’t do that, but it goes to show how quickly women will shut down anything that could potentially raise standards for them, while expecting more of men simultaneously.