Romantic Relationships in the Era of Online ‘Loyalty Testers’

A lack of trust in their romantic partners is pushing a lot of people to use online ‘loyalty testing’ services that flirt with partners and try to get them to cheat.

At the beginning of this year, online ‘loyalty testers’ began trending on Vietnamese social media, and today a simple search yields thousands of results for both paid testers and ones who offer their services free of charge. There are hundreds of them on Facebook alone, a platform that remains very popular in Vietnam, and more than half of them provide the service for free. However, psychologists warn that this type of partner loyalty testing may have unforeseen negative consequences on a relationship.

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Technology has made interacting with people easier than ever before, and that includes cheating on your romantic partner. Hanoi-based psychologist Tran Huong Thao claims that the low level of commitment young people nowadays have in their romantic relationships has caused the level of trust to drastically drop, and that has fueled the meteoric rise of online loyalty testers.

The idea behind loyalty testing services is pretty straightforward. The ‘tester’ will approach the ‘target’ on social media in a flirty manner, trying to get them to engage them romantically. The target is considered ‘baited’ when they tell the tester that they are single or when they start to openly flirt with the tester. Some cautious targets reportedly last for months, but the most persistent testers will keep trying until they succeed in baiting them.

27-year-old Manh Hung, who provides loyalty check-ups in both English and Korean so he can serve foreign customers as well, told VN Express that “26 out of 30” targets fall for his tricks, by sending him bolder-than-acceptable text messages which he shows to his clients as proof.

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Many loyalty testers dedicate a great deal of time and attention to creating multiple fake profiles catered to the preferences of various types of people. In some, they appear soft to target men who prefer feminine women, and in others, they come off as energetic, or mysterious. They choose what profile to engage with based on the information provided by their clients.

23-year-old Pham Minh Ngoc charges VND200,000 ($8.2) per target, and claims to get contacted for her services by over 100 people per day. Most of her clients are aged between 16 and 25.

Despite the growing popularity of loyalty testing services not only in Vietnam but around the world, many psychologists believe that they are destroying relationships. In some cases, the targets end up finding out that they have been set up by their partners, sometimes their wives, and they are the ones who end the relationship because they can’t accept the lack of trust.

It is this lack of trust that fuels the loyalty tester market, and experts believe that if one or both partners in a relationship lack trust, that relationship is destined to doom. And besides, it’s not like if a partner “passes” a loyalty checkup they are guaranteed to be faithful. They may simply not have been interested in the tester, or they may have heard about this sort of service and are cautious about what they say online.

Psychologists believe that online loyalty testing services ultimately do more harm than good, because they are based on a lack of faith in people’s romantic partners, and that always has disastrous consequences. But hey, if that doesn’t sound like a problem, there is even a platform where you can hire models to flirt with your partner.

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