The video hit close to home for many netizens who empathized with Carolyn and shared their own experiences with abusive relationships.
A TikToker recently sparked online discussions about abusive relationships after sharing the outrageous list of rules her boyfriend sent her before she went off to college. In a video that has since been taken down, TikTok user @ccarollynn displayed the text message she received from her ex-boyfriend, whose contact is now saved as "mistake" in her contacts. "I thought it would be funny to read the rules my crazy, controlling ex-boyfriend sent me before I left for college," Carolyn said in the video, amassed over 2.9 million views and 631,000 likes within days of being posted on the platform.
According to Independent, the text from the ex began with the title, "Rules for Carolyn: PAY ATTENTION." The message then goes on to list 11 absurd rules that Carolyn was supposedly expected to follow. "Never turn off your life360, find my iPhone, or Snap location," "approve all outfits you wear past me and my mom," "do not come in contact with boys by 25 or more feet," "absolutely no drinking," "no crop tops or tight clothing," "be in your dorm by 9 pm every night and FaceTime me so I know you are alone," reads the first six rules.
The other rules in the list are: "No frat parties, house parties, dorm parties, etc," "no wearing other boys clothing," "no comparing hand sizes with other boys, hugging, kissing, etc"; and finally "never take off the ring I gave you." The ex-boyfriend seems to have been at least faintly aware of how unreasonable his list of rules was as he also explicitly instructed Carolyn not to ignore him after reading his text. The TikToker shared her thoughts on each rule as she read them off. "I don't see what you or your mom have to do with what I wear, thanks," she said about the clothing rule.
Addressing few others with a touch of sarcasm, she said: "I guess I don't go to classes with boys or boy professors anymore, sorry – dropping out... Rule number five – no drinking – guess I’m dying of dehydration I guess." The video hit close to home for many netizens who empathized with Carolyn and shared their own experiences with abusive relationships. "This is not just insecure this is ABUSIVE," commented TikTok user @lindsaygracerz while @justabitalien added: "Uuugh this reminds me of my ex. Glad you bailed." @hellohalal wrote: "Every time I think something’s satire and realize there really are boys like this."
The video — captioned "I wish I was joking" — showed that Carolyn responded to his text with a simple "wtf." However, she later revealed in a follow-up video that this was the point when she realized she "didn't want to be in the relationship anymore – I made that very clear." She also shared that she made sure to get his parents involved. "I did notify his parents that I said that, and that any responsibility would now fall on them because I made them aware. And then I did block him on absolutely everything. I do not stand for anybody to be mentally abused, physically abused... it is never okay," she told her viewers.
"There [are] so many resources available, please do not stay in a situation that you do not want to be in, that you should not be in, you all deserve so much better than that ... there [are] so many resources available, please utilize them," Carolyn added. She has since dedicated many of her TikTok videos to raising awareness about domestic violence and abuse as well as sharing resources for victims.