Boyfriend in Reunion Video Responds to Being Compared to ‘Couch Guy’

  • After four months apart from her boyfriend, Meagan Glesmann decided to give her a surprise.
  • He posted a video of the surprise on TikTok, which received 18 million views.
  • The couple was heavily criticized for her reaction, but they learned to deal with it.

When Meagan Glesmann, a 21-year-old college student from Winnipeg, Canada, came home from a four-month trip to Hawaii, she decided to surprise her boyfriend by attending a social event without telling him in advance. that he came back.

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Matthew Boyle, 22, was filmed by his girlfriend as he walked over to give her a hug. Glesmann thought her shocked look in the video was “hilarious” and decided to post a 17-second clip of the surprise to her TikTok account.

But things changed when Glesmann, who has 8,500 followers on TikTok and often gets thousands of views per post, went viral in a matter of days. The video got 18.5 million views, shocking her.

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Glesmann and Boyle told Insider that they are occasional TikTok users and don’t know about most viral trends or memes, and that they don’t know what to do after they go viral.

Photo by Glesmann and Boyle

Meagan Glesmann and Matthew Boyle

Meagan Glesmann and Matthew Boyle

Viewers were quick to compare the video to previous similar viral moments, but it wasn’t positive

Glesmann and Boyle told the old Insider that they were happy to see each other, and that despite Boyle’s initial reaction, the night wasn’t awkward, and he cautioned her that he was “processing” the situation.

But Glesmann’s TikTok audience saw nothing happen between the pair after the cameras stopped rolling, and their response to her short video was fierce.

As the video began to gain more views, commenters analyzed Boyle’s reactions and body language, making her look “guilty” and saying they were “disturbed” to see her. Some commenters suggested that her response was that he was cheating on her while she was away.

Many commenters compared Glesman’s video to a similar clip that went viral in September 2021. It follows a woman in college who surprises her boyfriend but refuses to get off the couch he’s sitting on, sparking a heated argument about the nature of their relationship. , and widespread speculation about his allegiance. He quickly became famous as “The Couch Guy” and the video has been viewed by 50 million people.

Some viewers who saw Glesman’s video said they thought the video was a deliberate parody or remake of the “Couch Guy” video, specifically the use of Ellie Goulding’s “Still Falling for You.” But Glesmann had never heard of the original recording and chose to use the song after seeing its popularity under the hashtag #longdistancerelationship.

“When I posted it and people started commenting, I was like, ‘What’s the guy with the couch?'” he told Insider. He said he was disappointed when he saw it and realized the comparisons weren’t positive.

“I must have shed a few tears,” she told Insider.

A lot of viral exposure can expose the people at the center of these clips to online abuse

Nearly three months after the original “Couch Guy” exploded on TikTok, the man in the video wrote an anonymous op-ed in Slate Magazine describing his experience of reaching that level of fame. She said online hate has left her with “invasions of my privacy” and “threats of doxxing.”

Glesmann and Boyle told Insider that it was difficult for them to receive the overwhelming influx of negative comments on their videos.

Online commenters are constantly mocking their relationship.

When Glesmann posted a short compilation of photos from her and Boyle’s three years together on October 13, commenters on the post expressed doubts about how happy their relationship was, saying they were trying to cover up or “justify” their problems. . relationship.

The couple told Insider they hope people will comment on everything they post. “It’s sad, but you have to expect it,” Glesmann said.

“People are on these apps for entertainment, and when you see a video that goes viral, you’re going to have an immediate opinion about it,” Boyle added.

The couple said they have become sensitive to many negative things. “I was so sick of the first few comments, but then there were too many,” Glesmann said.

Boyle told Insider that after a few days, he tried to simply “brush off” the online hate and move on. “I haven’t lost any sleep over it,” he said.

He continued, “It’s funny how something so innocent has turned into something so big, but it doesn’t affect me at all.”

For more similar stories, check out Insider’s Digital Culture team reporting here.


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