I'm sure you've all been asked before, "What's your guilty pleasure?" as part of an icebreaker or something. And you probably said something really dumb, like, "Sometimes I listen to Taylor Swift," or, "I still enjoy watching iCarly when it's on."
Well, those aren't really guilty pleasures. Not compared to, say, watching greedily as strangers' relationships fall apart, which just so happens to be my guilty pleasure.
I love reading relationship advice on reddit. (http://www.reddit.com/r/relationship_advice/) This is where people go when they are desperate. Reddit is already home of a myriad of nerds in need of social skills, so this particular section of the website is riddled with poor communication and awkward situations.
Some threads currently on the homepage include:
"Boyfriend told me he's gay but still wants a relationship with me (female)... how do I deal with this??"
"I'm in love with a woman who isn't my wife"
"Problem finishing and it may be upsetting my gf [nsfw language]"
"Friend lying to her husband. Am friends with husband. What to do?"
"Girlfriend just left me, needs time to think, what does this mean?"
I have no interest in contributing to any of these discussions. I don't have any advice to give to these people. I might read it and think, "well, clearly you should do this..." or, "this is a perfect example of why communication is important in relationships," but I will never say anything. I just lurk. I just watch as some stranger on the internet spells out for you that your relationship is over.
Maybe I do it because I want to learn, for future use. After all, the frequent posters give great advice. Maybe I do it because I think it will help me should I ever need to give a friend advice. Or maybe it's a habit derived from some bitter, subconscious schadenfreude, helping me feel good about myself by bathing in another person's incompetence and misfortune.