New relationships are exciting! Usually, we can’t wait to let everyone know, change our Facebook status and spend all our time with our new flame.
But sometimes just when you’re ready to make every profile picture be a couple shot, your partner stops you: “Let’s just keep this a secret between us.”
When a relationship’s secret, it might add to the excitement for awhile — you sneak around to new places, come up with secret meeting spots and maybe even have code names. Your relationship is something just the two of you share.
It’s understandable to want to wait a couple weeks before telling the world. However, if you or your partner wants to keep it a secret indefinitely, you might think twice about why you’re not ready to share.
I want to build a relationship without other people butting in.
This is a common excuse, but actually can have the opposite effect. When you’re not openly forming a connection, it makes it harder to lay a solid foundation as a couple. It also shows that both of you are good at keeping things from people, which doesn’t exactly build trust.
I just broke up with my last boyfriend/girlfriend.
Again, if it’s right after a break up, you might want to give it a week or two out of respect for the ex. However, if it goes on any longer, there’s probably a different reason. Are they still into their ex? Do you really want to be with someone else?
When people really think about it, they often find they are keeping the relationship a secret because they don’t like the other person that much or knew they shouldn’t be together.
Eventually, the secret must come out.
If it doesn’t feel right to keep your relationship a secret, it probably isn’t. Communicate about your needs and know that if one of you is determined to keep the relationship quiet, it may be time to move on.
Keeping a relationship secret can have the same effects as hiding any other part of who you are — it can make you feel anxious, isolated, insecure or jealous. That’s not how a healthy relationship should make you feel.
What’s been your experience?
Have you or someone you know kept a relationship secret? Why? How did it turn out? Do you have advice for someone going through it?
Do you need to talk to someone about your secret relationship? Our peer advocates are here to chat 24/7!