Secrets are a complex thing. And when it comes to romantic relationships, they can be even trickier to navigate. Keeping secrets in a relationship will cause problems – that’s a certainty. But if it’s the relationship itself that your partner wants to keep under wraps, that can be difficult to handle.
If you’re in a relationship or getting into a relationship that your partner wants to keep secret, it’s important for you to be fully aware of what that might mean, both for the relationship and for you.
At the beginning of a relationship, these reasons might be more understandable, or even sensible for everyone involved. But as a relationship develops, they become more serious and can begin to take their toll on you both. After all, the longer you keep it quiet, the harder it can be to bring a relationship out into the open.
Keep reading for an insight into how you might be able to answer these questions.
1. They’re fresh out of a relationship.
Often, someone can want to keep a relationship secret because they’ve recently come out of another one. They might feel that it would be unfair if they move on so quickly or worry about how that ex might react.
That’s completely legitimate, and you should try to give them the space and time they need to feel comfortable about making things public.
On the other hand, there’s always the remote possibility that it might mean they’re still pining for their ex and nursing a hope that they might get back together.
2. They’re scared of commitment.
They might struggle with the idea of telling people about your relationship because the idea of openly committing to someone scares them. If they tell people about your relationship, then, in their head, it might make things seem more serious, and overwhelm them.
This isn’t a good excuse for not being open about a relationship, but it could well be the reason behind it.
3. Their friends or families might not approve.
Perhaps your partner comes from a conservative family or has parents who have very particular ideas about who they should be dating. And perhaps you don’t quite fit that mould.
This is a tricky situation for them, and you need to respect their decisions and choices, whilst not compromising too much of yourself in the process.
4. If it’s a work relationship, it might be against the rules.
If the two of you work together in some capacity, then a romantic relationship between you might be breaking the rules. It can certainly make things a little difficult, even if it’s not prohibited.
If it could have a negative impact on one or both of your careers, that might be a good reason to keep things quiet until you’re sure that the relationship is worth making sacrifices for.
5. They’re thinking of their children.
If your partner has children, that makes things an awful lot more complicated. You don’t just have your own feelings to consider. New relationships have to be very carefully handled where children are concerned.
People with children might choose to keep a new relationship secret until they’re sure that it’s got a future.
6. They’re not out of the closet.
If you’re in a relationship with a member of the same sex, there’s a chance that they might not be ‘out’ to their friends and family. This is a tricky one to deal with, as it’s entirely their choice when or if they choose to tell the people they love that they’re attracted to members of the same sex.
On the other hand, keeping your relationship secret, for this reason, can really take its toll on you, especially if you’ve struggled to come out to your friends and family yourself in the past.
7. They’re seeing other people.
In some rare cases, their unwillingness to make your relationship public might be down to the fact that they don’t want their other lover or even lovers to know about the two of you.
If you’re under the impression that you’re in an exclusive relationship with this person, their desire to keep things secret might be cause for concern on this front.
8. You have a history with a friend of theirs.
It might be as simple as the fact that, in the past, you’ve been romantically involved with a friend of theirs. Or, they might have a history with a friend of yours.
Either way, it can sometimes be sensible to keep things quiet at the beginning of a relationship like this, until you’re both sure that you’re serious.
But it’s best not to keep it under wraps for too long. If the secret were to get out, that friend would probably be within their rights to feel betrayed, however they feel about their ex.
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