3 Significant Differences Between A Private Vs Secret Relationship

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couple hiding their faces behind a paper with a question mark on it

Being "official" carries a lot of weight in a new relationship and being official on social media is another milestone. It's a significant step because you are saying, “Hey world, this is my partner and I’m not ashamed to show them off.” But when is it okay to post about your new partner?

Once you post it, it’s there forever. Even if you delete it, your followers could easily take a screenshot. No one wants to be asked about an ex, or why they broke up.

When you post about a partner on social media, people think they have a right to comment on your relationship status. It also puts your relationship under public scrutiny.

Normally, when you first start dating someone, you don’t expect them to post about you on social media or introduce you to their loved ones because the relationship is still undefined and unofficial.

During this stage of getting to know one another, most people like to keep the relationship private. They don’t want others to know about it since they aren’t certain if they’ll even get into a relationship. It’s common for romantic interests who aren’t officially in a relationship to be low-key until a relationship title is defined.

In the beginning, being low-key isn’t bad, it’s beneficial. It gives you both a chance to define the relationship without any outside pressure.

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Not telling people keeps you from having to second-guess yourself based on the opinions of others. You can express how you feel concerning the status of your relationship without outside judgment.

Differences Between a Private Vs. Secret Relationship

1. Your partner's loved ones know who you are.

Normally, when you’re happy to be with someone, you love talking about them to your loved ones — so much that your family and friends remember the name of the person you are dating, and get to understand their personality. If you know who you are dating but his family doesn't know anything about you, or even acknowledge he is in a relationship, this is a secret.

Everyone doesn’t need to know you’re in a relationship, but his family and friends should. If they don’t, that’s a big sign he's keeping you a secret.

Relationships should start privately so the decisions you make are genuinely what you both want. But as a relationship progresses, it shouldn't be hidden any longer.

You also have an obligation to introduce your new partner to your close friends and family.

If you or your significant other can’t do that, your relationship is on the secretive side. There’s no reason to not want to introduce your partner to others, unless you want to keep the relationship hidden.

2. You engage with each other on social media.

Every post your boyfriend or girlfriend makes on social media doesn’t have to be dedicated to you. At the bare minimum, both of you should follow each other on all of your social media platforms.

Commenting, tagging, and direct messaging each other is fine. But if your partner never interacts with you on social media, that’s a sign for concern.

Why wouldn’t you want your significant other in the loop about what you’re doing? If they’re active on social media and not following your account, this could be a tell-tale sign they want to keep the relationship a secret.

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3. You attend public events together.

When you’re in a relationship, you want to share parts of your life with your significant other by going to important events with them.

If your partner never invites you to any of their events — work or social — or comes to any of yours, odds are they don’t want to be seen with you. They don’t want to go out in public and be identified as your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Another reason someone would want a secret relationship is because they’re ashamed of their significant other. It's a tough pill to swallow, but some people get into relationships with others they are embarrassed to be seen with in public. They aren’t confident enough to love who they want to love, and regardless of the opinions of others, they fear the judgment.

Ask yourself if people know you're together. Others should know your relationship status so it's not a secret. At the bare minimum, his closest friends and family members should be aware of the relationship. If he’s not letting his inner circle know he’s taken, it’s unlikely he won’t tell other girls either.

Secret relationships are breeding grounds for infidelity. Since no one knows whether or not you’re in a relationship, they assume you're single. When people think you’re single, you have the freedom to flirt and date without anyone being too concerned.

Secret relationships make it easier for someone who wants to be unfaithful to do so without being caught by their partner. They’ll be able to cheat freely, while their partner is completely unaware.

Even though others know you’re in a relationship, they shouldn't have knowledge of all your relationship issues. That’s how you keep it private!

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Tamara Sanon is a writer with a passion for covering topics about health and wellness, lifestyle, and relationships.