Being Instagram or Facebook “official” carries a lot of weight in a new relationship. It’s become a new milestone, actually. Being official on social media is significant because it’s like saying, “Hey world, this is my partner and I’m not ashamed to show them off.”
The dating game has changed substantially because of social media, so there are many new questions we don’t know the answer to. For example, when is it okay to post about your partner? Should you be worried about him liking another girl’s photos?
The thing about social media is, once you post it, it’s there forever, even if you delete it. Think about it: your followers could easily screenshot a post. No one wants to be asked about an ex or the reason 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 makes your relationship more public.
Normally, when you first start crushing on or 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 knowing about it because 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 title is given.
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.
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 the relationship without outside judgment.
Relationships should start privately so the decisions you make are genuinely what you both want. But as a relationship progresses, it shouldn’t remain as low-key as it once was. It shouldn’t be hidden any longer, and you kind of 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.
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.
Another reason someone would want a secret relationship is because they’re ashamed of their significant other. That might be a tough pill to swallow, but some people get into relationships with others they are embarrassed to be seen with. They aren’t confident enough to love who they want to love, and regardless of the opinions of others, they fear the judgment.
So, is your relationship blurring the lines of privacy, or secrecy?
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.
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!
Here are three factors that reveal whether or not your relationship is a secret.
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 so that they remember their name. Just because you know them, that doesn’t mean they know you or acknowledge you are in a relationship.
Everyone doesn’t need to know that 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.
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 doesn’t interact 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, just like your other followers? If they’re active on social media, this could be a tell-tale sign they want to keep the relationship a secret.
3. You attend public events together.
When you’re in a relationship, you want to share parts of your life with your significant other. That means 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.
Tamara Sanon is a writer with a passion for covering topics about health and wellness, lifestyle, astrology, and relationships.