Dawson’s Blog

Why Keep A Relationship Secret?

When you are in a dating relationship all kinds of questions come up, especially at the beginning.  I get asked a lot of questions about this and so today I have some new relationship advice to offer.

The start of a dating relationship can be a wild time as you are both just trying to figure out all the details. Things like:

  • How/when do you tell other people about your relationship?
  • When are you going to make time for each other?
  • Falling hard for someone really quickly

Let’s Start off with Amy who asks the first question:

I’ve been seeing a guy for about a month now. Neither of us have told anyone about the relationship I sort of want to, but he does not.

Why does my boyfriend feel the need to keep our relationship a secret?  Should I be worried?

Anytime there is secrecy involved in a relationship, there’s a cause for worry.

DAWSON: Some people like to keep a relationship private when they’re not sure where it’s going. Still others want to keep a relationship secret because they are also involved with another person, or not completely over their previous relationship. I’m not sure what the exact situation is with your boyfriend, but he may be using you, or he may even be worried about being embarrassed.

Either way, his secrecy should give you concern. Someone who truly cares about you should be proud to tell other people about you.

Secrecy in Relationships is Cause for Concern

Anytime there is secrecy involved in a relationship there’s a cause for worry. Relationships should be about joy, happiness, and love…not secrecy. If I were you, I would tell him how much you’re enjoying your relationship with him, but how difficult it is to not be able to talk about it with those who are closest to you. Ask him if you could tell your best friend about the relationship, and see how he reacts.

On the other hand, maybe it’s okay to not to push your secret boyfriend to immediately “define” your relationship. Some people feel they have to tell the world when they are dating someone. This can be frightening to guys who are often afraid of calling something a relationship, before they are really sure what it is.

Time and communication are going to be your two best friends in this situation. In the end, if he really cares about you, he’ll want the world to know.

Tasha brings us the next new relationship question:

What should you do when you fall hard for someone and in a really short time?

What you’re dealing with is a lot of fantasy and not a lot of reality.

why keep a relationship secret.insideblogDAWSON: What you’re experiencing happens to a lot of people. It’s called infatuation. Infatuation is the emotional feeling of romantic love. It feels like love. It acts like love. But it does not pass an important test: the test of time.

There is nothing wrong with being infatuated, most relationships start there. But you just can’t build a lasting relationship with looks alone. You are probably feeling a great deal of attraction, even though you don’t know much about him. I would be very cautious if I were you, because you’re dealing with a lot of emotion and fantasy, and not a lot of reality.

You’re most likely living off of the thoughts about “how great it would be to have this person love me and care for me” and the emotional high when he begins to show signs he really cares for you.

Over time, you’ll find a whole lot more of who he really is, not what you dream he is.

While it’s difficult to do, you need to slow down your emotions. It’s a very confusing time, and you might be tempted to say or do things you will later regret. Get to know him as a friend, and let him get to know you.

In this situation, time is one of your best friends, because over time, you’ll find a whole lot more of who he really is, not what you dream he is. You will be able to make a better decision about whether or not to get more involved with him at that point. In this case, let your head tell you how to act, as opposed to your emotions.

Download this free eBook from TheHopeLine® to learn more about healthy principles of dating.

Dawson McAllister Dawson McAllister (born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania) is an American speaker, radio host, and author. He is the founder of Dawson McAllister Association and TheHopeLine and host of the national radio program Dawson McAllister Live, which is aired on Sunday nights. Dawson has been speaking to and in support of teenagers and young adults for over 40 years.
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  • mandy

    hi, my boyfriend and I just recently split. My version: he has an ex fiancé, and a close female friend. 1. He has lied to me about the female friend stating they only get together with the kids altogether. Then a picture on FB goes up of the two of them out at casino drinking and no kids. 2. he will not tell this friend that we are involved. He state s that it will change their friendship, that it is difficult to be friends with a female already and he has put 8 years into this friendship and does not want it changed due to telling her we are involved. Now the ex, they met up for dinner, it was a closure discussion I think. 1. when I asked if he mentioned any form even a small remark of being involved with someone he said no, that I am his private life. I don’t agree. 3. Now they are friends of FB. Help I don’t think this is about me not trusting him (that what he says) but to me its about why am I a secret. If he was on the up and up and open that he is involved I would care,,,,but its all so secreative. what do you think? btw we have been involved for over a year.

    • TheHopeLine Team

      Mandy, You deserve to be treated with respect in a relationship and he is not doing that. Thanks for reaching out and telling your story. We would love to listen and help you through this at TheHopeLine. Please call or chat with a HopeCoach that cares anytime 24/7 at 800.394.4673. If you want download our free app to your phone to chat, call, email and get encouraged here is the link to download it. http://thehope.dm/thlmobileapp

    • ericka carter

      Mandy,
      my name is ericka. i think that he is being very secretive and he may be cheating on you with his ex. try to confront him about it and see what he says. if he says he isnt then there s always lie detector tests try that and see what happens

  • Maya

    I’ve been seeing someone who doesn’t want anyone to know on his social media sites because he is in music and wants his private life to stay private from fans. On one hand I get it because he’s protective of his family but on the other hand it bothers me because what if he just wants to appear single? I don’t feel he’s sleazy but I just wish he wasn’t so uptight about how I appear on his page. I notice others will try and flirt with him who are overseas and he says it’s nothing because if it were something, he’d make it private like how we are. So it bothers me that I’m not allowed to be flirtsy and natural but these other random people are. I can’t stand how social media has broken down these boundaries where people don’t respect and just let it all hang out and I see so many situations break down cause of it. Mind you, this also allows us to see things we wouldn’t have been able to before so it can be quite revealing. What is your opinion?

    • Curious/Confused

      I am in the same exact situation… It almost sounds too familiar. I am with a guy who is also in Music and who is also trying to protect his family from knowing about the relationship. I am facebook friends with him but he’s set everything on private so I can not comment on anything for view anything. It’s the strangest behavior, but when we are together, it’s like nothing else matters in the whole world. It is a very confusing situation to be in. I live in Seattle, we see each other once a week. Somethings I think this situation makes it very easy for him to see multiple girls but I don’t know why I can’t let go of the relationship.

  • Clara Brooks

    I been dating someone for a few months now. And I feel like our relationship is a secret not to many people know about us. My friends know about us and his brother an a few of his friends do as well. He has a child from a previous relationship who is very jealous of him dating anyone else unless it’s her. So she holds their child I against him. I recently told him I was going to post a picture on his Facebook page. He told me no because he didn’t want any baby mama drama. I feel like his BM knows nothing about me even though he says he told her about us. What is ya intake on all of this? I just feel like I’m being led on an lied to

    • Leslie Border

      This is what I am going thru

    • ladyluck

      What did you end up doing? I’m in the same situation.

      • Beck Grove

        Me too help

  • Anonymous

    My boyfriend wants to keep our relationship a secret because people already make fun of us because we are best friends, but I think that if we tell people that we are together will make them stop but he isn’t convinced. I want a way to get him to tell people. I don’t know what to do. I’m half hoping that a dude will answer this but either way would be great. Any tips?

    • Brooke

      Trust me when I say this if someone asked you if your dating the guy just say no I’m not why are you asking and if he says something then just go ask your boyfriend if you can tell them 😉 that’s what I did

    • Gilbera Lean

      He is young minded

  • lilyxo3

    My bf and I have only been dating for about 5-6 days,but we have known each other for 1 1/2 years,but since we started dating he has been like,” no don’t tell anyone” and I’m not sure what to do.also he has been going really fast,like he tried to kiss me on our first date,but I didn’t let him,was that the right thing to do?

  • Vette

    I have been in an exclusive relationship with my friend for 3 months. He was the first to say we are in a committed relationship. This is the first relationship I have been in, in 10 yrs, the first for him 3yrs. After a month of dating I told my family and friends about him, he has only told his best friend about me. I have no pictures of him and when i tried to take a pic of us together, he stopped me. he does not have a large family, but the small family he has does not know I exist. should i give him some time or make a run for it? I am really falling for this guy, and I don’t fall easily. I’m too old to try to get over a broken heart. He tells me he has fallen in love with me. I’m scared to death!! I stay single so long because to avoid being hurt.

  • rose

    I’ve been dating this guy for a couple weeks now and he doesn’t want ANYONE to know.. When people ask if we are dating he says no but will flirt with me in public with no problem. He says I love you and we text a lot, but I want to go public and he doesn’t, and I know he doesn’t have another girl.

  • Brooke

    I asked this boy out and he said if we do start to date I would have to keep it a secrect but I have a hard time keeping a secrect kinda please help me! 🙂

  • Tracy Walter

    I was with my ex for four months and he got mad when I told people about us and all that, he hid me from some woman who was at his door, I think he already had a girlfriend, he lied to me and all that, did things that I didn’t like, it was all about him

  • carebear10145

    my best friend has the same problem her boyfriend wouldn’t let her tell anyone

  • Lucile Gurule

    I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 2 weeks now but he wants to keep are reationship a secert only my friend Frenando nows but what if a girl asked him out what can i do know one nows so he will be cheating on me with her someone help me i really like him so what do i do =-O

  • Milli Marklew

    My bf keep our love a secret and I what to tell my best friends but he will not let me

  • Alicia Williams

    I’ve been seeing this guy for a couple months now. We’ve been friends for some time before getting physical. He has two kids but has been divorced. He is a great being and he owns a couple of nightclubs in the city. He says he likes me and I like him and we have been seeing eavhother a lot especially on days when he is free. He investes his time with me. The only thing is I feel like he is scared to tell people we are seeing eachother. He tells me because since many know him people spread rumors and drama. Everyone knows his name. We don’t have a label but we are getting oretty serious. He says he wants to stay on the dl for now but I think it’s because we aren’t official and we both want to take things slow. Literally everyone knows his name. Many women like gold diggers obviously wants him but he isn’t that type compared to his other partners whom I am also good friends with. But I want to know am I crazy to feel like he is hiding me a little bit or should I respect his wishes until we are official. He did say recently I want to see how this goes and see if we can label it. We have both been hurt before and we have this crazy energy attraction towards eachother. Am I wrong for thinking this…help?

  • ScarletHarlot

    You’re living with him after only two months together? And he’s just out of a 19 year relationship?

    Girl, get your own place, or tell him to move out of your place (I’m guessing he moved in with you since he left his ex?) and take things far more slowly. Even without the worry about his ex, that’s so fast to take things when you barely know each other. Add in the mistrust about whether he’s honest with his ex, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

  • Whatisit

    I’ve caught my boyfriend on two different occasions telling other guys they could visit him depending on how their relationship progressed. Yes I looked at his email/facebook. He says I don’t trust him, how can I trust him? When I start to he pulls this Crap. And he would tell his ex “you know how I feel about you”

  • vanessa

    i have been dating this guy for a year now and i recently found out that he has a gf… but now what i don’t understand is the fact that he asked if we should keep our relationship secret. for what reason i don’t know. why the change all of the sudden because it was no secret before but now things have changed.

  • Lilly

    My boyfriend wants to play golf and I want him to stay over. We hardly get to see each other let alone spend the night is he cheating or am I think more into it

  • It does sound like he is not being completely truthful. We are here for you if you want to talk about it – http://www.thehopeline.com/gethelp/ We also have a free eBook about dating that has great tips and insights. http://info.thehopeline.com/relationships-dating

  • mel

    I have been dating a guy for 3 months now and we seem so fine together like we do everything together but its kind of strange when we upload a status or picture on social media everything is hidden on his wall like he doesn’t want anyone to see what is going on with us. we all know social media is the best way to show off.

  • Beck Grove

    Hi I have been with my bf for a month and a bit and found txts to his ex which are dirty and them saying that they loved each other when I asked him to explain he said if he doesn’t go along with it she won’t let him see his daughter anymore and if she finds out about me she will not let him see his daughter as well. Do I believe him and continue our relationship or leave him how far would he go to see his daughter his ex comes over with the daughter and stays the night at his house as well he said he was going to end it and shoe me proof asap. Please help

  • klross

    ive been dating a guy and he told me not to tell anyone not my friend or nothing…it sucks because i really wanna tell my freind

    • Anonymous

      HI klross,
      If it is this big of a secret, you should stop dating him. But to be honest, he can not force you to keep YOUR life a secret. If you want to tell your loved one’s about your life ,go right ahead.
      You should dump this guy.

  • Kiri Riccio

    My bf at school likes to keep our rellationship secret too and i dont know why i have asked him about it but he wont say why

    • Anonymous

      Hi Kiri,
      I’m a 35 year old woman. Your bf is doing that so he is still free to pursue other girls. If a guy wants to keep you a secret, run away!!!

  • Anonymous

    He is with someone else. You deserve someone who is proud of you.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. He had a good excuse in the beginning, but now his excuses are very weak. Go ahead and tell anyone you want about YOUR life.

  • Heidi boucher

    I sent my friend a pic of the man I’ve fallen in love with. When I sent her the pic his private phone number attached and she took it upon herself to text him and tell him please don’t hurt my friend(me) and don’t play her! My boyfriend could have blocked her or told her not to worry he loved me.. he did neither. When we spoke the next day about this he said no worries!!! A week went by and by Saturday he texted me how pissed off he was at me and I deceived him, I a untrustworthy and he will never trust me again.i honestly did not send his number on purpose nor did I give my so called friend permission to text him.He has told me he loves me more then words can say, so how did our love and relationship go from the most wonderful to he won’t even talk this out? I love him with all of me I’m in so much pain!! And he told me not to text him so I stopped but I have gotten text from him one saying I’ll call you and didn’t and yesterday Kisses to you what should I think???

  • Leni

    Me and my boyfriend are almost gonna make two years in march , a while back , he started deleting our pictures off his phone and off his Facebook and gave me a excuse and I was okay with it , but then he broke up with me and said he needed space to find himself. We were broken up for a month and I was broken so once I started to move on , he came back and I gave him a second chance , but now he’s keeping us a secret and now I’m starting to see a pattern, am I overthinking?

  • Chey S

    I just recently started dating this guy, and he’s been acting kind of weird lately. When were alone, he gets very touchy and never wants to stop talking to me, but when we’re at school, he doesn’t even say “hello”. When I confronted him about it, his exact words were, “I don’t want anyone to know I’m with someone.” But to be honest, all of my grade knows already. The other day in class someone asked him, “Do you guys have a thing going on?” and his response was, “I don’t know.” Should I be worried? Is he ashamed to be with me?

  • Sissy

    My boyfriend and I have been dating now almost two years, First he told me he didn’t put his personal stuff on web sites such as Facebook etc nor would he change his status… it caused several problems and we both got off of it… He also texts other females and says there just friends but I know for a fact one is a gal that works with him and I informed him several times that bothers me but, it always gets turned around like in too jealous…he had no pictures of us on his page either… I’m now dealing with him going on pentrest and saving photos of girls naked it makes me feel uncomfortable and unappreciated in many ways I’ve tried to talk bout this but it ends up in fighting which I don’t like… he has a lock on his phone and says it’s his not mine what he does on it is only his business I informed him not when it causes issues with us… then I get treat with him not wanting to be around me shunning me that hurts.. I’m s honest faithful lady I told him those actions aren’t love… when I mention leaving he tells me he doesn’t want me too I’m so in love with him and very confused and heart broken… I want respect honesty and trust I told him secrets aren’t good he acts like there ok

  • Kiri Riccio

    My bf gave me a ring for valentines day and he hasnt been talking to me since hes been playing games with his friends and like not even talking to me i’m wondering what i should do

  • Lee

    Me and my boyfriend have been dating for three months we’ve decided that we want to keep our relationship a secret but now I want to tell my friends how do I bringing g this up in our next conversation

  • Donna

    I been with my boyfriend for about four years we just got engaged I week before Christmas and the the is he hasn’t told his family or friends about me I think he is cheating cheating on me he says it’s me we don’t go no were he goes back and forth to Lynn were he works and from he ask e to marry him but I just fee its just a game he is playing so he can have me here and do no on Lynn none of his females friends know about me he still texts female like he is single its like I am a secret but we’re supposed to get married next year in May

    • jai

      im dealing with the exact same situation except mines really did have a secret life! you dont need it

  • Crystal Agustin

    I’ve been bestfriends with this guy for a year now and he’s been seeing a girl but recently he ended it up because he does not truly like this girl. Lately, he confessed his feelings for me and I can see that it’s real. In my part, I’ve been admiring him from afar since then but the problem is, his ex keeps on messaging him and she’s friends with my bestfriend’s other closest friends that’s why I can’t just enter the scenario. What should I do? He tells me he really do like me and this is only the time he got serious to a girl but we should keep it private and secret. Every now and then he sees his future with me and I am, too. I just can’t figure out what to do.

  • Melissa Burke

    Ive been dating this guy for 4 months now but we been talking for 5 months. Anyways i havent met his family and friends yet. Also, he has a lot of girlfriends too but many of them are married and 2 are single. They all know about me but one single girl doesnt. I talked to him about it and he says shes senitive and likes him but he has no interest in her. He doesnt eant to tell her now but in a month probley. I feel like if he doesnt want to tell her then he probley likes her too. He even told me he knew her for about 3-4 years now. I feel if he doesnt want to tell her then hes secretly dating her and then hes picking her feelings over mine. He says she will cry if he tells her but i know something is wrong. Please can someone tell me what to do. Im soo confused.