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4 Reasons Not to Have a Secret Love Relationship

MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor writes on moral integrity especially for women and encourages appreciation for the men in their lives.

There is really no good reason for hiding a love relationship. Love thrives when the lovers spend time together among family and friends in various situations. First comes the questioning, followed by the teasing and broadcasting within the circle; but the best part is the acceptance.

Secret online dating may seem harmless since the friends think that they can take precautions to ensure a safe meeting, but at least 10% of the 20 million accounts are bogus. By the time one person becomes suspicious, that individual may have shared personal information enough for the secret friend to locate him or her. No one will be able to alert the unsuspecting friend if the bogus person shows up.

Even forbidden love benefits from confession. If it ends when the secret is revealed it is probably because it should. So how can we convince someone who is dropping hints, to tell us the story and enjoy the excitement?

Credit: Lola Cox

Credit: Lola Cox

Relationships thrive on (1) freedom, (2) commitment, (3) counsel and (4) support. This article intends to show how these four essentials help to build a solid foundation, and how hiding the relationship can exclude them to the lovers' disadvantage.

(1) Secrecy Sabotages Freedom

Secret love relationships call for lovers to sneak around, watch the clock when they spend time together, create stories to cover their tracks. Their focus is distracted, having to look over their shoulders for the people they fear will see them together. They have to be cautious when answering phone calls or emails.

Developing the art of not getting caught may take more energy than developing the relationship. Consider these disadvantages:

  • Some hide because they want to solidify the relationship before they reveal it; but hiding can sabotage efforts to nurture it.
  • Hiding stifles the spontaneity to make a call and say, “I’m thinking about you.” (There is limit to how much feeling texting can communicate.)
  • Hiding denies the opportunity to show up unexpectedly with a surprise gift.

Without the freedom to ask questions when they come to mind, or give explanations at the time they’re appropriate, many pieces of unfinished business will linger without resolution. Besides, love expressions saved for secret meetings can get out of hand.

(2) Secrecy Suggests Lack of Commitment

A man who has a secret relationship with one woman can have secret relationships with two or three. Why would any of them be concerned if each one is ignorant of his secret games? (It could also be the female who is two-timing the males.)

In the event that one partner is forced to reveal the secret relationship, the other can deny it knowing that there are no witnesses. One could become a helpless victim of the other’s mental or spiritual flaw.

The chances for honesty and commitment are better among couples who let their family and friends know of their relationship. Along with secret assurances, it boosts the confidence to be introduced as the object of someone’s love. Besides, researchers in one study (Lehmiller, 2009) found a link between secrecy and lack of commitment.They observed that people in secret relationships were less likely to consider themselves and their partners as couples and consequently limited their closeness and sense of connection.

(3) Secrecy Hinders Good Advice

Everyone needs advice from a trusted source.

Everyone needs advice from a trusted source.

Most times, the counsel the lovers try to avoid is the counsel they need. For example, teenagers hide the relationship because they fear the parents’ disapproval. They refuse to listen to the parents’ objections because they are not wise enough to comply if the parents’ objections make sense; and even if the parents do not have good grounds for their objections, the teenagers are not capable of continuing the relationship without the support of the parents. They are better off waiting (while they hang out with other friends) than hiding a love relationship they are not equipped to manage.

Adults also hide for fear of disapproval from rival families, from prejudiced groups, from management in establishments which disapprove workplace romances. It is better for the couple to consider the rules, then make the decision to comply or stand their ground together. If they choose to burden themselves with a secret relationship, they may hide for years and eventually prove their advisers right. The sooner they declare their decision, the better.

(4) Love Thrives on Friendly Support

Family members and friends provide an important form of support, when they invite the couple to mingle with other people. The more the lovers watch each other interact and react in different social settings, the more they learn about each other.

It is easier to pretend when there is just one person to impress; the true colors surface in unplanned confrontations during the family dinner or a group dating activity. Sometimes everyone will be friendly and at other times they may feel uncomfortable. They learn how to work together when the odds are against them. They need this orientation to life as a couple.

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They need the support of confidants, one or two people whom they both trust, to help them figure out their interpersonal struggles, as well as the difficulties they may face from the outside world. As their relationship progresses, they will learn to appreciate their support system. They will also learn how to love and trust each other, above the concerns and opinions of anyone else.

There are plenty of secrets to keep, but love for each other is happy news worth sharing!

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Questions & Answers

Question: I have been dating a woman for 5 months now. I introduced her to my parents as soon as we started dating but her parents don't even know I exist. I have let it go on for this long because I figured once we really get serious and decide we will be sticking around each other, her parents should know. Now it is eating me up inside but she says her parents would never approve of me because of job status, race, ambitions in life and who they picture she should be with. Do I continue with her?

Answer: Analyzing the facts you gave me:

1) Her parents would never approve of you; does that mean she will never introduce you?

2) Not being introduced is eating you up inside; do you want to continue being eaten up inside?

Based on your answer to these questions, you have to decide if this is the scenario you want for your life. If not, you don't have to continue with her. It seems that she wants you for reasons other than marriage.

Don't you think that you deserve someone who loves you for who you are? Don't you think you can attract a woman who will be proud to introduce you to her parents? Get a grip. You can do better.

Question: I have been in a secret relationship for 6 years. He hasn't told anyone in his life about us. He didn't want me to tell my mother which I went along with although I didn't want to. He has ongoing problems with his ex-partner trying to prevent him from seeing his daughter. I have never seen where he lives. We have never been on holiday together. He has met all my friends and my children every weekend over the 6 years. Not a single person in his life knows I exist. What should I do?

Answer: Short answer: Get some help in establishing your self-worth and the confidence to answer the following questions truthfully:

Do you deserve to be a part of anyone's hidden agenda?

Have you made him your priority before he is ready to recognize you as his significant other?

What does it say (good or bad) about your judgment that you did not wait until the problems with his ex are solved (for that could be a reason for him to keep your relationship with him a secret)?

Why should he not believe that you are okay with this secrecy since you have put up with it for six years?

Hopefully, honest answers to these questions will help you make the right decision. My grandmother used to say "Don't give up on the woman who makes a mess; the problem is the one who doesn't clean it up." It would help to read the article again.

Question: I am in a secret relationship, but yesterday I decided that I no longer wanted such a thing, and now he is not talking to me. I wanted him to give me a reason why it must remain secret. Why is he giving me the cold shoulder?

Answer: You seem to think that the reason he is no longer talking to you is that he wants a secret relationship and you don't. Still, you asked so he could state it clearly because you don't want to take it for granted. I commend you for that.

If he responds, insist that you end the secrecy about the relationship. That's the right thing for both of you, if he's honest.

If he does not respond, I'm sorry for your dilemma. Accept your loss, and resolve never to enter into another secret relationship.

Question: My single neighbor is secretly seeing two men and hiding her relationships from them. Should I hint to one of them that they're being played, or let karma do her thing?

Answer: What is your relationship with your neighbor? Can you speak with her about what you think, and ask her if she needs you to help her decide what she should do? Without her permission, you may just be meddling and getting yourself involved in the mess.

What is your relationship with the men? Is either of them friendly enough with you for you to give him advice without being considered nosy? Usually, such secrets come to light after a while, and all three of them can learn valuable lessons about respect and honesty in relationships. Meanwhile, stay focused on your path and don't let them distract you.

Question: I've been in a relationship for a year. Early on word got out to her family that I am a former drug addict. Then there were threats of taking her daughter away. Since then, we have only seen each other in secrecy. Her family, friends, and all social media knows her as 100% single. She swears she loves me, but can’t risk losing her daughter or her parents’ support. The longer this goes on, the more I feel like an unworthy joke. What do I do?

Answer: One year is a long time to hide a love relationship especially since love thrives on the support of family and friends. But one year may also be too short a time, in her opinion, to be convinced that you are drug free. She may not be ready to commit. You both have the option to change your exclusive relationship and hang out in the friend zone, for a while. When she is ready to commit, she will convince her relatives that you’re worth it. Until then, act wisely. Don’t force yourself into believing what she says, without seeing the evidence.

Question: My boyfriend doesn’t want to tell any of his friends about us dating so we can't FaceTime when he's with friends, and he never posts anything on his SnapChat story about me. What should I do? How should I convince him to tell his friends?

Answer: You asked what you should do, then in the next breath, you suggest that you should convince him to tell his friends. Really, you're the one he needs to convince that he loves you and that he thinks you're worth being introduced to his friends. So let him convince you that the relationship between you is really what you think it is. Make sure that you're not deceiving yourself. You may want to counsel with someone who can talk with you face to face.

Question: I have been in a secret relationship for 2 and a half years. We have a very loving relationship, everyone in my life knows that we're together but not for him. None of them know about me. He said that he's not ready and afraid that his family will judge me. He is from a really conservative family. He is afraid our relationship will be limited once his family knows about us. I understand his situation but how long do I need to wait for him to man-up and settle it down?

Answer: I am taking it for granted that your male friend is an adult, capable of making independent decisions. If he is not ready to introduce you to his family, if he is afraid that they will judge you, there may be something about you that makes him feel uncomfortable about his relationship with you. You may be stuck in the friendship zone, and have to settle with that, since you consider the relationship "very loving."

But if you want the relationship to progress to your involvement with his family, ask him to give you the details of what it would take to make that happen. If he insists that it cannot happen, then you have the prerogative to end the relationship and move on, or continue being stuck in his secret pocket. I hope that you are wise and brave enough to make the right decision. Talk with someone with whom you can share all the facts, and who can offer you guidance.

© 2012 Dora Weithers


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 01, 2019:

Thanks, Mike. Who has time to bother about keeping the relationship a secret, when you can put the energy into enjoying. I agree with you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 01, 2019:

Thanks, Dream. Good hearing from you. It happens-rereading an old article. No law against that.

Readmikenow on March 01, 2019:

MsDora an excellent article. I would just like to say that being with someone and knowing you are honest. You don't have a secret love relationship because you are honest. You value being honest. You are real and not bunch of manipulative lies. That is a good feeling. It helps you, the person you're with and those around you. You get people's respect. You feel good about yourself. I think that is motivation enough.

DREAM ON on February 28, 2019:

I love reading your advice and little did I know I read it three years earlier. I guess good advice is worth repeating and rereading as many times as needed. Thank you for sharing. Have one great night.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 28, 2019:

Thanks Keneshia. Happy about your positive attitude towards a woman's worth. Please spread it. I'm proud of you!

Keneshia Warner on February 28, 2019:

I enjoyed reading this Aunty. What is hidden in the dark also comes out in the light. We really have to stand for something as woman or we would fall for anything. Woman’s Worth!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 29, 2018:

Happy New Year to you too, Tim. Thanks for your support on this article and all the others for which you took the time to comment.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on December 29, 2018:

I enjoyed reading this, Ms. Dora. Your reasons for avoiding a secret relationship are very solid and make a lot of sense.

I particularly like honesty, commitment, and dedication from my spouse You are so right: anything else contributes to sabotage. Great reading as always.

God bless your talents, and have a wonderful New Year.



Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 26, 2018:

Thanks, Slowcheetah. The cas you describe is understandable. However, that's more like making sure, before they involve the children, not that they don't want them to know; because they children can know but just not be exposed to the show of affection. I appreciate your input.

Slowcheetah on February 26, 2018:

This is a good article with many wise points. Thank you for writing it. However, a single mother or father may hide her/his relationship with their partner so as to not affect her/his children in a negative way. Sometimes, children (especially if they are quite young) don't need to know all of mom's/dad's business. It can also be confusing and even hurtful to the child if he or she has not had much contact with the other parent, and there is suddenly a man/woman in their parent's life that is not their biological dad/mom.

Ideally, this new person will fully committ. But this is not always the case...

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 31, 2017:

Nikky, glad you found the article helpful. I wrote it with a specific friend in mind when I learned that she was hiding a relationship, then discovered that so many other people could relate. Thanks for your feedback.

Nikky Donald on July 31, 2017:

very interesting and helpful

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 23, 2017:

Bodylevive, thanks for sharing your very healthy perspective on the marriage relationship, no secrets allowed. Best to you and your spouse, going forward.

BODYLEVIVE from Alabama, USA on January 21, 2017:

You are right on key in everything you've written. I couldn't have an outside affair, that would be too stressing for me. Not only is it not healthy but someone could get hurt. I've always believed in two people only per a relationship when I was dating. If I found he was captured by another's charm, it was my key to exit and move on. Now that I'm married, my beliefs have not changed and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 26, 2016:

Emily, my delay is answering was not intentional. I sympathize with your situation and I wish that you did not have to face such a struggle. The reason you have to keep your relationship secret may not be your fault; but with respect to you also, it is not a good reason. Hopefully, some type of intervention will happen which will negate the need for secrets. Best to you, going forward.

Emily on June 11, 2016:

No offense but...There are good reasons for having a secret relationships. It seems like there are next to no articles out there that address that same-sex relationships can face serious danger by coming out to their family. I'm struggling in a relationship with my girlfriend, and was looking for advice. While we're out to my family and they're accepting, hers is abusive and may seriously throw her out. We're 20 and 21 respectively, and while she does work and we both attend college full time she's not in a situation where she could support herself.

We don't keep our relationship a secret because it's more exciting or for fun. It's not. But times that we can be together and support each other emotionally make it worthwhile.

I don't know, just something to think about before you paint in broad strokes of "There is no good reason to have a secret relationship."

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 16, 2015:

You are so welcome....I am so very blessed ...not just me but my precious child and her son who are on the planet because of God's awesome God He is indeed...

Once again, know the Angels are in your midst ps

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 08, 2015:

Thank you, Patricia for the angels and the kind comment. May God's favor surround you, too.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on August 26, 2015:

Such wise words especially when you state that covering up takes so much effort...effort that would be well spent taking care of nurturing a 'real' relationship.

And yes, on line dating can be a slippery slope to become involved in. Just something I have not done and have no plans to but I do know some who have done so successfully.

Hoping you have a lovely today.

Angels are once again on the way to you ps

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 21, 2015:

Dream, your statement is the truth. Thanks for your comment.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 21, 2015:

Texting, thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your visit.

DREAM ON on August 20, 2015:

If love is kept secret. It can get very complicated and get out of control fast. Great advice that can save people a life of problems and heartache. Thank you for sharing.

TestingXperts from USA on August 19, 2015:

Thanks MsDora

This Hub post is really good and provided the real reason.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 03, 2015:

Mona, thanks for the humor. Funny how you can know what I'm thinking. I appreciate your input.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on April 03, 2015:

So lovely and full of wisdom, Ms. Dora. Every single part of it is true. If the guy wants to keep it secret, something's wrong. He may have a lot of secrets. I love the way you approach your subject, by showing that being open can actually nurture and strengthen love and commitment. It would have been easier to say "this guy's an sob because he's full of secrets" haahahaha.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 16, 2015:

Amine, you said that very well. To keep it a secret might be proof that you're not sure about it.

Amine from Doha, Qatar on February 13, 2015:

This is why we have too many songs say, you gotta show me love, love is meant to be shared not hidden.

Nice article MsDora

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 04, 2015:

Thanks, Peg. I appreciate your reading and supporting with your comments.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on February 04, 2015:

You've provided the real reason that relations are kept secret and the reasons they should be shared. Great advice, as usual.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 31, 2014:

Aarushi, young women are my biggest concern, but the administration at HubPages does not encourage participants under 18 years of age, so I will give you two truths to consider and hope that you find a local counselor.

(1) I stand by my word, "There is really no good reason for hiding a love relationship." Unless your mother is abusive, her reaction will help you get a healthy perspective on your relationship.

(2) If you cannot stand up to your mother on a decision which you are sure is right for you, you are not ready for a husband.

I'm sure that there are other issues worth considering, so please get help. The very best to you!

aarushi on October 31, 2014:

I want counselling ...m a 17 yr old girl n i have a boyfriend from past 7 months ..he is d guy i wanted n fr sure i ll marry him but m in a guilt feeling that m hiding it from my mom coz m afraid about her reaction...pls help me out..

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 17, 2014:

Rajan Jolly, thank you for your observation. You're right on.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on March 16, 2014:

The essence is that it takes a lot more than it gives. Thanks for sharing MsDora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 26, 2013:

Jan, it makes me happy to know that you can put my article to good use. Best wishes and success with your clients.

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on October 25, 2013:

This is an excellent piece I can use with some of my clients who could benefit from your advice. This subject is common to so many people in secret relationships. It is very well-written, informative, and thought-provoking. Thank you, MsDora, for adding a tool to my counseling kit. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 25, 2013:

See you around then, Benjamin. Have a great day today and always!

Benjamin Chege on September 25, 2013:

Hi MsDora, you're welcome. I do enjoy reading hubs, as they are informative and educative. You can be sure of more interaction. Thank you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 24, 2013:

Benjamin, thank you for stopping by. Looking forward to more interaction with you.

Benjamin Chege on September 24, 2013:

Hi MsDora. Great hub. Voted up and beautiful. I agree with you that secret love is not worth it. It denies one the freedom to spend time together and could make one of the partners feel unappreciated. Some also keep love a secret when they are unsure of the relationship. Nice hub. Look forward to reading more of your hubs.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 13, 2013:

Thank you, Carly. So kind of you to visit.

Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on August 13, 2013:

Well written with useful information and insight. Voted up and shared!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 13, 2013:

Thanks, LoveDoctor, for your comments.

lovedoctor926 on August 13, 2013:

Useful information. I definitely agree with some of the comments here.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 13, 2013:

Abby, thank you for your kind comment. Nice meeting for you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 13, 2013:

Pushpa, thank you very much for reading and commenting. Hope the article helped you in some way.

Dr Abby Campbell from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 13, 2013:

Very useful hub, especially in a time of many searching for love in all the wrong places (social media). Great job, Ms. Dora. :-)

pushpa on June 03, 2013:

v.nice secrets never giveup ur motive gud gud luck

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 29, 2013:

Amanda, you express my thoughts exactly and very well. Thanks for your support.

Amanda Jones on May 29, 2013:

Dear Dora, you have a great hub as always! Good and useful tips!

I support your idea of not to have a secret love relationship, it's a kind of burden that can ruin everything. Living in lies won't make any good, life is much more beautiful when you have nothing to hide.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on July 15, 2012:

PrairiePrincess, I really appreciate you sharing that story. I'm glad thay had the advantage of that room, but imagine the many sacrifices they had to make for the rest of the week. Yea, love has more joys when it is out in the open.

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on July 15, 2012:

Miss Dora, this is such a wise and intelligent article. So true! I have a story that came to mind when I read this.

Years ago, I knew a lady who kept rooms for rent. She had one room which appeared to be empty, at the very top of the stairs. It also appeared to be the most beautiful room. What is the that room for, I asked. That, she told me, was for a married couple who came once a week to consummate their love. Why there in that room? They were afraid to tell this mother about their marriage! And they had been married for a number of years! Can you imagine?

Yes, it is so true that revealing the relationship can only lead to better things in the end, even if painful at the time. Wonderful hub and shared!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 23, 2012:

Thanks, Yaduvanshi. Your comment means much to me.

Yaduvanshi from Bharat Vrse on March 16, 2012:

Very informative hub Dora

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 09, 2012:

LucidWarrior, parenting in this generation is certainly a challenge. I pray God's guidance and protection on you and your children. Thanks for sharing.

David Cook from Suburban Philadelphia on February 08, 2012:

Hi MsDora, very good hub. I have very strong opinions regarding online dating and the subject of online secrecy. All of this has created a new set of social issues. It is a very interesting topic, especially for my childrens generation.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 14, 2012:

Thanks Lady E. I appreciate your encouraging comments.

Elena from London, UK on January 14, 2012:

Very important and practical article. I particularly liked the part about love thriving on friends and family.

I hope it touches many hearts.


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 13, 2012:

Denise, I always welcome your additional insight. Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to comment.

Denise W Anderson from Bismarck, North Dakota on January 12, 2012:

Thanks, Dora. Excellent advise for even married couples to be careful of when interacting with others of the opposite sex. Keeping one's relationships wholesome and clean is necessary even in marriage.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 10, 2012:

Thank you, sofs for reading and taking the time to comment.

Sophie on January 10, 2012:

Great Hub MsDora. Very sound advice. Thanks for sharing!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 09, 2012:

Ulyn, so kind of you to stop by and read. I appreciate your comment. You certainly got the message.

Ulyn Bain on January 09, 2012:

I, too, found the article very useful and revealing. It definitely tells me that if someone is truly/seriously interested in having a meaningful relationship with me, they would not want to keep it a secret.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 09, 2012:

Thanks, Frank. Glad I caught your eye. I appreciate you for reading and commenting.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 09, 2012:

Donna, your comment is very encouraging. Thanks for the vote up.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on January 09, 2012:

Very useful Ms Dora.. interesting Hub.. but eyecatching.. thanks for sharing your reasons not to have a secret love relationship..:) Frank

Donna Cosmato from USA on January 09, 2012:

I liked your format because it was reader friendly and fairly easy to scan. You delivered well on the title and I was not disappointed with the content. This is an excellent read and I voted it up.

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