There are lots of reasons to keep a relationship on the down-low. We’re not here to judge why or who’s right. Naturally, cheaters hide their relationships, but they aren’t the only ones. Keeping a secret relationship is tough, but it can succeed if you put in the effort to keep it hidden. Being vigilant all the time isn’t for everyone.
If the relationship is legit, why not just let people know? Well, we can think of more than a few types of couples who might not want the world to know their business. Keep in mind, we use the terms interchangeably, but there are differences between a private relationship where you don’t volunteer anything and a secret relationship you actively work to hide.
- The social stigma or repercussions of some relationships is enough reason to keep your partner hidden from the world. Anyone who’s lived in the south can tell you that some relationships, like interracial or gay couples, can be harder to maintain in public than others.
- Employers may fire coworkers who date or marry. Sometimes people will even act against a couple they dislike in an illegal and discriminatory manner. No one likes to hear it, but it’s still sadly true.
- Some people, like celebrities, just enjoy their privacy and don’t like to share every detail with the world. Others have very crazy stalkers or exes and want to keep their new love interest safe. It’s not always an option to shout your love from the rooftops without unnecessary risks.
- BBWs (Big Beautiful Women) have faced a social gauntlet more than a few times. They may have spouses that fear the judgment of peers and employers who see their plus sized wives as something other than merely the woman who they love. It’s especially true when the husband is very handsome.
- The same thing happens to couples with very different ages or social demographics. A boy from the wrong side of the tracks still can’t marry a wealthy woman for love without some alarming and hurtful questions arising with the family. Likewise, when a former stripper marries a man with a good job, especially an older man, people make certain assumptions.
What If You Get Caught
You might take every precaution and still get caught. A fluke, like planning to stay at the same B&B where your aunt’s stepson takes his wife for their anniversary every year, could expose you. You need to understand that it can, and does happen.
A good cover story isn’t always enough. If someone confronts you, there are only two paths to take, and one of them can fail catastrophically.
First, you can try to discredit the person who catches you. It’s not nice, and it can backfire if you aren’t convincing enough. Moreover, people will still have it in their heads that you could be hiding something even if they think you’re not. The point is still that they are thinking about it.
Second, you can confess. It might be enough to throw yourself on their mercy and ask them not to share. At least you won’t be lying or hurting an innocent person to keep your secret. If the worst happens, then there’s not much you can do about it other than knowing in advance how you will handle it.
Talk to your partner about this. Make sure you both know what to expect if things go badly. Decide if it means ending the relationship in advance. If there’s real love and you want to be together, then it might be better to change some things about your life. You can move somewhere more tolerant or change jobs. No one wants to uproot their whole lives on a fluke, but it may be worth it.
Stand Up For Yourself
You could also take it a step further and move preemptively. Choosing to be together come hell or high water is a huge step, but people do it all the time. This is braver, but also a much less popular or practical decision. It’s hard to stand your ground.
Literally or figuratively come out of the closet and lay it on the line. If your biggest worry is social disapproval, then it’s probably worth the repercussions. Unless it means a grisly death (unlikely), then there might be a way to make it work so you can be together.
Save Yourself The Trouble
Being cautious isn’t a bad choice, especially if your history hasn’t been filled with peace and harmony, not to mention supportive communities and families. Whatever your reason to keep your bedroom activities undercover, there are some simple steps you can take to keep things that way.
- Don’t Kiss & Tell: This might seem obvious, but love can make people do crazy things. If you genuinely don’t want anyone to know you need to start by not telling them what you’re doing. Yes, even your BFF or your therapist can spill the beans in a moment of human weakness.
- Sweep For “Incriminating Evidence”- Always double check your home for any signs of a recent tryst or long term secret spouse. If anyone knows where you live, then, you’ll have a visitor eventually. What they see can hurt you. If you’re a macho guy and your down-low live-in girlfriend bought some lace curtains and painted the walls pink it’s going to be obvious something is going on. Have a cover story for permanent changes like these and make sure she didn’t leave her panties on the couch last night.
- Before You Walk Out The Door- Always give your body a once over as well. Look for love marks, lipstick and the smell of perfume or cologne that’s not yours.
- Watch The Car- Not only do you need to get the evidence out of your car but if you drive around together, you may be spotted. Telling people you moonlight as an Uber driver only works sometimes, and not if your secret lover is always in the passenger seat when you head out.
- If You Must Go Out- Avoid conspicuous places. Large crowds are more likely to contain people you know. Sports are terrible for secrecy because they often have video cameras in abundance.
- Don’t Do PDA- Holding hands, kissing, and cuddling are all wonderful. They are also all something you don’t usually do with other adults. Public displays of affection are a dead giveaway.
- Dates- If you want to go out with someone you care about, but don’t want to get caught, then you need to get a little further from home. Avoid your neighborhood and if possible, your whole town. Propose a romantic getaway somewhere far away instead. Otherwise, you’re better off staying in and watching movies or having a candlelit dinner with the curtains closed.
- Long Distance- The best option for a secret romance may be to take it on the road. Have your secret lover somewhere the people you know don’t live or visit.
- Use Another Name- Use a different name for your sweetie on your phone. Also, set up alternate email accounts so you aren’t getting love letters at work or anywhere else people might see it.
- Speaking of Love Letters- Don’t leave any of your accounts open or visible. Certainly, don’t change your facebook status to reflect your commitment.
- Follow Your Instincts- If your guts are telling you something is wrong, pay attention. Try not to slip into unnecessary paranoia, but do look over your shoulder. Most of the time, those feelings may turn into nothing, but always follow up when something seems off.
- Don’t Change Your Behavior- If you used to go out to lunch with Bob every Wednesday, don’t ditch Bob for your new secret crush. Changes in your routine and behavior are easy clues that you’re up to something.
- Same Page- Make sure that you are both aware of the secret and all the tactics for keeping it. Your loose lips aren’t the only ones that might sink this relationship. One great way to do this is to find a partner who wants a secret relationship. Try dating sites like No Strings Attached. Those participating on the dating site tend to be discreet. Check it out Here.
- Be Certain- A secret relationship can be delightful and mysterious, but it can also be a headache at times. Make sure you and your undercover lover are both prepared to deal with the extra stress.
- Have a Cover Story- That’s right, we said it, make something up. If you need to get away, or you have to avoid nosy but well-meaning parents, trying to set you up, then you need a good cover story.
- Just In Case- If you’ve already told a friend, make that confidante into your alibi. Ask them to help you keep your secret if you can trust them. Sometimes a good friend watching your back can be a real lifesaver. It’s always risky to bring someone else in on the matter, but it can also be a relief.
Hopefully, whatever makes you feel you have to hide will eventually stop being a problem. Sadly, that’s just not very likely. For most people, a secret relationship isn’t something they can casually bring to light. Whether you’re in an unhappy marriage, you can’t end, or afraid of someone hurting your love, secret relationships aren’t going to stop happening.