Is it ever worth having a secret relationship?
Whether you’ve fallen for a colleague and your employer frowns on office romances, or you’re dating someone your family doesn’t approve of, you may well be tempted to enter into a secret relationship. But is it ever worth the risk?
When you’ve finally met that someone special, it can be hard to resist shouting it from the rooftops! It’s only natural; you’ve found someone great and you want to share that happiness with everyone. But what if the situation is a little more complicated than usual? Perhaps you’ve developed feelings for your boss but you’re worried about looking unprofessional, or you’ve recently ended a long-term relationship and you don’t want to upset your ex – would you consider having a secret relationship?
How long will you have to keep the secret?
The first thing to consider when contemplating entering into a secret relationship is how long you’ll have to keep it a secret for. You might feel quite comfortable with keeping things to yourself for the first couple of months while you’re both still getting to know each other, but do you really want to be making excuses and lying to your friends and family for the foreseeable future? If you really can’t imagine a time when you’ll be able to be open about your relationship, then you should think about whether it’s worth pursuing it at all?
Are you just doing it for the thrill?
There’s something undoubtedly thrilling about conducting a secret relationship. Those covert glances, stealthy text messages and stolen kisses add an extra dimension to the excitement that’s already associated with the start of a new relationship. It can also help you to create an intense bond; it’s you two against the world, partners-in-crime, together despite the odds. If you’re worried about the spark fading when you stop sneaking around, then maybe it’s the thrill that you’re in love with, not your partner.
Are you prepared to make changes?
So, you work in an office with a no dating policy or you’ve fallen for your best mate’s ex; are you ready to make the life changes needed to bring your relationship out into the open? If you’re happy to consider changing job so that you can continue your relationship, then go for it, but if you know you’ll lose one of your oldest friends or give up your dream job, then it might be worth reconsidering whether it’s the right relationship for you.
Will you end up hurting someone else – or damaging yourself?
When you start a secret relationship, you’ll likely ignore all the signs that the union could hurt other people – and could cause you pain too! Maybe you’ve gone along with the idea initially to make things easier but, after a few months, you may well start wondering why your partner is so determined to keep you a secret? Are they already in a long-term relationship or secretly seeing other people? Are they ashamed to be seen with you? These kinds of doubts can eat away at you and end up destroying your self-esteem, as well as your relationship.
Are you becoming isolated?
Relationships take a lot of time and effort, so it’s only a matter of time before your friends and family start realising that something is up. Whether you end up cancelling football so you can spend a lazy Sunday in bed or start getting defensive on the phone with your Mum, the end result is that keeping your relationship a secret will drive people away and isolate you. And then what happens if it all goes wrong? When you have no-one when you need to have a good moan about your partner, or you go away on an exotic holiday but can’t share the photos? Imagine months – or years – spent not sharing your life with your loved ones and then consider whether your secret relationship is really worth it.
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