Pocketing - The Act Of Keeping A Relationship A Secret

Last updated by Lauren Hart

When I was younger, I experienced pocketing. At the time I didn’t know what it meant, but I did experience it, unfortunately. Pocketing was created from the word “pocket”. The term is new, but the practice is far from it, as I can testify. Pocketing can therefore be translated as “hiding in your pocket”, meaning that it’s a secret relationship...

Pocketing - The Act Of Keeping A Relationship A Secret

What is a pocketing relationship?

As I explained in the introduction, pocketing is the act of wanting to hide your romantic relationship. Of course, there’s a reason for this, usually, it’s because the person doesn’t want to be seen with someone who’s different from societal norms 😅. It, therefore, reflects a fear of what others think, but it’s by no means a reason to disrespect the person you’re dating so much 😠.

You may be interested in this article >>> What are the signs your man doesn't respect you?

How does pocketing work?

The person who wants to hide the relationship acts as if they were single. They never reveal themselves to the other person in public. They particularly don’t want to introduce their partner to their close friends and family 🤷♀️. There’s a refusal to show themselves on social media or to display demonstrations of affection with people around. Of course, not everyone likes to have public outpourings of love, there are people who are prudish. However, in the case of pocketing, it’s a real avoidance strategy that’s very detrimental to the person being “hidden”.

I was barely 18 when I met a guy my age who I liked. To my face, he showed no interest in me, but as soon as we spoke online, he did everything to seduce me. I gradually fell in love with him, and we started a relationship. Yes, but the thing was he never wanted to see me in public. It was only at my house because he was afraid that his friends or family would see us together. In fact, I realized that he was embarrassed by me being overweight. My body didn’t fit the standards he wanted to show off. When I realized this after several weeks, it destroyed what little self-confidence I had...

Is pocketing a red flag in a relationship? - Yes, it's behavior that harms your self-esteem

I can say it loud and clear, pocketing is cruel and shows a total lack of empathy and respect. It’s not normal to be hidden by the one you love for the whole relationship. It shatters your self-confidence and makes you question yourself all the time. Likewise, it causes anxiety, and you’ll always feel that you’re not good enough...

For me, it wasn’t my body that was the problem, it was him! I’m still fat, and although I’ve met men who have disrespected me again since then, I quickly got rid of them. Today, I’m with a guy who thinks I’m beautiful the way I am and doesn’t ask me to change. In short, a normal and healthy relationship!

👉 The problem with pocketing is that we always find excuses for the other person: “Oh it’s nice, he’s taking his time”, “he's shy, it’s not his fault”, “his close ones are never available”, “I don’t like being around people either”... Except that, clearly, this behavior is a red flag! Waiting for it to be made official is useless, you need to react and get out of this toxic romantic relationship...

>>> Discover the signs you are dating a narcissist

How do you fix pocketing in a relationship?

You need to take time to analyze the situation. There may be pocketing at the beginning of a relationship to protect its first few months 🧐. If the situation doesn’t last, it’s just a precaution taken. In this case, you need to talk about it because communication is the key to a happy relationship. Nevertheless, if the person shuts down and the behavior doesn’t change, you need to take the bull by the horns and leave 🏃♀️.

At the time, I didn’t know how to react because I was young, and I didn’t understand what was happening to me. Not to mention that I was emotionally dependent... So he used me until he found a woman he was proud to show off to his friends. I now know that the only solution would have been to leave him and take the time to rebuild myself after the break-up.

We deserve someone who respects us, who doesn’t try to change us, and who loves us for who we are. Even if the person who hides us has a fear of attachment or what others think, nothing can justify this behavior 😤. We need to find the courage to end the relationship and put ourselves first. The saying that it’s better to be alone than in bad company is very true. You love someone for how they are, you don’t have to change them and be ashamed of them even less so 🙅‍♀️!

Editor’s note: You deserve the best!

This type of relationship is extremely violent and can leave deep scars. Remember that the person doing this to you isn’t worthy of you. Don’t tolerate this behavior, there’s nothing to hide. You deserve to find someone who loves you and accepts you fully with your qualities and faults, without trying to change who you are. This experience can damage your self-confidence and create certain fears, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a psychologist to talk about it. Everything that does unsaid remains printed on us...

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!

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Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

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Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist


  1. Only LoveBen Howard
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
  4. Beautiful DayU2
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
  6. White FlagDido
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
  15. With Or Without YouU2
  16. HelloAdele
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
  19. WingsBirdy
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar

How to detect a narcissist?

How to detect a narcissist?

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde