People should be proud to show off their partners and relationships. But does it ever feel as if your loved one is hiding you from their friends and family? Or refusing to publicly acknowledge the romance on social media? Dating experts say these concerns come up frequently, so much so that this behavior even has a name. It’s called “pocketing,” which refers to not telling others about someone you’re seeing. It’s like being in someone’s pocket and being hidden from the outside world, even if you’re actually a close, intimate part.

There are many reasons people “pocket” their partners. They may just be a private person. It may also have to do with cultural or religious differences. But oftentimes, pocketing is intentional and malicious, stemming from embarrassment about your partner – and experts say it can be toxic.of their inner world.


Why do people pocket their significant others?

They Are Having An Affair

The most obvious reason for a person wanting to engage in pocketing, is that they are already in a relationship. Perhaps they are married or have children? Maybe they just want to have casual affairs with someone. However, they know this person would never agree if they knew the truth about their situation.

There Is A Cultural, Religious Or Racial Barrier

This scenario happens more frequently than you would expect. People come from different backgrounds but we are all living in a multicultural society. Younger generations are more open-minded than their older parents. The person you are dating may feel as if their family wouldn’t approve of you so they engage in pocketing.

They Are Struggling With Their Sexuality

Unfortunately, some people are still afraid to come out to their parents and close friends. Or they may be experimenting with their sexuality but don’t want their family to know they are gay. They might never have introduced a same-sex partner into their life and that is why you are subject to pocketing.

They Are Still Involved With An Ex

Some people like to keep their options open for as long as possible. Then there are others that won’t start a new relationship before an old one has ended. It’s a tricky time between finishing a relationship with one person and starting a new one. You’re not quite done with your ex but you don’t want to jeopardise this new love.

How to tell if you’re being pocketed

They never makes plans with other people

Your date avoids inviting you to anything that involves his or her friends or family, and never talks about wanting to organize something with them that includes you. They make excuses why you can’t meet their friends and family. Any time talk of meeting the people in their life comes up, there’s an excuse as to why you can’t.

You meet at secluded, discrete places

He or she never wants to hang out in their own neighborhood. Or near their office. Or at an event where a ton of people will be. You don’t meet at places where you have a high chance of running into someone they know. In most cases, they prefer meeting you in your or their apartment.

You’re nowhere to be found on their social media

The secrecy goes beyond not wanting to be in a Facebook relationship, or posting photos of the two of you. The posts you leave on their timeline, the pictures you tag them on or the comments you leave seem to magically disappear from their profile. They don’t post on your profile or leave any clues that you are dating on theirs.

You are never properly introduced

You’re always referred to as a friend or even just your first name. They usually won’t hug or kiss you in front of others, so they don’t signal that you’re actually dating.

Their friends and family have never heard about you

If you’ve been dating for months and no one in his or her life knows about you, it’s a bad sign. It’s not only that you haven’t met any of their friends or family members, but they don’t know that you exist.

What to do if you’re being pocketed

If you suspect your patner is pocketing you, the key is to communicate effectively, and do your best to not become confrontation immediately. The best thing to do is be open and honest with your partner about how you’re feeling.

If you feel your partner is pocketing, ask them about it! It’s important to get to the underlying issues that may be the cause. If the pocketing results from insecurity or an unresolved issue outside of the relationship, dialogue may help. If your partner doesn’t open up, it may be time to re-evaluate the relationship and decide if it is time for a change.