- Four Reasons Not to Have a Secret Love Relationship
- 10 Differences Between Keeping Your Relationship Private & Keeping It A Secret
- 4 Reasons Not to Settle in a Relationship
- 3 Terrible Reasons to Get Married (And 4 Really Good Ones)
- Terrible Reasons to Get Married
- Terrible Reason to Get Married #1: To Solve Your Relationship Problems
- Terrible Reason to Get Married #2: Because you’re afraid of being alone
- Terrible Reason to Get Married #3: To prove something
- The “Should We Get Married?” Checklist
- 1. You fight well
- 2. You have similar worldviews and visions for your future
- 3. There’s a strong friendship that underpins the relationship
- 4. You see marriage as an exciting option, not an obligation
- Books on Relationships and Marriage
- More Articles on Relationships
- Why is My Boyfriend Keeping Our Relationship a Secret??
- The Start of a Dating Relationship
- Why does my boyfriend feel the need to keep our relationship a secret? Should I be worried?
- Secrecy in Relationships is Cause for Concern
- What should you do when you fall hard for someone and in a really short time?
- Avoiding Heart-Break
Four Reasons Not to Have a Secret Love Relationship
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 | Source
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.
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 hand.
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 ly to consider themselves and their partners as couples and consequently limited their closeness and sense of connection.
Everyone needs advice from a trusted source. | 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.
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.
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!
10 Differences Between Keeping Your Relationship Private & Keeping It A Secret
Lots of couples prefer to keep their love lives quiet and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re doing these things, you might be taking your “privacy” to the extreme by being overly secretive about your relationship.
You deliberately avoid mentioning your partner.
Every story you tell is always about “I” and not “we”… even if your partner was directly involved in the event.
It’s normal to want to maintain some autonomy when you’re in a relationship, but when you have to twist and turn the way you speak to make sure that you don’t give away the fact that you’re dating someone, you know exactly what you’re doing and you know that it’s wrong.
You say you’re single when you’re asked about your relationship status.
When someone asks if you’re seeing anyone, no one expects you to whip out a flash drive with a PowerPoint presentation of “The Entire History of Me & My One True Love.” But saying you’re single when you’re not is sketchy as hell.
Whether you’re lying to keep the attention of the hottie at the bar or because you worry about what your friends will think, it’s still a lie and your partner probably wouldn’t approve.
You’re active on social media but there’s no trace of your S.O.
Not everyone puts their entire life on and Instagram, so it’s understandable that you might not want to upload selfies with #MCM every week.
But if you can’t go a day without sharing your thoughts and camera roll with the world, you can’t tell me that it’s just a coincidence that your partner doesn’t even exist according to your social media profiles.
Obviously, it’s different if your significant other has specifically asked you not to post about them, but generally speaking, it’s a little weird to write status updates about ingrown hairs but not your live-in boyfriend.
No one in your social circle has interacted with your partner.
If you’ve been dating for a year but they haven’t met your friends or family, why the hell not? Long-distance couples get a pass for this one, but for most serious couples, it’s weird when the people who are closest to you have no physical proof that your partner is a real, flesh-and-blood human being. Maybe it’s really because the circumstances just haven’t been right yet, but if you’ve been a legitimate item for more than a few months, it’s time to ask yourself why you’re hiding your partner from your loved ones.
You refer to your boyfriend or girlfriend using a more platonic term.
Do you introduce your romantic partner to your buddies, colleagues, and acquaintances as your “friend?” Do you switch from calling them “babe” to calling them “buddy” as soon as there are people around? If so, you’re being secretive about your relationship.
If neither of you is ready to use labels yet, just introduce them by their first name; if someone asks you about your relationship to each other, you can easily say you’re dating to avoid any awkward conversations without downplaying what your partner means to you.
You hide your partner’s social media activity about you.
Not being a fanatic yourself is one thing, but it gets weird when you start untagging yourself from photos and status updates your partner posts.
everything else in a relationship, communication is important here — if you don’t any photos of you to appear on social media or your boss wouldn’t be happy with you being as being in a nightclub on a Tuesday night, just tell your partner.
If you don’t, it just looks you’re trying to bury evidence that you’re together.
You take your anti-PDA stance to extremes.
Not wanting to stick your tongues down each other’s throats on the subway? Normal.
Jerking away when your partner affectionately squeezes your hand on the subway? Not normal. Not everyone wants to be on top of each other while in public and that’s understandable.
It gets sketchy when you don’t want any interaction with them that would give away the fact that your relationship is more than platonic.
You treat your partner a “bro” in public.
Lots of couples have a “best friends” vibe as well as a romantic vibe, so it’s not ridiculous for you to playfully poke fun at each other during a game of dive bar pool or share a congratulatory fist bump when they tell you about how they nailed their presentation at work.
What is ridiculous is when the only interactions you’re willing to exchange in public are the same ones you’d share with your guy friends. You know and they know that it’s just a poorly disguised attempt to make it seem you two are just buddies, and I guarantee it makes your partner feel lousy.
Your secretive ways are one-sided.
Maybe you’ve both agreed that you’re not ready to let people know that you’re together yet so you’re on the same page about keeping your distance (both physically and otherwise) in public.
But if you haven’t had that talk yet, or you’re going against your partner’s express wishes to make it a known thing that you’re together, they’re probably not cool with you acting your relationship is a filthy scandal.
No one’s actually sure if you’re in a relationship or not.
Even people who are quiet about their love lives still make it known to their friends and family that they’re in a serious relationship.
If the people closest to you ask questions that imply you’re single, either they need to pay better attention or you need to be more clear that your partner is, in fact, your partner.
Sponsored: The best dating/relationships advice on the web. Check out Relationship Hero a site where highly trained relationship coaches get you, get your situation, and help you accomplish what you want.
They help you through complicated and difficult love situations deciphering mixed signals, getting over a breakup, or anything else you’re worried about. You immediately connect with an awesome coach on text or over the phone in minutes.
Just click here…
Averi Clements Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu blue belt. She's currently hanging out in Costa Rica with her cat and a lot of really big bugs.
4 Reasons Not to Settle in a Relationship
Settling is an ugly, depressing word. Few people would suggest outright that you should settle for less than you want and deserve in a relationship. Even Lori Gottlieb, author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, disapproved of the use of the word in her book title, a decision she said was made by her publisher.
But the pressure to settle can be very real, even if it is not communicated explicitly. People who are single after a certain age may be seen as “too picky” and urged to lower their standards. Singles are also ly to face social stigma due to their solo status, a phenomenon psychologist Bella DePaulo has called “singlism.
” From our earliest days, we learn that our worth is tied up in our ability to find a mate; that marriage marks the passage into mature adulthood and is our most important adult relationship; and that we are not complete until we find our other half.
And then there is the issue of our “biological clocks,” an imperative which is regularly placed on women but that recent research suggests can affect men too.
It's no wonder that people feel rushed to settle down before they are ready, or before they find the right match.
If you have ever found yourself grappling with the question of whether it's better to be alone, or to settle—which Gottlieb calls “one of the most complicated, painful, and pervasive dilemmas many single women are forced to grapple with”—read on. Here are four science-backed reasons why you should consider holding out for a relationship that makes you truly happy:
1. Fear of being alone can skew your priorities.
A recent set of studies found that people who were afraid of being single—those who agreed with statements , “I feel it is close to being too late for me to find the love of my life,” and, “As I get older, it will be harder and harder to find someone”—were more ly to prioritize being in a relationship over the quality of that relationship or a potential partner. In a longitudinal study, those who feared being single were less ly to end a dissatisfying relationship, and in a mock online dating study, such individuals were more ly to express interest in dating someone whose online profile included statements , “I love what I do, so I need someone who respects that and is willing to take the back seat when necessary.”
Could it be that people who are afraid of being single are happier in lower-quality relationships because of their lower standards—that for them, any relationship is better than none at all? Not ly. The researchers found that fearful participants in bad relationships were just as depressed and lonely as fearful participants who were single.
Given the importance of social connection to our well-being, it is understandable that we seek out intimate relationships, but when fear of being alone drives our romantic decisions, it can lead us to exercise poor judgment and to choose relationships that are unly to last, that make us depressed, or even leave us vulnerable to abuse. If we take the “musical chairs” approach—“When you take a seat, any seat, just so you’re not left standing alone,” Gottlieb writes—we may miss critical warning signs that a potential partner is bad news.
2. Being single has its benefits.
As DePaulo and colleagues’ research has consistently shown, the downsides of being single are compounded by the stigma surrounding it: Singles are inaccurately assumed to be immature, maladjusted, and selfish, and they even face certain forms of discrimination, such as being more ly to have a rental application denied in favor of a married couple. In reality, however, single people may be less self-centered and more giving than married and cohabitating couples: studies show that they are more ly to help out friends, family members, and ailing parents.
Debunking harmful myths these can help us become more comfortable with and accepting of singlehood in ourselves and others, whether it is a temporary state or a life choice.
Being single is an opportunity to build strong friendships, devote yourself to activities and causes that you’re passionate about, and develop a sense of self-worth and identity that is not attached to a romantic partner’s love and approval.
These experiences will serve you well if and when you find yourself in a relationship: if you feel satisfied in your life independent of your partner, you may be less ly to have the unrealistic expectation that your partner can and should meet all your needs, an expectation that historian and marriage expert Stephanie Coontz argues can erode a relationship over time.
3. The possibility of finding true love may be worth the risk of not finding it.
Settling is the safe bet, whereas holding out is a gamble. There is a reasonable chance that you won’t find true love. But the payoff is so much bigger.
For every story you hear about someone who was too picky and ended up alone and miserable, there is another story about someone who stuck to their guns (despite harassment from friends and family) and ultimately found someone amazing who made the wait more than worth it.
When it comes to economic (and other) decision making, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky have famously demonstrated that we are not always rational. One type of bias, loss aversion, describes our tendency to be more sensitive to losses than gains, even if the amount is the same.
Losing $100 feels worse than gaining $100 feels good, and we’d rather avoid a $5 surcharge than gain a $5 discount.
We may also be biased toward avoiding loss when it comes to romantic relationships, choosing not to let go of a mediocre relationship even if that would open the possibility of gaining a much happier one.
Loss aversion is a close cousin of risk aversion, which involves preferring a safer bet with a lower payoff to a riskier bet with a higher payoff.
Risk aversion may at times be adaptive when it comes to investing and managing your finances, but it’s not necessarily adaptive when it comes to other areas of life, such as pursuing a dream career or looking for a romantic partner.
Would you rather meet the love of your life at age 40 and spend 50 wonderful years with them, or be stuck with someone you don’t really connect with for your entire adult life? If you’d prefer the former, then it is probably worth the risk of holding out rather than settling.
Another cognitive bias that could lead to settling is the sunk-cost fallacy, which involves making a decision what you have previously (and irrecoverably) invested in something, going to see an outdoor concert that you already paid for even though its cold and rainy and you’re sick. We forget that even though we already paid for the ticket, we still have a choice: go to the concert and get even sicker, or stay home and rest: either way, we incurred the cost of the concert ticket and have to accept that loss. Settling for an unhappy relationship because you’ve already invested a lot in it is going to the concert even though you’re sick, or continuing to invest in a company that is doomed to fail. Loss is inevitable in these cases; it’s just a matter of whether you get out now and lose less, or stay invested and risk an even greater loss.
4. Accepting a person’s flaws does not mean having to settle for them.
Gottlieb does make a compelling argument that people are sometimes too perfectionistic about the qualities they want in a partner and as a consequence reject potentially great people for superficial reasons ( not being tall enough) that will not prove to be what matter in the long run ( kindness).
“Settling” for someone who is not as handsome or talented as Brad Pitt therefore may not be such a bad thing. But when you fall in love with someone, accepting their shortcomings doesn’t feel settling. In fact, one of the hallmarks of a happy relationship is our tendency to idealize our partners and even see their vices as virtues.
Rather than picking apart a person’s negative and positive qualities, we should look at the gestalt, the big picture of who they are as a person and how we feel when we are with them. If the relationship feels right as a whole and the important bases are covered (e.g., you share important values), then there is nothing that needs to be settled for.
And who knows, you may actually come to believe that your husband is more handsome and talented than Brad Pitt.
Copyright Juliana Breines, Ph.D.
3 Terrible Reasons to Get Married (And 4 Really Good Ones)
Years ago, I thought of myself as someone who would probably never get married. I thought I was just “wired” for relationships that were fun but ultimately short-lived. I dated a lot, slept around, and always had an exit strategy.
Fast forward to today and as a happily married man, I’m honestly surprised by how easy it was for me to transition to a committed, life-long relationship. In fact, it feels damn good!
The truth is, while I did a lot of work on myself, a lot of it was just looking for a good partner.
I get hundreds of emails each year from people struggling in their relationships. And a lot of those people are either engaged or thinking about getting married. I often want to wave a giant neon flag at them shouting, “Don’t do it!” because getting married for the wrong reasons can have dire consequences–not just emotionally, but financially, as well.
After working with dozens of couples on this issue, I’ve put together two checklists below that summarize everything. The first checklist is the BAD reasons people get married. The second checklist outlines the GOOD reasons to get married. Check it out.
Terrible Reasons to Get Married
Most of these horrible reasons to get married will probably seem obvious and maybe even a little ridiculous. But for a lot of us, it’s really hard to take an objective look at our own motivations and see them for what they really are.
Sometimes, your real intentions are hidden a few layers deep and you just need someone to lovingly shake them to the surface for you.
So here, let me help you with that.
Terrible Reason to Get Married #1: To Solve Your Relationship Problems
For some reason, a lot of people seem to think that something magical happens when you get married and all the fights and toxic cycles of behavior disappear.
This is tragically misguided.
Committing to someone by getting married amplifies all facets of your relationship. So if you genuinely love and respect one another, that love and respect can grow and evolve in a marriage.
But the same is true for the problems you have in your relationship. If you’re bad at communicating in your relationship, miscommunications will only get worse in your marriage. If you don’t have respect for one another, you won’t gain it by getting married. You’ll probably lose it even more.
Basically, when you get married, things can get even better if they’re already good, but they only get worse if they’re already bad.
Terrible Reason to Get Married #2: Because you’re afraid of being alone
Being alone can really suck.
What sucks even more, though, is marrying the next person who comes along simply because you’re tired of being alone—and then they turn out to be terrible for you.
You’ve probably heard this before but no one is going to be happy being with you if you can’t be happy being by yourself. I’m betting nobody ever told you how to go about doing that though. After all, it seems a catch-22: you need to be happy by yourself before you can make someone else happy, but you’re not happy because you don’t have someone to make you happy.
The problem is the way you’re judging and valuing yourself. You’re valuing others’ opinions of you more than you’re valuing your own opinion of yourself. You think your value as a person is determined by who you’re with. Just think about how fucked up that is for a second.
Develop yourself into who you want to be first. Get healthy. Leave your dead-end job and get serious about your career. Get your finances in order. Then find someone who is excited to be with you because you kick so much ass already.
Terrible Reason to Get Married #3: To prove something
Maybe your crazy aunt keeps telling you about how “the clock is ticking” and you’re not getting any younger. Or your father thinks you need to “grow up already.
” Or maybe your parents got divorced and you’re determined to show the world that you’re better than them.
Or all your friends are married now and you want to show them you’re not just the third or fifth or eleventh wheel all the time.
Sometimes it’s a little more subtle but just as fucked up. , some people see marriage as a status symbol, so they get married thinking they’ll parade around town with their spouse and people will bow in their presence they just conquered Westeros or something.
Whatever it is, getting married to prove something to someone—or yourself—is a god awful reason to do it.
“See, look how happy we are together. See? SEE?”
The fact is that a marriage isn’t going to work unless both people are in it for each other and no one else. The world doesn’t care if you get married. Billions of people have done it. You don’t get a gold star and extra warm cookies on the plane just because you’re married. You also don’t get to rub it in anyone’s face for more than a few months, tops. And then what?
I’ll tell you what: then you’re stuck in a marriage trying to figure out if it was worth it after all.
So if any of these terrible reasons to get married apply to your situation, well first, don’t get married. Second, work on your relationship skills. Learn about healthy and toxic behaviors in relationships.
Familiarize yourself with how emotional needs work so you can better get yours met and meet the needs of others.
It takes a lot of time, but it will save you a lot of pain and maybe a divorce or three down the road.
On the other hand, if you can take an honest look at your relationship and say that none of these terrible reasons to get married apply to your situation, then great.
The “Should We Get Married?” Checklist
Alright, so you’ve determined that you’re not thinking about getting married for the wrong reasons, but you’re not the woods yet, my friend.
Below are some of what I’ve determined to be the most important aspects of a relationship that bode well for a healthy and happy marriage.
And even though I’m calling this a “checklist,” I’m not saying that this big of a decision can be boiled down to a few “yes/no” questions and that’s it. But if your relationship doesn’t have these things already, let’s just say that it’s going to be pretty hard to make a marriage work in the long run.
1. You fight well
A healthy relationship is not a relationship without arguments. A healthy relationship is a relationship with healthy arguments.
What I mean is that not only are fights inevitable in even the happiest marriage, they can actually be a good thing for the relationship if they are fought in a healthy way.
That means that, when you do get upset and argue with each other, you try to get to the root of the issue itself and you don’t attack the other person for who they are.
So, for example, maybe your partner blew you off when you really needed them and you felt hurt by it.
Instead of telling them that they’re a heartless fuckface who only cares about themselves, you should probably try to understand why you’re so hurt in the first place and address that with them.
Are you afraid of being left alone in times this? And if so, do they actually understand that? Is there some way you can communicate when you really need them and are they willing to work with you on it?
Most arguments in relationships come from a misunderstanding of emotional needs. But that also means there’s an opportunity for you both to a) figure out what each other’s needs are and b) learn how to get your needs met and meet the needs of the other person.
And so, when done from a place of mutual respect for one another’s needs, this is how arguments can be a healthy part of a relationship.
And when you do fight, it’s important that, ultimately, you forgive each other and you forgive yourself. You don’t keep bringing up old issues but instead, you acknowledge when someone messes up and you accept their apology (and they own up to it and change their behavior). But you also admit when you’re wrong and forgive yourself for it instead of continuing to beat yourself up.
Again, fights are inevitable, so you need to make sure you’re fighting well before you get married. Otherwise, be prepared to deal with either a very short, tumultuous marriage or a very long, miserable marriage.
2. You have similar worldviews and visions for your future
Stop and ask yourself this about your relationship: are your lives going in the same direction and do you share similar values? Or is there friction when it comes to big life decisions? Do your career aspirations and/or lifestyles mesh well with one another?
If one of you wants to be an actor and live in Los Angeles and one of you wants to live a quiet life on a farm in Idaho, well how exactly is that going to work? One of you will have to give up on your dreams, creating a downward spiral of resentment and regret. And then no one “wins.”
Similarly, if one of you wants to spend your money on traveling and seeing the world but one of you would rather buy a nice, big house and stay home to take care of it, that’s also a recipe for conflict down the road.
Essentially, if one of you has to give up on your dreams, your career, your passions, it’s just not going to work. One or both of you will wind up miserable and resenting each other.
And if one or both of you have to suppress or change your values in some way, you’re also in for a rocky marriage.
Things how to raise kids (or if you want them at all), religion, how you handle money issues, and so on.
A lot of these things aren’t sexy to think about, but again, any issues you have now in your relationship will be magnified in your marriage. And the bigger the issue, the harder it will be to ignore it for long.
3. There’s a strong friendship that underpins the relationship
A fact of any long-term relationship is that romance dwindles, sexual desire comes and goes, and life just happens sometimes. So it’s best to have someone you can count on in other ways when these things do occur. You should be marrying someone who’s not just an ideal romantic partner for you, they’re also your friend.
A good friendship involves accepting one another unconditionally, flaws and all. They might annoy you in some ways and piss you off in others, but at the end of the day, you still want to be there for them and you want them to be there for you.
You don’t get sick of each other, but when you do need your space, neither of you takes it personally and you give it to each other.
And maybe most importantly, you think in terms of “we” and “us” and not “you” and “me.” This is a product of having shared values that manifests as a solid, loving friendship. Of course, you recognize and respect one another’s autonomy. But you’re also a team, working towards the same goals.
If instead you feel the other person is always interfering with your independence, then you either have a mismatch in values (see above) or you have some avoidant tendencies you need to deal with (see my article on attachment styles). Either way, you need to work this out before getting married.
4. You see marriage as an exciting option, not an obligation
Last, you shouldn’t see getting married as something that you have to do for whatever reason.
And I don’t just mean someone giving you an ultimatum—“we need to get married or I’m leaving”—although that’s definitely one giant red flag not to get married. But you shouldn’t also feel you have to get married because “that’s what people do” or because you’ve been with someone for a long time and feel you owe it to them.
A marriage—and any relationship, really—is something that is created by two people. It’s a project, not an obligation.
And any project worth doing in life, it can be challenging at times, but it should also be exciting and, in the end, worth it for both of you.
Books on Relationships and Marriage
Lots of people ask me which books I’d recommend for understanding and creating better relationships that can lead to a healthy marriage.
The truth is, most books out on the topic give pretty shitty, vague advice that isn’t all that useful. That said, there are a few books out there that I regularly recommend to people.
My top two are The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix.
If you’re the type who s a more “academic” perspective, John Gottman’s 7 Principles of a Successful Marriage is nice overview of why relationships succeed and why they fail.
And if you find yourself in relationships where you’re constantly fighting with one another, check out Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.
You can also get my free ebook on relationships and learn more about dealing with emotional needs in your relationships.
More Articles on Relationships
I’ve also written a lot about relationships—what makes them good and what makes them bad, why they thrive and why they die, and what you can do to start having better ones. Here’s a list of some of the most popular ones and some of my favorites as well.
Why is My Boyfriend Keeping Our Relationship a Secret??
When you are in a dating relationship all kinds of questions come up, especially at the beginning. I get asked a lot of questions about this and so today I have some new relationship advice to offer.
The Start of a Dating Relationship
The start of a dating relationship can be a wild time as you are both just trying to figure out all the details. Things :
- How/when do you tell other people about your relationship?
- When are you going to make time for each other?
- Falling hard for someone really quickly
Let’s Start off with Amy who asks the first question:
I’ve been seeing a guy for about a month now. Neither of us has told anyone about the relationship I sort of want to, but he does not.
Why does my boyfriend feel the need to keep our relationship a secret? Should I be worried?
Anytime there is secrecy involved in a relationship, there’s a cause for worry.
DAWSON: Some people to keep a relationship private when they’re not sure where it’s going. Still, others want to keep a relationship secret because they are also involved with another person, or not completely over their previous relationship. I’m not sure what the exact situation is with your boyfriend, but he may be using you, or he may even be worried about being embarrassed.
Either way, his secrecy should give you concern. Someone who truly cares about you should be proud to tell other people about you.
Secrecy in Relationships is Cause for Concern
Anytime there is secrecy involved in a relationship there’s a cause for worry. Relationships should be about joy, happiness, and love…not secrecy.
If I were you, I would tell him how much you’re enjoying your relationship with him, but how difficult it is to not be able to talk about it with those who are closest to you.
Ask him if you could tell your best friend about the relationship, and see how he reacts.
On the other hand, maybe it’s okay to not to push your secret boyfriend to immediately “define” your relationship. Some people feel they have to tell the world when they are dating someone. This can be frightening to guys who are often afraid of calling something a relationship before they are really sure what it is.
Time and communication are going to be your two best friends in this situation. In the end, if he really cares about you, he’ll want the world to know.
8 Signs Your Dating Relationship Is Unhealthy
Tasha brings us the next new relationship question:
What should you do when you fall hard for someone and in a really short time?
What you’re dealing with is a lot of fantasy and not a lot of reality.
DAWSON: What you’re experiencing happens to a lot of people. It’s called infatuation. Infatuation is the emotional feeling of romantic love. It feels love. It acts love. But it does not pass an important test: the test of time.
There is nothing wrong with being infatuated, most relationships start there. But you just can’t build a lasting relationship with looks alone. You are probably feeling a great deal of attraction, even though you don’t know much about him. I would be very cautious if I were you because you’re dealing with a lot of emotion and fantasy, and not a lot of reality.
You’re most ly living off of the thoughts about “how great it would be to have this person love me and care for me” and the emotional high when he begins to show signs he really cares for you.
Over time, you’ll find a whole lot more of who he really is, not what you dream he is.
While it’s difficult to do, you need to slow down your emotions. It’s a very confusing time, and you might be tempted to say or do things you will later regret. Get to know him as a friend, and let him get to know you.
In this situation, time is one of your best friends, because over time, you’ll find a whole lot more of who he really is, not what you dream he is. You will be able to make a better decision about whether or not to get more involved with him at that point. In this case, let your head tell you how to act, as opposed to your emotions.
I hear from a lot of people who are struggling with a broken-heart. Some of my most read blogs are about getting over a broken-heart. Not every broken-heart is avoidable, but the two questions I was asked above point to ways to protect yourself. Don’t jump in too fast and beware of secrets.
Relationship decisions are a big deal. That’s why I am asked so many questions about them. So I would always encourage you to pray to God about any relationship you are entering, especially if you have some concerns. Ask God if this is what he really desires for you.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
God wants the best for you. So ask him to help you make the best decisions with your relationships.
Photo Credit: Kristina Flour