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Do you have a relationship you want to hide from your parents? Are your parents unreasonable, abusive, or just a bit too conservative? Whether you’re keeping it a secret because you’re too young or because your parents won’t approve due to their values, hiding your relationship can be challenging. While you could risk losing your parents’ trust if they ever find out, you don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way or compromise your values. Communication, honesty, and trust are essential to any relationship, but sometimes you need to be less than truthful for your own mental and physical health.
Examining Why You Should Hide Your Relationship
1Evaluate your priorities. Decide if it’s actually a good idea to keep your relationship with your parents. Do your parents disapprove of your relationship because they are strict, protective or worrisome? Does culture, religion, or an age difference factor into their disapproval? While your parents have the benefit of life experience, only you know what your relationship is worth to you.
Talk to your friends and support system. Remember that if you keep your relationship a secret, the greater the potential problems will be when it comes to light. You have a support system to help guide you in the right direction.
If you just don’t think the relationship is serious enough yet and don’t wish your parents to make a big deal of it, some of the following instructions may be excessive. Consider how your parents may feel if you exaggerated the need for secrecy; they may feel disappointed and wonder why don’t you trust them.
Take risks prevention if you really go ahead. For example, think about what would you do if you are caught by your parents, think about what would you do if your parents know you are owning a separate social media account/secret cell phone that makes use to communicate with your partner, think about what would you do if your dating relationship goes wrong, think about what would you do if you broke up, etc. Consider whether these risks/consequences are affordable. It is recommended to be honest if you are getting caught. Once you get caught, more lies would only make you get into greater trouble, damaging a family relationship. As for dating relationship goes wrong or challenges comes, you will need great mental and physical quality to afford it without any support from your parents.
2Communicate with your partner. If you want to pursue your relationship despite knowing that your parents will disapprove, let your partner know why you think that this is the right course of action. Your partner may feel less important and bring resentment to your relationship if you don’t clarify your stance. The longer you hide, the more difficult it is going to be.
Your partner may have a valid argument if he or she has been through this situation before. For example, just because it is your first interracial relationship, it may not be the first time for your partner. He or she may have practical advice to help you understand where your parents are coming from and, above all else, having her support can help ease your stress.
Your partner may also misunderstand the situation. Some people expect to be introduced at the start of a serious relationship, some are cool with waiting, and some do not wish to be introduced for quite some time.
3Consider the opinions of your parents. It may be difficult to hear negative opinions about someone you care about, but sometimes your parents may have a better perspective on long-term outcomes. Depending on your dynamic with your parents, they may have trouble articulating their disapproval.
Relationships with parents can be complicated. It may be difficult to be open and honest but keep your communication respectful so as not to escalate the situation. For example, while you may think that you are hiding your emotions, you actually may be coming off passive-aggressive or snarky.
4Remember all healthy relationships are built on trust, respect, and communication. Whether you are trying to strengthen your relationship with your partner or maintain the relationship with your parents, trust and respect have to be present for a lasting relationship. If you plan on hiding your relationship, ask yourself why sacrificing your parent’s trust is the only option. Physical and emotional well-being should not be sacrificed for anyone, including your parents or partner.
Will your parents become physically or verbally abusive if they found out about your relationship? Is any aspect of your relationship conflict with your parents’ beliefs? If your parents’ disapproval is based on prejudice or if their reaction is abusive, seek professional help. Your mental and physical health is your first priority.