Remember that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie thought Mr. Big was taking her to an out-of-the-way restaurant so no one would know they were a couple? Well, welcome to the new form of "stashing" - for the digital age.
"If you're seeing someone and regularly spending time with them, but you make absolutely no mention or references to them on Facebook, Instagram, etc., and you’re not introducing them to family, coworkers, colleagues or close friends, that's stashing," says Steven Ward, CEO of Master Matchmakers. "It's keeping someone out of sight and out of the minds of important people your life."
There are several reasons why a person would choose not to share their latest love with the rest of their world virtually, the most innocent being that the relationship has yet to be defined.
“Tagging or posting pics with someone may be premature if you haven’t discussed exclusivity," Steven explains.
From that point on, the reasons become more muddled.
"If someone thinks their family and friends won't approve of the person they’re dating, they may keep him or her hidden from them as much as possible," Steven says. "There's a natural fear of being judged before you’ve had a chance to properly introduce them to the people you care about most."
Another not-so-great scenario? You're not the only person your object of affection is seeing. Says Steven, "Maybe this guy you’re seeing is already in a relationship with someone else, or at least someone else thinks they are. He could already have a girlfriend, or he could be seeing multiple women. If a guy is juggling multiple women at a time, he definitely doesn’t want any of them to find out about the others. He’s truly stashing away these women to keep them from knowing about one another."
For those who are keeping their social media life private for less nefarious goals, like waiting for the right time to announce a new love to the world, Steven suggests taking it slow. "Maybe post a group pic where your new boyfriend or girlfriend is among the crowd and then tag them," he says.
Whether we like it or not, more and more people are defined by their social media, "and not acknowledging their presence could cause an issue."
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