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A man who loves you would proudly introduce you to his family and friends as his girlfriend.
Or so you thought…
Your boyfriend keeps you hidden from his other loved ones. What’s up with that?
There are several possible reasons why he might not want you to meet his family and friends. When a man excludes you from his social circle, it can mean that he doesn’t have serious intentions with you.
Maybe he thinks that your relationship is casual or wants to wait to see whether it could be serious. Either way, this is not the only possible reason why your boyfriend won’t bring you around his loved ones.
Your boyfriend might be cheating on you, or, more likely, cheating on someone with you. If he’s keeping your relationship a secret from everyone, it could be because he’s already in a relationship with someone else. However, before you assume that this is true, be aware of the other possible reasons too.
Your boyfriend might be embarrassed by his friends, family, or even you. It might even be as simple as him not being that close to these people. On the other hand, he may be still in love with his ex and doesn’t want others to know that he has moved on. Or, maybe he doesn’t introduce any of his girlfriends to his family and friends.
From hiding another relationship from you to simply wanting to keep his private life private, there are many possible reasons why your boyfriend might be acting this way.
Try to figure out which one it is and trust what your gut is telling you. Look for signs that indicate that your gut is right. For instance, if you think that you’re in a secret relationship, consider whether you and your boyfriend ever see each other in public.
In the same way, if you think that your boyfriend is worried about how his loved ones will react and act around you, learn more about them to find out whether this could be true.
Here are 20 more things that you can do when your partner doesn’t want you to meet his family and friends:
1. Consider how long you’ve been together.
First things first, are you at that stage in the relationship where it’s normal for you to expect him to introduce you to his family? How long have you been together? If we’re talking about weeks, not months, it’s definitely too soon to make such a big step.
People normally introduce their partners to their family only when they’re sure that it’s serious and that it’s going to last. To know something like that, they need to be in a relationship for a while. There’s no exact number of months that you should wait before taking this step, but it’s usually a matter of several months at least.
You can meet their friends sooner though. However, the same explanation can be used for their friends too. If you haven’t been together long enough for them to be sure that it’s serious and that it’s going to last, they’re not going to let you into their world.
If this is the case, you just need to wait for a while, and the day when you meet your boyfriend’s other loved ones will come naturally when he’s ready.
What if it has been a while though?
2. Consider how serious your relationship is.
You could be in a relationship for months, and your boyfriend could still be unsure whether it’s serious. Maybe he doesn’t think that you are in a serious relationship despite having spent a lot of time together. Even if you are in a committed relationship, he may be unsure that it has a future.
If your boyfriend doesn’t think that you’ll be in his life for long, he’s not going to let you meet his family and friends. These people are supposed to be in his life forever, so he must be sure that he wants you to be in his life forever too. But is he?
Consider whether your relationship is not as serious as you think. Being in a committed relationship isn’t just about saying the L word. It’s also about openly and freely expressing your love for one another and showing the world that you are in love.
Do you and your partner do that, or does it seem like he’s hiding his love for you from the rest of the world? Does he hide the fact that you’re in a relationship too?
3. Consider whether he’s keeping the relationship a secret from everyone.
Are you in a secret relationship? Does your boyfriend hide you only from his friends and family or from the rest of the world as well? Maybe you do see each other in public, but he doesn’t show affection or act like a boyfriend at all. Has he introduced you to anyone as his girlfriend?
Your boyfriend might be pocketing you. In dating, pocketing means hiding your partner by “putting them in your pocket” so to speak. In doing so, you are stopping the rest of the world from seeing them. So, why is your boyfriend keeping your relationship a secret?
The first explanation that comes to mind is that he’s having an affair with you. Your partner might already be involved with someone else, whether it means being in a relationship or being married.
However, this is not the only explanation. Your boyfriend could be hiding you from the world because he’s not sure about the relationship. He will make your relationship public once it’s serious, if that ever happens.
On the other hand, maybe he doesn’t want the world to know that he has moved on because he still wants to get back together with his ex. Whatever it is, if you have realized that you’re in a secret relationship, don’t settle for it.
4. Check whether he posts about you on social media.
You’re not officially together if you’re not together on social media. We can like that or not, but that’s pretty much how it is today. If there’s no sign of your relationship on social media, your partner is hiding the fact that they’re with you from more people than just their loved ones.
You don’t have to be each other’s biggest social media fans, but people should be able to tell that you’re in a relationship based on your profiles. This can mean having a public relationship status set to “in a relationship” with you, but not just this. There should be some pictures of the two of you together, some heart reactions, sweet comments, anything…
Looking at your boyfriend’s profile will give you a pretty good idea about what he wants and doesn’t want the world to know. What if he doesn’t use social media that often though? While this could be just an excuse, some people really don’t like to share personal stuff online.
To figure out which explanation is true, see which and how many personal things he shares on social media. If he is fine with sharing his new picture, what’s the problem with sharing a picture where you’re together?
5. Consider how close he is to his family and friends.
Some people are just not that close to their family and friends. They might have had problems with their family after which they no longer talk that much, or they simply don’t tell their family a lot about their personal lives.
They might not have any close friends at all, or they have friends that they don’t share personal things with. It’s possible. However, if your boyfriend is this private, you should already have a clue about that.
Did your boyfriend mention not being close to his family? Has he talked about any friends? Does he prefer to keep his private life private when it comes to other things, not just your relationship? Do you know anyone he opens up to, and was it hard for him to open up with you too?
These things should help you figure out if your partner is not close to his friends and family, but you can also learn a lot from what he tells you about them.
6. Listen to what he has to say about his friends and family.
If you can’t meet these people, learn all you can about them based on what your boyfriend tells you. Has he told you any stories about his parents, family members, or friends? Based on this, you could tell how he feels about them and what their relationship is like.
Maybe your partner doesn’t get along with his family and has no close friends. This is also possible, but be worried if the other person is always the bad guy in all of his stories while he’s always the victim or the hero. Someone who talks badly about everyone will eventually talk that way about you too if they don’t already.
However, maybe your boyfriend has a good reason for not being close to his family and not having close friends. Maybe his family abused him, and he doesn’t keep in touch with them anymore. Perhaps he’s new in town, so he has no friends here yet. There are various things that could explain him not being close to anyone. However, keep in mind that you’re only getting his side of the story.
7. Ask him questions about his friends and family.
When your boyfriend mentions some of his friends or family members, ask questions about them. Try to learn more about what they’re like and get him to talk about them. If you don’t know whether he’s close to someone, simply ask him.
Your boyfriend should be happy to tell you stories about his loved ones even if he doesn’t want you to meet them. If he avoids talking to you about them, it’s either because he’s not serious about you or because he has a very bad relationship with them.
It’s one thing when your boyfriend excludes you from his social circle, but when he goes so far as to avoid mentioning them, something’s wrong. Your boyfriend might be worried that you’ll ask to meet his friends and family if he mentions them, so that’s why he avoids it. And he’s not wrong, because that’s exactly what you should do.
8. Subtly suggest that he introduces you to his social circle.
If you’ve been together for long enough for it to be reasonable to take this step, subtly suggest that he introduce you to his social circle. When he talks about his friends and family, use the opportunity to express your interest in meeting them. It’s important that you do this casually; don’t nag or push to meet them.
For instance, if he says that he’s going to see them, simply say that you would love to go along. If he instead mentions something about them, say that you would like to get a chance to meet them. Say it only once and drop the subject if he shuts down.
Accepting “no” for an answer doesn’t mean that you’re giving up. You can have a conversation with him again, it will just be on the subject of his intentions with you. It’s best to have these two conversations separately. Just stay calm if he doesn’t want you to meet them.
Bring up the subject of intentions in some other conversation some other day. You are going to learn more about that conversation soon. Right now, you need to pay attention to your boyfriend’s reaction when you suggest meeting his loved ones.
9. See if the idea of letting you meet his loved ones makes him panic.
So, you asked your boyfriend whether you could tag along and meet someone close to him. If the very idea of letting you meet his friends and family terrifies him and he starts to panic, there’s definitely something wrong.
No one is that scared of letting their partner meet someone close to them. It’s very possible that he’s hiding something from you. This is especially true if he is struggling to come up with excuses for not being able to introduce you to his loved ones.
There are other reasons why your boyfriend would be scared of letting you meet his family and friends other than him hiding something from you. However, wouldn’t he tell you if he never lets his family meet his partners or isn’t that close to them?
Okay, maybe you could understand the family part, but friends? You don’t need to be planning to start your own family for him to introduce you to one of his friends.
10. Consider whether he is hiding something from you.
Is your boyfriend actually someone else’s boyfriend, or even husband? How well do you know him, and does he hide your relationship from everyone? Does he hide his phone or avoid answering it?
He might be hiding you from his friends and family because he’s actually hiding something from you. If this is the case, you are probably in a secret relationship.
Do you ever kiss in public? Do you even see each other in public? If not, it’s reasonable to assume that your relationship is a secret. There’s not a lot that could explain the need for secrecy aside from another relationship. Unless you are aware that it’s a casual thing and that’s why it’s not public, your partner might already be taken.
11. Introduce him to your family and friends.
You are obviously ready for this step even if your partner isn’t, so why not make the first move? Offer to introduce your boyfriend to your family and friends even if you haven’t met his loved ones yet.
This might encourage him to do the same thing, plus, his reaction will already tell you something. If your boyfriend isn’t serious about you, he’s probably not going to want to meet your friends and family either. On the other hand, if he’s glad to do that, there’s likely something else going on.
Maybe meeting your loved ones will be the push he needs to realize that it’s time for him to introduce you to someone too. If he still doesn’t do that after meeting your folks and crew, there’s something wrong.
Try to also notice whether he makes an attempt to leave a good impression on your loved ones. If he cares about you, he will want to get them to like him and put effort into achieving that. If he doesn’t, he might be meeting them simply because you’ve made him do it.
12. Give him a chance to explain.
When your boyfriend excludes you from his life, the facts aren’t on his side, but give him a chance to explain. Maybe he has a story to tell you about how he doesn’t get along with his folks and his friends betrayed him.
Perhaps he is ready to tell you that he’s not sure that you can have a future together. Maybe he will come clean about being in a relationship with someone else or simply let you know that he never introduces his partners to his loved ones.
Whatever it is that he has to tell you, give him a chance to say it. You can even openly ask him why he won’t bring you around his loved ones. Ask follow-up questions to make sure that he tells you more than the possibly rehearsed speech.
13. Find out whether his friends and family even know about you.
Maybe you could live with the fact that his friends and family don’t see you, but are they even aware that you exist? Do they know anything about you? It can be understandable when a person isn’t yet ready to introduce you to their folks.
However, when no one close to them even knows about you, they’re definitely hiding your relationship from the world.
It’s very likely that they’re not serious about you or are hiding something from you. Otherwise, they would have at least mentioned you to their loved ones even if they hadn’t yet made it clear that you’re in a relationship.
14. Talk about the future and your intentions and goals.
Where does your boyfriend see your relationship going? Do you think that you have a future together? You should be on the same page when it comes to your intentions and relationship goals.
So, talk about this. Ask your boyfriend about his plans for the future and see if any of them include you. Later, you can also ask him about the future of your relationship. Are you casual with no intention of ever being serious, or do you want to be in a committed relationship?
You are right to assume that your relationship isn’t serious enough when your boyfriend doesn’t invite you to meet his friends and family. So, feel free to tell him that. See how he’ll react and what he will say about his intentions with you.
15. Give him some time.
Back to timing—how long have you been together? On the slight chance that your boyfriend just needs more time, give him some time. After you have expressed the wish to meet his loved ones and talked about your future, all that’s left is to wait to see how he’ll behave after this. Don’t wait forever though. If he has no intentions of having you in his future, don’t stick around for it.
Just keep in mind that your boyfriend might need to prepare his loved ones for meeting you, especially if they have never heard about you before. So, give him some time to do that in case he has the intention of keeping you in his life and bringing you along to family gatherings.
16. Consider whether there are other problems in your relationship.
Do you feel loved, respected, and taken care of? Are your needs met, do you communicate efficiently, and do you have similar goals and values? Or is hiding you from his loved ones only one of the problems in your relationship?
Regardless of what’s going on, consider whether you are happy with this man, or whether the relationship is already doomed. Maybe it’s exactly because of the other problems in your relationship that your partner thinks you can’t have a future together.
If you want to stay in this relationship, you will have to address your issues. You can work on them and improve things, but only if you both put effort into it. Don’t get stuck in a one-sided relationship where you’re invested much more than your partner.
17. Find out whether he normally introduces his girlfriends to his loved ones.
Maybe your boyfriend never introduces any of his girlfriends to his loved ones, and he told you this. Is it true though? Perhaps you have a friend or acquaintance in common. If so, try to find out whether he normally introduces his girlfriends to his friends and family. Some people really never do this, and/or wait until marriage to let their loved ones meet their future husband or wife.
Keep in mind that this is not usually the case, since people rarely wait that long to let their friends meet their partner, even if they wait for meeting the family. Know that your boyfriend could also lie to you about this.
18. Find out what his friends and family are like.
Maybe he’s embarrassed by his friends and family, but are they really that terrible? Try to find out. You will get most of the information from your boyfriend, but try to find more if possible.
Don’t go to the extent of stalking his friends and family, but feel free to search their social media profiles and ask around a bit about them. After all, you can’t rely only on what your boyfriend’s telling you. If he still doesn’t want you to meet them, this is the closest that you could get to them.
If your boyfriend says that his loved ones would embarrass him, ask for specific examples of such situations. Point out that you aren’t going to be embarrassed or think less of him once you meet them.
19. Consider whether his loved ones would approve of your relationship.
In the end, maybe your boyfriend is embarrassed by you. Is there any reason for him to think that his loved ones wouldn’t approve of your relationship? Maybe you have a bad reputation, drug addiction, or you were involved with someone they know. Think about the possible reason, but make sure to talk about this with your boyfriend too.
If this is the case, he won’t want to tell you, but he eventually might, especially if you ask him about it and point out that you understand. So, try to figure out what exactly it is before confronting him about it.
20. Talk to an expert.
As you can see, there are many possible scenarios, so it’s best to talk to someone who could hear you out and give you tailored advice.
Talking to a relationship expert can help you figure out why your boyfriend is hiding you from his loved ones, what you can do about it, and how you can move on if you end that relationship.
So, don’t hesitate to ask for help and talk to a relationship expert about this.
A good place to get help is the website Relationship Hero – here, you’ll be able to connect with a relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.
While you can try to work through this situation yourself or as a couple, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can fix. And if it is affecting your relationship and mental well-being, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.
Too many people – both couples and individuals – try to muddle through and do their best to solve problems that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, speaking to a relationship expert is 100% the best way forward.
Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.
You’ve already taken the first step just by searching for and reading this article. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. The best thing is to speak to an expert. The next best thing is to implement everything you’ve learned in this article by yourself. The choice is yours.
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