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Stashing in a Relationship: What It Is, 26 Signs You’re Stashed & What to Do

Have you wondered if the person you’re dating is hiding you from the people in their life? If so, then you are probably being stashed. Here’s what to do.

Stashing in a Relationship

If you’re wondering, what in the world does it mean to be stashed in a relationship!? It’s a new term in the modern dating scene. And it’s time you learned the signs you’re being stashed in your relationship.

We all can agree that in today’s dating world, there are new trends popping up every five minutes. Most of the time, we’re not up-to-date until they happen to us.

Then, when you’re busy googling their behavior online, you discover they’re part of a trend. So, that brings you here. Don’t fret though, we are here to explain this new phenomenon and signs you might be stashed in your relationship.

What is stashing in a relationship?

Before we jump into the signs of being stashed, let us first explain what this term means.

The way someone may stash something out of sight from others is the same way someone may stash their partner from their inner circle. Is it making sense?

Stashing in a relationship is when one partner makes the conscious decision to exclude their partner from the other people and events in their life. They hide their partner from their close ones.

No posts on social media about them, no double-dating, no public dates, no invites to family dinner, hell, they probably haven’t even told their family that they’re dating. [Read: The signs you’re wasting time in a one-sided relationship]

Signs you’re being stashed in your relationship

This really just goes to show you the importance of communicating with each other and knowing where you stand.

But if it’s clear what your relationship is, then there should be no stashing. Because no one wants to be stashed.

1. They lovebomb you in the beginning

Stashing behavior isn’t something that happens right away. Usually, everything is fine in the beginning, and then it slowly creeps up on you until one day you realize you’re being stashed.

At the start, they were all over you and throwing compliments at you every second, but that’s a huge red flag of someone who has some issues, whether it’s commitment or manipulation issues. [Read: What is love bombing? How to spot the early signs of this manipulation 

2. You’ve never met your partner’s family

Or friends. You just haven’t met anyone on their side of the relationship. 

You don’t know who their best friend is or their mom’s name. In fact, you don’t know anything. They’ve never introduced you to their friends and family, and it’s been a while since you began dating.

3. You don’t exist on their social media

At some point in the relationship, you post a picture with your partner, gushing over them. You don’t need to post a new photo every day, but occasionally, you want to show off your love. It’s perfectly normal!

But on their social media – nothing. Not a word about you. It’s like you don’t exist. And when you do comment on their photos or posts, they reply to you as a friend. [Read: Here’s how to tell if a guy is playing you or not]

4. You’re giving more and not getting anything in return

In the relationship, you’re investing a lot of time and energy into it. You go the extra mile to make sure your partner is happy, but they don’t reciprocate. 

This isn’t about your partner buying you things, this is about small acts of kindness to make you feel good. [Read: 15 signs of a taker who keeps taking in a relationship]

5. They point the finger at you

Oh, it’s not their fault that they’re keeping you in the dark. In their mind, it’s your fault.

Why? Who knows. It’s really a stupid way to justify treating someone with disrespect. But people will justify many horrible actions just to make sure they sleep at night. In this case, they blame you.

6. They blame their friends for you being stashed

It’s not your fault that you can’t meet their friends, and it’s not their fault either. They make sure to find the perfect excuse to place the blame on someone else. 

In this case, since you don’t know their friends, he can easily make excuses, saying one of them randomly canceled or made a surprise visit while you weren’t around. 

7. They don’t like it when you confront them

You’ve confronted them about this behavior because you think it’s weird *and it is weird*. But instead of them being understanding and working out a solution, they’re defensive and accuse you of attacking them.

Deep down, they know they’re not sure about the relationship and don’t want to lose their single status. [Read: How to stop being strung along by a guy and take a firm stand]

8. You don’t spend much time in public

Well, you two don’t really spend any time in public. And when you are out, everything seems overly planned. You go to places that none of your friends have even heard of, and you definitely stay out of popular areas. It’s almost like they’re hiding you. Oh, wait…

9. They keep their past a secret

What’s their dating history like? You probably don’t really know much about their past, and it makes sense.

They probably know they don’t have the best dating history, and exposure to it would put a lot of the puzzle pieces together for you. [Read: Retroactive jealousy – why is your lover’s past making you jealous?]

10. Excuses, excuses, excuses

It’s not that you haven’t brought up the subject with them before. You have, and yes, they don’t like it, but more than that, they have a new excuse and reason why they act the way they do. Regardless of how good the excuse is, you just don’t feel right.

11. No PDA

They treat you more like a friend. In public, they don’t hold your hand, hug you, or even kiss you on the cheek when people are around. [Read: He’s not ready for a relationship right now – should I wait or walk?]

Instead, they pull a high school dance move and make sure there’s a lot of light between you. But the minute you’re at home, they show affection.

12. They bring up introducing you, but then go radio silent

Your partner mentioned their best friend is coming over this weekend and even suggested you come over to meet them. 

But the weekend has come and gone, and your partner was silent. They didn’t call you or invite you over, instead, they pretended like it never happened. [Read: Casual relationship – 80 casual dating tips and rules to not get hurt or attached]

Why is this happening?

Being stashed by the person you are dating is not fun – obviously. And you might not have even realized it was happening until just now.

So, why would someone do this to you? It probably doesn’t make any sense. Here are some possible reasons.

1. They are embarrassed by or have issues with their family

Not everyone has a picture-perfect family. In fact, many of them are quite dysfunctional. So, the chances are, they could be from one of those types of families and be embarrassed about it.

They might really like you but can’t face introducing you to them. Maybe his family has drug issues, are hoarders, or are abusive.

Or maybe their family is fine, but they have ostracized your partner from the family *which is a big red flag too*. For whatever reason, they don’t want you to meet them.

2. They don’t see a serious future with you

Most people know that the dating scene these days is very different than it used to be in the past decades. We are in more of a hookup culture than the type where the majority of people take dating and relationships seriously.

So, maybe your partner likes you, your company, and having sex with you. But that’s where it ends. [Read: Does he or doesn’t he see a future with you? 30 signs to read him]

They don’t see a happily ever after with you, but they don’t want to tell you. In other words, they’re having their cake and eating it too.

3. They are carrying on another relationship simultaneously

Back to the hookup culture for a minute. Maybe the reason your partner doesn’t see a serious future with you is that they are already in a relationship or even married. Or they could be dating several people at once – not just you.

It is way too easy for married people or ones in relationships to hop onto a dating app and talk to and date other people without their partner knowing about it.

They might only see or talk to you at weird times and never on the weekends. Keep your eye out for weird patterns like that. [Read: 25 secrets to catch a cheater red-handed in the act & with the right proof!]

Effects of being stashed

Obviously, being stashed is not a positive thing. And it makes sense that it greatly affects the person who is being stashed – and not in a good way. Here are the effects of being stashed.

1. Frustration and confusion

As soon as you notice that you might be a victim of stashing, your first reaction is probably confusion and frustration. [Read: Do you have the patience for dating or are you frustrated by it?]

Why would someone who seems to like dating you try to hide you? It probably makes no sense.

You’re probably trying to overanalyze everything to try to figure out why this is happening to you. Did you say or do something wrong? Are they embarrassed by you? The frustration can be overwhelming for some people.

2. Stress

All of this frustration and confusion can really stress you out too. It’s never a good feeling when there is something in your relationship that isn’t going smoothly or you want to be different than it actually is.

This stress can permeate into other areas of your life too, beyond your relationship itself. It could affect your work or other relationships in your life. Stress also negatively affects your physical health, which is bad for you long-term. [Read: 17 life secrets to smile more often, feel great, and laugh your stress away]

3. Uncertainty

If you haven’t talked to your partner about why they might be stashing you, then you are in a constant state of uncertainty.

You might think you know where you stand in the relationship and what your status is, but you begin to question it.

Most people hate living in uncertainty because it is uncomfortable. It doesn’t breed peace and joy in anyone’s life. It’s much better when you feel like your partner is totally committed to you.

4. Low-quality relationship

If someone is stashing you, then they can’t be that serious about you. It doesn’t matter if they say they are. Maybe you even have committed to being exclusive or in a relationship.

But when you are in a quality, long-term, committed relationship, both people incorporate their partners into all areas of their lives. They don’t keep them secret. So, all this uncertainty and sneaky behavior doesn’t lead to a healthy relationship.  [Read: 24 sad signs of an unhealthy relationship that ruin love forever]

5. Low self-esteem

As you can imagine, being stashed can take a huge toll on your self-esteem. After all, if you are “good enough,” then your partner shouldn’t be hiding you, right? At least that’s what you will think after a while.

If the stashing goes on too long, then your self-esteem will sink even lower. But you just have to remember that it’s not necessarily about you. There’s nothing wrong with you. 

There could be countless reasons why your partner is stashing you. But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. [Read: How to build self-esteem and love life with simple life changes]

What to do if your partner is stashing you

After reading all of this so far, do you think that you are being stashed? Well, if you do, what are you going to do about it? You could just ignore it, but you probably shouldn’t. Here’s what you can do.

1. Take notes

Sometimes our imagination and memory can play tricks on us.

In other words, we don’t always remember things correctly – especially when we’re emotional, hurt, and upset by something. So, you should take notes about the suspected stashing to really help you get your facts straight.

Not only do you want to get your facts straight for yourself, but you will also need a written recording of the evidence when you confront your partner about their potential stashing of you. They might try to gaslight you for thinking that you’re being stashed.

But when you have notes and evidence, they can’t do that to you. You should even put dates on your notes too.

For example, “On October 17th, I asked you when I was going to get to meet your friends, and you told me next weekend. That never happened. Why?”

That way, they can’t deny what they said or did because you have a written record of it. You just have to beat them at their own game. [Read: Should we break up? 35 signs it’s over and past the point of no return]

2. Get your friends’ and family’s perspectives

As we just said, when you’re upset that you think you are being stashed, you might not see things as clearly as you should.

So, either before or after you take notes about your partner’s words and actions, talk to your friends and family about it. Tell them the situation, give them some examples, and ask them if they think you are being stashed or not. You might be overblowing the situation and overreacting. In that case, you can kind of cool off about it. 

However, you might be underreacting about it too. You might have made excuse after excuse for why you haven’t met your partner’s family or friends. [Read: He won’t commit but he won’t let go – what should you do now?]

So, your loved one can slap you back into reality and help you see things clearly if you’re not. 

3. Stop including them in your life as much

If you have a lot of notes and evidence that you’re being stashed – and your friends and family agree with you – then you have a decision to make. Are you going to break up with your partner immediately? Or are you going to wait it out?

If you’re not quite ready to end it, then you should start mirroring your partner’s behavior. [Read: Stop chasing him – why guys run and why you shouldn’t chase them]

Stop including them in your life just like they’re not including you in theirs. After all, why should they get the privilege of enjoying the people in your life if you can’t do the same in theirs?

So, start to become more independent. If they really care about you, then they will notice and it will bother them. If they ask why you are doing that, then you can bring up the conversation about why you think you’re being stashed by them.

4. Confront them

If you think you want to continue the relationship, then you will have to confront them about their stashing. If you don’t, then they will most likely keep doing it. And you don’t want that, do you? [Read: 18 signs of self-centered people and the best ways to confront them]

First, you have to remember to be calm and rational when you approach the conversation. You don’t want to seem like you are attacking them for keeping you a secret or else they will get defensive and come up with a lot of excuses as to why they’re doing it.

So, just casually mention, “Hey, I would love to meet your friends/family soon! What do you think?” If you have already brought it up but they keep avoiding it, then you can gently ask why it hasn’t happened yet. Don’t be accusatory, just inquisitive.

Then use your gut instinct to try to figure out whether or not they are still trying to dodge the question or not. You should be able to get a good feel for whether or not you will ever meet his people through this conversation. [Read: How to confront someone when you loathe an uncomfortable interaction]

5. Wait for change *if you want*

If their reaction to your confrontation was positive, then you should figure out if you want to wait for them to make the change. They might have said something like, “Of course, that would be great! I would love to have you meet them.”

But you see, that statement didn’t say, “Let’s try to set it up next weekend.” It was vague. So, you should just wait and see if they will follow through with their words and turn them into action or not.

If a week or two goes by and they don’t mention it again, then they are probably trying to buy their time and hoping that you will forget about it. [Read: Reasons people have a fear of confrontation]

That’s not a good sign. You need to see some action on their part or else it might be a lost cause.

6. If no changes are made, then move on

You don’t want to wait too long for them to introduce you to their people. Sure, you could. But isn’t that what you have been doing already?

The longer you wait, the more desperate you seem. And that is not an attractive quality.

At this point, you should probably break up with them and move on. It might not be easy, but don’t you want to be with someone who is proud of you and wants to shout from the mountaintops that you belong to them? You deserve that! [Read: 28 subtle ways to get someone to break up with you if you can’t do it]

So, just tell them that you don’t think that the two of you are on the same page regarding the relationship. You are looking for something more serious and it seems like they are wanting a more casual arrangement. Then let them go.

[Read: Dating vs. relationship and how to tell the true status of your relationship]

Really look at these signs you’re being stashed in your relationship. Figure out if you fit in them. If so, sit down and talk with your partner.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...