Dating can sometimes be a slippery slope for many, and while some people tend to luck out, some, not so much. It gets dicey and confusing when two people are not on the same page when it comes to their dating expectations. If you are serious about the person you are dating and want to take things further by introducing them to your family and friends, but they do not, then chances are you are the victim of pocketing.
What Is Pocketing?
Pocketing meaning is when the person you are dating wants to keep you a secret, and never shows any intention of introducing you to their loved ones. It’s like they are putting you in their pocket, and hiding you from the rest of the world, where only they know that you exist, hence the term pocketing.
Yes, it’s a natural thing to want to keep your relationship under wraps until you are 100% sure about it. But even after a long time if the person you are dating still doesn’t show any interest in making the relationship public, then that can and should be counted as a red flag. No matter who is on the other side of it, pocketing can be an extremely disrespectful and lonely thing to experience.
What Are The Potential Reasons Behind Pocketing In A Relationship?
Some of the most common reasons why someone might pocket you are the following:
1. They come from a dysfunctional family.
There are lots of people out there who come from disturbed and dysfunctional families and feel ashamed of it when they grow up, even if they have cut off all contact. One potential reason why they haven’t introduced you to their family is that they are apprehensive about how you will perceive them, and might even leave them when you get to know the truth about their roots.
2. They are involved with someone else, apart from you.
This one is a no-brainer, isn’t it? If they are pocketing in relationships, chances are they might already be in a relationship, or worse still, married with kids. They are with you because they are just looking for a casual affair or a friends-with-benefits kind of relationship. You are like their dirty secret, and that’s why they try so hard to keep you hidden from the world.
3. They might not be sure about their sexual orientation.
When someone is not sure about their sexuality, it can be doubly hard to date someone of the opposite gender. On top of that, most people feel scared of coming out to their parents, so imagine how uncomfortable and unsure they feel when they are with you. Another reason might be that they are just testing the waters but don’t yet want people to know that they are gay.
4. They have different religious, and cultural background.
When you have different cultural and religious backgrounds, and there seems to be an invisible racial barrier between you two, things can get complicated. A situation like this can make them feel unsure about how their relationship with you will be received by their family and friends. Both of you might be open-minded about it, but the older generation might not be.
5. They are still tangled with their ex.
Another common reason why your partner is pocketing relationship is that lo and behold, they are still involved with an ex of theirs. Maybe they still haven’t moved on, or they are simply keeping their options open for as long as they can. Or maybe they don’t want to make things official with you unless they have moved on for good because they are scared they will jeopardize their new relationship for an old one.
7 Evident Signs Of Pocketing
1. They never invite you to their home.
There comes a point when your relationship seems stable and serious enough for you to go to their home, and it’s one of the major pocketing signs that they are serious about having a future with you. Because let’s face it, how long will you keep on meeting up with each other and have dates in bars, pubs, and restaurants?
Now despite being with each other for quite some time, and they are still not inviting you to their place, then take it as a sign of pocketing. They might have been at your place a couple of times, but when the tables turn, they always seem to hesitate and back out.
2. They don’t like talking about their close ones.
You might talk about everything under the sun, but whenever the topic of family and friends comes up, your partner seems to clam up. They try their best to avoid talking about their close ones and keep on changing the topic, or straight up refuse to talk about them. It’s like you have absolutely no idea about their family.
Do they have siblings? What are their parents’ names? What do their parents do? Do they have a good relationship with their family? Do they come from a dysfunctional family or a healthy family? All these questions swirl around in your mind, but there’s no way of getting those answers. Ever.
3. They haven’t added you on their social media.
When it comes to dating these days, posting pictures with your significant other is the norm these days, and one of the best ways to tell people that you are taken. However, if the person you are dating not just refuses to post about you online, but also hasn’t added you to their social media, then that’s a humongous red flag.
Granted, some people might be very private about their personal lives and might not like to post much about it online, but if they have locked you out from their accounts, or if there’s not even a hint of you on their profiles, then consider it a red flag.
4. They always want to meet up in secluded places.
Do you always end up meeting in places that are quite far away from their home? And have they pitched the idea of meeting you out of town more often than not? Well, this is not good. Going on weekend getaways once in a while is exciting and fun, but if that’s the only way both of you are meeting up, then you need to see it for what it really is.
This shows that they are trying to avoid places where there is a strong chance that they might run into someone they know. Going to inconspicuous, secluded, and faraway places is an attempt to make sure that nobody they know sees them with you. They are not just pocketing you, but are also treating you like a dirty secret.
5. They address you as their ‘friend’ in case they run into someone.
One of the most hurtful signs that you are being pocketed is when you run into someone your partner knows, and they introduce you as just ‘a friend’. They never acknowledge the real relationship between you two, and refrain from hugging you or kissing you in front of others.
You have not only not met their friends and family, the worst part is they have no idea that you exist.
6. They only contact you when they want to hook up.
More often than not, when someone is pocketing you, it means that they are only interested in having sex with you and nothing more than that. They will contact you when they want to hook up, but will never ask you out on a proper date that might not involve sex.
They will always text you or call you after dark, because obviously, they don’t want to be seen with you in broad daylight, in the fear that they might run into someone they know. Please never mistake this as being mysterious, he/she is simply being a lowlife with you, and unfortunately only sees you just as an ‘easy lay’.
7. They never respect your time, but expect you to respect theirs.
Another thing you will notice if you are a victim of pocketing is that they never seem to respect your time. They just turn up whenever and expect you to just go with it, without even asking once whether you are free or not. Whenever they contact you, they expect you to say yes, and if you don’t they throw a fit about how difficult you are; you are always expected to drop whatever you are doing and run to them whenever they ‘need’ you.
On the other hand, as far as their time is concerned, nothing matters more than that, and you are supposed to respect that. If you want to meet up with them, but they are busy you should understand that. They will ditch you whenever they please, even at the last moment, but you just have to ‘understand’ that they have ‘important things’ to do.
What Should You Do If You Are A Victim Of Pocketing?
If you reckon that you are being pocketed, then the best thing to do is openly talk about your feelings with your partner. It might be an uncomfortable and scary conversation, but you need to tell them how you feel, and that you deserve better. Ask them why they are hiding you from everyone, despite being together for quite some time, and is there anything you should know about.
Most importantly, ask them where both of you stand because you deserve some clarity and transparency. Yes, this might be a scary conversation to have but it’s better to know the whole truth rather than be with someone who might never want a serious relationship with you in the long run. It’s always better to walk away from a half-hearted relationship than stay in one and experience more humiliation and loneliness.
On the flip side, you might get to know that they didn’t realize they were pocketing you; they simply weren’t ready. An open and transparent conversation might make them realize their mistake, and gradually they will feel more optimistic and comfortable about you meeting their family and friends.
Communicating freely can help both of you understand each other better, take into consideration what the other person is feeling, and what their opinions, needs, and expectations are.
Have you ever been on the other side of pocketing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!