There was a time before social media when we didn’t feel the need to share our lives with the public or find validation from them. But now, with social media, we have this strong urge to share details about our lives with people online so much so that people will question the validity of their relationship if it is not on social media.

So, when people ask the difference between a private relationship and a secret relationship, we understand that it is a valid question because of the role social media plays in our lives today. And it is also valid because many people have convinced their partners to be in a secret relationship in the guise of keeping it private.

So, it is not far-fetched to ask what the differences between a private and secret relationship are. And this is what I hope to address in this post. I want to show you the major differences between a private and a secret relationship, so you can easily judge your situation to know if you are being kept a secret or not.

Without further ado, let’s get to it.


Differences Between a Private and Secret Relationship


  1. In a private relationship, the right people – family and friends – are aware that there is a relationship there. The fact that you are private doesn’t mean just the two of you know about the relationship. While you might not share intricate information with your family and friends but at least, they will be aware that you are dating. But in a secret relationship, everything is done in secrecy. Nobody knows and it is not based on circumstances. It is intentional.


  1. A private relationship is almost always an agreement between two partners who do not want external opinions in their relationship. Or couples who don’t feel the need to share their relationship with the public. A secret relationship, however, is usually not mutual except it’s an affair. One party – the honest one – is usually uncomfortable with the arrangement. And really, who wouldn’t? if you love someone, you will not want to be kept a secret.


  1. Private relationships are not deceptive, intentions are always clear because you both know what you are doing. You know you love each other, the important people know you love each other. But you have both agreed that keeping the relationship away from the public – social media – is what’s best for you. A secret relationship, on the other hand, is full of lies. Both parties are either in a wrong relationship or one person is deceiving the other.


differences between a private and secret relationship


  1. There is a deep level of trust and security in a private relationship. Although you don’t paint your social media accounts with pictures of the two of you, your agreement makes you trust each other. Nobody is insecure about the lack of publicity, it is clear that this person cares about you. In a secret relationship, however, you cannot trust your partner because even when you cannot put your finger on it, you know you are being hidden. So, of course, distrust and insecurity will set in.


  1. Couples in private relationships are loyal. People erroneously think because you are not posted on social media, it could mean the person is cheating. But there is proof that that’s false. People can publicise a relationship and still cheat. But in a private but healthy relationship, the couples don’t hesitate to tell others who are moving to them that they are in a relationship and happy. This is not obtainable in a secret relationship. The relationship is hidden because of selfish reasons.


  1. You know how it is usually said that you should define your relationship. That’s not a problem in a private relationship, the titles and objectives are clear and defined. You know the person is your girlfriend/fiancee or boyfriend/fiance. There are no hidden connotations whatsoever. But in a secret relationship, you may be unclear where you stand. They could even give you a title but it is usually clear that they are just giving you words not backed with actions.


  1. Private relationships are built on the assurance that it is heading somewhere. You know you want a life together. And you are both making plans and making sacrifices were required to make that happen. The language usually changes from “I” to “we” when plans are made. So, you see where you come in, in your partner’s plan. But if it is a secret relationship, it is headed nowhere. You don’t what you are doing and you cannot confidently say the relationship is going anywhere. It is simply wrong and so, it feels wrong.


Now, let me conclude by saying I am not saying a relationship is healthy or perfect just because it is private. Although I am biased towards keeping relationships private for obvious reasons, I don’t believe those who don’t, have an unhealthy relationship. A private relationship does not automatically spell success. But one thing we know is that a secret relationship is unhealthy.

So, what I’m saying, in essence, is that your relationship could be private and toxic. However, if it is healthy – read my article on signs of a healthy relationship – and private, don’t panic. Don’t automatically assume something is wrong because your partner is not posting you every other day on social media. If it bothers you, communicate that feeling to them. But if they are keeping you hidden from everyone, that’s a definite red flag. You should not tolerate it.