For many people, being in love can make them want to shout it from their rooftops. They’re totally blissed-out, in the throes of love and all its warm gooeyness. Those people occasionally become relationship experts, doling out advice to their sad and single friends, because clearly they have found the key to love and happiness.
Then there are those who don’t shout their relationship status from mountains – they barely even whisper it to friends. The couples who keep their romantic situation a secret, for whatever reason (or a combination of reasons). When you’re both on board with keeping things on the DL, it can be out of necessity and, on occasion, even a little fun! If, however, only one of you has decided that everyone else needs to be kept in the dark, it can leave you wondering why.
Learning why a dude might not be telling his friends about you is the key in figuring out how you want to move forward. Is he doing this because he doesn’t know where things are going, or because he’s got someone else on the side? Is he pretending to be single until someone better comes along, or is he doing it out of respect for someone else? These are 20 reasons why your man might be keeping your relationship on the DL.
20His Friend Is Into Her
There’s a “bro code” for a reason. A guy may be unwilling to disclose his current relationship status to his friends because the girl in question might have been the object of affection for one of his friends before, or the friend might still be crushing on her! He respects his friendship enough that he wants to keep things on the DL, at least for now, until he can figure out a way to break the news gently.
Dating someone who may have been involved with someone else in our friend group can be a sticky situation, and if things haven’t gotten serious yet, he might just be trying to avoid a possible awkward conversation.
19He’s Not That Into Her
Hey, it hurts, but on occasion it’s true. Guys who don’t have any qualms about being in a relationship are usually pretty relaxed with letting people know and going public. Guys who are less thrilled about the girl who’s been coming over every weekend are perhaps not so inclined to share the news.
A dude who isn’t into you isn’t likely to want to tell his friends that he’s seeing someone. This is a pretty crummy thing to do, but it is a fact that a man may like a woman for certain reasons, but not like her enough to let his inner circle know that she’s become a part of his life.
18He Doesn’t Want To DTR
Defining the relationship can be a tricky conversation, especially if the two of you agreed on one thing and now the situation has progressed to something else entirely (i.e. what started as something casual has now morphed into a much more cozy kind of relationship). Maybe this guy just isn’t ready to change his FB status and have more conversations about “where things are going”.
Keeping things secret from his friends is a way to prevent this conversation from happening, or to let you know he just isn’t ready for it. After all, before you guys get serious, he’d tell his friends that you were at least in his life, right?
17He Has Mixed Feelings
Does he like you, or does he just like having you around? Does he want all the fun trappings that come with being a boyfriend or does the idea of settling down make him squirm? The man who is of two minds about his relationship status may hold off on letting his friends and family know that he’s seeing you because he doesn’t know how he feels about the situation himself.
It’s not fair to you to be kept on the line like this forever when he can’t make up his mind (or his heart), because he should know what a catch he has!
16He’s Just Using Her
It’s a sad reality, but it is true that if you’ve been relegated to a casual fling or someone he only dials up after he’s had a few on a night out with the boys, it’s because he’s just using you, and has no real intention of making things official in any capacity.
Men who aren’t serious about the women with whom they get involved won’t let their friends know about her, at least not in any respectable fashion. He’s getting what he wants out of this arrangement with the bare minimum of commitment, so why would he try to mess with a good thing?
15It’s More Exciting
There’s something titillating about sneaking around with someone. There could be a whole host of reasons as to why you need to keep your relationship private, but it could just be that it’s far more exciting to risk getting caught than to have everything out in the open.
Unfortunately, this thrill tends to be a short-lived one. If your attraction for forbidden fruit is heightened when things are kept on the DL, you might find yourself getting bored and losing interest once things inevitably come to light. This guy might just be trying to prolong the fun before things before routine.
14He Wants To Look Single
The easiest way to have your cake and eat it too is to have a go-to person to enjoy your cuddles or other moments with while still pretending to be single, therefore leaving yourself open to flirtation and dating from other attractive people. This guy is keeping your relationship on the DL for exactly that reason.
Rather than take himself off the market, this dude wants to keep his options open, in case something better than you happens to come along. However, by having you waiting in the wings, he can still satisfy his needs without the responsibility of having an actual girlfriend.
13He’s Very Private
Some men just don’t like having their relationships be public knowledge, on social media or otherwise. Perhaps his friends are the type to pry and ask for all the details and he doesn’t want to offer that, or perhaps he has nosy coworkers who are all up in each others’ personal lives.
That being said, there is a difference between a private man and a secretive man. A guy who wants to keep your relationship private for a time will still show you respect and affection, while a guy who’s keeping things secret is much more likely to use you in whatever way is convenient for him.
12He Has Overbearing/Judgmental Friends
This explanation is usually the result of a pattern of behavior on the part of his friends. For example, perhaps this guy has brought girlfriends to meet his bros in the past, and they’ve ended up judging, ridiculing, or criticizing her. They weren’t happy with his dating decisions and/or their remarks changed his perceptions of her in a negative way.
He may be keeping things from them now because he wants to protect you (and him) from experiencing that again. His friends’ opinions can still matter to him, but when he can’t do anything to please them, he might opt to keep his love life from them.
11He’s Embarrassed By Her
It’s not a good feeling to think that the person with whom you’re involved is embarrassed by you, but it could be the reason he hasn’t told his friends about your relationship. More often than not, it’s a dumb reason related to his own insecurity, because a man who was sure of himself wouldn’t have any issue with showing off his GF, no matter what quirks she may or may not possess!
Perhaps this guy thinks the woman he’s semi-dating is “beneath” him or maybe she looks exactly like that ex he was hung up on forever and he knows he won’t hear the end of it from his friends if he brings her around.
10He’s Not Serious About Her
Introducing a girl to your friends is just one step before bringing her home to meet the parents. You only do it when you’re pretty sure things are headed in the right direction, or you care about them enough to let them into your world.
The guy who refuses to introduce his inner circle to his potential GF is the guy who isn’t all that serious about her. He doesn’t know if she’s going to last long, or even how he feels about her on his own! He is strictly keeping this a casual thing and would rather not tie her more to his life than she already is.
9She Doesn’t Have A Good Reputation
Whatever a reputation can mean in this world, this girl does not have a good one. Maybe she’s been called “crazy” a few too many times by those who have met her, perhaps she has a checkered dating past, or maybe he’s just complained about her when he’s upset to his friends so often that he’s ruined any potential relationship that might have been there!
Whatever the reason is, this girl’s reputation is in tatters and he doesn’t want to face the heckling and jeers from friends who will delight in telling him they told him so when it inevitably crashes and burns.
8He Doesn’t Want To Ruin A Group Dynamic
This reason applies most if you’re dating someone within your friend group. A mixed group of friends can lead to potential relationships (there are enough sitcoms devoted to this setup), but it can also make things a little uncomfortable, especially in the event that things go south.
This guy may have suggested keeping things on the DL for a while because he doesn’t want your entire friend group placing bets on the fate of your relationship. Plus, if things do end in a breakup, how are you going to divvy up which person gets which friend, or will one of you be left out in the cold?
7He Doesn’t Want Others Involved
His friends want what’s best for him and have always looked out for him, but that means that they can get a little controlling when it comes to his relationships. Aside from them being judgmental, this guy may just want to keep his relationship between the two of you, rather than invite the insights of every person who happens to know both of you.
Family can operate similarly to friends in that they may try to set timelines for important milestones or tell you what they think is best, and before you know it, the relationship is looking extra crowded thanks to all this unsolicited input.
6He Doesn’t See Her As A Priority
This guy has a lot going on. He’s got a work thing and some issues with his family and he’s been trying to train for that marathon, and, well, you just don’t rank up there with all of his priorities.
Even if you’ve been upfront about wanting to go public with your relationship (or at least share it with both of your friend groups), this guy just doesn’t have the time or the desire to actually make it happen. This falls back into the fact that he isn’t serious about you, otherwise he would make the effort to take things to the next level and at least be honest with his bros about where he’s going every Friday night.
5He’s Seeing Someone Else
Ouch, this one definitely hurts. A guy who has someone else on the side (or has unwittingly made you his side chick) won’t be too keen on taking things public because it would blow his cover!
A man who is behaving suspiciously and seems to think up any and every excuse to not introduce you to his friends (or anyone in his life, for that matter) could be doing so because there’s already someone he’s supposedly dating – and it’s not you. Cut your losses and get out of there while the getting is good, because this guy definitely isn’t worth your time.
4He Doesn’t Want To Share The Details
For many women, dishing to our girls about our relationship and its nitty-gritty details can be part of the fun. For this guy, though, he’d prefer to keep the stuff that happens between you and him all to himself.
This could be done out of respect for you, in that he doesn’t want to share the details of your life together, but it doesn’t totally explain why he doesn’t want to bring you in to meet his friends – unless they’re the especially nosy types. Staying mum about the two of your just avoids the potentially awkward probing and prying that he’s trying to save the both of you from.
3He’s Not Over His Last Relationship
This guy may be holding out hope that he gets back together with his ex, or maybe he doesn’t want to introduce another woman so soon after his last breakup, but either way, it doesn’t look good for you. A man who isn’t over his ex isn’t serious about you, so why would he behave in a manner that might suggest otherwise?
Rather than make his ex jealous by posting loved-up photos of the two of you online, he’s gone a whole other way, and kept your situation a secret. He wants to still appear available to her in case they reconcile or she changes her mind and comes crawling back.
2He’s Not Sure Where It’s Going
Keeping a relationship from his friends isn’t necessarily a bad thing, he may just not be ready to disclose it because he isn’t sure where it’s going. That doesn’t mean he’s itching to have the DTR talk, he’s just feeling things out with you. It also doesn’t mean he isn’t serious about you, either, just that he wants to have a better grasp of the situation before bringing another girl around to meet his friends.
Keeping your relationship on the DL while he figures things out is perfectly acceptable for a short amount of time. After all, how many times have you mentioned a man to your friends only to tell them “never mind” a week or two later?
1He’s Playing It Safe
We like to hedge our bets sometimes, especially where love is concerned. Getting our heart broken too often or finding ourselves suddenly single when things were once going so well can be painful. When we let our friends know about this every time it happens, it can feel like we’re inviting everyone to look at our failures.
Guys like to play it safe sometimes, too. They don’t know how you feel about them just yet, and so they may want to save themselves the potential embarrassment about having to explain a sudden breakup to their buds. Keeping things private and undefined is a safety net before he feels ready and secure enough to take things public.