Couples: are you a victim of “pickpocketing”, this toxic and harmful behavior for mental health?

In public, your partner avoids showing affection and acts like a friend? You may be a victim of “pocketing”, a toxic love behavior that destroys self-esteem.

En couple for several months, your partner still hasn’t taken the initiative to introduce you to his family and friends? In public, do they avoid intimacy and displays of affection, but are more gentle in private? You do not appear in any photos or stories on their social networks, many people think that your other half is single? This toxic love behavior has a name: pocketing. Explanations.

To live happily, live secretly?

From the English “pocket”, which means “pocket”, pocketing consists of hiding their romantic relationship from the rest of the world, even if the latter started a few months or even a few years ago. Concretely, we put the other “in his pocket” when we are in public, because we don’t fully assume the relationship. A very difficult attitude to manage for the other partner, who asks his partner but also asks himself, for fear of being responsible for this exclusion.

Because if it’s normal and healthy to want to take your time before formalizing a relationship, continue living celibate in front of others while in a relationship on the other hand, proves a dysfunction, or in any case a blockage in one of the two partners. “The intention, with pocket, is to hide the person who is your boyfriend. Often, the person who perpetuates this behavior does not want their partner to meet their friends and family; it is a way of creating space and establishing distance in the relationship“, summarizes therapist Rachel Perlstein in the columns of NBC News.

Identify the different causes of pocketing

But how to explain this toxic behavior, which can cause a lot of suffering and loss of self-esteem who is the victim? First, remember that the pocketing not must motivated by a desire to harm or a lack of love on the part of your other half. In some people, Hiding your relationship can actually hide a deep weakness. Your partner may be shy around them, or afraid that you won’t be around their family or friends. Although it is not always justified and forgivable, this fear of judgment and confrontation can explain this separation.

It is also possible that your partner lie about himself, or try to embellish who he really is to please you. By keeping you away from his environment, he seeks to protect the attractive front image – the one that attracted you in the first place. Your partner may fear that meeting his loved ones will destroy this image he has worked so hard to build.

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A final scenario (and not the most pleasant), believe that your partner has someone else in their life. It can be a lover, an ex, or someone around him that he loves very much, and with whom he hopes that something will happen one day. This last assumption, which is more extreme, can explain why you are not in their social networks, for example.

How to recognize the signs of pocketing?

You are afraid of becoming a victim of pocketing? These different signs, identified by the American therapist Rachel Perlstein, can put you on the right path.

  • Your partner will not invite you never events with people close to them
  • He invents (usually lame) excuses as to why you can’t see their loved ones
  • If you find yourself, it’s usually in remote areas or places where his friends don’t go.
  • He spoke very little about the people in his social circle
  • You do not appear on his social networks / he deletes photos and posts where you know him
  • Your partner will never introduce you to others as his partner, but as a friend or just by your name
  • His friends and family have never heard of you

How to get out of the spiral pocketing?

Of course it is very difficult to leave when you are in a relationship. The fact that our partner does not assume the relationship creates loss of self confidenceand can seriously damage the Mental Health. The best way out of this painful spiral is say what’s in your heart to your partner. If your relationship is new, this discussion can be an opportunity to tune your violins and start on the right track before becoming too emotionally invested. For long-term couples, this discussion is necessary, but may not be sufficient. If your partner continues to hide your relationship despite your concerns, maybe it’s time to consider a breakup. This decision may be difficult to make, but your sanity is at stake.

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