Ask a Guy: He Hides Our Relationship From His Friends post image

Ask a Guy: He Hides Our Relationship From His Friends

I’ve been involved with this guy for about 3 and a half months now. We aren’t official but we have sex and we have had a very deep emotional connection pretty much from the start.

I previously had a thing with his best friend many months before I met my current guy. His best friend has a girlfriend now and I have no lingering feelings for him but what happened happened.

The guy I’m with won’t tell any of his friends that we are involved and he won’t tell his best friend either. He’ll even lie if his friends ask him about us when we are together. Is this a thing of him being ashamed, embarrassed, or up to no good?

So you’ve been seeing this guy for 3 and a half months. You have sex and have a deep connection and bond. And yet, he pretends not to have any romantic connection whatsoever with you in public and he lies to his friends about you guys when asked directly.

Yes, he’s either ashamed, embarrassed or he’s dating other women.

My bet is it has to do with him being embarrassed about dating you after your history with his friend. He might be afraid that his friends would make fun of him for having relations with a girl his best friend dated, or he might be afraid of upsetting his best friend (even though the friend has moved on).

I kind of doubt that he’s seeing other women since it’s likely one of his friends would have mentioned one of his other girls by now, especially if his friends don’t know that you have anything with each other.

When a guy is really proud of the relationship he’s in, he’ll usually want his friends to know he’s going out with you. For him to hide your relationship the way he is, it makes me think that he enjoys the sex and the intimacy, but has some issue about having a boyfriend-girlfriend type relationship with you.

At this point, you’ve already gone along with the whole “pretending that you’re not hooking up” thing. So the question now is if you are actually OK with it not being a relationship or if you are going along with it in hopes it will turn into a relationship.

If you’re happy with everything as it is, then you have nothing to worry about – things will remain as they are unless he meets a girl that he wants to pursue for a relationship. If you’re not happy with this arrangement, then you should figure out what his issue is in regards to keeping the “relationship” a secret and find out if it’s something he’s ready to change now.

If he is, great, you can pursue having a relationship. If he’s not, you should make a judgment call on whether or not you want to continue down this path.

Personally, I think people get too caught up on whether or not they’re in a full-fledged relationship. There’s a huge spectrum of relationships between booty call dating and exclusive boyfriend-girlfriend dating. So I don’t want to impart any value judgment on what kind of relationship you might want at this moment.

However, I will say that what you have now is what I call “back pocket” dating. Back pocket dating is where a guy or girl is dating someone that they have no commitment to, but enjoy all the benefits of a relationship until something better comes along. Essentially, they are single to the rest of the world, but they have you in their back pocket and they can enjoy all of the benefits of being in a relationship without any commitment.

The tough part about being in someone’s back pocket is that once they find someone they actually do want to date, you’re going to be sent packing.

All in all, I would say your best bet is to figure out if he can get over whatever his issue is (if you want a relationship with him) and if he can’t, either continue with the understanding that it’s not a committed relationship or break it off immediately and start dating other people.

Hope it helps,

eric charles

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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Joyce Ibekwe

What about if your hubby does not like people seeing both of you together outside.what does that mean

Reply September 27, 2018, 2:53 am

Char P

I’m so glad that I’ve read these stories and that there seem to be women in relationships similar to the one I’m in now; I thought I was mad!!
I’ve been seeing a guy for just over a year and we’ve branded it as FWB (whatever that actually means) from the off, although as time has gone on I’ve developed stronger feelings for him, I maybe even think that I love him on some level. Although none of his family or friends even know about me.
We text eachother everyday and see eachother a few times a week, and when we’re together it’s great. We relax, have a laugh, and the sex is good. I can’t say great because I don’t believe he ever truly connects when we have sex.
He has an ex-wife that throughout our relationship has caused him nothing but grief, and also an ex-girlfriend who has done much the same. Throughout, I have remained supportive and we only speak about it when he wants to, and I’ll listen and comfort him however I can.
He is very detached and does not, as a rule, express his feelings and I think this has a massive amount to do with that he is ex-armed forces too.
On some days I’m overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy and that I’m not good enough, and never will be; and on other days I just take it all with a punch of salt and roll with the punches. I do have a tendency to over think things.
Lately, it feels more like he resents all women and will never allow me into his life properly even though I desperately want him to, and have mentioned this to him on a couple of occasions but he just wants to to remain friends and doesn’t want to be in a relationship.
I don’t want to stop being friends or cut off contact but I feel like I’m just orbiting his life, and when he’s had enough or found something new, he’ll have no problem just leaving my life.
Sometimes it just drives me crazy but I’m not strong enough to just walk away.

Reply June 19, 2018, 2:49 pm

Just me

I an also dating someone I’ve known for years. He was also the friend of my child’s father. I never pursued it before because I never wanted to date within our friends circle but here we are. My ex and I broke up 5 years ago so I figured enough time has passed but I notice that doesn’t pay attention to me in front of our friends. I think it’s just because neither one of us want to deal with the drama and people talking behind your back. It’s only been a month so I know I need to give it more time see where it goes but I really hope it doesn’t change our friendship either way.

Reply October 21, 2016, 6:26 am


There is a saying around our circle of friends ….it is not good to date a ex or friend’s friend. If he doesn’t pay attention to you in front of people he isn’t serious. He cares only when you are together but hides you. Before it gets too emotional ..leave, if not say/ask what you expect or hope to except in a relationship. See what he said says and how he will act around others. After all, you get what you ask for. You want nothing you get nothing. So now ask yourself…am I WORTH it?

Reply October 19, 2017, 1:55 am


Im not the best person to make a comment. You see I’ve been in a relasionship for the past 11 years and because we were in a rut I left. This has been followed by him seeing someone else, me deciding I want him back. A trail of being together after which he said he wanted to be with her. Followed by another trial of us being together. Which is were I am now. It’s going ok but he is also keeping us a secret. This makes me think Why?? I know how you feel

Reply August 23, 2016, 3:38 am


There is love there but the back and forth looks to be a bit too much for him to handle. He is afraid to get emotional because he is asking himself if you will leave again. A man can date a million women but his heart will always belong to one woman. So the question is ….who?

Reply October 19, 2017, 2:02 am


I’ve been seeing a guy for almost 2 years “privately”, the back pocket dating. Great chemistry, great sex, emotional connection, almost daily conversation and so much in common. I told a few friends who in turn told others and it got back to him. He said with the numerous ppl asking him about us, it disturbed him because he’s a private person and he had to step away. I’m assuming this is embarrassment (not sure why)or there’s other women. I have supported him, been there for him and give in the situation way more than he has. Made him cd’s, bought him cards and gifts, give him numerous massages when times were tough, drove to him everytime we saw each other, I got nothing. My heart hurts because I love him but I know I need to let go. It’s not understanding that’s keeping my mind tore up. Why the secrecy and why did ppl learning of us make him deny it and step away???

Reply August 21, 2016, 11:28 am

Eric Charles

Hey Shannon — I can’t tell you why he acted this way (nobody else could, either), but my question would be, “What do you want?”

I ask this because the only person you have any control over is you.

I’m making an assumption that you want something, otherwise you wouldn’t have come here and asked that question.

And yes, you could say that you “want to know why he’s doing this”, but there’s something behind you wanting to know the answer to this…

I’ll share a few thoughts and hopefully they’ll be helpful to you.

First off, keep in mind that you and this guy have been participating in a relationship with each other. Every day you continue to participate, you are choosing to do so.

It sounds to me like he stopped choosing to participate in the dynamic. Whatever his reasons are, it is out of your control.

The best thing you can do at this point is, instead of trying to read into why he’s acting the way he is… ask yourself, “How can I be proactive in my situation?”

I’m not saying you want to date other people, but be that as it may, why not use this time now as an opportunity?

Let’s say, hypothetically, that this guy was gone for good. Sooner or later, you’d want to date again. So why not prepare for the worst case scenario proactively, so that if it happens, you don’t have to dig yourself out of a hole…

One of the most destructive things that can happen when we come up against a break up situation is that our mood drops so low. You can control your mood and well-being… and when you do, you would be amazed at the clarity and insight you gain into your own situation.

I want you to be empowered… and the best way to be empowered is to gain clarity yourself. That clarity comes with good living – so do a self-assessment:

– could you be doing more for your health/fitness?
– could you be taking better care of yourself?
– could you be doing more to play and have fun in life?
– could you be spending more time with people you love?
– could you be spending more time doing things you love?

These are areas that will massively improve your mood, and you would be shocked at how positively a good mood can be in gaining insight and clarity into your love life.

Our minds trick us into thinking that worrying and analyzing our relationship problems will give us some grand insight if we just think about it enough. But has that been your experience?

I can tell you that when I was in breakup situations, it never brought me clarity or insight… it just fed the pain and kept the drama alive within me.

Improving your mood by improving your life… that is the best pro-active step you can take… once you do, the next steps will become clear to you.

Hope it helps.

Reply August 21, 2016, 12:30 pm


I believe he had it in his mind that your relationship was an arrangement. He got comfortable and familiar and so did you. The thing is we can never know what’s in a man’s pocket or what’s on his mind. No matter how great things are he decided it wasn’t worth it. When you talked he felt betrayed because he figured it was up to him to establish the title or status of the relationship. If he didn’t do it yet he probably never will but who knows stranger things has happened in relationships. Just wait and see if he comes back it was meant to be if not let him go. Remember he only did what you allowed him to do by not fully discussing the status of your relationship. Next time ask and there will not be any MISUNDERSTANDINGS.

Reply October 19, 2017, 2:20 am


So I have known him for about 6 months now he replies my text,calls me everyday, even before he goes to bed but the thing is I only see most of his friends on FaceTime n hung out with some set of his friends once n they wanted my number although he refused them having it..I have not met his brother who is the only family he has here…I go to his house anytime even unplanned from work n he will be waiting for me…I’m a stay at home kind of girl but I wonder why he has not offered me to come meet his friends…also he has been single for about 6yrs now so I’m not sure how to handle this…I need help please

Reply July 20, 2016, 3:36 am


I believe he had it in his mind that your relationship was an arrangement. He got comfortable and familiar and so did you. The thing is we can never know what’s in a man’s pocket or what’s on his mind. No matter how great things are he decided it wasn’t worth it. When you talked he felt betrayed because he figured it was up to him to establish the title or status of the relationship. If he didn’t do it yet he probably never will but who knows stranger things has happened in relationships. Just wait and see if he comes back it was meant to be if not let him go. Remember he only did what you allowed him to do by not fully discussing the status of your relationship. Next time ask and there will not be any MISUNDERSTANDINGS.

Reply October 19, 2017, 2:34 am



Was wondering what I meant to do in my situation? dont want to look needy ( read ur article about it ) but he is best friends with his ex and very often dont pick up my phone when with her . I know he is not cheating but told me that hates the grief she gives him …. hat I meant to do ????

Reply May 21, 2016, 3:20 pm


Motive and intent that’s what you have to ask. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care. Maybe he hasn’t decided to be committed to a serious relationship yet. If after years he hasn’t done so he never will or maybe he will. It doesn’t mean your needy it just means your human. The best thing to do is have a serious talk with him and simply ask. Until you do you will only drive yourself crazy. At least this way you will know the answer and act accordingly.

Reply October 19, 2017, 2:44 am


So, here is the truth and I will confess.

I have been dating a guy and while dating this guy, I met a girl through a mutual friend. She really liked me and we also found a good chemistry with each other. She loves me and I have the same feelings, however, I am not sure if my feeling for her was as strong as hers for me. This has been going on for a bit more than 6 years. Mentally, I was still with the guy, physically I was with the girl. She told everyone about us. I did not even tell anyone about my relationship with her even the guy I had previously dated and mentally with. I was afraid that if the male I am dating will not be happy of who I am seeing because she has some not well chosen business she did in the past and this guy know. Fast forward, a bit more than 6 years later I was still keeping this a secret. She drew the line in the sand but I decided to take a break and think about the future. A few things I realized from this. With what she did in the past, I am afraid to tell the guy I was seeing mentally or my parent and friends because I am embarrassed. I do not know if I want to be committed to her since we have different values and drive in life. I wait to see if there is anyone better come along before committing. Finally, I broke up with her and she went out and slept with others. Maybe one day, the commitment will happen but for now, I am not dating anyone.

Reply March 3, 2016, 2:44 pm


Stop making excuses. Love is love. You can’t throw away 6 years as if it was 6 days. If you weren’t embarrassed at the time, why now? Be honest with yourself and forget about what others think otherwise you will constantly be asking these same questions. Coulda, woulda, shoulda doesn’t go far in life, it just poses more questions.

Reply October 19, 2017, 2:56 am


I am in a relationship that sounds like the back pocket type of relationship. I have recently decided to end my 7 year relationship because there is not commitment and he seems like he is living the single life apart from me due to his music industry job. He turns it around on me every single time he’s confronted about doing things that are not respectful towards me, he puts up a front with his friends as if he’s not tied down. I’m so over this whole situation what a waste of time when your 40 year old boyfriend doesn’t want to settle down and get real!

Reply December 19, 2015, 8:08 pm


I need some advise pal I had a boyfriend n I love him so much his friend was my ex bt hr told me let our love to be secret let no one to know even her ex girlfriend so question is these he loves me or playing with me

Reply December 18, 2015, 2:27 am


Hello everyone!
What a great post! I have been reading many articles but this one is the one I was waiting for or rather hit me straight in the face.

I am a woman with two kids going through divorce. The biggest problem I’m facing right now is the guy I have started liking a lot is the husband of the woman with whom my husband cheated on me. (I Never imagined)

Five years ago we had spoken about what was going on and how our respective spouses were cheating us… But we never met. He got divorced with his wife almost a year ago( has no kids).. It was an ugly one for him.. And my husband was helping her out all the while.. Yeah!

..and I kept hanging in this marriage to work on it for kids and my sake. (I wasn’t financially independent that time..)

But this year things are beyond repair and we both want to separate. So this guy has come in to picture as I accidentally bumped into him at an event and then we started texting in and out.. I haven’t stepped out with this guy yet as he alwasy says he wants to keep me safe and awesome always. He doesn’t want things to be messy.. Cos this thing between us is forbidden.. Taboo..and will be a shocker if people get to know..
We have had phone sex and its been awesome. We have great chemistry and we get along very well..
But he just doesn’t seem to take any step further to get me or even ask me out..

He has reduced his texting and almost seems like he has forgotten me.
So I know its pretty obvious that he doesn’t want anything to do with me cos of the baggage or drama it will create in his life..
But we got along very well and he was the one who said was attracted to me and shares a deep connection with me.. maybe cos we went through all that together…
So this article has given me the answer that I’m his “back pocket” relationship’ and the moment he finds someone he will dump me. But he is being nice so far not to emotionally scar me, make me feel used or being a puritan or what I don’t know…
I so want this relationship to work out…don’t know what to do… I have leaned back for now as I don’t want to sound desperate or needy… But I do wait by the phone for his text or call…
I can’t change past and he has to be ready to accept me with this past.
We have common friends and acquaintances too which makes him uncomfortable I feel..
How do I get him think its ok.. So what if our spouses cheated? We are free now. Pls help/ suggest..

Reply August 25, 2015, 11:29 pm


I have a boyfriend I been with him for the 5+years everything is good except that we don’t date,go anywhere in public always hiding me Frm his friends and family,I never meet his family and friends,just through the phone call,NVR call me,only once in month,do text all the time.we are still together but I’m getting tired of him hiding our relationship,do u think I should leave him or what?he say he love me

Reply August 11, 2015, 8:15 am


My boyfriend and i have been dating for almost 2 months now its a long distance relationship . I have told all my friends and family but his mom and sister know due to how we met but not his friends or his dad due to us meeting online he doesn’t want to post it on fb either what does it mean ? Is he ashamed? We talk every night on fb and Skype most of the week and all weekends need advice

Reply September 26, 2014, 3:05 pm


Hey Cass,
How did it turn out?
I’m in the same situation: We’ve been on a long distance relationship for more than 5 months now. I went to see him once and he came to see me once. He’s coming again in June. We talk the whole time, except during sleeping time. We both know, we want something serious. Our parents know each other. I told my parents and siblings right at the beginning, but he hasn’t told his family nor friends until now (5 months), except my cousin who is his best friend and who introduced us.

It’s really driving me crazy because I don’t know what to think. He has a history, of course, and maybe this situation is because of that past of his. He got engaged to a girl after less than three months of long distance relationship with her, and then, less than two months later, the girl broke their engagement.
I can understand if, because of that, he doesn’t wanna rush things, but anyways, it’s been 5 months!!! And I tend to compare our situation with their situation (The fact that he got engaged to that girl after two months, his exhibition of their “love” and everything on fb etc. with his fb without a single trace of my existence now.)
It’s really sad, and I think I will have to terminate this relationship. I’m gonna put him on some tests on fb, and if the result is negative, then I will have to forget him, and move on for a better life.

I hope it turned out right for you.

Reply May 15, 2015, 4:00 am


I was in this “back pocket” relationship also. Only this guy moved in with someone and was having a “relationship” with her, just never told me and continued to see and sleep with me on a weekly basis for months until I found out. Told me he was confused about how he felt about me and the physical chemistry he and I have never goes away for him. So, he was trying to figure things out & he does have feelings for me!! So, you’re not always sent packing-the bus just gets more passengers with some guys.

Reply July 15, 2011, 12:35 pm


Well that sucks. He basically is having his cake and eating it to. Are you happy with the way things are going? I would send him packing, quite honestly.

Reply June 25, 2012, 7:10 pm


Well that’s a good way to look at it! Glad you have that perspective! The way things should be.

Reply December 15, 2012, 2:29 pm


I’m glad I came across this article, it’s just what I was looking for. I am in this kind of a relationship right now, I know he goes out with other women, and we keep our situation on the DL. I’m currently talking to another guy, but we haven’t officially gone on a date yet. I intend to stop the “back pocket” relationship if I do start a relationship with a new guy.

I’m really curious what guys think about women who get involved in these kind of relationships, is that considered slutty? I’m no girl, I’m a woman, and I like sex, so I’m happy with the arrangement while in between relationships. But I still get insecure about my new man possibly finding out and thinking less of me.

Reply March 17, 2011, 7:42 pm


Depends on the guy. Some guys have Madonna/whore complexes. Impossible to know. But, the answer is: there’s no need to tell a guy that you’re in one of these relationships, unless you’re engaging in risky behavior. If the guy you’re “seeing” now is in the same circle of friends enough that you think it could get out… maybe you should venture further afield. Sleeping around a small group is almost never a good idea.

Reply December 15, 2012, 2:57 pm


I suspect I may be in a relationship with someone that is a “back pocket” relationship, Im wondering if I should ask the guy if it is okay if he minds we see other people. How will he take that. I would like to be exclusive, but it seems that he is busy on his days off and we’re not having a busy relationship, and its on occassion when he wants to see me, he calls to have me come over or he comes to my house. He claims he is not dating others. I really dont want to date or see anyone else, but if he is just leading me on with a “pretend relationship” anticipating something could move forward with us then Id wait and not be interested in dating. What do you think?

Reply December 10, 2010, 11:39 pm


Great post! I wish I’d read this last year. Actually, this is pretty timely for me today – I somehow seem to get stuck in these “back pocket” relationships. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – maybe I’m not ready to move forward into a “real” relationship either. But it’s good to stay grounded in the reality of a situation, especially given the fact that once your friend finds someone else, you’re gone.

Reply September 24, 2010, 6:20 pm


i really liked the response you have provided. My feeling as soon as i read the questions was that he doesnt want to tell his friends because of the history with the other friend. I have a girlfriend in the same situation and pretty much that was the reason why they were keeping it a secret. Eventualy he told his friend that he was dating his ex, and of course, there was a fight between the two friends. The thing is that they worked together, so if you argue about something like this it is hard to have to see each other after that. So if this is his best friend, and all the other friends are pretty close and hang out a lot, then it is hard for him to tell them what is going on.
Good luck with this one, i know that i wouldnt want to be in this situation if what i am looking for is a commited relationship, however, if you are not looking for that type of relationship, then this understanding should be okay. But whatever decision/path you decide to take, I would say to make sure that it is clear to both you and him what you guys are doing and the type of “relationship” you are agreeing to.
Good luck

Reply September 24, 2010, 5:28 pm

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