The Benefits of Keeping Your Love Life Secret From Your Friends
The reasons you must stay low when it comes to your romantic affairs
Do you remember the last time you told your friend about this hot guy from biology class you’re now secretly stalking, or that girl from marketing you’re currently seeing on the weekends? The thought resonates with most of us, cause naturally, that’s what most friendly hangout are decorated with: personal stories. In fact, it’s what brings friendships together sometimes. If you can vividly recall that moment in time after you’ve seemingly lifted that weight of your chest, maybe try to visualise the circumstances around it, you may see yourself in the slight air of smugness, feeling like complete champ after boasting about that romantic encounter of yours. Maybe, you’d even make a bit of a white lie, put a bit of icing on your story, make yourself sound like a greek god or goddess to impress your friends.
More often than not, it’s hard to keep your mouth shut. Don’t get me wrong, under the appropriate circumstances, it’s considered healthy, even essential to open up to your inner social circle, especially in the weight of more profound issues such life and mental struggles. In the essence of your romantic ventures though, not so much. I like to even think of it homologous to letting the cat out of the bag — somewhat careless and mostly irrelevant. The act of introducing your friends into the light of your love life simply makes you feel good… for a very brief moment. That dopamine rush you get, just like in an orgasm, dies off swiftly, leaving you with a brain that’s craving for more ‘happy’ hits. From there, it’s a downward spiral.
An even more worrying side to this argument revolves around the idea of moral obligation and social pressure. It’s the idea that when people outwardly proclaim something to their social circle, their natural tendency is to stick with it, even when the outcomes become unfavourable. Nobody likes a hypocrite, and so we’ve naturally evolved to favour human beings who stay true to their words, or in other words, we have become major endorsers of consistency. However, in the act of preserving consistency, one risks becoming blind to the ends and staying too emotionally attached to the means.
This idea, once again, may not always prove detrimental to our well being. Take weight-loss commitments for example, a study has found that people who declare their habitual undertakings into the public eye tend to stick to their guns and go on to establish their set goals. When you however, proclaim publicly, or privately in that instance, about your romantic pursuit for someone, the feeling of moral fulfilment may rise above common sense; and it becomes an obligation.
Phrases like “It didn’t work out”, or “He didn’t like me back” are painful to announce to your closest friends, let alone to the public crowd, the same crowd you so happily imparted your story to. And so you don’t say it, or even worse, you engage yourself in this hopeless, romantic fairy tale that you’ve so carelessly crafted by yourself. Feeling anxious to face the public’s jeers, you procure this mock-up happy filter in front of your friends of just how ‘amazing’ your life is — you live in your own sphere of lies, and the worse part, you may even believe in it one day.
I am not a dating coach, a relationship guru, or the sort. I’m just an average Joe who is lucky (or unlucky) enough to have witnessed friends who have entered this hellhole and see the toll it has taken upon their lives. That point aside, I have to make a disclaimer alert, please do take this advice with a pinch of salt. Having said that, do believe me when I say that that bit of high you get after announcing that amorous venture of yours to your peers is not worth the mental pressure and duties that come with it.
“Prevention is the best medicine”
That’s what they teach us at medical school. Mitigation is always the better option in any instance. Instead of boasting publicly, keep a daily journal in your bag or on your desk, pour out your heart to it when the moment calls. If you find yourself stuck in the midst of this scenario, talk to a therapist or a family member. I always find ways to converse with my parents whenever something of this nature arises. Their non-judgmental and neutral suggestions are often far more beneficial for your problems than those you get with superficial acquaintance encounters.
Plus, prevention means you’ll save face in front of your friends.