The 20s and 30s are the most exciting yet challenging time of our lives. We’re in the thick of adulting, and it’s a circus show for the most part. Amid this confusion, throw in dating and all the tests that come with it. Among these is pocketing.

How to tell you’re being pocketed?

Imagine this. You’re out and about with your beau. You run into one of his people. You can tell they’re not just acquaintances; whatever relationship they have runs deep. So, you inch closer, smiling from ear to ear, waiting for an introduction that never comes. Your partner seems to be oblivious to your presence. You clear your throat to remind them of your existence, nothing.

So, what is pocketing?

Pocketing is when you’ve been with someone for a reasonable amount of time, and the relationship evolves to something permanent. At this point, you slowly start introducing your squeeze to some of your closest friends and family members. Naturally, you’d expect the same from their side, except it doesn’t happen. Instead, they bring up every excuse in the book to prevent this from happening.

Why do people do this?

I can’t think of any other reason people would want to hide something as beautiful as a relationship unless they’re already committed, dating a minor, in which case, throw the fool in jail and toss away the key. If it’s any of the above reasons, your partner will hesitate to show you to his family and friends (for obvious reasons). Another possibility is that they’re worried their family might not approve of your relationship or that you might think their family is a couple of fries short of a happy meal, and this will make you bolt.

How to address this?

If you’ve been hinting about meeting your SO’s people, not just their drinking buddies, but they don’t get it. It is time to sit them down and have an honest conversation about why you still have not met the people who’ve shaped who they’ve become after so long. Explain why this is important to you. After all, we learn a lot about our partners by talking to the people they’re close to. This is crucial, particularly when you’re thinking of kicking things up a notch.

The ideal time to do this is when you’re both in a good mood. Please do your best not to use accusatory language as this may cause them to clam up. Your partner might have solid reasons as to why you’ve never met significant people in their life. They could be coming from a dysfunctional family that caused them a great deal of harm, or they’re not aware of how important this is to you.

After the talk

If you’ve discussed this, but your love continues to stash you. Then it’s time to rethink your relationship. What are they hiding? Are they ashamed of you? Are they scared that their friends and family might reveal things about them that might send you running for the hills?

Even if your partner treats you well and worships the ground you walk on, pocketing you is a giant red flag that should not be ignored. Considering at this juncture in your life, you’re looking for a life partner, someone to start a family with, then you want someone honest, open, kind, mentally and emotionally stable, if that’s the relationship you’re aiming for, then there should be no room for pocketing.

But I love them

Sure, you love them, and you may even think you will never find someone who understands you the way they do. You want to be with someone who gets your dry wit and loves your quirkiness. Love, while it plays a significant role in a relationship, it isn’t enough to keep a union afloat. There are a lot of variables needed for it to work. All cards need to be put on the table. Wouldn’t it be much easier to say, “Honey, I want you to meet my family, but because of x,y and z, I’m going to delay the introductions.” This level of openness will put you at ease.

You will face challenges in your tie-up. When this happens, their people might help you navigate the situation. However, where will you get this support if you are being pocketed?

Please be with someone that is proud to show you off to the world. Adulting is difficult enough as it is. You don’t want to be with someone who isn’t as fully invested in your relationship as you are.




Tell us: Have you ever been pocketed?