October 5, 2022

Online Dating: What Underlies Stashing

If you are an active Internet user or frequently meet new people on the Web, probably, you may have come across the word “stashing.” If you are seeing this term for the first time, we recommend that you pay attention to this topic.

Stashing is a term that describes a relationship in which one of the partners, for one reason or another, hides the other from their relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Most often, stashing occurs among couples who meet on the Internet.

Why do people hide their soulmates? How serious is this, and what can be done about it? We will try to answer these and other questions in this article.

Is Stashing normal?

Firstly, we must voice one important thought. It is normal to decide not to advertise your relationship or discuss it in public. However, if a person hides the existence of a partner for no apparent reason and continues to play the role of a loner, this act is identified as stashing. You don’t have to put up with this because the causes and consequences of stashing can be very unpleasant. If you feel that your partner is deliberately hiding you away from their friends and family, we advise you to discuss this issue with them directly, find out the reasons for such behavior, and understand what plans they have for your future relationship.

How to recognize a stasher?

At the stage of the first acquaintance, it is almost impossible to recognize a stasher. Stashing only becomes apparent as the relationship progresses. The signs become obvious as the relationship materializes.

However, we must list a few key characteristics of stashes that you should look out for:

  1. Stashers meet mostly online. Of course, there is nothing wrong with online dating itself. However, keep in mind that there are many stashers among online users. 
  2. Stashers avoid mentioning you in their conversations among their friends and family. Your joint photo as a couple will never appear on their Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. Also, in your gift photo, there will definitely not be a hint of who gave it. 
  3. Stashers may continue to use dating sites and Chatroulette to meet new people. At the same time, they hide every possibility of anyone finding out they are in a relationship.

You should not panic if your chosen one does not share the details of their personal life on social networks. This is fine. That’s their personal life. You should only be wary if this is combined with other signs of stashing.

Why do stashes prefer to hide their relationship?

You must understand that stashing does come from not only bad motives but also good ones. The “bad” reasons for stashing are:

  1. Your partner is ashamed of you. Perhaps, they are not sure of your appearance, behavior, or character. They are ready to put up with this but are afraid of becoming the subject of ridicule or insults from relatives or friends. This is worth considering whether you are ready to be with someone who is ashamed of you due to one reason or another.
  2. Your partner is in a relationship with someone else. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is quite common, especially among men. There is a huge number of married men on dating sites who are looking for relationships on the side. Surely, they will not make such a relationship known to any other person.
  3. In reality, your partner is not ready for a serious relationship. You can think of relationships as close-knit and feelings as strong. However, how your partner feels about them could be completely different. This can only be a short-term affair for them. Hence, it is not okay to discuss or spread it.

However, there are situations when a stasher hides their relationship without any malicious intent. On the contrary, they try to protect their loved ones and save their relationship. Here are some examples of such situations:

  1. The person has difficult relatives and friends. Truly, they can be toxic, obnoxious, or overly demanding. Your partner might be trying to protect you from them, so you don’t get embarrassed in any way or make someone else’s opinion more important than yours. In this case, stashing may be for the good of your relationship.
  2. Your partner is from a religious family. Some deeply religious families categorically do not accept any long-term relationships, not to mention intimate relationships before marriage. Therefore, a person from a religious family may tend to hide their soulmate. This is not very pleasant, but you can put up with it if that type of stashing is okay with you.
  3. Your partner is afraid of losing you. Yes, sometimes stashing emanates as a result of intense love and fear of losing one’s partner. For example, someone might be afraid that one of their friends will take them away. Therefore they keep and protect you like a diamond. Their motives can be understood, but it is still better to discuss this issue with your partner because it’s impossible to hide the relationship forever.

Generally, if you suspect that you have become a victim of stashing, try to discuss the situation with your partner as soon as possible. Your suspicions might be completely unfounded, or it could just be the first alarm bell of disaster in the relationship. The best step is to approach the conversation tactfully without any form of aggression. Remember that stashing is well-intentioned in many situations.

How to get acquainted on the Internet and not become a victim of stashing?

There is no universal way to protect yourself against stashing. You must understand that you can start a relationship with a stasher not only on the Web but also offline. However, it is a fact that the risk of meeting stashers on the Web is higher. Moreover, it doesn’t matter whether you use classic dating sites and apps like Bumble, eHarmony, Stir or chat roulettes Chatrandom and CooMeet. However, chat roulettes are usually preferred. At least, they allow you to immediately see the interlocutor in front of you and evaluate their manner of behavior and speech, interest in the conversation, and character traits.

Nonetheless, if you use a roulette video call for dating, pay attention to the environment of the interlocutor. If they freely communicate with you when there is someone nearby (a friend in the room or one of the relatives nearby), this is a good sign. This simply implies that the interlocutor is not a stasher. However, in ordinary applications and on dating sites, the risks are higher. Communication here is often based on text chats. Therefore it is easier to hide it. This is actively used by stashers, including married men.

Be very careful when transferring your communication from online to offline

This is an extremely important point that can tell a lot about the possibility of further development in your relationship. Pay attention to where you are assigned a date. Stashers tend to choose the least crowded and most unpopular places. It can be some unsightly cafe on the outskirts of the city, a walk in the least crowded area, and going to the cinema to see an unpopular movie at the most unpopular time as well as early in the morning. 

However, such behavior does not mean that you are definitely in front of a stasher. Hence, if you invite a person to spend time in some popular place, and they categorically refuse, they are probably hiding something from you. That is why they choose places for dates where it is almost impossible to meet someone they know. If such behavior can be justified and accepted at the beginning of a relationship, over time, it will look very strange and alarming.

Let’s summarize

It’s impossible to protect yourself 100% from stashing. When you first get to know a person, you cannot predict how your relationship will progress, whether it will become more “public” or your partner will hide the relationship in every possible way.

If you see that you are being deliberately hidden from friends and family, you should not immediately sound the alarm and end the relationship just like that. Firstly, you need to talk and explain to your partner why you are concerned about the situation. Let your partner know that you are offended by such secrecy on their part and that you do not mind getting to know their family and friends and spending time together with them. Most likely, the person will reconsider changing their behavior. However, if they avoid answering in every possible way, accuse you of exaggerating the seriousness of the situation, or begin to show some aggression because of your complaint, there is reason to seriously think about continuing such a relationship. In the foreseeable future, a relationship with a stasher will not lead to anything good for you. 

Follow our advice, meet interesting people, be open, and don’t be shy about your relationship. It will surely bring you more pleasure.

About the author 

Kyrie Mattos

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