What Is Pocketing? (Signs And Dating Trend Explained)

So what is pocketing in dating and relationships, and what are the signs or reasons why people do it?

While you may expect the relationship you are in to follow a natural path from the moment you start dating to things becoming more serious between you.

What does it mean if the person you are dating never introduces you to their friends or family? Also, what are they really doing when they keep the relationship a secret and avoid making it public or official on social media?

There is a good chance you are being pocketed.

The person you are dating or in a relationship with could be engaged in pocketing you, sometimes without you even realizing it.

So what is pocketing? Is it just a dating trend or something you should be genuinely worried about?

What Is Pocketing?

Pocketing is a dating term that means the person you’re dating is keeping you a secret and hiding the relationship from others. If you are pocketing someone, it means you are trying to deliberately hide the person you’re dating from your inner circle and the people in your life.

What Does Pocketing Someone Mean?

Pocketing is, in short, a situation where the person you’re dating makes every attempt to make the relationship seem non-existent to friends, family, or anyone they don’t want to know. They are essentially putting you in their pocket to keep the relationship a secret and hide you from everyone else.

When someone you are dating is pocketing you. This will involve them being highly secretive or subtle when talking about the true nature of your relationship with others.

They will hesitate and avoid introducing you to friends or family, and may also not disclose or reveal anything about the relationship on social media.

While there can be many meanings behind someone pocketing you whilst dating or in a relationship. They often have less to do with this person’s feelings towards you, and more to do with the real reasons and intentions for doing it.

Reasons For Pocketing

What are the reasons for someone to start pocketing you?

When the person you are dating decides to pocket you or hide your relationship so that others cannot see. There can be multiple reasons why they would choose to do this.

Here are the main reasons for pocketing in dating and relationships.

1. They Are Still In Love With Their Ex

When they are still in love with their ex and unsure about their feelings towards you. It’s inevitable that they would want to try and hide their relationship status by pocketing you.

They will hide the relationship from view because they don’t want their ex to know you are now together. They might also be trying to keep their ex in the dark so they don’t burn any bridges with them if this relationship with you doesn’t work out.

[Read: What To Do When Your Boyfriend Won’t Stop Talking To His Ex?]

If your partner pockets you because they still love their ex. They will do everything they can to keep the relationship a secret and avoid telling friends who might reveal the truth to their ex.

2. They Are Having An Affair

One of the major reasons for people to engage in pocketing is when they are already in a relationship with somebody else, looking to cheat, or having an affair.

Perhaps they are married, have a girlfriend, or are already committed to somebody else long-distance. Whatever the situation might be, it’s a bad one to find yourself in the middle of.

They could just be pocketing you for a casual fling, and they don’t want their significant other or friends and family to find out.

Whatever the case may be. If you suspect your partner of pocketing you for this very reason. Be vigilant, look for clues, and work towards knowing the truth.

3. They Are Telling You Lies

If the person you’re dating has been telling you lies from the very start. This can be yet another common reason why they would decide to start pocketing you in the relationship.

They are pocketing you whilst dating or in the relationship because they don’t want you to find out the truth.

Them not introducing you to friends or family is a calculated move on their part. It stops and does not allow you to corroborate stories with others to reveal the lies they’ve been telling you.

When your partner is hiding you from their inner circle because they are lying to you. This is a seriously bad situation to find yourself within. If you suspect them of lying and pocketing you as a result, you need to confront them.

4. They Are Unsure About Feelings

If your partner is unsure about their feelings and doesn’t know how far to take this relationship with you. This can also cause them to begin pocketing you until they are certain about how they feel.

Them pocketing you, for this reason, is not always a bad thing. It can just mean they need more time to process feelings about the relationship.

Until then, they may not feel fully comfortable introducing you to their inner circle and revealing the relationship to others.

[Read: Signs He Is Not Ready For A Real Relationship With You]

Talk with your partner about their feelings, and figure out if there is anything you can do to show them you’re committed or make them feel assured about being with you.

5. There Are Cultural, Religious, Or Racial Barriers

When your partner comes from a completely different background to you or holds different cultural or religious beliefs that are shared by their friends and family.

The scenario of them engaging in pocketing you can be fairly common, especially when they feel like their friends or family won’t approve of their new relationship with you because of certain factors.

While it’s true that younger generations tend to be more open-minded when it comes to the freedom to find love whilst looking past any barriers.

It pays to be mindful of the possible expectations or judgments placed upon your partner by their friends and family. This may be the real reason why you suspect them of pocketing you.

6. They Are Ashamed Of Their Life

If your partner feels embarrassed or ashamed of certain aspects of their life. They might engage in pocketing you because they don’t want to reveal what really goes on in their day-to-day life.

They might dislike their job, live with people they don’t like, or be experiencing ongoing disputes with friends and family they don’t want to involve you in.

This can make it inevitable for them to want to keep you in the dark on certain things in their life. Your partner pocketing you in this situation is a way for them to feel like they’re protecting you from the aspects of their life they do not like or need time to fix.

If you suspect your partner of pocketing you because they are ashamed of their life. Talk to them openly, and see if there is anything you can do to help them overcome these feelings.

7. They Find It Hard To Commit

When you feel like a commitment, or being committed is the furthest thing from your partner’s mind. This can be another common reason for pocketing in a relationship.

They’re pocketing you because they find it hard to commit to you. They are also hiding the relationship from others in their inner circle because they don’t want the relationship to be official.

While it can hurt knowing your partner has commitment issues and is pocketing you as a result. In this situation, you need to think about what is best for you, and if staying with someone who can’t commit is really worth your time.

8. They Want To Hide You From Friends And Family

The most obvious reason people engage in pocketing whilst dating or in a relationship is that they don’t want their family or friends to know you exist.

More often than not, the purpose of them hiding you from friends and family is so that they don’t get curious, or begin asking questions about the relationship.

While some of the reasons they do not disclose their relationship status to friends and family can go deeper than them just not wanting others to know.

Its main intention or purpose is normally to avoid constant questions, prying, or the 3rd degree from friends and family about you.

They also want to avoid the added peer pressure from friends and family asking them to introduce you or arrange a meeting.

9. They Are Struggling With Their Sexuality

Your partner might be pocketing you in the relationship because they have never come out to their friends or family.

When they are experimenting with their sexuality, or experiencing a same-sex relationship for the first time. It can be very common for pocketing to occur whilst dating or during a relationship.

Unfortunately, many people can find it hard or daunting to reveal the true nature of their relationship or sexuality to close friends or family. They may fear judgment or a lack of acceptance from others closest to them.

So in this situation, it normally has less to do with their feelings towards you, and much more to do with their worries or concerns about their friend’s or parent’s views on the situation.

10. They Are A Workaholic

If you are dating is a workaholic or a career-focused person. You may feel like you’re being pocketed in the relationship due to most of your partner’s focus being firmly fixed on work.

You will suspect them of pocketing you, simply because they don’t have enough hours in the day to spend with you or to introduce you to their inner circle.

So they will tick all the boxes for someone who’s engaging in pocketing. When in reality it’s just because they’re a workaholic who’s fully committed to their work.

Dating a workaholic can be tough, due to the fact it will seem like they do many things to prioritize their careers over you.

However, when you feel like this is the reason you’re being pocketed in the relationship. You need to help them find a healthy balance between the relationship with you and their career.

Signs Of Pocketing

What are the signs of someone pocketing you should look for?

While many of the signs you’re being pocketed whilst dating or during the relationship may be obvious to see. It can sometimes take more time to realize the extent of what your partner is doing.

Here are the signs of pocketing you should look out for whilst dating and in a relationship.

1. They Avoid Talking About Family Or Friends

One of the major signs to look out for when being pocketed whilst dating is when they avoid talking about family or friends at all costs.

You will want to know about their friends and family because it will help you build up a well-rounded picture of what their life looks like before you commit.

You will naturally ask them questions like:

  • “Do you have any brothers or sisters, and do you get along?”
  • “What are your parents like, and what do they do for a living?”
  • “Do you hang out with your friends often, and if so where?”

However, if they avoid answering these questions and reveal very little to you. It can be a red flag of pocketing. They don’t answer your questions and dodge your curiosity because they’re actively engaged in pocketing you.

They also likely want to hide the relationship from others and have no intention of making your relationship status public for friends and family to see.

2. You Are Not On Their Social Media

When you begin dating someone new. Social media is normally the first place you will connect outside of seeing them in person.

It’s an easy way to stay in touch, see what one another is up to, and more importantly, make the relationship official for others to see.

When you are not added to their social media profiles, and they never change their relationship status or avoid posting pictures of themselves with you. It could be a solid sign they’re engaging in pocketing.

They don’t add you on social media or post things about the relationship because they want to keep you a secret. They also likely want to keep what is going on with you hidden and away from friends, family, or their ex.

3. They Hide Their Phone From You

A subtle sign of pocketing whilst dating or in a relationship is when they frequently hide their phone from you.

There can be many reasons someone would decide to hide their phone from their partner. However, when it comes to pocketing it’s normally because it contains something they don’t want you to see.

This can include texts from family and friends or even pictures and messages from their ex. It can also be because their phone reveals lies they’ve been telling you or divulges what their intentions really are for the relationship with you.

Whatever their reasons are for hiding their phone from you. It pays to keep a close eye on this behavior and be vigilant. Especially if you suspect them of pocketing you in the relationship.

4. You Never Go To Their Place

Whenever you spend time together, you always spend it at your place. The relationship could be progressing really well, yet you’ve still not been to or even seen where they live.

A sign of pocketing is when the person you are dating refuses and avoids inviting you to where they live. They will prefer to meet you at bars or restaurants, or even at your place. But never invite you over.

While this alone is not a sure-fire sign of pocketing, as they might just be embarrassed about where they live or who they live with.

When combined with other signs like you never meeting friends or family, and not being added to their social media. It’s normally a good indication that you’re being pocketed by them.

5. You Always Meet Somewhere They Choose

Do they always like to call the shots about where you meet and when?

If you suspect someone of pocketing you. One of the big signs they are doing it is when they try to control every encounter that you share together.

They might ask you to meet somewhere out of town and always avoid suggesting a local hook-up in places that seem to make more sense for you both.

The fact is, they could be doing it to avoid bumping into anyone that they know. They might also want to control the situation, keep you a secret, and avoid letting their inner circle catch on to their new relationship.

Worryingly, this controlling behavior is often a pocketing sign associated with people actively engaging in affairs. They want to dictate when and where you meet to help them keep their partner in the dark.

6. They Avoid Answering Certain Questions

When every question that you ask them seems like hard work for them to answer and they frequently change the subject. This can be yet another sign you are being pocketed in the relationship.

If you ask them about family, friends, or even about past relationships. If they refuse to answer or give you vague responses that don’t make any sense. It’s an indication they’re engaged in pocketing you.

They don’t want to answer your questions because it reveals more about their lives than they want you to know. They also realize it allows you to form a well-rounded picture about who they are, and this may reveal something about them they don’t want you to discover.

The person you are dating is either not comfortable answering these questions, or it’s a calculated move on their part. So it pays to be wary if the person you are dating avoids and dodges answering certain questions.

7. You Never Get Introduced To Friends Or Family

One of the big signs you’re being pocketed is when they never introduce you to friends and family. They will evade you meeting them at all costs, and ignore you or make excuses when you suggest it’s a good idea.

When someone is engaged in pocketing in a relationship. It’s very common for them to never want you to meet their inner circle or get to know their friends or parents.

You will feel like asking them about this is a touchy subject, and any mention of meeting friends or being introduced to their family gets them on the defensive.

The fact is they’re pocketing you. They don’t want their family or friends to know you exist and they want to keep the relationship a secret.

8. Encounters With People They Know Are Brief And Awkward

When you’re spending time together and you bump into people they seem to know. If the encounter feels awkward, strange, or your partner tries to keep the conversation brief. It’s yet another sign of pocketing in the relationship.

They are acting strange around people they know, especially when they are with you simply because they are pocketing you. You are their big secret.

The encounter was awkward because your partner knows you’ve never been introduced to this person. They also know this person will now go tell others about the apparent relationship they’ve just seen.

So when they are pocketing you. Unexpected or surprise encounters with people they know who they’ve never told about you will always seem awkward or strange.

9. They Avoid Talking About Their Ex

While them not talking about and bringing up their ex constantly is normally a good thing. Especially if you want their full focus to be on you, and this relationship.

One of the subtle signs of pocketing is when the person you are dating avoids or evades answering questions about their ex, and you suspect they might still harbor feelings for them.

You may ask them questions like “What was your ex like?” or “What’s your ex’s name, I might know them?” but they dodge these questions or refuse to answer.

A common reason people engage in pocketing in relationships is that they’re not fully over their ex. They keep you pocketed because they’re unsure about feelings, or not ready to commit.

10. You Feel Something Is Off About Them

When you have a gut feeling and suspect your partner of pocketing you in the relationship. It’s normally best to trust your gut as you could be revealing the signs they’re pocketing you.

Something just feels off about them, the way they act around you and their refusal to introduce you to friends or family. Even if the relationship is in a good place, you still feel like something is missing and there are clues to pocketing behavior everywhere.

If you suspect the person you are dating of pocketing you. It pays to listen to what your heart is telling you. Be vigilant, bring up this behavior to them with all the facts, but avoid a confrontation.

What To Do If Someone Is Pocketing You?

When you suspect your partner of pocketing you, the key to solving the situation is to communicate effectively. You need to get curious and do things that show you’re fully aware of being pocketed by them in the relationship. Confront them about the behavior, but try to avoid being confrontational.

You can’t fix or stop your partner pocketing you if you’re not fully sensitive towards the possible reasons they could be doing it. There can be many reasons for your partner wanting to keep the relationship a secret or hide you away from friends a family.

Sometimes these reasons relate heavily to their feelings, how they approach the relationship, or if they are ready to commit. The other reasons can involve them pocketing you for a hidden purpose.

The way to fix the situation with them is by first having a conversation. You can express your curiosity and concerns, and also confront them about feeling pocketed in the relationship.

However, don’t make accusations. Stay calm and keep the questions or conversation casual, and in a friendly tone.

For example:

“I’d really love to get to know your friends. When are you going to introduce me so we can all hang out together?”

“I realized we rarely talk about your family, what have they been up to. I hope they’re doing ok?”

“I’d love for us to post a nice picture together on your social media so people can see how cute we look, would you be game for that?”

“I always hang out with you at my place, I’d love to see yours for a change. Is there a reason you prefer being at mine?”

“I was a little upset you didn’t introduce me to that friend we bumped into, is there a reason why you didn’t introduce us?”

The key is to keep your emotions in check by asking casual questions which may lead to the real reasons why they are pocketing you.

If you can keep your questions open and honest, and base them on the real concerns or suspicions you have about them pocketing you in the relationship. This may be the trick you need to reveal the truth.

You may already believe you are being fully pocketed by your partner. However, it’s important that you listen to their replies and be patient when allowing them time to open up.

Pocketing in dating and relationships is not always permanent, or bad in its intention. It can sometimes be a temporary measure placed early on in the relationship by your partner because they think it will protect you both from outside interference.

However, if you can see yourself being with them for the foreseeable future. It’s important to get to the bottom of suspected pocketing in the relationship. Re-evaluate what they are doing, and whether or not their reasons are valid.

Is Pocketing The Same As Stashing In Dating?

The dating terms ‘Pocketing’ and ‘Stashing’ mean the same thing. In dating and relationships, they both refer to one person making a conscious effort to keep their partner away from their inner circle. They will avoid introducing you to friends or family and try to keep the relationship a secret.

In both cases ‘Pocketing’ and ‘Stashing’ are dating terms or dating slang that means the person doing it does not want to reveal the true nature of their relationship to others.

They will happily meet you one-on-one but will avoid letting friends or family know about you. There can be many hidden reasons why someone would choose to pocket or stash you in a relationship.

However, its true intention is normally always to hide you, the relationship, or what is happening from others in their inner circle.