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Is Your Partner Pocketing You?

By SYBIL SHIDDELL
October 28, 2022 11:54 IST
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'Pocketing' is a dating situation in which a partner does not disclose or acknowledge your relationship in public and prefers to keep it a secret, explains Sybil Shiddell, country manager India, Gleeden, a discreet extra marital dating Web site.

Is your partner avoiding you?

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

With dating and relationships having so many new labels and dynamics, it may get difficult to understand what your partner is trying to do or where you both stand in the relationship together.

There have been moments where one partner may not be on the same page as the other and dealing with a situation like this can get difficult to handle.

'Pocketing' is one such dating situation in which a partner does not disclose or acknowledge your relationship in public and prefers to keep it a secret.

This could be due to various reasons.

Your partner may not be ready to jump into anything concrete early on or may even have some serious commitment issues.

If you see yourself in a situation like this, here are 10 tips that may help you deal with it effectively.

1. Observe their actions

Traceback on how long this has been going on and if your partner is doing this with a particular intention in mind.

Sometimes this could just be a way of them needing some space. But it really depends on the person.

So take some time to observe what they do and why they do things and try to analyse them from a non-biased perspective.

2. Communicate and ask

Communication is the best way to clear out their intentions.

You can let your partner know your observations and how you feel about it.

Ask them if there is something bothering them and if you can help in any way.

A healthy discussion can always help clear intentions without causing arguments or misunderstandings.

3. Understand where they are coming from

Once you have communicated your thoughts and so has your partner, it is crucial to understand how valid they are to both of you.

For example, your partner may tell you the reason behind not acknowledging you in front of his/her family is that they do not wish for them to know about your relationship yet and will do so when the time is right to take the relationship to the next level.

This may make sense as far as you both are okay with it.

But if they have some other reasons, letting them open up about it and understanding the thought process behind their actions can ease your anxiety.

4. Be clear on how you feel in the relationship

Even as you have taken all the steps to ensure your partner comfortable in this situation, do not shy away from letting them know how you feel about this.

Your opinions and intentions are absolutely valid and need to be addressed to your partner.

It is important to understand that this behaviour is not misguiding you to believe in a strong connection where there could be a possibility that your partner does not feel the same way.

5. Try to mutually decide what's best for your relationship

If both of you have dealt with this maturely and clearly, you can even achieve a common ground mutually.

If your partner feels they need some space and you’ll mutually decide on maintaining that healthy boundary, it could work great.

But if you do not agree, it's best to reflect inwards.

6. Focus on yourself for a bit

Sometimes, in a relationship, we often cling to a few aspects more than required.

Take a breather and circle back to yourself and focus on what matters to you the most.

This will help you gain a better idea of how you want to proceed ahead.

7. Re-assess your bond

Do you guys still enjoy your time with each other?

Or has the relationship changed with this avoidant behaviour of your partner?

Despite the communication and efforts, is your partner still being hot and cold?

Do you see them acknowledging your feelings and slowly altering their behaviour?

Re-assess your status in a practical way.

8. Track if they consider your feelings

When two people are together and one does not appreciate how the other one feels, it can get disheartening.

If you have been giving them enough chances and communicating your feelings, but they still do not seem to take things seriously, it is time to move on.

Repeated behaviour -- good or bad -- is a strong answer. And holding on to it is not going to make it any better.

9. Take a decision

Every person deserves to be loved and treated in a way they would like.

Spending your time waiting and hoping someone would appreciate you the way you’d like is a sheer waste of time.

Consistent avoidance is a form of emotional abuse. Despite your efforts, if your partner is not responsive, know that you are better off without the toxicity.

10. Never let yourself be in a situation like this again

We often come across various red flags and avoidant behaviour or pocketing is a huge red flag in itself.

Sure, it's best to communicate and give the person a chance to understand what they've been doing -- at the end of the day we are all only human and cannot always be correct.

However, if you notice this to be a pattern or something that your gut says is intentional and incorrect, save yourself the time and emotional baggage.

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SYBIL SHIDDELL