Keeping secrets: 12 secrets people keep in real relationships
Secrets have, perhaps unfairly, a bad reputation. Yes, some secrets are undeniably hard truths to tell. However, surveying over 2400 EliteSingles members we discovered that the secrets people keep in relationships can also be a charming collection of relatable anecdotes, and that perhaps the little secrets we keep are actually a personal way of loving your partner.
With websites like postsecret.com and the Whisper app allowing individuals to anonymously post their secrets online, secrets have stepped into the spotlight over the last few years. The insatiable curiosity to know the truths that others want to hide is evident. But would you want to know what your partner is keeping secret? Do you ever wonder what secrets they have or how would they feel if they knew your secrets? Our survey revealed an interesting truth - although honesty is highly valued; there may just be a healthy space for keeping secrets in a relationship.
Telling the truth about keeping secrets in a relationship
The good news is that honesty hasn’t become old-fashioned just yet. It is still prized in relationships, with 92% of men and women rating honesty as important for a happy relationship. However, a majority of the participants from the survey (58%) believed that secrets in the relationship depend on what the secret is, as some realities are better to avoid. Similarly, 46% agree that white lies are sometimes necessary for a relationship. This is echoed in a split down the middle, with 47% of participants believing that some topics are private, while the other 53% claim that they share everything with their partner. These results establish that honesty and secrecy are not actually at odds with each other. Your partner may be honest with you, even while keeping a secret.
Digging a little deeper into the secrets people keep, certain topics came to the fore. Details about your ex (33%), and sexual history (28%) are the most common subjects people avoid sharing in a relationship. And when it comes to friends, it is widely understood that people don’t share their friends’ secrets with their partner, with 47% agreeing that it is ok to keep your friends’ secrets in a relationship. However, secrets can also be a valued tool to foster closeness in partnership relationships, with 34% of men and women believing that sharing secrets with your partner is part of the intimacy in a relationship.
The truth about how people perceive secrets bring to light, maybe not so surprisingly, that there is a space for secrets in a relationship. Two-thirds of participants (66%) said that they would be accepting if their partner had kept a secret from them, saying that they would understand that there was a good reason to do so. And a further 62% agreed that they would not break up with their partner if they found out that they had kept a major secret in the relationship.
The truth about keeping secrets in a relationship is also tied to trust. It’s widely accepted that sometimes we need to keep secrets. If you trust your partner, you can also trust that the secrets they keep from you are sometimes for the best of both of you. That being said, 75% of people don’t keep secrets in their relationship, but a quarter (25%) said they do. They shared some of their secrets with us below. Taking a closer look at some real relationship secrets, it’s easy to see that sometimes these truths could be exactly the kind of secret you would want your partner to keep!
12 Real Relationship Secrets
Surveying numerous real relationship secrets revealed the intimate nature of keeping secrets in a relationship. It turns out that the very truths people keep secret arise in the big and little moments, the monumental and the mundane.
In the below slideshow we share 12 secrets people told us from real relationships. They answer a range of familiar questions, from the dreaded "Do these pants make my butt look big?" to "Are my secrets safe with my best friend?". Read on below.
12 Secrets from Real Relationships