I have these two lovely nieces that I get to counsel a lot on life matters. Occasionally, I like to tap into their brains to see what life and dating is like in their generation. So on this beautiful day, I asked them what type of issues they discuss when they get together with friends and I was thrown this……..“I am dating this guy but he wants to be on the shush level (low-key) with the relationship. Should a lady go into a shush relationship? I looked at them astonished 😯 !!!! I said…. WHAT ? Immediately they knew my answer. Of course, a big fat NO.
My understanding of a SHUSH RELATIONSHIP– aka low-key or discreet
A shush relationship is one that the man and woman do not want;
- Friends and family to know they are in a relationship;
- To have any public display of affection;
- If they must show affection outside, it will be in a place where no one knows both parties
- If they are in a place where they can show affection, if as little as an acquaintance comes along, they both should immediately act like they are not in a relationship
In my years of counseling singles, I have seen more than 4 such relationships and the idea to go into the shush relationships was instigated by the men and all of them ended up with a fight on this matter and later separation. So I can say it is mostly men’s idea to go into one than women’s idea hence my advice below………
Excuse some guys give for shush relationships- “I don’t like people being in my business…..I’m a very quiet man and I like to keep my affairs quiet” and when they say this, it is a said in such a subtle and smooth way that will make the woman feel that if she spills anything out, she could be called a talkative (what Russians call baltushka). Nobody likes to be called a baltushka. Some of these men also create a sense of guilt feeling within the woman and of course we all know women can be gullible at times so what does she do? She succumbs because she doesn’t want to hurt him. Wrong!
Other excuse given is that their previous relationship ended because people knew about and were too much in their business which in turn negatively affected them and caused the seperation… WHAT? I beg please try another line…. Mchew 😡 . So in this spirit the woman agrees to keep their relationship behind closed doors. Mistake, big, big mistake! People in a relationship should know how to manage what goes in and out of their relationship. Outsiders should not know too much unless the parties involved want them to know.
Another thing I want to tell you is that when a woman agrees to go into a relationship with a man and he begins to give all sorts of rules, absurd code of conduct, know that you are in for trouble. Please don’t get me wrong here ….. relationships have rules….. absolutely! In fact they should. For example, something like no sex…..this should be laid out at the onset. But when you get rules like the ones stated above or something like “don’t go through my phone” etc. you need to examine that relationship because trust, transparency and respect, three things that are very vital in a healthy, successful relationship are being tampered with and you are laying a very weak foundation for yourself in case it leads to marriage.
Pressure is one of the factors that people use to go into shush relationship. I can understand this a little…. just a little bit especially when you are in a small environment like a church family….but dear sister I still think this should still not be an excuse. Keeping the relationship shush is unhealthy for you and the future of the relationship.
Here are few pointers I will like to highlight for anyone in or planning to go into a shush relationship….somethings to ponder over….
- As far as I am concerned, this is indirectly giving a man the key to misbehave and get away with it. Accountability is very important in a relationship. Both pre- and inside marriage.
- If the relationship eventually leads to marriage, you are setting a wrong foundation for yourself.
- I don’t care how anyone puts it, this type of relationship shows that the man is either ashamed to be seen with the girl or he has a hidden agenda
- Types of hidden agenda- does he have another life somewhere else? Is he married? Is he into another relationship? These are questions that you should ask yourself if a man who you are supposed to be into a relationship with is asking for a hush-hush relationship
- Red flag- Personally, this is one of the red flags of a relationship that will not work out or if eventually it leads to marriage, a weak foundation has been set by both parties on how they will relate with each other in public.
- You don’t want to under-price yourself, a sign that can lead to low-self esteem- read my article on BELLANAIJA on low self-esteem
Disclaimer- The scenario described here refers to the case of a man who actually asks the woman that both should go into a serious relationship.
So “mi lady”……please think twice before you agree to keep a low-key on your relationship.
Have you been in a shush relationship before? How do you think it should be handled? Or do you agree that relationship should be kept shush until both parties are ready for marriage? Let me know what you think. Leave your message in the “reply/comment” section below.
And oh….please drop me an email if you have any question on your relationship 🙂
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Tolusworld Profile- Tolu Dairo MD. MSc. A motivational speaker and writer who uses her passion for career/self-development, positive parenting and healthy relationships to inspire women to live their dreams.
Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org“