My Relationship Isn't Secret, It's Private

My boyfriend doesn’t come up very often In Real Life either, because I don’t volunteer any information about him. Instead, I wait for the opportunity to present itself.

Jan 30, 2013 at 11:00am | Leave a comment

There is so little evidence of my boyfriend’s existence on my Facebook page, you’d think I’d Te’oed him. (Did I say that right? Te’oed?)

I don’t say much on Facebook in general, but my page is specifically void of any mentions of the Boyfriend. There are no photos or stalker friendly check-ins. And the relationship status where I’m supposed to publicly declare my love for him? Omitted entirely.

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Shhhhhh

He doesn’t come up very often In Real Life either, because I don’t volunteer any information about him. Instead, I wait for the opportunity to present itself. Take this conversation that I had last week with one of my favorite cousins for example:

Favorite cousin: I’m in town. I want to stop by and say hi. Where are you?

Me: I’m at my boyfriend’s house. 

Favorite cousin: You have a boyfriend?! Since when?

Me: Since almost 3 years ago.

Favorite cousin: Huh?! Why haven’t you said anything?

Me: You never asked me.

Duh.

As a matter of fact, the only place where I talk about my relationship with any real detail is right here on xoJane. I’ve discussed gender roles, racism, sexism, body image, and family problems, all as they uniquely exist between me and him. So some of you guys know more about us than some of my closest friends, all because my body of work reads like a chronicle of the evolution of our relationship.

But my body of work can also read as a log of the people and objects that I’ve put inside of my vagina. So there’s that.

I’m protected by the impersonal nature of the Internet, so I share more with you all than I do with my friends, family and casual acquaintances who insist on sending me friend requests.

And I know that’s atypical because a lot of people can’t shut the hell up about their significant other. Especially in the new love phase when people possess the uncanny ability to bring up their boyfriend/girlfriend no matter how unrelated the current topic of discussion: 

Me: Dude, this friggin hangnail is killing me.

Love Bird: OMG, I bet Johnny gets the cutest little hangnails. His cuticles are adorbs!

In fact, Lena Dunham recently gave this quote to Interview magazine, “I know there’s some rule that you’re not supposed to talk about your boyfriend publicly...but if you’re in love with someone great, then I don’t understand why you wouldn’t tell everybody.”

I actually do get what Ms. Dunham (who I think is totally rad, by the way) is saying. I can understand why a person who is in love would be bursting with so much happiness that their need to tell people would border on compulsion. But I’ve never felt the desire to head to my nearest rooftop and shout, “I love the Boyfriend!” I just don’t operate that way.

And why am I so hush-hush about my relationship? I’m sure there’s some reasonable explanation. I don’t know what it is, but I assure you, it’s completely logical.

Well, for starters:

1. I’m private about almost everything.

Especially with something like a romantic relationship that is deeply intimate. I prefer to keep things that are personal, exactly that: personal. So, yes, I have a boyfriend. I also have an extremely gassy intolerance to gluten, but that doesn’t mean I need to go blabbing to everyone about it. 

2. There’s not much to say.

Or at least, there’s not much that I think people would be truly interested in listening to. I don’t share because I feel the need to talk. I share because I have something that people would want to hear. And there’s only but so many times that, “The Boyfriend is a really, really great guy. I’m glad I found him,” can sound interesting. (Don’t “awwww.” Are you “awwww”ing? Cut that shit out.)

3. We have lots of mutual friends.

So there are lots of opportunities for meddling, nosiness and smartass comments. This means that there are also lots of opportunities for me to have to fuck someone up. Get what I’m saying? 

4. Jay Z and Beyonce.

I know, I know. I hate this laughably offensive and incomparable example myself. But in over 10 years, those two have said precious little about their relationship. I can’t help but think that that has a lot to do with why they’ve had over 10 years to keep quiet.

5. Ain’t nobody’s bidness but mine and my bay-bay.

My relationship is all about me and him. No one else. So I ain’t gotsta say nuffin'. Simple as that.

That all makes sense doesn’t it? Because it’s not like I’m trying to hide my relationship or keep it a secret. I just like keeping my favorite things all to myself.