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But just how private should a relationship be and what happens when people become too good at keeping their relationships private?What happens when a relationship becomes so private that it becomes a secret?I suppose the best example of maintaining a private relationship would be Hip-Hop’s beloved couple, Jay Z and Beyoncé.Most didn’t even know the two were dating until several years into their relationship.To contrast, I couldn’t really have this discussion without mentioning Ashanti and Nelly and their attempt to carry on a secret relationship.Though they were together well over six years, they failed to publicly acknowledge one another until the relationship was almost over.I suppose this would be an example of a “secret” relationship.A poorly kept secret, but I suppose it was an attempt nonetheless.
Though his words seemed a bit extreme, they resonated with me and I could tell that they came from a hurting place. No one shows up to a race hoping to lose and no one begins a meaningful relationship hoping to break up.We’re often advised that one of the best ways to increase the chances of a relationship’s success is to keep it private and keep your business out of the streets.However, with social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram making it possible for the average Joe to broadcast a message to hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of social media users with a few swift keystrokes, maintaining privacy in a relationship has become a rather challenging feat that requires a huge helping of self control.From the outside looking in, it would seem that both of these couples started out with similar intent: Let’s protect our relationship by keeping it on the hush until we’re better established and know where we’re heading.Yet somehow, on the corner of “Let’s keep people out of our business” and “Maybe we shouldn’t acknowledge each other at all,” things appear to have gotten a little murky. Lehmiller conducted a study in 2009 on secret relationships for his dissertation at Colorado State University and what he found isn’t a complete surprise. Lehmiller’s studies, keeping a relationship a secret was ultimately detrimental to the relationship.“I think one of the most important findings from this research is that keeping your relationship secret can be detrimental not only to the relationship itself, but also to the health and well-being of the partners involved,” said Lehmiller.