Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
Over the last few years, there has been a rise in the names we give to shitty behaviour within a relationship. Whether it's ghosting, cushioning, or zombieing, we've all been victim to at least one - and are probably guilty of doing it to someone else, too.
Why are these dating 'trends' on the rise? Well, they're not. They've been happening for a while, but considering that we're just about getting around to giving these dodgy love dealings a name makes it easier to explain to your snacks-laden friends on a Saturday night exactly what went wrong.
So if you're ready for another one, here it is courtesy of Metro.co.uk - say hello to stashing.
What is stashing?
No, we're not talking about what you do with your dirty underwear when someone unexpectedly pops over mid-week. This is when the person you're dating is treating you a bit like a big dirty secret. You know, when you've been seeing each other for months, they've met your friends, stayed over at yours, and you've even Instagrammed your dates - and kept their face in the pictures.
And yet, for some unknown reason, you've never actually met any of their friends, you've never stayed over at their house, and your little finger in the background of a dinner snap is the closest you've gotten to featuring in one of their social media posts.
When the person you're dating has decided to keep you well and truly away from all public parts of their life, they're stashing you. Whether it's a reluctance to admit they're hanging out with you when they answer the phone to someone, or the fact they insist you're never to tag them in anything on Facebook, it's stashing.
But why do people do it? By refusing to publicly acknowledge that you're 'a thing', the stasher is able to convince themselves that you aren't actually dating, or that you're not in a relationship (no matter how many pet names you have for each other, or how many times they've told you they love you).
And if you call them out on it? They're likely to make you feel clingy, needy and over sensitive. It will leave you feeling lonely, confused, frustrated and a bit like you're going insane. Are they keeping you secret because they're living a double life with a wife, two kids and a really cute dog? Do they think you're not funny/pretty/smart enough to meet their mates? HAVE YOU COMPLETELY MADE THEM UP?
So if this is happening to you, don't suffer in silence hoping it will go away - bring it up with your OH. If they're willing to have an adult conversation about it and offer up a valid reason that you're happy with, fair enough.
But if they don't, get out of there asap. If they don't value you now, the chances are that no matter how long you hang around they're never going to give you what you want and deserve in a loving, mutually respectful relationship.
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