What Does Stashing Mean In The Dating World?

And here we are again: Another day, another dating trend that's worse than the last. You'd best sit down for this one, because it's a doozy. What is it? Stashing.

Stashing is, as the name suggests, when someone stashes you away from their friends and family as a means to hide you from everyone in their life (via CoveyClub). What's so awful about it is that you can be in a relationship with someone, thinking it's going great, and then have an epiphany: They've met everyone in your life, but you haven't met anyone in their life.


"Ask yourself why your partner doesn't seem to want to make a commitment to you by keeping you apart from their family and friends," relationship therapist Heather Garbutt recommends to Stylist. "Are they hiding something from you? If you were looking for a meaningful relationship with this person, is there much prospect if they won't include you in their life?"

Although reasons why people might stash the person they're seeing vary, at its core, it's about hiding you. Maybe it's because they're ashamed of their friends and family. Or, even worse, they're ashamed of you and/or might be dating someone else too. Either situation can be heartbreaking.

What stashing looks like

If you're a victim of stashing, it will look like you don't exist outside the context of just you and the person you're dating. Not only have you never met anyone in their life, but in regard to their social media accounts, you're simply not there. There is no proof that you and the stasher even know each other, let alone are seeing each other (via Metro UK).


In the beginning stages of dating someone, not being privy to their inner circle makes sense. But as the relationship progresses and your partner becomes more involved in your world, the fact that they continue to keep you on the outskirts of their life can be both infuriating and devastating. It can also kick your self-esteem to the curb, as you wonder what is it about you that makes your partner want to keep you stashed away in a metaphorical cupboard (via Verily).

No one wants to be someone else's secret, no matter what the excuse might be for it. It's straight-up rude and inconsiderate — and likely steeped in lies.

What to do about stashing

If you don't like being stashed, then you need to do something about it. The first place to start is by asking questions — although you want to take what the stasher says with a grain of salt. After all, they are hiding you, so something's up.


"Ask them why you haven't met anyone important in their life," marriage and couples therapist Irina Firstein tells PureWow. "And follow up with questions if they give you the runaround." If you don't get concrete answers, you can even go so far as to make statements instead of asking questions, such as, "I would like to meet your friends" (via Refinery29). If they dodge this statement with a bunch of malarkey that sounds more like excuses than reasons, then it may be time to end things.

For some people, especially those who know they're being stashed for a reason — like they're the side piece — being a secret might be intoxicating and even a turn-on. But for others who are looking for something real and legit, stashing is awful. It's a mind game in which you're constantly questioning your worth, and no one deserves that. You don't deserve that. So, say "ciao" and walk — actually, run — away.