We don’t know for sure whether Kendall Jenner and Bad Bunny are in a relationship. But paparazzi pictures of the pair kissing and speculation that he dissed Jenner’s ex Devin Booker on a new song have certainly added fuel to the fire. (USA TODAY has reached out to Bad Bunny and Jenner’s reps for comment.)
Elsewhere, Chris Appleton let it slip that he and “You” and “The White Lotus” star Lukas Gage are in a relationship. The Kardashians hairstylist recently professed his love for the actor on “The Drew Barrymore Show.”
But what happens when your clandestine romance finally hits broad daylight? Relationships require work to maintain the spark, including proper communication and tenderness.
“Solid relationships are built on trust, honesty and communication,” Kimberly Vered Shashoua, licensed clinical social worker. “If you find that your relationship is floundering after going public, it might just mean that the partnership was better suited for a fling, not something long-term.”
Secret relationships not all they’re cracked up to be
When we look at pop culture, there’s a build-up around secret relationships. Stairwell make-outs, checking to see if anyone is home before canoodling, meeting in special, hidden places.
“Sometimes all of those reasons for keeping a relationship a secret are not always the best, whether that’s infidelity, or if you are colleagues and there’s a fraternization policy and you’re working together and you develop an emotional connection and you want a relationship,” Robinson-Mosley adds.
Private vs. secret relationships
Private relationships are ones where you choose to not share a relationship publicly or with others in your friend group. Secret relationships are where you intentionally hide information, and where motivations include shame, fear or guilt.
That said, everyone is entitled to some privacy. “Privacy is incredibly important, especially (for) public figures and celebrities, because (their) privacy is often constantly under threat,” Robinson-Mosley says. “So you have to be really intentional about creating private moments.”
That doesn’t mean all secret or private relationships are unhealthy – especially if you’re a public figure. “If your relationship is in its early stages and you want to see if there’s a spark before breaking the news to friends, it makes sense to keep it a secret,” says Vered Shashoua. “For people in the public eye, they might have an extra layer of scrutiny, beyond the friends, family and acquaintances most people deal with.”
Those struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation or gender identity may also wish to keep relationships secret for a time, as well as those who are dating outside of their religion or class.
When your secret relationship is exposed
The paparazzi finally found you. Or someone spotted you and your lover holding hands at a party. Or you decided to finally tell people.
Whatever the case, it means a new phase for the relationship. And maybe that’s for the best.
“Even if we think about the research around this, there is this kind of a stereotype that forbidden fruit tastes sweeter,” Robinson-Mosley adds. “And maybe it does in the beginning. But after a while that taste turns sour, it turns bitter.”
Tips for private, secret relationships
- Set boundaries. Make sure both people in the couple are on the same page. What can you share on social media? With friends and family? Professionally? “Staying away from social media and limiting what you post and how you post if you really are committed to keeping this private, is really important,” Robinson-Mosley says.
- Think out-of-the-box on date night. “Trying new activities together can help keep things fresh and in a relationship,” Vered Shashoua says. “Couples can travel together, try new hobbies or explore the city you live in.”
- Find other ways to show affection. “This can include picking up your beloved’s favorite snack at the store, writing them a note or sending them a cute picture mid-day,” Vered Shashoua adds.
Whatever your relationship looks like, remember to check in with your partner. Robinson-Mosley says: “If privacy or secrecy is something that is a part of the dynamic in your relationship, it means that you have to be even more intentional about healthy dynamics, healthy boundaries, honesty and open communication.”
The relationship advice you’ve been looking for
‘Vanderpump Rules’ drama:Tom Sandoval, Raquel Leviss, Ariana Madix and forgiveness
Sound like you? Why am I being ghosted? What am I doing wrong?