Twenty-five-year-old receptionist Busisiwe Mahlangu says she has been dating a famous guy for over a year now, but he still won’t go public with the relationship because he says he doesn’t want his love-life splashed all over the papers. 

“In the beginning I was understanding, because I know how brutal the media can be. But it’s been over a year now and we are still acting like mere acquaintances in public,” she confesses.

She reveals that she started questioning his motives when eight months into the relationship, his sister stopped by his house unannounced and asked if they were an item, because she could see she had slept over. 

READ MORE: Why having a secret relationship isn’t a good idea

“He flat out denied being in a relationship with me. That broke my heart. When I confronted him, he said his sister is too forward and he would rather keep his relationship private," she details.

Busisiwe says they are a very happy couple behind closed doors, insisting he is chivalrous in the privacy of his home and treats her like a queen.

According to her however, the last straw came when they attended an event together and he kept on introducing her as "just a friend", even giving her high fives, and fist bumps.

“He just treated me the way he treats his guy friends, and it makes me feel like I’m being taken for a ride in the name of 'privacy',” she admits.  

READ MORE: "My partner refuses to open up about his finances with me - and we've been together for over 5 years"

Relationship expert Paula Quinsee says this is a huge red flag because an important part of the dating process is introducing our partner to our closest circle of friends and family. She explains that this gives your partner a sense of stability and support.

"We also want our close circle to accept our partner and as our relationship evolves and becomes more integrated, this entails socialising together with each other’s respective friends and family," she highlights. 

She also acknowledges that some people feel that in the early stages of their relationship, it is best not divulge too much information as they try to figure out where the relationship is going. 

However there is a big difference between being private and being a secret. Secrecy means there is something to hide that you don’t want others to know. If you’ve got nothing to hide then you should have no problem being open about your relationship.
Paula Quinsee

We also spoke to psychologist Jaco Van Zyl who says there are many reasons why a partner may want a romantic relationship to be a secret for a time.

He advises Busisiwe to sit down with her boyfriend and have him clarify his intentions.

READ MORE: Is he stringing you along?

"She must find out whether the possibility exists that the relationship would sometime be made public or not, or to what extent it would be made public. This is necessary to align her own expectations to the partner's intended plans," he says. 

However Paula's verdict is less encouraging, she says: "If your relationship has to be a secret then you shouldn’t be in it."

Disclaimer: The name has been changed.

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