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Dear Fifi: My girlfriend hides all traces of me on social media... Should I be worried?

It’s Tuesday again! That means it’s time for another advice column from DailyEdge.ie’s weekly agony aunt Dear Fifi.

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“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

That’s pretentious Latin for “Who watches the watchmen?” I’m not afraid to tell you, my dear readers and occasionally spicy commenters, that I let my eye off the ball in a few life departments a little of late. But who does the agony aunt go to for advice?

Well, I know where you should go. To me! Confidentially and anonymously, always. I’m here for you.

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My girlfriend really doesn’t like people knowing that she’s in a relationship. She hides content involving the two of us from her social media, claiming not to like giving her family the impression that she’s in a relationship but in practice I’m the only person she blocks. Her page is full of photos of her with other guys.

She’s had a tough time in the past so I understand to an extent, but recently we went on a far-away holiday and it became obvious that she avoided telling even close friends that we were away together. Should I worry, or is this normal?

I think if you’re worried, then you’re entitled to those feelings. There is no “normal” – relationships generally resist any consistency outside of themselves. What is entirely normal to one couple would be madness to another.

That means you’ve got to decide how much this bothers you – and my suspicion is that it does rather a lot. That’s fine! You’re allowed to feel confused and hurt by this. There’s a clear line between wanting privacy and making your partner feel shut out of your life, and it’s not even a particularly fine one.

Sharing  your happiness with others (and even enjoying the feeling of being shown off now and again) is a nice part of being in a relationship. The inverse of that is feeling like a dirty secret and beginning to doubt yourself, which isn’t fair at all.

It sounds like you’ve been patient and understanding about her need for privacy, but have you tried just outright asking why you’re verboten and other lads are fine? Or why she kept the trip from friends altogether? That’s moving beyond keeping things discreet on social media and veering right into the much dodgier territory of keeping you quarantined from her life.

In any other letter, I’d have raised the level of seriousness and length of time you’ve been in a relationship. But you mention going on a big trip away together, which means you’ve evidently made certain commitments and investments in each other. I think you have an absolute right to ask. Why is she doing this?

She might just hate virtual PDA. But maybe that’s a dealbreaker for you and you want inclusion and even the occasional splashy status – they’re both valid positions to hold. What’s important is communicating and compromising until you’re both feeling happy and secure, not secretly feeling rejected and worried. So start talking! And ask for what you want.

(And if you don’t like her response when you ask for what you need, don’t be afraid to enforce your standards. Find someone else who suits you better and let her find someone else who is content to be kept amongst her privacy settings.)

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 Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

Check out previous advice>

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