The latest relationship trend to gain online buzz is called stashing.
As in keeping something—or in this case someone—stashed away.
Stashing is a sort of non-committal thing when seeing someone for the purposes of romantic companionship and/or sex, but keeping them compartmentalized in just that role.
What are the signs of stashing?
You've never met a single friend, you haven't met their family, you play with their dog but you never get invited to events at their house or group outings with their friends or coworkers. You go out, but only to certain isolated places and you're never in any of their pictures or tagged in anything on social media.
They also find reasons not to be in any of your pictures and no they don't want you to tag them in any of your posts.
All of that might be perfectly normal and acceptable if you're both on the same page. That's a casual no commitment relationship.
But if one of you thinks you'll be together forever or a wedding is in the future, there comes a point where it's been months and they're still driving an hour out of the way to go to dinner somewhere that there's no chance of running into anyone they know.
One of you is stashing; the other is getting stashed.
Some people enter relationships knowing it isn't really going anywhere, but think it's better than being alone. Some people want to make sure it's going somewhere before taking the plunge into updating their relationship status on social media.
And there's nothing wrong with that, but only when both of the people in the relationship reached the same conclusion together.
According to scientists, humans have been compartmentalizing for pretty much forever. Our ancestors used to mate without our modern definition of commitment—marriage, joint bank accounts, deciding on a good preschool.
Biological anthropologist, Dr. Helen Fisher, says stashing is making a resurgence with some people on the dating scene in 2018 because it can. We were forced into marriage and commitment because societies developed new ideas about families and monogamy, no longer living in communal tribes where responsibilities for children were shared.
And people died a lot younger.
But now, we can put marriage off and focus on waiting for the right partner, getting our careers where we want them to be and really knowing a person before we involve our families and chosen social circles. Because ending a relationship is much harder when your friends and family are involved and invested.
Fisher says stashing—or "commitment lite"—can actually be really good for both partners as long as everyone is honest about it. The problem, though, is very few people are being honest about what's happening.
Likely for that reason, Twitter doesn't seem to be a fan of the trend.
@morrowland @nypost What in fresh hell? Why do people do such stupid shit?— Jackie (@Jackie)1528476235.0
@jackiellcee @nypost i’m just hopin as many women stash boytoys as men do women. equality!— morrowland (@morrowland)1528487492.0
@morrowland @nypost YES!— Jackie (@Jackie)1528488049.0
Twitter reacted to the dishonest side of stashing. But sometimes keeping your significant other stashed is the best solution for you both.
Check this out!
No more #stashing this relationship. Jamie Foxx and Katie Holmes go public. Foxx starred with Holmes' ex Tom Cruise… https://t.co/spSpvGkG7a— Divorce Court (@Divorce Court)1504715383.0
Everyone deserves the right to make their own call about the relationship they're in and what works for them.
If you're being stashed and you're not comfortable with it, there's nothing wrong with leaving. If you're both cool with it, there's nothing wrong with that either.
Remember everyone, honesty is the best policy.