Pocketing is a New Trend in Dating Apps

In the world of dating apps and quick hook-ups, there is a trend appearing where partners essentially hide their love interests from the world. ‘Pocketing’, as it’s being called, means to keep romantic partners out of visibility in social media and even in real life. 

What is “Pocketing”?

In an episode of TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, guest host Justin Sylvester explained it this way:

“Pocketing is when one person doesn’t acknowledge or post their boyfriend or girlfriend on their social media.”

Of course, this might not be anything new. For many of those who don’t use social media, keeping their relationships discreet may be normal. In those situations, immediate friends and family may be the only ones in the loop. 

However, where it may not be the norm is for those who are very involved in posting their lives on apps like Facebook or Instagram. This is where being left out might be cause for concern and raise questions. 

“Girls, if you’re in a relationship and your man hasn’t posted you, nine times out of 10, you’re a sister wife,” Sylvester said. “And you didn’t even know it.”

Sliding Into DMs

Instagram is notorious for meeting potential partners, alongside other more specific dating apps like Tinder or Hinge. This is mostly because it is so easy to talk to anyone, even strangers, by ‘sliding into their DMs’ which means sending them a direct message. 

However, some people prefer more discreet manors of digital dating, where it’s just for a quick hook-up. Apps like FFB (see here) make things quite clear about the purpose of the relationship. No need to pocket because a call back is not required.

As for apps like Instagram, Sylvester thinks this can work out negatively for women since they never know when another candidate has sent their partners a message. 

“There are some nasty people out there that will slide into someone’s DMs because they think your man is the one,” he said. “So keep him off social media.”

While this may seem a tad controlling, it does reveal the insecurities of users across all of these apps. Mainly, it is easy for anyone to be tempted by someone who can send them a message and start a quick conversation. 

This is where pocketing can be something to worry about and even threaten a relationship. Some might want to keep their partners secret so that they appear as ‘available’ to the worldwide community on these apps. This way, others don’t have to think twice before initiating a conversation. 

“This is the thing, ladies and gentlemen,” Sylevester says. “I always say, if I’m in a serious relationship and we’re ready to take that next step and we have to have that exclusive conversation, then you should let the world know… At least a story. Minimum.”

Best to Avoid Pocketing

Pocketing is becoming widespread now that it’s trending more on dating apps, which means more users should look for signs that they’re being pocketed.

And while some may see it as a way to ‘play the field’ and find more options, it’s also important to consider the current relationship. Pocketing someone may make them feel pushed aside and not really part of a team. This can make for an unhealthy start and jeopardize future plans together.

Relationship expert Susan Winter also spoke on the TODAY show advising against pocketing in relationships. 

“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t get the best of us in private and then hide us from the public,” she said. “It makes the person feel like you’re ashamed of them, or that they’re inferior or inadequate and nobody wants to feel that way.”

Winter also shared that pocketing is by no means a new concept, although it is trending on social media. In fact, it may be simple to think of examples where someone has tried to hide who they’re seeing, or failed to mention them altogether. 

Terms like ‘side chick’ or ‘side piece’ have been around for longer and describe this sort of situation which Winters calls ‘bad dating behavior’ or BDB. 

Either way one chooses to date, it’s foremost important to know the ultimate goal of the relationship being searched for. A ‘pocketed’ relationship might be necessary if utilizing Tinder or LocalSexApp to connect with a person of interest.

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