Privacy, Or Do You Mean Secrecy? When They Confuse One For The Other

Jason Dent

I had this quite beautiful girl as a friend then in school. She was French and couldn't communicate very well in English. They had come for an exchange programme in my school. We were really close. Sometimes she speaks to me in French, if I hear, as if I understand, lol.

She always tells me something in French, "Les relations durent plus longtemps lorsque tout le monde ne connaît pas votre entreprise." which loosely translate to "Relationships last longer when everyone doesn't know about your business".

Never really understood deeply what she was trying to say then, but I did with time. That's after many relationships. It sank.

The other day I was watching a skit on Instagram. A man was bathing and his phone rang. His wife called him and told him his phone was ringing and asked if she could pick it. He nearly fell as he was rushing to pick the phone. As funny as that is, it actually said a lot. "my phone is off limits".

So why can't his wife pick his calls? But then more importantly, why was he rushing to collect the phone from her, even when it was obvious he was not done bathing. To put this in proper perspective, I would share an experience involving me and my friend.

So recently I had some issues with my phone that needed to be fixed. I had to use my friends phone for almost the whole day. She had gone out and her phone was ringing continuously . There was this particular contact that kept calling persistently. Normally I don't pick her calls, but seeing it was a woman and it was so persistent I decided to pick and tell her she is not with her phone. She sounded so shocked.

They later met and she expressed her shock to my friend. According to her, that would be the last thing she will do, allowing her partner pick her calls. We laughed over it. It was not an issue for us.

The Right To Privacy
You see, we have this established trust within us. She has no issue with me picking her calls, just as I have no issue with her picking mine.

But here is the thing , we hardly do that. Not because we are running from anything, but because we trust each other. We wouldn't want to give opportunity to our imaginations playing games with our mind. With us, it's an unwritten rule, privacy is a vital ingredient to having a beautiful and healthy relationship.

Do I need privacy in my relationship? Off course I do. Who does not? To most people it is a law. To put it simply, privacy is the right to be left alone, it is freedom from being intruded upon. Everyone has a part of them they don't want to share. They want to keep this part to themselves. I really don't believe it is proper to share everything in my life with everyone. Not because I have anything to hide but because I don't want to get misconstrued.

As a rule, I have no business with my partners phone, even if she forgets it at my place. What am I actually looking for in her phone? I don't even like listening to her conversation when she is on the phone. Sometimes I deliberately increase the volume of the TV when she is on a call, so she can go inside and receive her call.

I believe their should be boundaries, whether set or not. There are things that are simply off limits, even as ones partner. I don't need to know your body count, I don't need to know how many toasters you have daily, I don't even need to know who is calling you. They are are just off for me.

But then we should understand that there is how far we can go to keep our privacy. The quest for privacy taken too far becomes something else, it now becomes secrecy. And there lies the problem.

When It's No More Privacy
There is truly a thin line between privacy and secrecy. The thing is, how you go about privacy, sends a lot of message. Most times our actions triggers how people see and react to us. And begin to see a different motive. Does he/she need privacy or is he/she is being secretive?

If I have a partner that is always attached to her phone, so much so that she goes everywhere with it, even to the bathroom and she is always rushing outside to answer her calls, I believe that could be secrecy. It creates doubts and suspicion. If my partner has a child from a previous relationship and withhold it from me, it is no longer privacy but secrecy. Secrecy is the act of hiding information. And it completely destroys trust.

In conclusion I think privacy is utterly fine, it is valuable in a relationship, especially if you both are enlightened. But when it converts to secrecy, it begins to be seen in a different light.

Picture from
Jason Dent

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