Picture this: You and your partner know everything there is to know about each other. You know each other’s favorite foods, favorite movies, allergies and family backgrounds. You love each other completely, but where is the line between them knowing everything about you and respecting your sense of privacy? For instance, if your partner wants to exchange passwords, but you don’t, it might put you in a tough position. After all, it’s your phone, your Instagram, your email account, and you have nothing to hide. Why would you need to share your passwords?
If you’re completely opposed to exchanging passwords with your SO, but they won’t stop pushing for it, it can be tricky to find some sort of common ground. A good place to start is to try to understand the reason(s) why your partner wants to take that step. "The desire to exchange passwords can mean a variety of things for either partner, such as a symbol of closeness and growth in a relationship," Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, and The Breakup Supplement, tells Elite Daily. "If the issue is based on a desire for closeness, then examine that, and figure out how you can compromise in a way that is meaningful to your partner and protects your desire for separateness."
But Dr. Ritter also says their desire to exchange passwords "could also mean a lack of trust and the desire to snoop." He continues, saying, "If the issue is based on trust, then you’ll need to figure out where that stems from and discuss how to rebuild that trust — which may include giving them your passwords for a bit." Understanding the reason why your partner wants to exchange passwords might also be able to help you understand what they need to make the relationship work, and whether or not it’s something you can provide. "The ‘why’ on both ends will be helpful in discussing what you truly need to do for [the] long-term when it comes to a sustainable, healthy relationship."
If you think your partner wants your passwords because they don’t trust you, that’s something to address, dating coach Erika Ettin tells Elite Daily. "It’s important not to project past experiences onto a new partner but rather work through them (with the help of a good therapist)," she says. So, instead of immediately feeling hurt or getting offended if you feel your partner doesn’t trust you, try to work through it with them, because you’ve given them no reason not to, and there may be deeper issues at play that you don’t know about.
"Talk it through," Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Elite Daily. "If it’s bonding they are really looking for, or it makes them feel connected to you, maybe this is just symbolic of what they want in the relationship, and your partner thinks having it means you are bonded and connected."
After hearing them out and hopefully getting a better understanding of where they’re coming from, it’s their turn to hear you out. Tell them how you feel about exchanging passwords, and your reasons for not wanting to do it. "You can explain that you are just more private than some and that it gives you a sense of self that you would like to maintain," Trombetti says. Sure, one of the reasons why your partner may want your passwords is that they want to feel connected to you, but "if you can let the person see and feel the connection otherwise, it won’t be an issue."
At the end of the day, you are under no obligation to give anyone your passwords for anything if you don’t feel comfortable. If your partner has deeper trust issues in your relationship, that’s an entirely separate conversation to have. But if they say they just want to feel more connected to you, make sure they understand what your privacy means to you, and brainstorm other ways you can feel connected that doesn’t include giving them such personal access.
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