Skip to main content discovers what secrets couples keep from one another this Valentine’s Day

In celebration of Valentine’s Day has decided to delve into the world of secrets people keep from their partners (but don’t worry, we’re not judging anyone). It might be hard to believe, but men are actually more likely to hide something romantic from their partner than women. The survey, conducted by OnePoll on a sample of 2,000 British adults1, found that 37 percent of British men have opted to lie to their partners about a surprise party or a romantic getaway, as opposed to 26 percent of women who have done the same. However men are also nearly four times more likely than women to lie to their partner about their visits to the bookies, with one in ten saying they don’t tell their significant other about their gambling habits. Men also keep more secrets from their partners than women. Out of 22 possible secrets, men admitted to keeping more in 13 of them—but these aren’t all bad secrets. Women have their fair share of secrets as well—30 percent of women say they fib to their partner about the price of shoes or clothes, as opposed to 13 percent of men. One-quarter of women also admitted to hiding their snacking habits from their partner, whereas only one in eight men say they keep this secret. Of course, there are some things people probably don’t want to know about their lover. Twenty-two percent of men said they keep their porn viewing habits secret from their partner–only eight percent of women said they hide their questionable online activities. Do you yearn for a completely honest and transparent relationship? Maybe you should move to the Midlands or East Anglia, as people from these regions keep the least amount of secrets from their partners. Northern Ireland on the other hand had the highest number of participants who admitted they keep secrets from their partner. The list of things lovebirds from Northern Ireland mostly lie to their partner about included level of education, the time they leave work, how much they earn and even being out of a job. If you’re over 45 however, then you might not have to worry so much. The research found secrets in relationships between those aged 45 and older quickly declined. The only secrets that increase with age were romantic getaways and surprise parties. Maybe marriage really does get easier with age? Reasons given for keeping secrets from partners: One man who kept a romantic holiday secret from his partner said: ‘I took her away as a surprise for New Year to Paris to propose.’ ‘I'm trying to lose weight and I say I'm doing better than I actually am,’ admitted one woman who lies to her partner about her snacking habits. A woman who hides her porn from her partner said: ‘I keep my porn viewing a secret because I don't know how he'll react! It's normally the other way round.’ When it comes to secret gambling habits, one man said: ‘I don't want her to know how much I spend on the lottery, to keep it a surprise if ever I was lucky.’ Talking about ex-partners is always tricky, which is why one man reasoned: ‘I have had a wild 20s, so I gave her a lower number!’ Is it ever OK to keep secrets in a relationship? Relationship coach Jo Barnett, who offers one-on-one relationship coaching packages, **told ‘**Couples who want a good relationship are better off telling the truth rather than get in the habit of making up white lies. If they are found out then they will not be trusted in the future and trust is one of the top relationship building values. ‘To build your relationship I recommend that you practice your listening skills and spend time just listening and repeating back what your partner has said so that they feel heard and loved. ‘The gift of listening is such a powerful tool, all of us want to be heard and understood, and when it’s done properly it can melt your heart. ‘Surprise your partner with some flowers or theatre tickets, just when they are not expecting it. On a much smaller scale you can do little things for each other such as a cheeky message or a card left for them to open when you are not there. ‘Relationships can become stagnant when you start to take each other for granted. To keep it alive you need to keep working together and being as thoughtful and loving as you were in the beginning.’

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