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BaeWatch: “My Partner Wants Me To Share Passwords. Isn’t This An Invasion Of Privacy?”

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I read somewhere that Gen Z folks are out there sharing passwords with their partners as a sign of ultimate commitment. Well, I did too, when I was younger and let’s just it didn’t end up well. It starts cutely (at least back then it was cute to me!) and I really was all up for “whatever makes him sleep better” but the fact that it is having full access to my social accounts and phone should have warned me it wouldn’t end well. Of course, one thing led to another and before I know it, he was snooping through my chats and accusing me of flirting with guys. I wasn’t. In fact, I don’t even want to read my partner’s chats. The thing is you find something that means nothing and you overthink – it just fucks up your head. Commitment and trust shouldn’t come at the cost of privacy and boundaries.

Sure, if both partners are okay with it, that’s perfect. If both partners don’t expect it, even good. Being on the same page is what matters. And if you are not on the same page, you can either fix the problem or the relationship can get toxic, really toxic.

Sharing passwords feels wrong on so many levels. Why does he need so much access to information to feel the commitment? If I want to cheat, I can cheat with someone offline, at a bar, at work, or make a secret profile. Having access to my social media accounts or phone will not stop me from cheating on him. What will? My choice of not doing it. You just have to trust the other person on the basis of investment they make in you.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want a partner who feels super awkward and tensed if his phone is unlocked around me. But I am not the person to demand complete access to his digital presence. It’s like my boss wanting to sit behind me and watching creepily as I write every word. I am not carrying drugs in my purse but I still expect my parents to not go through it.

So when a woman wrote to us about her partner wanting to share passwords, team Hauterfly decided to give their opinions on the same.

I am a 25-year-old in a relationship with a 28-year-old guy who is mostly adorable. He is loving, caring and a lot of fun. But the way we think on some aspects is so different! Recently, he told me that he thinks in a committed relationship, we must share passwords with each other. He wants me to give him all my passwords and he is willing to give me all his passwords too. But I never asked for that and I don’t need his passwords to trust him. His need for “transparency” as he calls it is violating my need for privacy. Of course, now that makes him think I have something to hide but unless there is something highly inappropriate about sharing memes with your closest friends, there is nothing to hide!

Giving your phone password is okay to me because it is often necessary and makes life easy. But demanding my social media passwords? It makes me uncomfortable that my partner has such a strong need for knowing every bit. He says it’s not like he doesn’t trust me, he says it’s not like he will go through my chats anyway. For now he is not asking for my passwords since I refused but I can’t say the tension between us is not very evident. What should I do? 

“Is your boyfriend Mark Zuckerberg? Or Google?”

Mansi Shah, Managing Editor: “Is your boyfriend Mark Zuckerberg? Or Google? Why does he feel like he needs to listen into every conversation you have/ Is he going to recommend ads to you once he knows your browsing patterns? If the answer to all of the questions is, well, no, then this password sharing does not need to happen. It’s a different thing if you guys just casually share passwords because one of you needs to do it at that point, but this oversharing isn’t normal or healthy. Sure, you probably don’t have anything in your DM or there is a casual flirtation in there, whatever it is, it is your space and this feels extremely intrusive. Look, if you want to, there is nothing inherently wrong with sharing passwords, it’s just that him asking feels like he isn’t exactly being trusting and that’s just…not cool.”

“Some amount of mystery is needed in relationships, and so is trust.”

Jinal Bhatt, Associate Editor: “Wow…. Your problem is making me wonder what I would do if I were in a situation like this. Already there are like private and government organisations spying on me. I need my partner to at least trust me on this. Honestly, the actual act of sharing passwords is not that big a deal when you’ve got nothing to hide. But make your guy understand what it might do to his mental peace if he were to, say, check your filtered inbox or see your ex checking your Insta story. These are inconsequential things that don’t become a problem but might. Some amount of mystery is needed in relationships, and so is trust. And if he cannot trust you, then he doesn’t deserve your passwords or you.”

“He can live without your passwords but you can’t be at peace without privacy.”

Akanksha Narang, Features Head: “There are two types of people in the world, one who share passwords as a sign of devotion and ultimate measure of trust and one who think that is a sheer breach of privacy. Maybe he doesn’t intend to do that and just belongs in the first category. You seem to be the one who needs more space in the relationship and clearly, he believes in complete transparency. We as humans are very protective and sensitive about our personal space and boundaries. When someone poses a threat to that, we get defensive, build walls or just shut down. That’s the most uncomfortable feeling ever and nobody should have to do that in a relationship. He can live without your passwords but you can’t be at peace without privacy. Give him some time. Let him digest the fact that you both have different needs and belief systems. Yes, he is making an adjustment by not getting the “transparency” he wants. But you are too making an adjustment by letting go of this. Either way, there will be several things that you both will have to let go of but doing that only makes sense if you both can keep resentment out. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time before things go from romantic to rusty.”

“It just stirred up jealousy and unnecessary arguments.”

Chingsanghoih Guite, Graphic Designer: “To be honest, I’ve been there and I can assure you that this did not go well for either of us. My boyfriend started with the similar “it’s not about not trusting you” or “if you don’t have anything to hide then why won’t you just give it” kind of attitude. And I eventually gave in but felt like I should have to do the same and ended up asking for his passwords. It starts with harmless checking feeds and comments and likes but once I ended up on his dms and trying to decode all the texts, it just stirred up jealousy and unnecessary arguments. He did the same. He would ask me about every little suspicious thing he saw. We eventually realized how unhealthy this was and decided to get our privacy back. So from my experience I can say that it is not something that I find necessary because it doesn’t bring anything positive out of it. So don’t do it while you still can.”

“You shouldn’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable in a relationship.”

Anjali Agarwal, Fashion & Beauty Writer: “Some people are okay with sharing their phone passwords with their SOs and that’s their choice but you, my friend, are clearly not comfortable with having him control your space like that. Plus, there is no such rule that “in a committed relationship, you must share passwords” so that’s BS. Why does he need it anyway? He should respect your privacy and shouldn’t have asked for it in the first place. Even if you don’t have anything to hide, you are not obliged to let him invade your space. The bottom line is, you shouldn’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable in a relationship, regardless of how much you trust your partner or how smooth it is going. Tell him you can sense his cold behavior towards you since you refused to share your passwords and make him understand that this is not acceptable to you, neither is the invasion of privacy gift-wrapped as transparency.”

“Sharing passwords is not a sign of commitment or absolute trust.”

Mitali Shah, Lifestyle Writer: “The thing about relationships is that no matter how much love there is between you’ll, without trust it’s all meaningless. And trust should come organically. There shouldn’t be a need to particularly share passwords. If he is adamant on this kind of “transparency” you need to sit him down and explain to him that you’ll might be in a relationship but even then you need your personal space and hence you won’t be giving him your social media passwords and don’t want his either. Sharing passwords is not a sign of commitment or absolute trust. It’s a breach of your partner’s privacy and no matter how long you’ll have been together, you have to respect that. And if you say that he will not read your chats or go through your feed then why does he want your passwords anyway? He needs to learn to trust you without having access to your social media. If he can’t do that, I am sorry but both of you’ll are just wasting each other’s time.”

ALSO READ: BaeWatch: “My Boyfriend’s Emotional Expectations Make Me Feel Like I Am Not Good Enough”

“He doesn’t trust you, not from deep down within his soul.”

Sama Meerza, Social Media Executive: “This is level 100000 of invading privacy. So what if you guys are dating? There is still some need of privacy even though you’re not doing anything wrong, but I like to believe not everything can be shared with everyone, even with your besties, partner or family. Some things are best kept unsaid. Unless it’s an emergency (he could need your phone but I’m not sure why would he need your Instagram password for that!) he shouldn’t ask for your passwords. It’s clearly visible that he doesn’t trust you, not from deep down in his soul. And what’s a relationship without trust? Things will get toxic between you two and your mental health will be ruined because you’ll be the one whose need for space is threatened. If you still feel the need to share your login credentials with him then go ahead but I’d suggest you really shouldn’t.”

Baewatch is Hauterfly’s weekly service to women everywhere. We are giving no-holds-barred, funny, interesting answers to your relationship problems. We’re not experts so you may end up married or broken up. It could go either way. *shrugs*

ALSO READ: BaeWatch: “I Like My Boyfriend But Did I Say Yes Too Soon?”

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