In every relationship, there should be boundaries. Maybe one of you has a greater need for privacy than the other, or maybe your partner requires more space than you do. Whether they are physical boundaries, emotional boundaries, or any boundaries in between, both you and your partner have a right to feel comfortable in every situation. When it comes to technology, there are also boundaries to consider. Perhaps one of the most common points of contention? Phone passwords. Is it ok to have your partner’s phone password? Should you give them yours? Or should you be able to trust your partner enough that you don't feel like you need to have it?
First of all, it's important to understand that "there's no 'normal' when it comes to couples' behaviors," Erika Ettin, founder and CEO of A Little Nudge, tells Elite Daily. Whether or not you have your partner's phone password is totally up to you and your partner, but it's still crucial to understand the why behind it. "If you want to know your partner's passwords because you don't trust him/her, then there are bigger issues that need to be discussed together," Ettin says. "Why are you having trust issues?"
But just how important is privacy in a relationship? "Unless you have a shared social media account, I believe privacy is important in a relationship, and that you don’t need to share passwords," Julie Spira, online dating expert, tells Elite Daily. "Depending on the seriousness of your relationship, having a phone password is a good idea. If you’re together a lot, and an emergency arises, it’s important to be able to reach your partner’s contacts." So if you and your partner have been together for a while, then Spira says having their phone password is totally fine.
If you and your partner decide to share each other's passwords, then it should feel pretty natural. "When you have trust in a relationship, knowing someone’s password won’t feel like they are spying on you," Spira explains. However, it can get complicated if things start to shift and you can feel that walls are being put up. "If you suddenly see that your partner has their phone on lockdown with multiple passwords, and is hiding their phone, or turning it off in your presence, there’s reason to suspect there’s more than hiding confidential work emails," she says.
If trust issues are the main reason why you have or want to have your partner's phone password, then it's important to confront those issues, Ettin says. "Is it due to a prior breach of trust in a past relationship, or is there something in your current relationship that's making you feel insecure?" she says. "For the former, it's important not to project past experiences onto a new partner but rather work through them (with the help of a good therapist). And for the latter, you should talk to your partner about why you have these suspicions." Try and work through any trust issues you have, and you might find yourself not even wanting or needing your partner's phone password.
On the other hand, if you already have your partner's phone password and they have yours, that is also totally normal. "If you and your partner are sharing the same bed, you’d want to know that in the event of an emergency you could access their contacts," Spira emphasizes. "If there’s nothing to hide, then there’s no reason to worry. If you suspect something is up and you feel the need to snoop at your partner’s text messages, then the need to know their password comes from a lack of trust or a suspicion of cheating. If that’s the case, don’t ask for their password, but hand them back the key to their home and to your heart."
There's no one right way to be in a relationship, or to handle privacy in a relationship. As long as both you and your partner are comfortable with the boundaries you have set in place, then you're doing great. However, if there are underlying trust issues, as the experts say, then try to talk them out and work through them. You and your partner deserve to be happy and trust each other, regardless of whether or not you know their four-digit code.