Back when I was dating and single (now I am dating and am married to my love of a lifetime), this was never a conversation to be had. My life was not connected together with password access. That was just a statement about how old I am.
These days when to share passwords is a boundary you must define because your life is connected together with password access. Granting access to your password life is a vulnerability—one that should be approached wisely.
So here are some much-discussed-with-wise-people boundaries you can glean from as you have to make these boundaries for your own life.
In general, your social security number, driver’s license ID, and anything like that are forever off-limits. Until you are married. But then you will most likely forget those numbers and need to ask your spouse again and again what those numbers are.
Email – On your wedding day (but it is okay to wait until you return from the honeymoon). Email is the story of your life. You “talk” to your family and friends here. You also email customer service questions but remember that this is the place you share your life with trusted people. This isn’t about having something to hide. If who you are dating ever brings that up that would be a red light to get out of this relationship.
Phone – When the relationship is defined. The sharing of your phone password will probably happen more naturally simply out of convenience. If you are with someone enough, the time is going to come when you are going to ask him/her to send a text while you are driving or need to borrow your phone to take that picture or whatever. Conveniently he/she now has your password. You are simply going to have to trust this person to not go through your inbox or texts—as you should be able to in this growing and healthy relationship.
Laptop – When the relationship is defined. Similar to your phone. Because of time together the time is going to come when your defined friend is going to need to use your laptop for one of many reasons. Only give out the password if there is this growing trust otherwise you can simply turn the laptop around, log in, and give your defined friend access. That is not too awkward and still protects your entire identity which is probably on that laptop.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, all social media – On your wedding day. Yes, much of your life is broadcast to the public so what is there for your boyfriend/girlfriend to find out? Your inbox—where you also have personal conversations. Plus we’ve all seen too many social media accounts playfully “hacked” by friends posting silly stuff. How much more the vulnerability would be to have an angry ex have accessibility to your public face? There is just no reason to share this information. Again if anyone brings this up associating trust to it, dump. You two have bigger trust issues than a Facebook password.
Netflix – When the relationship is defined—and you are okay with your defined friend leeching off of your account when they aren’t spending that time with you?
Amazon Prime – When the relationship is defined and you are talking about what finances look like in a marriage. Amazon has definitely become the window to personal spending. If this password information is shared any earlier in the relationship, it may seem innocent as it is just one purchase until you realize the footprint of your shopping habits can be revealed and that may be too much information too soon. Plus it is also connected to your credit card by a simple click.
Medical Accounts – On your wedding date. Due to medical confidentiality, your records are already protected. But now even that is moving online for accessibility. This is a lot of personal information available through a long medical password.
Match, eHarmony, Christian Mingle, etc. – Never. You are fully capable of closing these accounts when you are ready. There is no reason to bring trust into this decision. You are capable of deciding and shouldn’t be with a partner who questions this—which would be so ironic if you met him/her through a dating site. If the two of you want to laugh at the jokers who did contact you through a dating site, you can log in and laugh together at these profiles and/or messages.
It may seem “funny” to be coaching you on this topic. But this is a new password-connected world and once you read through this you now have gleaned some new and helpful knowledge. Right? We will navigate this crazy new world together as you find your love for a lifetime.
(Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/automobileitalia/23771568875)