My partner wants to share locations on our phones, but it feels invasive. What should I do?

My partner wants to share locations on our phones, but it feels invasive. What should I do?

You are currently viewing My partner wants to share locations on our phones, but it feels invasive. What should I do?
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Hi Jake,

My partner of six months casually suggested that we share each other’s location on the iPhone “Find My” app. When I asked why, he looked surprised and said it would be “fun.”

He went on to say it helps to plan better when it comes to timing and meeting in various places, since you can see where the other person is. He used an example of how when he cooks dinner for us, it would be helpful to know how far away I was from his place, so he could time the meal accordingly.

I get all that, but to me, this feels like a breach of privacy. I’m not hiding anything, but I also feel like it’s creepy that someone can watch my every move on an app. Some things I just like to keep for myself. I’ve always liked having my freedom, even within a relationship, and don’t like feeling monitored.

I told him I’d think about it but I’m worried if I say “no”, he’ll think I’m up to something shady, when I’m not. At the same time, I don’t feel comfortable doing it. How should I handle this?

Staying Off The Grid

Dear Staying Off the Grid,

Having your very own “boyfriend-GPS” has both pros and cons, so it’s really up to each couple to figure out what works best for them. But don’t forget, a couple is also made up of two individuals, and it’s okay if you’re not on the same page as your partner. Your concern about privacy is completely valid.

Having your location monitored can feel like a boundary violation, especially if you’re not 100% on board. It’s okay to have a world that’s “yours”, without sharing every moment of your day. Allowing someone to track you is letting them fully into your life, which is a very intimate thing. If you’re not ready to take that step, honor that, just as someone shouldn’t be pressured to move in with their partner before they are ready.

Often times, it’s the intent behind the location sharing that matters. If your partner was suggesting it as a way to “control” you, or keep you “in line” (a.k.a. make sure you’re not cheating), that’s certainly not a healthy motive. Relationships are built on trust first and foremost, and spying is certainly not going to help that. Or, if a couple feels anxious without knowing every little thing their partner is doing, that might lean more towards codependency, which is also not ideal.

In your case, your partner says he just wants to use it for fun and/or practical purposes. Still, it might not be a step you’re ready to take, especially after just six months. I encourage you to trust your feelings and verbalize them. Explain that you’re not comfortable with opening yourself up that much and that you value some privacy. If your man has a problem with this, that might be a red flag, as he should want to respect your feelings.

Who knows? Your thoughts about it might change down the line, or maybe it will always be important for you to retain some level of autonomy (some couples even decide to use it only when there might be a safety risk, and then turn it off again). Either way, it’s your call.

Sure, GPS exists, and can help with navigation, orientation, and even tracking, but just because something exists, doesn’t mean we have to use it. In this case, I encourage you to gauge your inner compass first, before giving up your coordinates. Sometimes, it’s even more accurate than your phone.

Ask Jake is our advice column by Queerty editor and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Jake Myers. If you have a question for Jake, please email [email protected] for consideration.


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