How to have a Secret Language with your Partner

You know these situations where you want to tell your partner something but people are around and you can’t because you would need to reveal more then you want?

Well, I know this situation and the biggest problem is that you can’t just switch languages or be too vague, because then your partner will most of the time not understand or the people around you will.

However, I did come across an interesting concept in a TV show which enables me to talk with people that I have a relationship with pretty easily and with them being able to understand me every time while leaving people on the outside clueless.

How do I manage that? – Well, to be honest, it is not my Idea!

It’s a way to construct your information that I got from the TV Show Star Trek – The Next Generation

The Concept:

On an Episode called “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” the idea of this “Language” is pretty much explained, but I will do and explain it here in my own words.

So what is this about? – It’s really simple, in the TV Show there is a Civilisation that builds their whole language around metaphors and descriptive scenes. If you have no knowledge of the metaphors then you can of course not understand that language.

As an example, the TV Show references “Romeo & Juliet on the balcony” as a way to convey love and romance… If you know Romeo & Juliet then you know why She is on the balcony and you can make sense of the scene and the underlying information. However, if you don’t know the balcony scene, you have no clue what other people are talking about…

In essence, you use something specific from a shared experience as a reference and that way only you and your partner know what you are talking about. Of course, you shouldn’t use such obvious references like Books and Movies almost everybody knows about.

This way of communicating with each other needs a bit of practice but after that, you can communicate in a very clear way without letting outsiders in on what the discussion is about and the best thing is, as long as your partner is not totally stupid (or has a really bad memory) they can understand you instantly without previous discussions.


[C] and I were out with a friend and I wanted to tell her about some messages I got from another person. Because the context was BDSM related I had to be a bit cryptic, so I made some references to the situation we both experienced in our time when we played World of Warcraft together and this way we could have a pretty “normal” conversation about the topic without letting our guest exactly know what it was about. In the end, our friend thought we would just talk about the game in a very strange way.

Of course, you need a common basis like real experiences or references to literature that you both understand well and most of the time outsiders will still know you talk about something cryptic and secretive. But in the end that is pretty irrelevant when they don’t know what you are talking about – right?

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