10 Secret Codes All Long-Term Couples Have

If you think about it, every couple who has been together for more than a year tends to have their own private language that signals certain things that only they’d understand. If you’re in a relationship that’s lasted a while, you’ve probably used at least a few of these secret codes as a couple.

  1. The “I Want To Leave This Party” code. There’s no polite way to say that you’re hating the company you’re in and want to leave as soon as possible. It’s also impolite to basically say you’re bored or tired and want to go home. Most of the time, couples will have a look, a gesture, or a short phrase they use so that they can signal to the other one that it’s time to go home. It’s a good way to stay polite.
  2. The “I Want To Have Sex” code. Aside from saying, “I’m in the mood,” most couples will have a signal or two that it’s time to get their freak on. Whether it’s a simple look or a word that wouldn’t appear sexual to anyone else, this is one of those secret couple codes that means a lot.
  3. The “I Hate That Person” code. Every couple has that one person in their circle that is just a plain nuisance at best, and a total jerk at worst. When you and your S.O. unfavorably compare someone to said person, then you know it’s bad. In fact, any comparison to said person at all is a pretty awful thing to have happen.
  4. The “Your Guests Need To Leave” code. This one’s a rare one to hear, but you can usually tell when it’s happened. One spouse will say to another, “I’m tired, honey…” and the other will basically tell people it’s time to wrap up festivities. If it gets to the point that codes aren’t even used, it’s pretty obvious that someone overstayed their welcome.
  5. The “I Want To Have Sex But There Are Other People Around” code. When roommates are involved, this code is a must. It’s that subtle way couples have of saying, “I’m horny, I want to sneak off somewhere else and have my way with you. Come on!”
  6. The “I Messed Up” code. This is one of those codes that tends to be somewhat universal in the way that it’s acted out. Usually, it involves flowers, jewelry, or some other very nice gift. This code might also involve friends cringing and saying, “You messed up…
  7. The “You’re In Deep Doo-Doo” code. This isn’t actually a secret code for couples, per se. It’s also known as “We need to talk…” It’s a way of letting your partner know you’re really not happy with something they’ve said or done. You plan on doing something about it, even if it’s just telling them off.
  8. The Inside Joke. Every couple has at least one inside joke that they share. It could be related to something absolutely hilarious that happened over dinner, or about the mannerisms of someone that they know, but the fact is that couples’ inside jokes are just as much a part of their secret code vocabularies as anything else.
  9. The Go-To Answers To Awkward QuestionsIt’s surprising how many intrusive questions couples are asked. Think about how many times you’ve heard couples being badgered about kids, marriage, and other major life decisions that aren’t really anyone else’s business. Most couples quickly learn how to deflect these questions, and how to answer questions that they want to answer as a team.
  10. The “Code Red.” Every couple I’ve ever met has that one gesture or code that suggests that there’s an emergency that can’t be discussed openly. Usually, it’s said in the way they look at each other.
  11. The “I Love You Thiiiiiiiis Much” code. Everyone says, “I love you” once in a while, but most couples have other ways than just the conventional statement to express their appreciation. It could be a special meal she makes or a special way he hugs her, but the message is clear.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.