How soon can I start leaving my underwear at my new boyfriend’s place? Here's what women think

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Couple conversating. Photographed by blackCAT
Couple conversating. Photographed by blackCAT
  • If we took the time to write down all the rules of starting a new relationship, it would take the entire decade - and we still wouldn't have it figured out.
  • That's because when a relationship is new, there are a lot of awkward, tense moments where you’re not sure of your place in your partner’s life yet.
  • It's also at this time that most couples try to spend time with each other, including having sleepovers now and then.
  • And sleepovers mean having a bag to carry your underwear, toiletries and a change of clothes for the next day. However, living in a bag can be tiring.
  • So the question remains: How soon can you start leaving your things at his place - especially underwear since it's the source of many relationship arguments and trust issues?

Giving your partner a drawer at your place is a big deal, and women have had to either be the one to offer it or get the space offered to them. Sydney Lyons wrote on Elite Daily that the last time she gave her significant other a drawer, it turned into an entire chest of drawers, which turned into half of her closet.

“The contents of the drawer seemed to expand well beyond its originally established parameters until it was almost impossible to discern where my share of the apartment ended and my partner’s began,” she says.

READ MORE | Cape Town woman separated from American boyfriend by lockdown after epic 10-day first date

According to Registered counsellor, Phumzile Ndlovu, there is no specific time-frame to bring up this conversation. When you feel you are both ready you can have this conversation.

Although this may be a nice gesture, the main reason why this is such an uncomfortable conversation to have is that it comes with a lot of questions which might raise fears in the relationship, like how serious things are getting between the two of you.

"Having this conversation could bring about a fear of invasion of space. People are sensitive about having their space and they could feel a sense of threat of  losing their personal space. There is also a fear of having boundaries crossed," says Phumzile.

The most effective way to handle these fears is by communicating your fears and concerns to your partner as they will never know and understand your fears unless you communicate them.

READ MORE | Polyamorous relationships under severe strain during the pandemic

Phumzile says if you don’t like carrying an an overnight bag you should communicate with your partner and let them know so you are on the same page. But what do other women have to say?

Below, several women share how they handled this situation:

I told my now-husband that I prefer him coming to my apartment as opposed to me going to his. He asked why and I told him that I don’t particularly like living in a bag. The next time I went over, I found a toiletry bag with all the products I use, an empty drawer and space in the closet. I immediately thought, now I have to marry this man, lol.

I never asked my boyfriend for closet space; I started leaving a head-wrap, then it became my toothbrush, after it was a jacket. Then a few months later, almost half of my closet was in his. He never said a word till this day. My advice is to leave one item at a time, ladies.

Girl, when I tell you I will never leave clothes at a man’s house again, I mean it. I did it once and it started to feel like a ‘vat-n-sit’ situation, which I didn’t like. He expected me to always be at his house at a certain time; even when I go out with my girls, I suddenly couldn’t sleep over at my friends' because I had a ‘home’ with him. At that time, we weren't even married. DON’T DO IT!

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Being a girl who believes in supernatural things, I know I don’t want space in his closet until we move into a new house together after marriage. I don’t trust that he won’t bring girls to his place who will take my things and perform some voodoo on them.
Ntokozo T

I just turned 29, and I feel you need to have an honest conversation with your partner about this; it is something that can make or break a relationship. I know because it broke mine.
Ntokozo L

Getting space in your partner’s home isn’t something that needs to be discussed. I feel it is something that should happen authentically and gradually, where one day, you and he just look around and realise that all your things are at his place or vice versa.

READ MORE | 'I don't post my boyfriend on social media, and it's affecting our relationship'

I hate how leaving a few items at your partner's place has a negative connotation. I believe women should do it often to discern who you might get married to and live with forever. It will help you to decide if that’s the housemate you want.

Look, sis, don’t ask, take your things over. In fact, take a whole suitcase because you need to know your partner’s habits, and that can only be seen when he’s comfortable, and that is at his place.

When it comes to this situation, never be the one to offer space in your house or ask him for one at his place. Wait on him to make the first move. It’s like saying ‘I love you,’ you never do it first.

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