Is his toothbrush in your cabinet too soon?

Does the guy you’re dating leave personal items at your place — without asking?

toothbrushTwo men have done this at my house. The latest was after a second sleepover, but unbeknownst to me. During his third visit I asked if he wanted a toothbrush or if he brought one. He said, “I left one here last time. I’ve taken over the empty shelf in your bathroom.” “Really?” I thought, “Kinda presumptuous don’t you think?” But I bit my tongue, as I really didn’t mind. I just thought it was interesting that he would move in his toiletries so quickly and without any discussion, let alone permission. I don’t think I’d be so assumptive.

Yet I knew he hungered for some sense of permanency between us, so I didn’t mind a toothbrush, comb, razor and deodorant now occupying my formerly empty shelf. In fact, it was unoccupied because I didn’t use that bathroom much. “So what’s the harm?” I thought.

As it turns out it was indicative of bigger issues and assumptions. He was more bent on our living together than I was. He longed for me to make a commitment to him even though we’d known each other only a few months. This ultimately colored both of our expectations of the relationship and each other.

He saw my lack of interest in moving to his area as a sign that I was selfish and he surmised he’d have to move to mine, live in my house, sit on my furniture, and eat my food. Interesting, since none of this was ever discussed, so it was all his assumption. I felt 2-3 months of dating was way too soon to know if the relationship should continue, let alone be semi-permanent. He saw my insistence that it was too early as rejecting him. Which in a way, I was — rejecting my willingness at this time to work toward permanence with a man I felt I hardly knew.

The other beau left clothing on my bedroom chair in between weekend sleepovers. I’m a neat person, so this bothered me. I suggested he keep them in an empty drawer — perhaps like the man described above, in an attempt to create a sense of permanence. But similarly, it was too soon to assume a bond. His clothing should have left each time he did. When we had our final clash on the phone, his clothes were still at my place. I should have told him to fetch them, or donated them to Goodwill, but I called to tell him I’d drop them off since I was going to his neighborhood. He never returned the call, so I left the bags on his doorstep. Even how this got resolved was indicative of our relationship — he became uncommunicative when he didn’t get his way; I tried to make nice and show there were no hard feelings even though our last fight was over his trying to manipulate me.

So what have I learned? That both parties should keep their belongings with them and not leave items at the other’s abode. It takes some effort to schlep your stuff back and forth, but it is better for the relationship. You don’t want to leave your baggage — emotional or physical — at someone else’s house.

Technorati Tags:,,,,,,,, , , , ,

Got a topic on dating after 40 you want Dating Goddess to address? Send your issue to




6 responses to “Is his toothbrush in your cabinet too soon?”

  1. NYSharon Avatar

    After 2-3 months of dating I think it is OK. NOt on the second sleep over. If he drives, his car is a good place to keep those things.

  2. bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    I agree, both guys were way too presumptuous. IMHO, no one should be moving personall effects (or even not so personal effects) into another person’s living space without discussing this beforehand with the person whose living space they presumably want to share. I don’t think I’d allow anyone to leave personal effects at my place unless they were living there, too, in which case it would be a moot point. Sharon is right, a car trunk is a good place to keep overnight items between visits.

    BTW: Pushing for intimacy of any kind too soon is a sure fire turn-off for this mature lady. 🙂

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

  3. DatingReallyBlows Avatar

    I think 2 or 3 months is way too soon, not to mention second sleepover? Are you serious? What is wrong with people today? What happened to casual dating?

  4. laura Avatar

    i’m facing a similar issue at the moment, but you can’t really tell someone that their toothbrush is not welcome (yet)… after six weeks. i have nothing against permanency but i feel that i would like to know how many cavities he had as a kid first. * sigh *

  5. Curious Avatar

    I’ve been dating a great guy for a little of a month or so, and this past weekend clothes were left and an extra tooth brush was left. He seems very eager to jump in with both feet, which leaves me confused on how fast the relationship or partnership (really, what is it when your grown?). Is there a time frame, is there love at first sight…? I’m a single mother and he seems to have every aspect that most women would be in awe of, why do I remain concerned..? Curious….

  6. Juan Avatar

    A female friend of mine recently asked if I wanted to have a spare toothbrush at her house for when I happen to spend the night. She emerged with the toothbrush, which I used, and then she stored it for me. I’ve spent the night three times, 1 time on the couch and 2nd and 3rd times in her bed with her. Were just friends but she has let me spoon her and even give her tiny kisses. Does this mean anything or is she just concerned about my oral hygiene? I know she trusts me and is completely comfortable with me but I’m just wondering the significance, if any.