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