September 24th, 2013 by Jess Downey
The Overnight Bag: How to Ditch It (and Leave Things at His Place)
I’ll be honest — when I first started dating my fiancé, one of the things that I found a little scary was the whole overnight bag thing. When is it OK to bring it? Should I just show up with it? What should I pack in it? And I know. Believe me I know. It’s pretty weird, but go easy on me here. I had been single for quite some time before we got together. The problem was, however, that I found it pretty necessary after staying a few nights at his place. I’m a gal and he’s a guy. He also lives with another guy so there were certain things that they just didn’t have that I needed. And since I want to believe I’m not the only weirdo out there, we’re doing a three-part series on how to handle it all. We’ve already told you how not to let the overnight bag freak out and what to pack in it, so now let’s talk about how to ditch it and leave things at his place.
People often think that guys are always the ones who freak out when a gal starts leaving stuff (or wants to start leaving stuff), but honestly it made me a little skittish too. I liked the thought of it all, but I had been single for a long time, I have a roommate, and a small-ish New York apartment. And, let’s all be honest here, leaving something at someone’s place means something. So I’ve always thought that there should be somewhat of a systematic approach to this whole thing.
First let’s talk about what you shouldn’t do:
Don’t just start leaving things at his place. Call me crazy, but when my fiancé was my boyfriend, I believed his apartment was his personal space. Sure, I wanted to be a part of that space, but just casually moving things in without checking to see if he’s cool doesn’t make you a part of it, it makes you an invasion of it.
Don’t start leaving things at is place and then use it as some kind if test to see how he feels about you. This only causes massive amounts of confusion and will likely lead to you making assumptions that aren’t really true. It really just isn’t an indicator of much he’s into you. When someone leaves something at your place, it’s just common courtesy to give it back. So when he shows up with a bag full of stuff it will only leave you feeling unnecessarily hurt.
Don’t leave stuff just for the sake of leaving stuff or assume it means something if you’re not leaving stuff. I was engaged for three months before I started leaving stuff at my fiancé’s place (and he started leaving things a mine). It didn’t mean we didn’t care for each other or weren’t fully committed, it just never made sense for us since there was often a three-four day gap between when we saw each other.
Now let’s talk about what you should do:
Do have some sort of conversation about when you should start leaving stuff. It doesn’t have to be something big about where things are going. But just have a casual conversation about whether or not you both feel is best.
Do talk about what you’ll be leaving. If you’re guy or gal doesn’t have the space for two or three drawers full of your stuff, you might have to adjust how much you bring. So just have a little chat about what you both feel is ideal for bringing and leaving to make sure you’re both on the same page.
Do be patient. There isn’t some kind of time table on this thing. Some couples leave things after a couple of months. Some wait longer. So just relax and let all this stuff happen when it’s supposed to happen. Naturally.