Dating and Relationship Advice

You and your significant other have hit that point in the relationship: you spend multiple nights a week at their apartment, but don't feel comfortable talking about moving in yet. Next stop? The drawer.

Having a drawer — or another kind of dedicated space — helps you have what you need in one place. It doesn’t always lead to moving in together, but it does illustrate respect for both individuals' spaces.

When do you approach the subject of the drawer? You can either confront it head-on or bring it up in the form of a question:“hey, do you mind if I leave some of my shampoo here?” If you want your partner to feel comfortable leaving things behind, simply tell them: "you can leave your toothbrush here if you’d like.” Don’t take it personally if your SO says “no” in either case. They may not be ready for that step, or maybe they don't want to part with their essentials.

Here are a few things that you should (and shouldn't!) keep in your designated drawer or other special space:

Extra PJs

Those nights when you come home after work and just want to crash can happen at their place too. Be prepared! If you’re too tired to make the trip back for your own clothes and none of theirs fit you, keep an extra T-shirt and sweats on hand for a better night’s sleep.

Menstrual products

No matter how well you track your period, it can still sometimes catch you by surprise. Whether you use pads, tampons, or menstrual cups, make sure to leave a few so you don't find yourself running to the drugstore. Pro tip: include a bottle of ibuprofen and fresh underwear just in case.

If your girlfriend is staying at your place more frequently, consider buying a box of pads to have on hand for her.

Travel-sized cleanser and moisturizer:

You don’t want to lug every face wash, moisturizer, and skin-care product to and from your place to his, so leave a few travel-sized containers instead. If your preferred choice doesn’t offer a smaller size, you can purchase empty travel bottles to fill up.

Remember all those leftover shampoos and conditioners from hotels that you aren’t sure what to do with? Or the unopened toothbrush and toothpaste set from the dentist? Even if you do use some of your boyfriend or girlfriend’s, it helps to have backup items lying around.

Other essentials:

Whether it’s your lavender deodorant, your bottle of dry shampoo, or the lip balm that you use constantly, it never hurts to have a second one at their place. This means you can come straight from work and know you have all your essentials (and luxuries!) in one place.

Bedroom protection:

Safe sex benefits both people, so make sure to have some condoms on hand. You can either take turns purchasing, or each keep a box in your own drawer. You’d rather have too many than none at all!

Things to avoid keeping:

Medications:

Ibuprofen and Tylenol are one thing, but since you don’t live there full time, don’t leave your daily pills and vitamins in a place that you are not residing at.

Personal documents:

No matter how much you love and trust your SO, you should not keep your diary, social security card, lists of passwords, or any other kind of private information in their drawer.

Dirty and used stuff

Don't be a rude house guest by leaving empty bottles, used products, or anything smelly and perishable. An inconsiderate partner usually doesn’t make for a long-term one.

The key to success is communication. A good partner is understanding and accommodating. When making your space in their home, make sure both of you feel comfortable doing it.