As much as I love getting dressed up and feeling fancy, there’s nothing like stripping down and sneaking into my favorite pair of sweat pants. They’re perfect for lounging and bumming around the house. Unfortunately, I don’t just carry sweat pants around with me for occasions in which I end up hanging out elsewhere. So what’s a girl to do?
The other day, I was cozying up next to Wesley, my boyfriend of just a few months, but found it impossible to get comfortable on his couch. I was a tad bit too warm, my romper continued to ride up and was feeling a little tight after an enormous dinner. I sighed in exasperation, longing for my comfortable Soffe shorts or any bottom that had an elastic waistband—but alas, I was in an apartment full of males and my clothing was far from sight.
“Do you mind if I steal some shorts and a shirt? I need to take this off,” I asked Wesley, making a face to emphasize my discomfort.
“Sure, take whatever you want,” he said and motioned towards his room. I couldn’t have gotten up any faster. After navigating through his drawers, I settled on a crisp t-shirt and ridiculously comfortable pajama pants. I immediately felt so much better. I walked back to the living room in a happier state.
“I swear, I’m just gonna start leaving some stuff here. I can’t keep taking your stuff,” I stated aloud thoughtlessly and plopped next to him on the couch.
“Go ahead,” he said without any hesitation. I looked at him for a moment, taken aback at his nonchalance.
“Really?” I couldn’t believe it. Even though Wesley is a flexible and go-with-the-flow kind of guy, I just always assumed that guys were weird about girls leaving their stuff behind. Luckily for me, that wasn’t the case.
“Yeah, of course. It’s no problem,” he reassured me.
And just like that, I was able to leave some stuff behind at Wesley’s place. Though it may not seem like a big deal, to me it is. After being surrounded by college boys for four years who go to extreme lengths to make sure you don’t leave a single trace of you behind, it was refreshing to have Wesley offer me an opportunity to leave a few things of my own in the place he calls his own.
Even though I am sure Wesley wouldn’t mind if I filled up one of his drawers with clothes (they are pretty spacious), I don’t want to be Kate Hudson in “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” in that scene where she leaves behind stuffed animals, feminine hygiene products and replaces everything with pink. Therefore, I have set up the following rules for myself, and other girls in my position as to make sure that we don’t get a little too comfortable:
Make sure it’s okay. Asking first and getting permission is without a doubt the first step. Remember, you want to be respectful of your partner and their space so don’t just assume you can leave an entire bag of clothes behind. Talking about it makes the situation less complicated and puts the focus on being honest rather than playing games to see if you can get away with that behavior. My point is, ask first!
Ask for a spot. Better yet, ask for a spot that he’s okay giving to you. Everyone has their own sense of order, and you don’t want to be the person to disrupt that. Whether he’s a clean-freak or a bit of a slob, ask him where you should put your stuff so that you know that he’s okay with it.
Keep it simple. Think about what you really want or need to leave behind. If you sleepover often and want to keep an outfit there just in case, then go for it. Or maybe you’re like me and want to have the option to slip into something a little more comfy when you’re hanging out. Perhaps it’s special toothpaste that you use. Whatever you leave behind, just make sure it’s not overwhelming and invasive. Keep it minimal.
Although it’s a little step, I believe it’s an important one. Allowing someone to leave a little bit of them behind represents how much they’re willing to deal with your stuff even when you’re not around. It shows that they care and want you to feel comfortable, and leaving some stuff behind allows for just that.