Relationship Novice: Moving (Your Stuff) In

When you first start dating someone, it usually involves a lot of eating, drinking, and late-night book reading sessions. At the end of all those dates, you normally decide whose place to go to. If you’re like me, and have a roommate (and a railroad apartment), you end up staying at his place. But, after about a dozen times staying over, you realize that the new “bedhead” look you’re sporting to work isn’t looking so hot. Plus, there’s only so many ways you can wear his dress-shirts. (Preppy Wednesday and Friday?)

There comes a point where you aren’t ready to move in yet, but you want to make your stays over there as effortless as possible. Using your boyfriend’s toothbrush and shave gel is romantic for awhile, but if your legs are dry and your teeth are crying for home, it’s time to set up shop. So when do you start making his place your home away from home?While there is no exact time frame, the consensus from guys tends to be around the two-to-three month mark. This is generally around the time you’ve established that you’re in a committed relationship and you don’t feel shy around your man. For me, that’s when I feel comfortable enough to take a magazine into the bathroom and tell my boyfriend, “I’m not going to come out for a long, long time.”

So, what should you leave there? In my opinion, the bare minimum, if you can. (Save the family photos for when you move in.) I like to leave a toothbrush, a goody bag of hair products, small body lotions, face creams, etc., and a couple of outfits. If it’s not easy to go back and forth between apartments, a dressy outfit is also a good call.

If you find yourself needing way more than the bare essentials, you might want to ask yourself if you’re staying over there too much. If you live in New York, and you have an apartment like mine, the answer is “no.” (I don’t have cable at my apartment!) But if you feel like you don’t have time for work, gym, hanging out with friends, your dog (if I had one it would be dead right now), then you might try spending more nights at the good ol’ bachelorette pad. It’ll make the days at your boyfriend’s place that much better.