Subtly Invading His Space
More from our gal in Uganda on dating.
Sometime back, one of my girls, Stella, called me to ask for directions to my nice lingerie store in Kampala. After directing her, I asked what the occasion was and she told me she was only sleeping over at her boyfriend Raymond’s place.
I wondered why she didn’t have any spare underwear at his place. I mean, they have been dating for two years. I discovered it had nothing to do with how long a couple has been together, but rather the stage at which a relationship is. Some get to the point where a girl can litter her man’s closet with little personal items – some sooner than others.
The girls’ tales
Over the years, I have heard embarrassing stories involving intimate garments left at a man’s house. For example, Irene, a colleague at work, told of how one day she had the misfortune of finding a pair of panties that were not hers. She was shocked and hurt because she had thought the relationship was going strong and that she was her boyfriend’s one and only. When she confronted him, he said that there was a mix-up with the laundry.
Rose, a friend from university, also encountered her man’s stash; not porn – a whole drawer of ladies’ underwear of all colours, sizes and shapes. That was the end of their relationship.
I talked to my mother about this issue and how her generation went about it. “We grew up knowing of an unsaid rule of never leaving anything intimate at a man’s house, as the unmarried man was entitled to entertaining as many women as he could afford,” she said.
They therefore always carried spare underwear, in case any overnight plans should arise.
But how exactly does a man interpret the gesture of a woman leaving her clothing items at his place? I had to talk to a few men:
Joel Mazinga – 31, Architect
If a woman leaves her stuff at a man’s place, she is marking her territory. It is also another way of telling the man that it is time to upgrade, take things to another level.
I do not think I would be scared if we are serious, but if it was a one night stand kind of thing, it becomes encroaching. I wouldn’t mind my woman staying for a while and leaving a few things behind; no worries, really. However, if she is on a mission to make my place hers by changing the drapes and duvet, then we have a problem!
Gordon Kato – 26, Businessman
A woman leaving her stuff at my place? It is almost insulting to my intelligence! No need to trick your way into coming back, and I really do not like the “marking territory” aspect to it. And it does not matter that I asked her over for a weekend; she has to pack up after!
But it does not scare me; very few things do. Point is, I like simplicity and honesty. If you would like to stay over or even move in, just ask. If you would like to “mark your territory,” there are better ways to go about it.
Colin Asiimwe – 32, Communications Consultant
A woman might feel good about herself leaving her things behind at her man’s, because to her that action validates the relationship. However, the man might get a little bit scared, because that same action shows that she is taking control of the situation away from him. Of course, he might feel pressured; therefore, his moves will become swift and decisive.
Jim Okot – 26, data analyst
My fear is her making a habit of leaving her things at his place and they keep accumulating. What if they have an altercation and she never comes back to pick them up? It is not polite to burn someone’s stuff. That is vandalism.
I believe that the right time for a woman to leave her things at my place is after we have made it official that we are engaged to be married.
Mark Ssenoga – 42, lecturer
The man decides the stage at which he comfortably lets his woman keep a toothbrush at his place and he will probably let go of the half a dozen toothbrushes in his bathroom.
The man might even decide it is time his woman kept a set of work clothes in his closet; then he will clear a whole drawer just for her.
So ladies, it turns out there are signals we have to wait for, and rushing into it may only mess things up.