A toothbrush, a tampon, and a pair of bathing suit bottoms — that's what I would want with me if I were stranded on a remote island. Kidding. Those are actually the first items I ever left at a partner's place. Although we had been dating for about two years at the time, I was terrified of coming across as clingy or possessive when in reality, leaving stuff at his place was just a practical thing to do at this point.
I packed my essentials into a tiny makeup pouch and took it with me on the day that I planned to bring this up. We were going swimming anyway, so the items seemed more like backup for the actual day than a long-term storage situation.
After we'd gotten out of the pool and showered, I asked, "Hey, do you mind if I leave an emergency tampon here or is that weird?" I tried to sound way more calm than I actually felt inside. I could have led with the toothbrush but it was too late now. Luckily, it didn't matter. He was totally fine with it. He even cleared a shelf in his bathroom for my tiny pouch, which was simultaneously cute and a little ridiculous. But I got his point. He didn't care if I needed to leave more than just the essentials there and I appreciated the gesture.
Admittedly, I was just winging it. I didn't know if there was a right or wrong way to ask this question and I certainly didn't know what to expect. If, like me, you could use some help in this department, I asked Rachel DeAlto, relationship expert and coach, and Damona Hoffman, host of the Dates & Mates Podcast, to break down the process. So here it is: How To Have The Talk About Leaving Stuff At Your Partner's Place 101.