Should You Give Your Partner A Key? Here’s What Experts Say, Since This Is A Big Step
We give a lot of thought to many relationship milestones, like the first date, the first time you hook up, and, of course when you decide to make it official. But there is one pretty major milestone that tends to get short shrift, and that's giving your partner a key to your place. But when should you give your partner a key? This step, because it's sort of in the shadow of actually officially moving in together, tends to get overlooked. But when you think about it, it's actually a really big deal. As NYC dating expert Susan Winter tells Elite Daily, giving your partner "a key to your home or apartment allows them full access to your life. They are now in the center of your inner circle." And when you think about it like that, suddenly getting the timing right feels a lot more important, doesn't it?
So, to help recognize the signs that you're both ready to take this step, I reached out to the experts, and they all agree that despite being an important decision in the relationship, it's actually pretty straightforward. Here's how experts say you'll know that it's time to go ahead and hook your partner up with their very own key to your inner sanctum. (No that's not a euphemism... this time.)
1You are both fully committed to the relationship.
I’m definitely guilty of rushing into things in relationships. You get caught up in all that exciting new relationship energy and it’s like, “go, go, go!” But when it comes to taking that step of handing over the keys to your home Alessandra Conti, matchmaker at Matchmakers In The City, cautions to resist the urge to rush full steam ahead. While there isn’t an exact right amount of time to wait before taking this next step, you do want to make sure you are both fully committed to the relationship. “Waiting until there is a level of commitment is important because relationships are all about establishing boundaries,” Conti tells Elite Daily.
2You’re on the same page about the relationship.
Speaking of boundaries, that is another factor you should consider when deciding to give them a key. Before handing it over, Winter says it's important to have had real conversations about what your boundaries are, both in the relationship and in the home. Ideally, Winter says before moving forward, you need to have “hammered out the partnership agreement and its parameters so that you're clearly on the same page.” She adds you also need to have “seen tangible proof of your mate's commitment and respect.” After all, this is a big step and one that has the potential to make you feel more secure in the relationship, but also more vulnerable.
So, as Pricilla Martinez, a life coach at Blush explains, you really need to have a high level of security and comfort in the relationship. “If you consider your home your sanctuary, essentially you’re saying you consider your partner to be a source of that comfort,” Martinez tells Elite Daily.
3You trust them completely.
Taking this step should only be considered when you have built a solid foundation of trust together. If that’s your guiding principle, Martinez says, both the gesture and the decision to move forward and actually give them a key is “a sign of the trust that has been developed. They have earned the privilege of access, and that’s likely the best way to view it.” However, she cautions that, “If your partner doesn’t recognize the weight of you allowing them to come and go out of your home, then maybe it isn’t the right time to give them a key.”
Dating coach Erika Ettin agrees, saying, “Giving [them a key] implies implicit trust, so they must go hand-in-hand. If you're purely doing it for convenience, I might first ask yourself if it's worth it to escalate things prematurely."
Winter sums the question up nicely, saying “The right time to give your partner a key is when you feel completely safe with him or her; emotionally, physically and mentally.” It doesn’t have to be a big complicated decision — trust your gut and don’t rush into anything. Be absolutely sure this is someone who you trust wholeheartedly. If all these pieces fall into place, there's no reason why giving them a key should bring you anything but joy and companionship.
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