There are milestones in relationships that help us gauge what level of the relationship you are at with the other person. I just experienced a milestone; he gave me a drawer of his dresser. He was so matter-of-fact about it too, “Hey I made space in this drawer here…(pause, because I did not immediately react)…as in, you can put things in it.”
“You’re giving me a drawerrrrrr,” I exclaimed slash whined in a girly high-pitched voice meaning to convey, “ain’t you the sweetest!” It hadn’t even occurred to me to ask for space to put things. Awhile back I brought a toiletry bag and a towel over to leave there but now I have a whole drawer? I’ve never been given a drawer before but what’s funny is that the exclamation slash whine in a girly high-pitched voice was more for show than anything else. What I mean by that is, offering up space in your dresser or closet to your significant other, we are told, is a way of showing your commitment and is meant to really mean something but I didn’t need a drawer to know that about him. He shows his commitment to me and his love for me in such better ways than a drawer. I love the drawer, don’t get me wrong, and I love that I didn’t have to ask for it and that he was the one to think of it but it felt a little matter-of-fact for me too.
Of course it got me thinking about other milestones like meeting the parents, giving the other person a key to your place, moving in together, getting engaged, getting married, having children, etc. I also started to think about less monumental milestones (maybe we should call them happenings), for instance, the first time you get invited to a party as a couple, the first time you go away together, the first time you know what he’ll want to order at a restaurant and you order it, the first time you go out with a couple who is together a shorter amount of time than you are, you get the point. These are all instances when you are fully aware of the fact that you are in a relationship. For someone who hasn’t been in a relationship in years, these are happenings that I am very aware of and enjoy. However what I love about this relationship is that they seem secondary to the big picture. They seem like the drawer, very matter-of-fact in that we’ve got one big milestone down already (we’ve both met the parents) and I, holy sh!t balls, see potential in other big milestones. We’ve both hinted at this but never actually say anything as a definite, for obvious reasons, but seeing potential of other big milestones makes the less monumental happenings very matter-of-fact.
I can remember being with guys who if they had given me a drawer, it would have been the biggest and most important day in the relationship thus far because I would finally know that he feels a commitment. I’ve always had to fight for confirmation from past sig-o’s about how they feel about me and where they see things going but not now. The less monumental happenings in my current situation are wonderful but I have a duhh feeling towards them. Duh, we have stuff in drawers at each other’s places. Duh, we’ll be at your party on Sunday. Duh, he’ll have a Miller Lite, a shot of Jameson, and if that has shrimp in it, he’ll have it!
So what I’m concluding from all of this is that being offered a drawer in your boyfriend’s dresser should be sweet, thoughtful, and meaningful but not monumental. I understand that not everyone has a way with words and can convey a message clearly so maybe offering a drawer at that time is monumental but at some point there’s gotta be more. There has to be that direct verbal communication of feelings, “I love you, you mean the world to me, and I’m not going anywhere.” To me, that’s the only way you get to those real milestones. When I’m 80 years old I’m going to remember the day he (whoever he is) met my parents, our first apartment, and the day we got engaged as opposed to the first time I knew he would want the shrimp cocktail or perhaps even the day he gave me a drawer in his dresser.
Sassarella Says…as meaningful as it is that I have my own drawer in his space, I know that if I wanted to bring 3 drawers full of things, every hair product, stick of make-up, and shoe I own over to his place that he would have it. Giving me a drawer was more about him wanting me to be comfortable so that I will be over as often as humanly possible. And he knows as well as I do that it was not about either of us needing to confirm our commitment and love for each other because we do that in more milestone-style of ways.