‘On the couch’ with Jasminda


DEAR Jasminda,

I’m in a relatively new relationship (six weeks) and last week my new love interest brought his toiletries bag and left it in my bathroom.

I’m not sure whether to tell him he forgot it, or whether he’s put it there for when he visits.

I don’t really like it on my cabinet because it looks weird next to the pot plant and candles.

Mrs Jenny K.

Dear Jenny,

Just this week, my dog went into season which means I have to keep her away from all male dogs, particularly the very amorous fox terrier that lives a few houses away and who drops by to mark his territory by urinating on my outdoor plants, the front door, the cashmere sweater drying in the sun, and any other surface he can cock his tiny little leg over.

How one animal can hold so much fluid is beyond me.

When I take my dog for a walk, she now rubs her body over the grass, no doubt spreading her pheromones to alert every mutt that there’s a pedigree in town.

It’s hard work.

Bear with me, Jenny, this is leading somewhere.

When a male leaves his toiletry bag, it’s a not-so-subtle sign that he’s marking his territory (admittedly in a far more gracious way than a rabid hound.

Next, you’ll find a pair of his shoes at the door, or a spare phone charger in the wall.

Soon, he’ll keep a carton of full-cream milk in the fridge because he doesn’t like the way your almond milk tastes, and then, before you know it, you’ll both be 27 with a kid on the way, and you’ll wonder how it all stemmed from a rather innocent looking bag containing a toothbrush, some mouthwash, anti-fungal cream (what the?), tweezers, a shaving brush and some deodorant (at least he has reasonable hygiene — don’t even pretend you didn’t have a sneaky look at the contents).

Now, where you go from here is entirely up to you.

If you aren’t ready to move into this next phase, then you need to let him know he’s accidentally left his bag behind.

If you’re more than happy for him to start taking over your personal space, one item at a time, until he’s on the lease agreement, then just say nothing and enjoy the slow slide from independence to cohabitation.

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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