When is it time to say, “You know what. Let’s take it to the next level. Here’s my key.”? Some say when you become exclusive, some say when you’re married, some say for emergencies only, some say when you share the rent/mortgage. Whatever the case may be or whenever you decide that you’re ready, please remember that this is a huge step and that ALL factors must be considered first, such as trust, sustainability, comfort level, future plans, and purpose (in regards to your relationship and for actually giving the key).
Let’s look at trust, is this a person you can trust to have alone in the house without worrying about your TV or money stolen? Is this a person who you can trust as far as who they might invite over (your man might not rip you off, but their favorite cousin will)? This, to me, outweighs all other factors for the simple fact that you are entrusting this person not to copy and give your key to someone else, steal, and have their way with your stuff when you’re absent. This is serious business, ladies and gentlemen, and not a topic to be taken lightly. Now, if you’re handing your key to someone after two dates and saying, “I feel like I’ve known him/her forever.” Stop and check yourself. Two dates, two weeks, or even two months is not enough time to get to know a person and fully trust them. Sorry…no can do.
Let’s look at purpose. Is this a person who is in for the long run or are you trying to hold on so they don’t go elsewhere? Are you in a temporary booty call relationship or a monogamous long lasting one? If you are in a temporary relationship then what is the point? All that is going to lead to is you begging for your key back, worrying if they made copies before giving your key back, or shelling out money to change your locks. A solid purpose is needed before a key is given. Flat out.
All in all, a key means that you have fully invested in something, not just staked a claim on it. It is not owed, it’s earned. Consider all facets of your relationship before you hand over something as precious as a key to your life (and heart).