My boyfriend has been staying over regularly, but is it too soon to give him a house key?
If you are asking this yourself this question you may not be ready for this level of commitment. Giving someone a house key can be particularly risky if their name is not on the lease or the mortgage, or if there is not a signed legal agreement. I am not trying to sound all suspicious here, but in this day in age you can never be too careful. Also, why would you want to give him a key if his name is not on the lease? Personally both of you should be responsible for paying the rent if he is staying over that much, and this could lead to problems down the line. Another thing to consider is what would your mom think about your giving a key to a boyfriend? I know that might sound corny, but I am one of those rare individuals that has an ubber close relationship with my mom, and she is my best friend really. I appreciate her advice, and I knew if she did not approve of this I would not do it. I am not saying you have to listen to your mother, but you really should consider her advice, or your family's advice, too!
Also, some women may ask themselves about giving their boyfriend a key because that makes it pretty real that they are have premarital sex. I personally think organized religion has put a little too many hang-ups on this one, but if your faith calls for abstinence before marriage a key may make it all too real that the boyfriend is staying over. Perhaps you are afraid family and close friends may find out if he has a key, which means he will have the freedom to come and go at times you are not home.
However, primarily most women may be asking themselves if they can give him a key because of the trust factor. How do you know he will not do something nefarious, such as change the locks on you, or steal your laptop when you are at work! Personally I would not give a guy a key unless he can have the financial and legal responsibility of putting his name on the lease. Only then can he have a key because he will be legally obligated to pay rent. You may not feel this way now, but if the guy is at your house 24/7 you might want him to contribute a little.
Another important element to consider in giving out a key is whether you already have a roommate or not. Your current roommate may object to your boyfriend having a key, or even putting his name on the lease. If you do have a roommate have some decency to consider their thoughts on this matter, and being willing to move if they do not want you to give out a key, or for the boyfriend to move in. What you do in your own home is your business, but if you share a house you have to consider the wishes of others.
One parting thought, think long and hard before giving him a key. He should bring up signing a lease together on a new apartment if he really wants to get that close.