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“How Can I Tell My Catholic Parents that I’m Moving in With My Boyfriend?”

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice “How Can I Tell My Catholic Parents that I’m Moving in With My Boyfriend?”

This topic contains 19 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by avatar BakerBabe 5 months ago.

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  • #741792 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Dear Wendy

    From a LW:

    “My name is Nancy, I’m 20 years old and will be moving out this summer to be closer to my college. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years now and we both think it’s time to take that next step in our relationship and move in together.

    The thing is, I come from a religious, Catholic home and our way is, “you can’t move in with your significant other until you’re engaged to them.” I want both my parent’s approval, but don’t want to be like the rest of my cousins and how they handled moving out of their parents homes to be with their boyfriends (they packed their bags, ran off and left).

    I don’t want to put my parents in that same position, so how do I tell them while I’m moving out, my boyfriend and I want to live together?”

    #741796 Reply

    First, ask yourself the question: “Do I need my parents’ financial support for tuition/living expenses?” If the answer is yes, then you probably shouldn’t change your living situation.

    I keep noticing some very long engagements nowadays. You could always get engaged to be married two years hence. No need to do any planning for at least a year, if you say you want a very simple wedding. By then, you may actually want to marry bf. If not, yours will not be the first broken engagement in the history of this planet.

    #741799 Reply
    Northern Star

    You are an adult, so you use your words and calmly tell your parents where you intend to live, and with whom—and then you pick a date, pack, and move.

    You are an adult, so you also pay your own bills, rent, and tuition yourself.

    You can’t control how your parents react. You can only be responsible for yourself.

    #741801 Reply

    Agree with all above. You can make whatever choice you want. If they financially support you either be prepared for that to stop or for them to have a say in what you do. FWIW my family is similar when I grew up but have eased over the years. In the end they just want everyone to be happy. Doesn’t mean I didn’t catch some flak for moving in with my college boyfriend.

    Be sure you want to die on this sword however as your BF and you are very young and you really cannot know at this point if this is actually going to work out. There is no need to rush, although I totally understand wanting to live together and do not think that is wrong.

    #741803 Reply

    First, be sure moving in with your boyfriend is really how you want to go. You haven’t lived away from home before (I’m assuming) and it’s a big change. Tacking that onto the pressure of moving in with a boyfriend might be too much so think about it very carefully. Moving in with roommates would give you a lot of the same advantages without all the pressure on your relationship. Plus, living on your own really is an important thing for your personal growth. If you see marriage in your future with your boyfriend I would double recommend it.

    If you decide moving in with him is the best option just be calm, clear, and confident when you tell your parents. Part of being an independent adult is knowing what’s best for yourself and being able/willing to deal with any consequences. On the upside your cousins paved the way so your parents shouldn’t be too shocked.

    #741804 Reply

    One option is to get your own place and your boyfriend has his own place and you spend time together at both your place and his. This gives you the advantage of some time alone to be an independent adult which is critical to the growth needed to end up in a successful marriage. This also gives you the space to break up if things don’t work out. You won’t be stuck together in a bad relationship just because you are living together. I know you think it will last forever and hopefully it will. At the same time just know that most relationships that you are in at 20 are not your lifetime relationship. Most people change enough between the ages of 20 to 25 that the person who is a good fit at 20 isn’t a good fit at 25. Give yourself plenty of time. If this is a young relationship that does lasts a lifetime it will last until you turn 25.

    Plan for the best outcome while giving yourself room to change your mind if it doesn’t work out.

    Otherwise you tell your parents that you are going to live with your boyfriend and then live with your boyfriend. If you have trouble doing that you probably aren’t ready to live with your boyfriend.

    If your parents pay your bills then you should follow their rules. If you pay your own bills you have more room to do what you want.

    #741808 Reply

    Yeah totally agree with Skyblossom that you should consider living on your own (roommates if needed, but not with parents or SO)for a little while to become an independent adult. Learn how to clean your own toilets and change your own lightbulbs, etc.
    It will, I’m sure, be much easier to say “I’m moving out to live with my friend Sandra” vs. “I’m moving out to live with my boyfriend.” This’ll also give them time to get accustomed to seeing you as an adult so when you do make the move in with your bf they’ll have already been coming to grips with the fact that they aren’t the boss of you.

    #741809 Reply

    Like everyone said, you just need to sit them down and tell them that you’ve considered this carefully (I will take for granted that you have – Wendy has a good checklist I think?)

    What you need to come to grips with is that you parents will likely NOT approve – and that’s FINE. You need to be OK with making decisions about your own life that may not be what your parents want. If you’re not able to handle doing this, then you’re probably not ready to live with your boyfriend.

    I must also add: I can totally understand that it might look like glorious freedom from parental control from where you’re sitting, but moving out comes with a lot of responsibility and maintenance that you (likely) previously had not considered. I will also caution that living with someone (boyfriend/roommate/whoever) will expose flaws that you didn’t know about, or exaggerate ones that you previously thought were adorable.

    But I congratulate you on wanting to do this “the right way”, which is not to pack up and leave in the dead of night, but to be upfront with your parents. Good luck!

    #741811 Reply

    I’m with everyone else – moving straight from your parents home to your boyfriend’s home is something you should reconsider.

    As for your question: You tell your parents by telling them. But I think what you’re really asking is “what are the magic words I can say so they’re not disappointed in me or mad at me.”

    There aren’t any magic words, unfortunately. They have their beliefs, and you have yours. They’ll be OK with it, or they won’t. You’re not going to undo a lifetime of religious belief with a short speech.

    My only suggestion is that you present it as a done deal – “Bob and I are getting a place together” – and not as “Mommy, Daddy, is it OK if I go live with Bob?” You’re an adult, where you live and with whom is your choice.

    #741817 Reply

    If your boyfriend ends up being the one you marry, then you’re potentially going to launch into that part of your life having never lived alone. Everyone I know who did that regrets it. You learn a lot living on your own. Women did that decades ago because they didn’t really have the kind of place in society where they could be independent. My friends who didn’t have little independence. They won’t travel to visit a friend alone, they freak out when their husband goes out of town for work for a week, they don’t know how to do little things like set the thermostat or cook for themselves. Obviously not everyone ends up like this, but there are tangible benefits to living on your own for a bit. Even just a couple of years. If you guys have a good relationship, this won’t hurt it.

    If something happened and you broke up, most college students are not in a place financially to deal with it in a way they’d want. (As in, you could potentially be trapped living with an ex for a long time because you couldn’t afford to do anything else.)

    Anyway, I think you’re looking for a way to tell them that won’t upset them, but I don’t think that’s possible. They have opinions on this and you’re going to do the thing that they have a bad opinion of.

    #741848 Reply

    Also if your boyfriend is moving straight from his parents to live with you, the same thing can be said about him and his independence. You want a husband who can do his own laundry, scrub his own toilets, cook his own dinner, do the grocery shopping. You don’t just want to fall into the gender roles because you each don’t know how to do the other gender’s “work.”

    #741853 Reply

    There’s a reason people pack up and go sometimes. You don’t have to follow your parents rules.

    Add me to the chorus of don’t move in with him yet. Move in with a friend or sublet in an apartment share or something, or even live alone first.

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