After coming back from college, I decided to move in with my grandma while I continued my graduate degree. At the time, it seemed like a great move: My grandpa had recently passed away, my grandma needed some company, the college I was attending was nearby, and I had landed a job right near her. Now, two years later, I have finished grad school, and my boyfriend and I have decided to take our relationship to the next level. We've started to look for apartments and plan on moving in together, but I'm having a really hard time breaking the news to my grandma. I feel guilty leaving her alone, and she has voiced on several occasions (after hearing about other family members moving in with their boyfriends) that she opposes couples living together before marriage. I am 24 years old and am definitely ready to move on, so how do I break this news without hurting her? Would it be so bad to fib about the boyfriend being involved in the move? — Cautious Cassandra
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Dear Cautious Cassandra,
While I completely understand the guilt you must feel over the idea of leaving your grandma alone, it's important for you to move on with your life and your relationship. Since she's no doubt grown very accustomed to living with you, when you do break the news, let her know that you plan on visiting her as often as you can and do everything in your power to follow through with that promise.
Now about not telling her that you're moving in with your boyfriend . . . if you anticipate her ever coming over to visit you, it won't take long for her to realize that you lied, but if she tends to stay home and wait for you to visit her, you could just leave your boyfriend out of the moving equation all together. What she won't know won't hurt her right?
Since I don't know how close your grandma is to your other family members who are bound to know the truth about your living situation, it might behoove you to just be honest with her from the start, even if it does upset her. Our grandparents' generation has very different beliefs on many things, but that doesn't necessarily mean that she won't understand. At the end of the day, you know how much your grandma can stomach, so trust your instincts and tell her what you feel comfortable sharing. Good luck!