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You Asked: Should I Move in with my Boyfriend?

Dear Sugar--

I've never lived with anyone else except for family. Sadly my family and I don't have a healthy relationship at all. As bad as they treat me they are all I have, and I don't think I want to put any strain on our relationship.

Now at 24 years old, I have a steady job and an amazing boyfriend. He's asked me to move in with him and his dad (his father's not healthy). We've known each other for 7 years (since high school) and have been dating for 5 months.

I know that if I do this, my family will not speak to me (they are a strict Hispanic family), and I can’t possibly be 100% happy doing something I know my family doesn't approve of. Do I finally do what I want to do and move in with my boyfriend knowing my family won't speak to me? -- I Can't Win Wilma

To DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear I Can't Win Wilma--

It sounds like you’re stuck in a tough situation. You're definitely right about your family – they are incredibly important, and while you don't want to do anything to put a damper on an already rocky relationship, it isn't fair for you to feel forced into an unhealthy home life, even if they are your own flesh and blood.

If your parents are treating you disrespectfully, you should have a big talk with them. As hard as it may be, they need to know how their actions are affecting you. Explain your desire to move out and gain your independence and freedom. Are your parents opposed to you living with your boyfriend before marriage or moving out of their home all together? Have you brought up this topic before?

If your parents are not willing to acknowledge their part in your tainted relationship, unfortunately you're going to have to make a tough decision. Weigh the pros and the cons of each living situation and listen to your gut instinct. Perhaps having some space from your family will actually be good for your relationship. Although they are pushing their strong religious beliefs on you, you need to be confident in making the best decision for you. I wish you luck Wilma!


Join The Conversation
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
I am sure there are others that believe as you do, as the argument today is pretty evenly divided. And thankfully the rules of the game are starting to change, because if everything stayed the same and everyone followed all of the society's "rules", where would we be today... Thankfully many follow what they believe and not listen to what society is saying is right or wrong. That pretty much sums it up.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
i think you over estimate the impact of my comments. i doubt anyone gives them a thought after reading them, and why would they? i never mentionsed a time line, just the fact that there is only an actual commitment in marriage not living together. it isn't me that makes marriage the real commitment it's society. marriage is legally binding, socially respected, acknowledged in public, performed in a church (at times), etc. you may not like the rules of the game but they are what they are. just because i am the only one who posted this doesn't mean others aren't saying the same thing in other forums.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
It isn't really just us two, this is quite a shared opinion today. You just seem to have a very conservative point of view, which is fine if you believe that, but not everyone has conservative views. You can't tell a bunch of people that they don't have a real commitment because they are not married and not expect to have a lot of people angry. Many of your comments are very insulting and very cutting comments (especially after I said the playing house thing offends a lot of people). Who are you to say a relationship isn't real because it is not marriage? That is so insulting its outrageous! Not everyone has to fit into your timeline. And most DON'T.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
it isn't "open mindedness" each of you are admiring, it's the fact that you both think living together is a commitment. someone agrees with you and that validates your position. the comment i made focused on the only relevant part of your post; you don't have to get married you only do it when it's "right". until then you might "play house" as many couples choose to do by sharing your bed. everyone has the time and money to get married because you are just as married no matter what kind of ceremony you have. but many people choose to honor the day with a special public ceremony and a celebration with those they love afterwards because it is worth that. living together and pretending it's the same as being married isn't open minded it's just silly. if you ever get married you'll understand what difference if not well i guess the world will still go on spinning.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
i heart katie225! Thank you for sharing my open-mindedness about such situations
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
"when your commitment level and feelings are deep enough for the official ceremony of marriage just living together isn't enough." Huh? I feel like everything I said was not even listened to, and you just focused on one very small part. Living together is enough right now for us, as is for many couples out there. I have felt that way about him for a long time, and have only recently gotten engaged. Just because you have those feelings does not mean you have "go hurry and get married right away". I don't understand your thought process on this subject whatsoever. It seems very narrow-minded. Just because you love someone and want to spend your life with them does not mean you have to get married right away or even at all. You do when the time is right for you, and if you choose to live with someone who you feel that way about and not rush to get married thats ok too. And not everyone has the time nor the money to have a wedding, and choose to wait until they have the time or the money to have the wedding that they want.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
you're getting married because you found someone you "love and respect and want to spend your life with". that is exactly my point. when your commitment level and feelings are deep enough for the official ceremony of marriage just living together isn't enough. if it was no one would bother with the fuss of a wedding now would they?
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
There are some things here that I totally agree with. Your family situation should not be that of an unhealthy one and making the best decision for your health is the best. I agree with others who say to live on your own or a girlfriend. Although you have know this man for some time now, I would say that I believe it is impirative to live on your own before making that step with a man. THere are so many factors here but weighing out the pros and cons are the best way. You can even get a place that is month to month...that can be a start! Good luck!
katie225 katie225 10 years
i heart ash_marisa.
katie225 katie225 10 years
it's not any different, lickety, people just do it because they want to have a big party and a big white dress. and a pretty ring. and for a lot of people, they feel like it's more necessary to be married before they have kids rather than be married before they move in together. but that distinction is slowly changing as well (look at all the unmarried couples in hollywood having kids! i think that's all right!) i think that the moment you don't NEED to get married to be committed to each other is the moment you become a mature individual about your relationship. and of course, there's a difference between needing to be married to make sure of that fidelity and commitment and just wanting to be called his wife. i would get married for the party and the dress and to change my last name to his simply because it's romantic, not because i need him to make a "real" commitment. he's already done that by hanging around for four years! when i think of people who NEED to get married to prove to each other they're committed, i think of my friends who got married when they were 17 and 18. we all started our relationships at the same time, and we're all still with the same guys 4 years later. does that mean that they're more committed than me? nope. we're all committed the same! a ring makes absolutely no difference to me, i could go my whole life and do all the things i want to do (have kids, buy a house, etc.) without ever needing to be married to make sure he's committed. moving in with someone is a huge commitment as well. it's just as hard to break up with someone when you live together and share so many expenses as it is to get a divorce and try to split up all the stuff. the only difference is that when you're married you're more likely to share a bank account. other than that you still have to split up custody of the pets (or children, if it's gotten that far), you still have to split up the furniture and all the books and whatnot, and you still end up with a huge broken heart and a broken commitment. i approached moving in with my boyfriend as if we were getting married. my mom even asked me before we moved in, "are you sure this is the guy you want to spend the rest of your life with?" and yes, after almost three years later, i'm still sure.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
I am confused by the comment. I never said marriage didn't mean anything. I never said much anything about marriage. I think we are at odds because you think a real commitment= marriage. Many people think this, but also many people do not. You can have a real commitment and not be married. They are not mutually exclusive. You can love, care, and support each other and consider this to be real commitment to, which is what many other people believe as well. What I am trying to say is, there is no hard and fast definition of what a real commitment is. I am getting married because I have found someone that I love and respect and want to spend my life with. I moved in with him because I was committed to the relationship, we had discussed marriage but were in no rush to get married at 23, and honestly loved and respected one another. I was still (and still am) in school and that was my focus. Its a personal decision for everyone, and this talk just reminds me of my friend's mother: My 2 friends moved in together after 6 years of dating (age 18-24). Her mother was so into this "get married and make a real commitment" thing. It was very sad and disturbing. My friends thought (and did) already have a real commitment. they were very hurt that her mother was insulting their love for each other. While they are now married, it was because they followed their own timeline. Just because they were committed to each other did not mean they had to get married. Nor did it mean that they had no right to move in with each other and be judged so harshly (and thank god I have amazing non-judgmental parents). Also, just because someone is married does not always mean they have a real commitment. Many people who are married are distant emotionally and not at all connected, go through divorce, or are unfaithful. Mostly, I am just saying that a real commitment and marriage are not the same thing, nor is one "better" than the other.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
so why are you getting married? not trying to start anything just wondering. either marriage means something or it doesn't; either it's different from living together or it isn't.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 10 years
It really depends on your definition of what a real commitment is. If real to you is married, then that is your own self-definition, which is great for you, but not really one to be imposed on others. I lived on my own for two years, then moved in with my boyfriend after 15 months of dating, then got engaged after another 6 months. The vast majority of my peers and others I know have done the same thing and their commitment is as "real" as any other. Most have gotten engaged or married once they have completed graduate schools, been more financially aware, etc. I use to be in that same sect of thought, thinking a RING=REAL COMMITMENT, but I have become more open-minded and realized that is far from truth. It is much more about what is in your heart versus on your hand. That said, 5 months is maybe a little early, primarily because it sounds like you are moving in with him for convenience and a way out instead of the fact that you are truly committed to each other. Have you discussed your future with each other and where you see this going in 6 months, 1 yr, 5 yrs? Also, if you have never lived on your own, you should try it, if even only for a short time. It is the only time in your life that you will get to pick out your own decor and make your place truly your own (girly throw pillows and all...haha).
andaman andaman 10 years
jaxon she is 24! I have friends in their thirties who still live with their parents (it's a cultural thing for them as I'm sure it's a cultural thing for her too) I think this girl will cope alright with her hubby in his house (his dad needs them to be there). I honestly don't think she needs to prove anything by living alone before moving in with him. She wants to be with her boyfriend and that's totally acceptable.
jaxon jaxon 10 years
I think a place on your OWN or with gf is the best bet. While I personally will not cohabitate or play at marriage that's not why I am saying this. You've lived with your parents your whole life. Living on your own helps build character, learn responsibility, and learn about yourself all things that will help enhance your relationship. Watch "The Workout" on Bravo...look for Greg!
andaman andaman 10 years
I bet you 100% it will be okay. They need time honey.
andaman andaman 10 years
I would go for it if I were you. Give your family time and they will come round. Invite them round to your new place and cook them a lovely meal. Continue to try even when they blank you. When they see you happy they will understand. All parents love their kids. Sometimes they just don't know how to show it. I wish you luck girl :)
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
"get over" it? lol are you serious? there is playing house and there is marriage. if you aren't mature enough to know the difference for gosh sakes please DO stick to the former.
katie225 katie225 10 years
omg, get over the whole "real commitment" thing already. how are you supposed to know if you like the car if you don't take it for a test drive? and then, since some people think it's the BIGGEST commitment in the world, you're stuck with it for the rest of your life? ugh. i totally think you should move out on your own, though, by yourself for awhile or with some girlfriends. it *might* be a little soon to move in with a guy yet. after you've been dating for a year is a great time to move in together.
Marci Marci 10 years
I think if you have to ask then you're not ready for all that living with your boyfriend will bring with it. Wait until you really don't care what anyone thinks - even your family.
GQ_send GQ_send 10 years
Stay in ur own place. i know it's not right for you to be against his father being with him in his place but the need for privacy is important, plus you need to know why he wants to to move in with him and how is this going to affect your relationship. Do the pros and cons and remember your a 24 year old female, u need to ask yourself, what is the future going to be once u move in his place. And DS is right about the family matter.
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
no. not this bf or any other. either you have a real commitment or you don't. get your own place.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
So it sounds like your parents aren't great and that's a bummer. I think it's probably time to move out and be on your own. But 5 months isn't really a long time to be with someone before moving in with them, especially if it's going to severely jeopardize your relationship with your parents. We could argue all day that it's the parents who aren't being rational, but the reality is that tradition and religion don't easily cower to rational thinking. So you should move out. But not into your boyfriend's place. Into your own. Get roommates, 3 or 4 if you have to to make ends meet. It will be awesome.
SU3 SU3 10 years
I agree with all the above. Great advice and I couldn't have said it any better. I think the best thing to do is to be open with your parents. Talk to them. And if you can, check out other places on your own or with a friend before moving in with your boyfriend. I definitely agree that it's so much better to live on your own (there's a lot to discover!) than moving in with your boyfriend right away (it's only been 5 months). Be smart about it, do what makes you happy, and don't rush into anything without considering it all. But definitely talk with your parents rationally and be honest with them. Best of luck girl! :)
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
you're 24 years old and you sound like a normal, healthy adult, you should talk to your parents if they're making you feel like you're not. lots of people move in with their significant others and turn out just fine. if you just need to move out of the house period and don't have a lot of money, check out craigslist, lots of people look for roommates on there. feeling independent and out of the house is a great feeling, i wish you the best of luck with your situation! :)
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