Cohabitation and disapproval from traditional Catholic parents

posted 3 years ago in Traditions
Post # 2
798 posts
Busy bee

Leaving your parents views out of this, there are a few red flags in your situation in my opinion.

While I agree with your boyfriend that living together is useful to see if you are compatible, I would not be happy that he had put it to me that way- he lived with two girlfriends before and wants to sniff out any problems with you before making a major commitment. In my opinion, the main motivation for living together should be that you want to. If you happen to see things you don’t like and break up, then so be it. But him having it as almost a requirement to propel your relationship is weird and would be off-putting to me. Also, moving in together for financial reasons is usually not a good way to start cohabitating, but I do see how living in the Bay Area there are limited options.

Post # 3
1463 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

You said, “He feels that we need to live together first to ensure compatability.  Me, on the other hand, do not mind living together before marriage, although, it is not necessary for me“. 

Two things I would consider – why did the other two relationships where he moved in with his gf’s not work out? This is pretty critical honestly, was it him, or them, truly? 

Living with someone is a lot different than just dating and/or being girlfriend and boyfriend and you need to be SURE you are OK with him never proposing to you. Because it does happen. Many many women and girls on here are always griping about ‘weve been living together for 10 years and no ring’. Well, yeah, did you have the talk? You can’t just “expect” that he’s going to marry you someday if he’s comfortable just living together. Again, if you are really okay with that, then of course go for it. 

I would strongly encourage you to have the talk. Where is this relationship going for the long run and are you OK with it? I don’t suggest moving in with a boyfriend as a ‘financial’ way to save money because where will you go if you break up? Living with randos on craigslist. Make sure you have a backup plan. 

Unless you have already had the talk and you are really sure about this guy, I wouldn’t move in with him. I have lived with 3 guys before, they all bombed bombed bombed. I know my experience, not yours, but it does happen. 

My honey right now (the one) I was really sure about never living with before at least engagement (because of past experiences), he is a good guy and understood my concerns and we had already said we want to get married someday and talked about it, so we compromised and I lived with him as a ‘test run’ while I was between houses (back up plan). It went really well and now we live together and it’s going great.

These are just my thoughts on this. Even though your parents are strict, I have to say their concerns are coming from a good place although their wording could be better. 

Moving in together is a big step for many reasons and just by your bf’s wording, it doesn’t seem like he may grasp the gravity of it. 

Just my opinion, good luck to you!

Post # 5
7573 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Hey bee – I was in kind of a similar situation when I was 30. Strict Eastern Orthodox parents here. My husband (then boyfriend) wanted to live together before getting engaged. I had no moral objection to living together, but knew it would break my parents’ heart, which put a lot of stress on me. People who aren’t raised in families like ours really don’t get it – they’ll just patronize you with comments like “YOU’RE A GROWN WOMAN TIME TO CUT THE CORD” – which like, isn’t untrue, but it’s still so difficult. I even went to therapy over it because the stress and anxiety over what this would do to my parents was actually affecting my physical health.

In the end, DH and I compromised and decided to get engaged and then move in together. This was partly because we were long distance at this point, and I would have had to move across the country, quit my job and leave everything behind to be with my SO. I wasn’t willing to do that without being engaged. I’m so glad DH could see my point of view and was willing to get engaged before we lived together – otherwise I’m really not sure what would have happened. I will say that even with being engaged before we moved in together, my parents were still so upset – like actually heartbroken when I told them I was moving in with my then-SO before the wedding. But, eventually they did get over it and were very happy on our wedding day. DH and I both have an excellent relationship with them now and I’m so glad I stuck to my guns and prioritized my relationship over my parents.

Good luck bee with whatever you decide.

ETA: I also strongly agree with pp who say it’s alarming that your bf wants to live together to “sniff out” potential problems. to me, moving in with a partner is not a trial run, it’s something I would only consider doing after I had conviction that I wanted to marry him. Really make sure you and your boyfriend are on the same page about engagement/marriage before you move in with him.

Post # 6
2171 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m in the camp that you need to be your own person and do what makes YOU happy. I don’t think its a red flag he wants to make sure you are compatible together in a living situation, I think that is smart. I do think you should talk expectations/time line so you aren’t living with him for 5yrs with no proposal. 


Good luck.

Post # 7
100 posts
Blushing bee

Have you expressed your fears about ruining your relationship with them? I think it’s important to share that with them. They may surprise you. Ultimately, you have to make the right decision for you. Not your parents, or your SO. 


Moving in with SO is a big deal. However, I don’t really sniff out any issues with his reasoning. People have all sorts of reasons for living together. Mine was strictly financial. My Fiance and I started out long distance. When he moved to my city, we moved in together because it was financially beneficial to both of us. It wasn’t earth shattering. It was wonderful, but not a difficult transition. It was also my first time living on my own. I was fairly certain about him at that point, but wasn’t convinced. Moving in with him, and his really weird habits convinced me that, practically, I could live with him, but also, romantically, I wanted to marry him. 

Post # 8
37 posts

My parents are catholic as well, and even though they weren’t thrilled when I moved in with my fella, they got over it (although I had been living alone for several years before that, I wasn’t moving out of their home).  We still follow their rules when we visit their house (separate beds until marriage), but I made the choice about my living situation myself. I really don’t think their disapproval alone is a reason not to move in with your guy.  You’re 30, you’re an adult, make the decision yourself.


That being said, you don’t seem like you’re very sure you want to move in with him. I was STOKED to move in with my guy, couldn’t wait.   There’s nothing wrong with moving in together for some practical reasons, but you shouldn’t move in with a partner without being sure your doing it, at least partl,y because you really want to.

Post # 9
1227 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

You’re 30. It’s time to be an adult and make YOUR OWN decisions.

I get wanting to have a relationship with your parents, but this is beyond that. They’re controlling you, an adult woman.

I would even go as far as saying, I would be completely turned off if I had a partner who had to run everything past their parents first to get a thumbs up. In fact, I wouldn’t have a partner at that point. I’d be single because I wouldn’t stand for that.

Post # 10
4458 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

View original reply
okeliee123 :  I have very traditional religious parents and was afraid of what they would think (though I had lived on my own with roommates since I was 18 and my parents lived out of state).  Eventually, I did agree to move in with my then-SO, now DH.  They honestly took it MUCH better than I expected.  After constantly hearing how my friends were “living in sin” and “shouldn’t even bother getting married because they already live together,” all I got was “oh, well, if you’re sure that’s what you want.”  I know not all parents will get over it, but you have to do what’s best for you and your SO. 

Post # 11
198 posts
Blushing bee

I don’t really share the same concerns as the few previous posters. I think his reasoning makes perfect sense and I would do the same.  Sure it’s a little off putting that he has lived with 2 people before but when you are in your 30’s there are million natural reasons why that has happened. 

that being said. you do you. you are an adult and you can make your own choises. your parents can’t control you. do as you want.

Post # 12
1613 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t think your fiance’s position is a red flag. In my social circle, people generally don’t get engaged without living together first. My FH and I both made the decision to move in together by seeing it as a “trial run”. He proposed about a year after we moved in together. But we run in fairly liberal circles where I would no way have my reputation “hurt” if it didn’t work out after living together. 

It’s hard when your parents have different cultural values than you — it’s one of the primary struggles of the children of immigrants, for example. I don’t have much advice, but good luck. 

Post # 13
4756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
tiffanybruiser :  exactly….

I grew up with very Catholic Italian parents. Most people just don’t get the dynamics and tell you that you are an adult and should make decisions solely on what you want. It’s very hard to do that sometimes when tradition religion and culture collide.

OP nothing to add to what  @tiffanybruiser said but I hope you find a way that makes you happy. Good luck 😃

Post # 14
1393 posts
Bumble bee

First off, your parents are being super controlling and creepy. The first issue I have is you are not a “girl” you’re an adult woman.

Your decisions to move in with your boyfriend will not ruin your family’s “reputation”. If your family’s reputation is so flimsy that moving in with a boyfriend before marriage ruins it, then your family has a lot of issues already. Your family’s reputation is not your concern.

Your concern is your own happiness and doing what is right for your life. If that happens to be moving in with your boyfriend, so be it.

You’re not going to hurt yourself by moving in because you’re a “girl”. If you and your boyfriend end up breaking up, you aren’t ruining your chances of love by having linved with him. The only people who would be put off from dating you in the future would be assholes who don’t see you as an individual person but rather as a prop to gain in their life (their future bride must be an innocent, virginal, blushing beauty for them to get full points).

Do what makes you happy. Do what feels right to you. Forget what you’re parents are saying because they are wrong and they’re being controlling for no reason.

Post # 15
2428 posts
Buzzing bee

I was 33 when we married, never had to be checked out for compatibility, have been married for several decades. 

I’ve come to think that if someone thought we had to “try it out” to be sure, it would indicate to me that we didn’t love each other to make it work anyway.

Fact is that marriage is TONS of adjustments and compromises and flexibility and firmness. I knew what DH wanted and what I wanted, and that had nothing really to do with leaving the seat up and forgetting to put the garbage out. 


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