What Are Your Thoughts About Having Sons Girlfriend Move in with Us?

Updated on February 05, 2016
J.F. asks from San Diego, CA
19 answers

They both help a friend out with a start up business and are both taking classes at the local 2-year college. She also just started working part time. My son says he's been'looking for work' but no job so far. I pay for his tuition, gas and all other basic expenses. They pretty much just do their own thing, stay in their room when they're home & cook for themselves and most of the time clean up. My son plans on transferring to a 4 year college in a couple years. I hope having her here doesn't slow this down. Am I crazy for letting his girlfriend live with us?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the feedback! She is recently divorced (2yr marriage) and was sleeping on her girlfriends couch (who also still lives w/her parents). Her parents are divorced and live a couple hours away, in different cities. They met working together with the startup. She gets financial aid to cover her classes.
I have no problem charging them $$ for rent, but wouldn't have done that with just my son living at home. I want to support him going to school.
My current thoughts are either they need to be out or she needs to be out by the end of the semester. That gives her time to save and him time to get a job & save himself.
I've had many discussions regarding birth control and 'babies' with my son numerous times. My next talk is with her. ....

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answers from Salinas on

I think if they want to live together they need to function as responsible, independent adults. Unless she is in trouble or danger (like an abusive home or literally no where to go) why enable them?

Allowing them to play house without the true responsibilities of maintaining a household seems counterproductive to growing up.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I highly recommend a clear agreement in writing detailing her rights and responsibilities around the house, and rent payments, etc.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

I'm in the "if you want to play house, do it in your own house' camp.
I'm also a big believer in written agreements for situations like this. Only because I've seen things go very wrong in these circumstances. Expectations regarding chores, any sort of payments (rent, utilities, etc), household quiet hours, etc should be clearly stated and signed as a contract.

What I'm wondering is why, if your son is so far away from supporting himself, that you would let the girlfriend move in. Getting one's own place is good motivation for getting a job. I mean, helping a friend with a start-up should usually come from someone who has their own ways and means to volunteer their time. He *should* be using that time to improve his own situation. And now that he can have free food, shelter and his girlfriend to sleep next to, what's going to motivate him to want better for himself?

Another question is a very real one: what's your plan if she gets pregnant? Reality -- if he can't support himself now, how is he just going to magically man up and take care of his girlfriend and their baby? I'm not saying that it *will* happen, or that it wouldn't happen if they weren't both living together, but just that the priorities are misplaced to me. Do your schooling, get a job, *Then* , when you have the money and the maturity, then you can do what mature adults might choose to do and move in together. I moved out when I was 18 and legally old enough to sign a rental agreement. I supported myself with a full time job. I would never have expected my parents to let me move my boyfriend in, period. When you want to do adult things, you have to behave like an adult. I think you are stunting both of them in the long run. Sorry.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

"Am I crazy for letting his girlfriend live with us?".

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

What is the reason for her living there?

Does she have nowhere else to be? No family? Something dangerous in her family like domestic violence or drug addiction? Or is this just a giant, parent-sanctioned sleepover with kitchen privileges? I have no illusions about kids being virgins - don't misunderstand me. I just want to know why you have to pay for housing and food for them both? What's the upside?

What makes you think that your son will transfer to a 4 year college if it means leaving his live-in girlfriend?

There's no income coming in - they are "helping with a start up business" which means they are free labor for a friend's project. Maybe it will success, maybe it will fail. But it's not a "job" for any of them right now.

You haven't said much about what your reasons are in favor of this - maybe if we knew those, we could be more balanced. But so far, the only obvious response to "Am I crazy...?" is, YES! You're already footing the bill for one kid who isn't doing much - just "taking classes" and so apparently not enrolled full time. So you're delaying adulthood for him and now his girlfriend?

Time to find a backbone.

And if she's already moved in, which it sounds like she is, you'd better have some strong house rules written down and signed by both of them, like a rental agreement. Expectations? Responsibilities?

You should be charging them SOMETHING, and if that means your son goes and works an evening or weekend shift at McDonald's, fine.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Abilene on

My husband's parents thought they were helping by allowing his then girlfriend move in with them. She was pregnant in less than 6 months and he married her. It was a horrible situation and they divorced 3 years later. This young lady has already experienced a failed marriage. She needs to be independent for her own sake. Please know no matter how much you talk to them about birth control you have no idea what's really going on. Your son needs to concentrate on himself. This is a dangerous game.

Think of how you will feel if they come to you and say we're pregnant. Are you going to be comfortable telling them they need to find a place of their own then when they can't manage it now?

Best to you.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia!!

These "kids" are ADULTS. They need to be treated as such. A contract and rent need to be set up. If you choose to save that money in an account for them so when they move out on their own they will have a down payment? Fine.

But RULES MUST be set up. Make it a contract. Get it signed. Rules of the house will be CLEARLY set up. Laundry days, food, etc. you will NOT be their maid.

Your son sounds like he has no real future for a higher education. If he's going after his AA and then a 4 year in a couple of years? He has no ambition really. Sorry - but there is no firm timeline. He doesn't care.

The bank of mom is open and he's taking advantage of it. You are allowing this. So plan on having him live with you for a LONG time. He doesn't need to move out. He's got it all taken care of.

No jobs?? San Diego has 4.5% unemployment rate - so not being able to find a job? I call baloney on that one. he does NOT need to find a job. He's got you.

If you want your adult son to live with you for years to come? Sure....let her move in! Why not?? Built in ATM and maid?? SWEET!!! (not).

They need to set goals. They need a plan for their lives.
They need to pay rent.
They need to work.
They need to sign a contract.

If you don't have those things in place? Yes. You are crazy.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

ETA: I should add - I paid my way (rent and towards utilities).

I did this at this age. I was a student and moved in with my boyfriend's family.

Personally - if I could go back in time, I never would have thought this was a good idea. It wasn't. But I learned from it. It's like playing at living together with no responsibilities. I should have been concentrating on myself, my education and furthering myself - not playing married couple at his parents' house. We convinced ourselves it made sense financially - but I wish my parents had intervened. Too young to act like we were married. Too young to be tied down (living together) - just wish I hadn't.

That's my perspective from the girlfriend moving in's side.

I wish I could say there was a positive side to it. Even if we'd ended up staying together (which we didn't) I still would have preferred living with girlfriends or on my own.

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answers from Philadelphia on

It is crazy to even consider this! Just say "no!"

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answers from Santa Barbara on

I let my daughter's ex-boyfriend when she was 19 and he was 20, he was downstairs and she was upstairs. He was in a super abusive, unhealthy relationship with his mother and never knew his father. I helped him get into a trade school and he worked as well. I helped him get a bus pass until he bought a truck. The only time my daughter was involved was when he moved into his permanent housing. They didn't hang out, we were just helping this kid out. They had been together for a couple of years in high school so this was over two years after graduation.

In your situation, absolutely not. Your son is in a 2 year college and plans on transferring in a couple of years. He has plenty of spare time to look tor a job and keep following up. His job is looking for a job. She just got a part time job. They are not acting like the adults they should be.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Why is she there? Does she not have parents or a home of her own?

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answers from Washington DC on

under most circumstances i'd say it's okay with college aged kids. it sounds as if they're reasonably motivated- both in school, both working at the start-up, and at least looking for work. your son not having a job at this point might be a red flag, but you don't give enough info. has he worked before this? how long has he been looking for work? part-time jobs for college students tend not to be glamorous, but they exist. my college students worked at a video game store in the mall, for lowes, for UPS, that sort of thing.
i'm not really clear on the rent thing. at the moment you pay all your son's expenses, but if the girl moves in you want to charge them rent? how will that work?
since they're not loud or obnoxious and do clean up after themselves, that's a huge plus. i'd probably also insist that they be of actual benefit, ie do some things beyond cleaning up after themselves to help you out. mine were expected to mow the grass, help with hay and fence repair and other stuff around here that needed to be done.
why do you want them out by the end of the semester? i mean, it may be perfectly reasonable but you don't really give any reasons as to why you want it. obviously it's not a moral issue for you (nor would it be for me.) so why not help them out until it's time to transfer to a university if they need it?
you're a little late with the birth control talk. by all means do it, but why not sit them down together?
my son lived with his old girlfriend's parents for a while when they both started university (he had his associates degree and transferred). it was way closer than our place and allowed him to get started there without even more financial pressure, and be in a nice supportive loving home. they adored him. they liked him so much that even after the kids broke up they told him he could stay. he didn't, but it was a really nice thing for them to do for him.

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answers from Boston on

I wouldn't let her move in. Right now they are both in transition periods of their lives. Things can go south really fast and since she lives in your house you may be pulled into the drama of it all.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Been there done that.

My husband allowed his sons GF to move in with us when they were in their last year of HS. If you are going to allow this, then I would set the rules in place now and let them know they are both out if they don't follow them.

My situation was different since at the time my daughter was two and my husband still had a lot of guilt over his divorce (he is not the type of man to leave but his ex-refused to work things out), which is why he allowed her to move in. This caused a lot of stress for me and created most arguments I had with my husband. They were lazy, messy and a couple of times just invited people over late at night. After we moved to FL (which she came with us) my husband finally noticed that they were taking advantage of us. They have now moved out and everyone is much happier.

I would give them a time limit and have them pay rent, utilities and cover the cost of food. If they want to live like adults, then be prepared to treat them as such.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

As long as they are being respectful of your rules and are contributing to the household, as well as staying in line with moving their educations forward to become self independent, then I see no issues with letting them live with you together. IF any of that is not happening, if they are being inconsiderate, expecting you to clean up after them, or are not helping with basic finances like food, electric, ect when they can, then I would suggest she find another place to live.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't know. If you don't have any issues with them having sex and not being married then why worry about it. I do think you're really nice to be helping them out.

I suppose you must be well off since you're paying for all his expenses and he doesn't have to work.

In my honest opinion I think college is a full time job. If they have to work to eat then they need to file for financial aid and get loans and any sorts of scholarships they can so they don't have to work.

Full time college and GOOD GRADES is their job. Not enrolling in full time school then going to work instead of going to the library to work on a research paper or reading assignments several times through so they can understand the material well.

So when our kids go off to college they will fill out paperwork for all the financial aid they can get plus they'll try out for all scholarships they might qualify for. I do not want them to work.

They will also live on campus with a meal plan if they are out of town and can't live at home. That way they have full support of staff in the dorms and can turn to them if they're having any issues.

I lived on campus in married student housing, I had a child, and I paid less in rent than almost everyone else in town. I also had all bills paid including phone and TV. I paid nothing extra. These apartments are still the best price in town. I went back to Stillwater the other day with a friend and she was looking into housing for her senior kiddo. I was glad to see that the campus housing is STILL less than anywhere else in town.

AND if they get any financial aid or scholarships their rent and any bills come out of that BEFORE they get a penny. When I lived in Stillwater I had them hold out my rent for the whole year, fall, spring, and the next summer's rent. That way if I had zero money my rent was paid and at least I had my apartment.

Campus housing might be a possible idea for this couple if they want out on their own. I don't know where they're going but if there is campus housing they might even be able to get a meal plan in addition to rent and then you have one monthly bill to pay for him. If she's working enough she can pay for herself/half of the rent.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Nope. I would never do this. Nothing builds character, responsibility, and self-respect faster than taking care of yourself. You're depriving them both of that. In some cases school is so imperative to career, and work would make it impossible to study, so parents let children live at home in order to focus on school (not romantic lives)..which I guess I can see...but in my experience, kids don't spread their wings until they have to. A divorced woman does not need to be supported by her boyfriend's mom. I've had my share of dicey roommates, tough income phases, stress, and hard times fending for myself as a young adult, and each tough situation led me to make important moves into adulthood. By age 26 I realized I could not afford college, but it didn't matter because I had been working so many jobs by then, I managed to quit my last one and start my own company as a wise, experienced, and independent woman. I'm so glad my parents never floated me. Lounging in someone's house, cooking, and cleaning, and sleeping with my boyfriend at that age would not have been good for me. Living with one boyfriend at 19 in our own apartment and REALLY having to deal with the many ramifications of life was a great learning experience though. It got my butt in gear to be independent. Who knows how long that ridiculous relationship would have dragged on in the comfort of someone else's home...

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answers from Seattle on

No, I wouldn't do this. I would suggest she moves in with a roommate like most people do at their age. Get a cheap apartment, a friend or two and learn the ropes of how to be independent.

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answers from Chicago on

I would not allow her to move in. You are basically giving them the accommodations and approval to play house. If they want to play house, they should foot the bill to do so. You are still financially responsible for your son. It is only a matter of time before she ends up pregnant - what do you think they are doing in their room? Then you have a third person in your home to take care of. Unless she attempting to escape a dangerous situation, I would not allow this. I've seen this turn out badly for several people. Good luck!

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