You and your significant other have been together for a while now, and its time to meet the parents. So the two of you plan a visit, which will perhaps cause you to spend a night or two under your parent’s roof. Or, what if you and your partner are already living together (but not married). Should the two of you be allowed to sleep together at your parent’s house? After all, you are both adults, are obviously sexually active. Is there really any reason to deny it or be languished to separate bedrooms to simply make mom and dad feel a false sense of ‘safety” when you visit? What about family values and morals? Is one person’s opinion of what is right or wrong more valuable than yours is?
This is a pretty tricky issue for many people. The bottom line is this article is dealing with ADULT couples who are not married, not your 16 – 20 year old puppy love couples who want to assert their independence by sharing a bed at mom and dads house.
Many people feel offended that they would be sequestered during a stay and remain adamant that as adults, they should be treated as one. In fact, for many couples things like the annual Christmas holiday are halted because of family disagreements on this very matter. And think about it this way for a moment. Would it be fair for you to make your parents remain in separate bedrooms when they came to visit you?
Apparently, the issue revolves around marriage more than sex. Many parents, especially older ones grew up in a time period where sex before marriage, living together before marriage, and sharing a bed WERE just not socially acceptable at any level. For these folks, having their unwed daughter or son couple with their mate under their roof just goes against all the fabrics of their morality. And while their thinking may seem outdated, and it is easy to get defensive and feel offended by the required sleeping arrangements, you do have to at least consider how they feel. And even though you may have no intentions of making love to your partner while you are at ‘the parents’ house – the whole thing may just make the mom and dad uncomfortable. Shouldn’t that count for something?
On the other hand, maybe the old folks need to just get over it. It certainly isn’t worth creating an issue that causes distance or disconnect between family members. And while they don’t have to agree with your life style, or even like it – they should respect the two of you as a couple. It’s not as if you are going to be making loud love and rocking the house in their house. Or are you? Because as exciting as it might be to recreate those days of sneaking away from mom and dad and experiencing the thrill of “not getting caught” no parent wants to actually witness (through hearing or seeing) their child (regardless of age) is having sex.
Dear Abby ran a column a couple of years back about this very issue, and got a tremendous response. Most of the readers felt like parents should be able to have requirements at their home as they see fit. Back to the old, “I pay the bills here; things will run the way I want them to.” And they felt like even grown children should honor the parents discomfort with the issue of sleeping together.
One simple resolution to the matter is this. Rather than decide that you will cut family ties or simply not visit family who wont allow you and your partner to shack up in the single bed sitting in the guest room, get a room! This way, you can literally pay for your right to sleep together and you won’t be offending anyone in the meantime. Not only will this help to avoid the awkward breakfast conversation of, “how did you sleep last night,” to which “Good” wont go over well – but it also makes the problem non-issue, and show that not only do you respect the parents decision – but are confident enough to make your own.
Each of us does have a right to expect, accept, and even require certain behaviors under our own roof. It’s super easy for a couple without children to simply disagree and become defensive about NOT being able to sleep together. Especially if they have been together for a long time and may even live together. And the parents, well…suffice it to say that they are likely very much aware that you ARE having sex. They just don’t want it to happen under their roof or flaunted in their faces. Honestly, can you blame them?
Be clear on one thing however. No two families or couples abide by the same rules and boundaries. Even though it may madden you to no end that your beds are being separated by walls, it may not be best to force the issue or completely voice your discontent. Some day, these people may or may not become your in-laws. And for couples who believe whole heartedly that they deserve the right to share the bedroom like any other respectable married couple, work to figure out the differences BEFORE you arrive on the door step of someone else’s home. Remember just a few decades ago, sleeping together when you aren’t married wouldn’t have not been allowed anywhere, and wasn’t even legal to show on television.
The times they are changing. But sometimes, people don’t change with them, and there isn’t anything you can do about it but control your reactions. Plus, in the scope of things, a few nights NOT sleeping together, might just make your sex life even hotter.