Dear Christine, Saving Money in Southfield

Dear Christine,

I am 24 years old and only recently came out to my parents. I’ve been with women for many years but due to a strict upbringing, high expectations etc I never felt comfortable telling them.

I eventually told my mom just before my 24th birthday, and I expected the worst! But all I got was “It’s your life, I can’t live it for you, I love you”. Now, I was shocked at her calmness…I even called her back later in the day to ask her if she was sure that was all she was going to say! Since that day, not a word has been uttered regarding my revelation. Not by my mom, dad….nothing!

I wasn’t too concerned because I lived on my own so my current girlfriend was always around mine and we just lived our lives! However, as of next week I am moving back in with my parents for a year to sort out finances etc. I am just a bit worried that 1. It’s going to put a strain on my current relationship as we will be going from seeing each other everyday to a few times a week, 2. How my parents will react to actually having to see my girlfriend -obviously she will have to come round and see me! And 3. How do I bring up the topic with my parents!

I feel that they have avoided the conversation for long enough! But I’m just worried. Do I just come out and say ” hey guys…remember I told you in gay…well now I’m moving back in my girlfriend will be around a lot, thanks”! I mean I can’t see that going down too well!

I just don’t want to lose my girlfriend because my living arrangements have changed. She too lives with her parents currently bug intends on moving out soon. But either way, there will be a period of time whereby we will have restricted access to each other and it sucks! How do you make if work??

Saving Money in Southfield

Dear Saving Money, I’m happy to hear that your parents have responded positively to your coming out to them. Now comes the next level. Do they know you have a girlfriend and have they met her? Are they comfortable around her, and with the two of you as a couple? It would definitely help for all to meet before living arrangements change. Talk to your parents alone about getting everyone together. If that goes well, then it’s time to talk further with your parents about your relationship with your girlfriend. Let them know how close you both are, and how frequently you are used to being together. See if your parents are OK with her coming to their house to see you, and of course them! Depending on your parents’ reaction, it may buoy your relationship with them, and it may strengthen and deepen your relationship with your girlfriend. Or they could set rules for living in their house and for visitors that restrict the time you get with your girlfriend at their house. That may put a strain on your relationship with her, as a negative outcome would be that they forbid her to visit you at their house, and you have to keep your relationship going through social media, calls, texts and seeing her anywhere else but at your parents’ house. Some parents don’t like their unmarried adult children having a significant other spending the night, or at least not in the same bedroom. Don’t assume any rules they delineate are because you’re gay, or they’re uncomfortable. They might well feel the same way if your significant other were a man.

Remember that it’s ALWAYS hard for families of different generations to live together, in particular when children are now adults. Sometimes parents’ don’t remember that, and sometimes they’ve changed without you being around, and certainly your being independent has changed you. Make sure you ask your parents about any and all rules (paying rent, helping pay utilities, cleaning, shopping, cooking etc) as well as where they stand about significant others and friends visiting. Be direct and tell them what you believe is fair as your contribution to the running of the household. Bottom line is that it’s their house and ultimately you have to abide by their rules while you live under their roof, whether you are 4, 14 or 24. Getting all these things sorted out before you move back in will make the transition go smoother for all concerned. Good luck! Christine Cantrell

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd, 
Suite C 
Royal Oak, MI 48067

Click here to email Christine.

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