I’m 25 and I’m bringing my girlfriend home with me for the holidays. My parents will not allow us to sleep in the same bedroom. We have been together for 9 months, and we sleep over each other’s apartments all the time. She is fine with sleeping down the hall and sneaking into my room, but I want my parents to treat me like an adult and allow us to share my room. Unbeknownst to them, they let old girlfriends sleep in my bed (I wasn’t out). I am tempted to confess my “past crimes” in an effort to convince them this is no big deal. How can I convince them?
-No Longer a Child
It can be super frustrating to feel like you’re in an adult relationship yet your parents won’t let you act like an adult. We’ve all been there.
I get your perspective. It’s hypocritical to pretend like you don’t share a bed at least twice a week by mandating separate rooms when she stays over. Yet it’s your parents house. Let me ask you what’s more important to you, starting your own War on Christmas by causing a family feud or getting your folks to truly like, know, and respect your girlfriend?
If you want to take a stand on this issue, then sure, fess up about those so-called friends who shared your bed. Give a tidy and impassioned speech about how unfair it is to pretend like you don’t share a bed, and how you two will just find a way to be together after they’ve gone to bed, anyway, so really, who gives a crap.
Then brace for blowback. I’m not sure how conservative your folks are, but they could disinvite you. They could insist your girlfriend get a hotel room. They could develop the mistaken impression that she put you up to this and ice her out.
It’s no big deal to you, but it is a big deal to them and you are staying with them.
I’d strongly suggest playing the long game here. The two of you have been together nine months and maybe that’s your longest relationship but it’s not long-term, not by a long shot. Instead of pressing the issue, take the separate bedrooms and sneak in bed together once everyone is asleep. As long as she tiptoes out of the room before your parents wake up, you can pretend you’re complying while getting what you want. This is really what most people do anyway, except those lucky folks with chill parents who let them share beds with their sweeties.
Focus your energies on helping your girlfriend get to know and enjoy your parents and vice versa. Rather than have that fight, sit down to a board game or go for a long walk together. Create memories that will make your parents that such more excited to see your girlfriend on a future holiday. This is especially key if this is the first time she’s come for a holiday; less important if it’s a repeat event.
After the holiday visit, ask your parents their general rules for sleepovers. Is there a point at which the two of you can share a bed at their place, i.e. when you have your own apartment together of after marriage?
As long as this is a rule that is consistently applied to you and your siblings, you don’t have much of an argument. They’re allowed to set the rules at their place—and you are allowed to set the rules at your place. Which means the next time your parents visit you, your girlfriend can sleep in your bed and they can’t say anything about it.
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