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January 26, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

My boyfriend and I are engaged to be married this fall. We recently decided to move in together to help cut down on the costs of living separately. We both looked forward to the idea of saving money until we approached his parents with the idea. Needless to say, we took them by surprise. His parents are very much against the idea of us moving in together before we are married. They have said that if we do go through with moving in together, we need to get married first. My boyfriend and I are really unsure as to how to handle his parents' actions. There is no way for us to get married before our set date in the fall; my boyfriend is finishing up college and I still need to save up a little more money for our wedding. What is the polite way to tell my boyfriend's parents to leave us alone, and that we plan to move in together with or without their blessing? And should we just tell them to butt out since they aren't helping to pay for any of the wedding? This conflict with his parents is taking its toll on my boyfriend and me.

-- Unsure in Missouri

Dear Unsure,

For this one, Breakup Girl consulted Breakup Mom (who, though happy to help, did mention that perhaps she'd have a chance of being a grandmother sometime this lifetime if only her daughter would go by some name other than "Breakup Girl"). And I have to say, on the record ... <deep breath> ... that I think what my mother said is right.

And here it is: yes, moving in together is a decision you make as adults; technically, you shouldn't need parental blessing. And yes, it would be wise, nice, and practical to save a little extra money. BUT. It doesn't sound like you're starving or freezing. So consider what might be in your best interest as a couple who, like it or not, is going to be part of a larger family until, ostensibly, death do you part. Trust me, you want to be on good terms with them, starting now. Don't underestimate the importance of this. If you waited to move in, you would sacrifice some cash and convenience, but you would also make an investment in some very, very, key good graces. I am not telling you to cave in to someone/something you don't agree with. I am suggesting that you make a non-ideal but wise decision, as adults and as a couple. Remember, these are the people who are going to be your kids' grandparents. But if things go at all sour with them, Breakup Mom may still be available.

Breakup Girl



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