Dear Fiona: My parents don’t like my older boyfriend – but I want to move in with him

15 March 2022

The problem…

“I am 17 and live at home with my parents. My boyfriend is 22 and he and I have been going out together for more than two years now, and we’re very happy with each other. My parents, though, have never made a secret of the fact they don’t like him – and for no apparent reason other than the age gap between us.

“They refuse to let him visit me at their house, other than to pick me up if we’re going out. However, I know he is right for me and I love him, and I think he feels the same way about me.

“At the moment, he lives at home with his parents too, but he’s trying to find a flat to rent. He has a good job and earns good money, so he can afford it, although if he rents it on his own it would be a big chunk of his money. Therefore, when he has found a place, I plan to ask if I can move in with him. It will help him with the rent, and it will give me the freedom to be with him.

My parents don’t like my boyfriend (Alamy/PA)

“I am sure my parents will be angry about this. How do I break the news to them, without them going ballistic?”

Fiona says…

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in these plans of yours, and from what you’ve written, I’m not at all convinced that you’ve even discussed them with your boyfriend. You say you’ve been together for two years, but there would appear to be a lot of uncertainty about your relationship too. It might well be that this is what is worrying your parents.

“Before you tell your parents that you’re moving in with your boyfriend, I think I’d encourage you to be a bit cautious. So far, your boyfriend doesn’t have a flat and, given his age, I think he would be fortunate to find a landlord willing to rent one to him.

“Even if he did find a place to rent, he’s given you no serious indication that he wants to share it with you. In fact, he doesn’t appear to have told you how he feels about you at all. You say you ‘think’ he feels as you do – but you don’t say he has told you he does, so how can you be sure? After two years together, wouldn’t it be a good idea to ask him how he feels about you, and what he thinks the future is for your relationship?

“Rather than suggest to your parents that you are planning to move in with him, perhaps your efforts would be better spent in trying to find out just what it is that concerns them. It may be the age difference, but it might be that they are yet to be convinced that this young man really cares for you. Of course, it could be something else entirely, but unless you try to discuss it with them, you won’t know.

“If you can get your parents talking then when the time does come for you to move out, it will be much easier to have the discussion. Show them that you’re prepared to listen to what they have to say, and they will start to see you as a mature, sensible young woman. When you do want to make a decision to move out, they are likely to be less concerned about how you will cope.

“Meanwhile, there’s no point in raising this possibly contentious issue with your parents, unless it’s a realistic possibility.”

If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to [email protected] for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox