His Parents Don’t Want Us Sleeping in the Same Bedroom (P.S. We’re Adults)

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

I’m goint to my boyfriend’s family’s house for Thanksgiving this year. We’re both 24, in grad school, have been dating for 8 months, are committed, plan on moving in together soon…in short, we’re adults. And we sleep together, in both senses of the word. My boyfriend has said there’s a good chance his conservative religious parents, who know all about the seriousness of our relationship, “won’t allow” us to sleep in the same room over Thanksgiving break. Now, I’m fine with a no sex in the house policy, but I think it’s ludicrous that we’ll have to sleep in different rooms (him most likely on the floor somewhere) when we’re both adults who do this ALL THE TIME. I’d like my boyfriend to defend our consensual adult relationship and insist we sleep (i.e. share unconsciousness) together under their roof, like normal modern people without weird irrational hangups, but he seems wishy washy.  Am I out of bounds to suggest he at least try to gently talk some sense into them?

— Sleepover Sally

Can you ever question house rules?
Chime in below!


  1. I disagree with their house their rules when it comes to this. I would bet money that if the FIL’s singleb est friend showed up with his girlfriend, he would not require them to sleep separately. This is a job for the son to tell his parents that he is an adult and they will treat him accordingly. Not the same as smoking. You don’t get to impart your morality on others. What is next, I have to vote Republican to stay at the house.

  2. First, I tend to agree, their house, their rules. I had a similar experience, we were going to her parents place for the first time. She and I were too sleeping together, sex and all. Before we went, she said to be prepared to be apart for the nights. After we got there, her mom showed us where to put our things. To both of our amazement, she had us together in the same room! (Yes, we did have sex, but were sure to be quiet about it.) My point is you never know what to expect.

  3. I agree with Greg and Johnny. Their house, their rules. If you don’t like their rules, get a hotel room or stay home. For the sake of argument, let’s say you’re a chain smoker, but his parents do not allow smoking in their home, would you light up at the kitchen table? While some people would, it is, to say the least, disrespectful. While you state that you’re an adult, your reaction to the house rules make you sound like a petulant child. I suggest that you grow up, purchase his parents a nice hostess gift (it does not have to be expensive), and enjoy the holiday weekend. Given the direction your relationship is going, there is the potential that these people could be your in-laws.

  4. …or you can just rent a hotel room nearby the house and fix everyone’s problem. If you don’t have the cash, we’ll sometimes crashing at people’s houses subjects you to weird requirements. Either go and accept or don’t go. Fighting him or his parents about sleeping arrangements without providing an alternative will not go over well unless they’re pushovers.

  5. Yes, you are out of bounds. Their house, their rules. It’s one long weekend. You’ll sleep through your nightly separation anyway.

    If you want his family to like you, just play along for a couple days. If you don’t care whether they like you and you have a SERIOUS problem with their rule, stay home.

    … but if you REALLY want to get a family that’s not even yours into a great big Thanksgiving fight, then roll in to their house on a holiday, insist on YOUR rules, and insist that your boyfriend take your side (bonus points if this is your first time meeting the family).

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