Balancing my family and my boyfriend

Hi Meredith,

I am currently in a relationship with this charming and handsome guy. We have been together for six months now. Our relationship is smooth so far; not much call for compromise.

The issue is my mother. She's a single mom (divorced), and she worries that I might meet the wrong man and wind up on the same path as her. She doesn't like most of my boyfriends and is very picky. I live with her and am very close with my family.

I spend a lot of time with my boyfriend and want to see him as much as possible. My thought was that I should have him around the house as often as I can so that my mom – and my relatives – get used to him. But that seems to have backfired; now my mom and relatives feel like I see him too much, and that it's inappropriate for me to be so affectionate with him in the house.

I'm not planning to move out – that's not how it works in my family – but I'd like to know what people think I should do. How should I manage my family and my relationship?

- Writing From Home


First, it's only been six months. Yes, that feels like a long time and things are going well, but you're still getting to know your boyfriend, as is your family. Give everybody some time to get used to him, and to see that he plans to stick around.

Also, start thinking of your family members as roommates — because some of them are. If you lived with friends, you wouldn't have your boyfriend over all of the time, right? You'd respect your roommates' need for space and privacy. You'd consider how a guest changes the dynamic. Living at home is no different. Guests are great, but bringing a boyfriend to the house day after day probably won't endear him to your family.

As you try to find a better balance, you can talk to your mom – and your family – about how you can get serious with someone and still live at home. Let them know you're having trouble with the balance. Maybe they'll listen – and have some ideas.

No matter what, know that it might be uncomfortable for a bit. This is a big life change for you, and everybody else is catching up. Be assertive, but remember that even with friends, it can take a while for people to understand and accept that you're part of a couple.

– Meredith

Readers? Thoughts?