General Question

cutiepi92's avatar

I need a way to convince my grandparents to let me stay with my boyfriend for the night?

Asked by cutiepi92 (2252points) February 13th, 2014

Hi all! It’s been a while since I’ve been on, but I am in desperate need of all of your assistance.

In case anyone has forgotten, I am 21 and my boyfriend is now 23. We both live with our families; I with my grandparents and he with his mother. The rule for my family is that I am never allowed to stay the night with my boyfriend. The only two times where it was allowed was during Spring Break (because I paid for the trip before I told anyone and it was out of state) and once after a concert where we didn’t get back to my car until 2:30 am and I was too tired to drive home. His mother could care less if I stay over, she actually prefers it because it means less late night driving for both of us.

To start, no this is actually not a ploy to have a romantic night with my boyfriend alone on Valentines Day. Here is the situation: So we are in the south and have been snowed in for a few days. During this time, his mother has been feeling unwell and was unable to get medical attention. Earlier today, it got significantly worse and since the roads were ok, my boyfriend’s father drove her to the emergency room. Long story short, she has to have two different surgeries to fix a pretty serious problem. His dad is staying at the hospital with her for the next two days. The bf is staying at the hospital tonight too, but tomorrow he is going home. He is really stressed out about all that is going on with his mom. The doctors think they can fix the problem, but it’s still pretty serious and he doesn’t want to be alone at home tomorrow. I want to be able to stay with him just to keep him company and be there as support. I love him very much and I can tell how much this is stressing him out. Him being by himself will make things worse; he has a tendency to imagine the worse. Overactive imagination and such.

I feel like my grandparents will be receptive to that as a reason to stay with him though, I need something better to convince them. They are sympathetic to his situation, but just telling them that he doesn’t want to be alone will probably just result in a “man up” response. What can I do?

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60 Answers

rojo's avatar

You are 21. Do what you want as long as it does not hurt someone else.

Time to grow up, make decisions for yourself and take responsibility for your own life.

whitenoise's avatar

Tel your grandparents that you are 21. That you love and respect them very much, but that they should allow you the freedom of personal choice in this matter.

At your age, your sex live is none of their business. Tell them that.

If they worry, tell them that you heard of safe sex and will make sure not to get pregnant. Even that is none of their business, though, (You can, however, not demand theor help in this case either.)

Maybe you should consider to move out?

(And yes, I read your whole story, but fear of sex is the reason your grandparents have.)

cutiepi92's avatar

Can’t move out, paying for university right now and don’t have the money (hopefully if I land a job after graduation I’ll be able to move out in like October/November). I just don’t like angering them…..but seriously I’m only trying to support him :/

I might just go and make an excuse after I’m already gone lol. But that’s not the best plan though…

rojo's avatar

You know, my mom always said “Can’t never Could”.

I suggest that if you cannot stand up for yourself as an adult you just stay home and masturbate on St. Valentines day like the rest of us.

susanc's avatar

@rojo, don’t be bitter.
@cutiepi92, even if you’re still financiallydependent, you’re of age. This is a good time to prove it.
Be kind, but tell your grandparents you’re going. You don’t need to over-reassure them. Inevitably they’ll have to begin trusting you with your own decisions – why not begin now?

cutiepi92's avatar

@rojo This isn’t about Valentine’s Day…..if you read, it’s more about supporting my boyfriend and being there while his mother is in the hospital

@susanc :/ i’ll try. You’re right. It sucks literally being the only one out of everybody I know who’s family has a severe problem with them staying with their significant other.

They say “it’s not lady like”.

gailcalled's avatar

What would they do to you if you simply say calmly that you are going and why and then go?

Don’t get shrill, don’t over-explain and don’t get into an argument. If your grandmother says that’s it not lady-like, say nothing but “I love you, I’ll see you tomorrow, think good thoughts please about bf’s mom, who will need them, I’ll call you after her surgery,” kiss her on the cheek and then go.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Just go. Seriously. You’re 21, time to stand up for your own autonomy.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I read all the way through your post. I did my best to keep an open mind. Quite honestly, I don’t feel like you are asking advice. It looks like you are asking our permission, in order to empower you to face your grandparents.
On the one hand, you say you and your boyfriend are grown, and responsible. Then, you say your boyfriend is too upset to stay alone.
How grown are you, really? Did it occur to you that your grandparents have more reasons for their rules than just you? They have raised a family. Now they have a grandkid living with them. I’m sure the stress of you even living there is a concern for them. The older we get, the more stress become a factor for our health. You want to spend the night with your boyfriend to ease his stress, but you have so little regard for the peace of mind your grandparents would like to enjoy?
No. I will not give you my permission to make demands of the people who give you shelter. Abide by their rules. Your bf can make it through the night without holding your hand. If he’s too frail, perhaps he should stay the night at the hospital, or, you might hire a babysitter.
I’m sorry for his mother’s unfortunate health scare. I’m sorry for his worries. If he’s a grown man, let him be a man, and face a night alone. If you REALLY were concerned and grown, you would be at the hospital being supportive of his mother. If it isn’t THAT big a deal, then WTF?

JLeslie's avatar

I see two choices. Tell your grandparents you will be out for the night and will be back home at 0:00 so they don’t worry about you.

Or, if you really think they will freak out if you leave for the night (I don’t see how if you went to spring break) and risk being kicked out of their house or really hurting them if you do leave for one night, then ask if your boyfriend can stay at your grandparents house in a separate room so he is not alone all night, just while you sleep.

To me it just sounds like you both see an opportunity to snuggle and have sex.

Cruiser's avatar

I would just tell your grandparents that you mean no disrespect but because of the dire and serious situation with your BF’s mother that you feel the need to be by the side of the man you love.

LornaLove's avatar

You are doing something kind, you need to relay this to your grandparents. I don’t know your whole life story of course, but you are 21 and can make your own decisions. You can tell them they are welcome to stay in touch with you and will also receive updates if required. I don’t know if this is a cultural thing? If so, it all it may take is explaining it correctly. Tell them that even if he was ‘just a good friend’ you feel you need to be supportive.

creative1's avatar

Get a hotel room if you want to spend the night together, if you are 21 and still living at home you need to respect your grandmothers or parents rules it is their home and they are paying for it.

Thammuz's avatar

You’re an adult. Do whatever the fuck you like, they can’t stop you. And if they tell you you’re doing something wrong, ask them if they wouldn’t do the very same if their husband/partner were in that situation. That should shut them up nicely.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know what being an adult has to do with it when she lives in their house and can decide to kick her out if they disagree with her behavior. If she needs to live there for financial reasons she needs to deal with their rules or move out. I have a feeling the rules are more in her head than in theirs, but maybe not.

jca's avatar

I agree with @Jonesn4burgers, @creative1 and @JLeslie. It’s not about her being an adult, it’s about her living with people and abiding by their rules. Like @Jonesn4burgers said, the support should be, if it’s going to be at all, being there for the mother who is in the hospital, not coddling the boyfriend.

Yes you can tell your grandparents you’re an adult and you can do what the fuck you want, and they can also tell you to get the fuck out.

Cupcake's avatar

If you end up following the majority of advice here, be prepared for your grandparents to kick you out.

If you have no choice but to live with them, then follow their rules. You can engage in a respectful, mature discussion… but ultimately you rely on them and live in their house. That means you follow their rules.

Darth_Algar's avatar

And if her grandparents would kick her out for something so minor then she’s probably better off without them.

kess's avatar

Respect your grandparents and as far as you possibly with you, keep their rules, don’t even think of subverting it in any sly way.

If your boyfriend has any worth, he will assist to keep them rather that help perpetuate rebelliousness.

For eventually, he too suffers from the wrath of your rebellion and your relationship will be short lived or a living nightmare.

kess's avatar

@Darth_Algar…and because it is indeed a minor issue, she should keep their rules.
Not keeping it is where the drama lies… but not necessarily because of the specific act of staying out.

Things must be seen in their proper perspective.

jca's avatar

@Darth_Algar: If they’re providing her with a roof over her head, food, and who-knows-what-else, plus a secure, safe, loving home, perhaps with some simple rules she must abide by, then is it worth it for her to leave?

Cupcake's avatar

@Darth_Algar While I don’t disagree with you, she may not financially have a choice. If she is bound to them for financial reasons, she should just follow their rules. I would probably try to make other arrangements… but her situation isn’t for me to judge.

I’m just saying… with most people advising to not follow the rules and spend the night elsewhere, she should be prepared to find a new place to live if they kick her out.

Darth_Algar's avatar

And I’m just saying that no one, absolutely no one, has any right to impose upon another adult’s personal autonomy.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar It is a matter of respect. The grandmother is not necessarily trying to control the OP, she just has expectations while she is living with her.

jca's avatar

@Darth_Algar: If you’re living with someone, you can do what you want, but they have the right to say OK, we no longer want you living with us. They have a right to impose rules and if she doesn’t like it, she may suffer the consequences.

janbb's avatar

I agree with the suggestion of having him stay over at your grandparents if he needs your company.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, it is a matter of respect and they are showing her none.

@jca They have the right to impose rules under their roof. While she is not within their walls they have no right to impose upon her, including where she can or cannot stay the night.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar I hope you are under 25.

Darth_Algar's avatar


The classic “I dislike your opinion so I’ll question your age” fallback. Nice.

jca's avatar

I think of @JLeslie‘s question about your age, @Darth_Algar, was more because your failure to see the side of the grandparents, who are in effect, the OP’s landlord, seem like the logic of a teenager or a young adult.

Darth_Algar's avatar

On the contrary it’s the logic of someone who believes in standing up for one’s self, one’s own autonomy, and one’s own freedom to do with themself as they wish. If the grandparents do not afford her enough respect as an adult to allow her to decide where and with whom she spends her time with then they do not respect her as her own person at all, but rather still likely think of her as a child.

In effect her landlord? Do you know of many landlords who feel they can dictate where their tenants can spend their time?

Add a decade and some change to that 25 and you’ll be closer to the mark. Yeah, I’ve been around awhile and had plenty of experience of my own, despite what you might wish to think.

jca's avatar

OK, @Darth_Algar, so what if the grandparents tell her “these are our rules and if you want to continue to live here, our rule is we don’t allow you to stay out overnight. If you choose to violate that rule, you must move out.” The grandparents own the home, they have the right to choose to let the OP stay or kick her out. The OP does not have the right to live with the grandparents if she is unwelcomed. What does the OP do?

Perhaps in a situation where the OP is like a roommate, renting an apartment with friends, then the circumstances would be different. However, if she is staying in a home owned by someone else, she must abide by their rules. That’s how I see it, and I believe how @JLeslie sees it.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Where did I ever say she had a right to live there? And why on Earth would she want to live there if she is unwelcome?

jca's avatar

Assuming she wants to and needs to continue living there, otherwise, why would she care about convincing them to let her do anything? She would just do it and move out.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar Has nothing to do with disliking your opinion. You can have whatever opinion you want. I just hate to think someone over 25 doesn’t understand that grandparents are from a different generation and young people shouldn’t shove what they think is right down their throats. Moreover, grandparents or not, everyone has the right to have rules for their home. The grandparents might be very uncomfortable knowing their granddaughter living with them is out having sex with her boyfriend. Do you care if they are uncomfortable? No you don’t, you care more about the OP’s autonomy as an adult. Well, people and families need to take each other into consideration, we can’t be completely selfish, especially when we are financially dependent. She is dependent on her grandparents for shelter. If she wants total autonomy she needs other living arrangements. This is why if you search fluther regarding money questions you will see I over and over again say money most importantly buys independence, more important than material things.

I don’t care who I am living with I have some respect for them and consider them. We are not living in a vacuum, we should consider the people around us as long as it does not cause us harm. The OP will not have any harm in this situation.

If I was worried about my grandma in the hospital I would go to the hospital. I flew to NY to be with my grandma in the hospital, my husband wasn’t with me. If her boyfriend is so worried he should go to the hospital and be with his family, the OP can go to the hospital too and visit him during the day. Or, she can still have the boyfriend come over her grandparents house. That is, if the main reason to be together isn’t to have sex.

I still question whether the grandparents really would be angry if she sleeps away. She might be thinking that from her days as a much younger person.

If you are relatively young I am providing you with understanding for your perspective, not dismissing your answer. There are several people on this Q who I know are well above 25 and they tend to agree with the OP just telling the grandparent she is leaving and will be back tomorrow. Hell, I said that as one of my answers. But, that is with the hope the grandparents are actually ok with it. If they vehemently object, then that’s that, the OP has to respect their wishes while she lives there.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@JLeslie “Has nothing to do with disliking your opinion. You can have whatever opinion you want. I just hate to think someone over 25 doesn’t understand that grandparents are from a different generation and young people shouldn’t shove what they think is right down their throats.”

Yet the grandparents should shove what they think is right down the OP’s throat?

“Moreover, grandparents or not, everyone has the right to have rules for their home.”

Yes they do. However we are not talking about anything within their home but rather outside it, where they have no right to dictate anything.

“The grandparents might be very uncomfortable knowing their granddaughter living with them is out having sex with her boyfriend. Do you care if they are uncomfortable? No you don’t, you care more about the OP’s autonomy as an adult.”

Do they have the right to be free from discomfort? What if they were uncomfortable with knowing their granddaughter is driving? What if they were uncomfortable with their granddaughter even going out of the house? Would they have the right to demand that their granddaughter live a sheltered, cloistered life? You’re goddamn right I care more about the OP’s autonomy as an adult. Personal autonomy is the absolute most important thing a human being can have.

“If you are relatively young I am providing you with understanding for your perspective, not dismissing your answer.”

You’re making an assumption about my age (hint: I’m not all that far away from 40) and my experience based on my opinions here. It’s condescending.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar I don’t mean to be condescending, we just disagree.

Yes, if they didn’t want her to drive they get to make a ridiculous rule she can’t drive while living there. Then she decides whether to abide by it or not, and they get to decide whether to throw her out or not. It’s their home. Driving and spending the night are not perfectly analogous, but still I think you make a good point that the grandparents could have any sort of ludicrous rule. When someone lives in our home we are aware of them to some extent, andnif what they do worries us it might be hard to tolerate, whether rational or not. This is their grandaughter, who is still fairly young, they might be very conservative about sex, we don’t know if they like the boyfriend or not. Many parents and grandparents are not ok with unmarried “young” people spending the night together. They probably feel some responsibility for her health and well being.

Darth_Algar's avatar


So living with someone else means you give up all personal rights and liberties? Am I understanding you correctly? Because that sure sounds like what you’re saying.

jca's avatar

The grandparents may not be able to monitor where the OP spends her night, should she choose not to come home, but they do have a right to specify “if you are going to live in our home, we expect you to be home every night.”

If she wants to continue to live with the grandparents in their home, she must abide by their rules. Period. If they make a rule that the OP determines she is not able to abide by, and thus her freedom is more important, she should move out into her own home and then she would be free to live her life as she pleases.

My assumption about the OP’s situation is that she is living with her grandparents not only because she loves and respects them, but because she relies on them financially. If she could afford to live on her own, and then be totally autonomous, I’m sure she would. Since that is not the case, she must abide by whatever the rules are that the homeowner lays down.

If someone wanted to come live in your home and yet do whatever they wanted (regardless of how it affected you as the homeowner/host), would you tolerate that? I would guess that you would have some kind of rules. Even roommates who each pay equally will have some kind of agreement or rules that help them live in harmony. We’re not talking about roommates who pay equally however. We’re talking about someone living on the good graces of another, in the home owned by another. Their house, their rules. She doesn’t like it, she can hit the road.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar Usually who we live we bother to consider them. I can do whatever I want, but I still call my husband if I am going to be late getting home. If I stayed out all night several nights he probably would eventually tell me to get out permanently. When I lived with my parents I let them know if I would be home or not so they didn’t worry. If I lived with @jca and her rule was I could not come home after 9:00 pm, because it would wake her daughter and she is difficult to get to sleep I would have to abide by that. Doesn’t matter how old I am.

gailcalled's avatar

@cutiepie; I had forgotten that your grandmother had some other issues, like entering your room without knocking and snooping through your things. She does seem intrangisent and possibly SOL but I do not know what that means.

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janbb's avatar

If what Gail has found is still true, then they do sound very invasive and overbearing. Maybe you have to decide whether being dependent on them or supporting yoruself and doing what you want to do is more important.

Darth_Algar's avatar

It’s funny how certain people here are choosing to spin my comments as “do whatever the hell you want regardless of how it effects others”.

Darth_Algar's avatar

And the thread that @gailcalled linked to only reinforces that, rather than the OP not respecting her grandparents, the grandparents have no respect for her.

jca's avatar

@Darth_Algar: I am not spinning it as you say she can do whatever she wants regardless of how it effects the grandparents.” I am spinning it as you say she can do whatever she wants regardless of what the rules of the house are.”

The grandparents, as the homeowners, have the right to make the rules whatever they want them to be. If the rules are not acceptable to the OP, she can move out, which is the point that @janbb is making.

Darth_Algar's avatar


Inside their house. This is outside their house. Big difference there. Huge damn difference.

Also, in your insistence that the homeowners can make whatever rules they please and OP should just accept it please reference the link that @gailcalled posted above (an earlier thread from the OP) and tell me if that includes walking in on the OP any time they please (even when the OP is in a state of undress).

jca's avatar

@Darth_Algar: Yes, I understand the huge damn difference (as you so eloquently state it). The grandparents have the right to demand that the OP not spend any nights away from home. No different from living anywhere else under someone else’s roof, under someone else’s rules.

Again, if the rules that the grandparents impose are not suitable to the OP, she can move out. Not saying the rules are something that would be tolerable to me, but then again, that’s why I choose not to live with parents. I like to be independent and not have to deal with other people’s rules.

While in the grandparents’ house, the OP has to live by the grandparents’ rules. I don’t think that should be so hard to comprehend. That includes “no sleepovers” if that’s what the grandparents demand.

I feel like we’re going around and around and are going to turn into butter soon.

Let me come live in someone’s house and say “I’m going to live here for free and then I’m going to come and go as I please.” Let’s see how long I last living there.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar Certain people? I think @jca summed up my opinion well. I am not defending the grandparents as reasonable, I am only saying it is their house, the OP can go spend all day with her boyfriend and have sex every hour on the hour, but the grandparents want her home at night. They obviously treat her like a child, @gailcalled was smart to link the older Q. That’s the deal living with them.

gailcalled's avatar

Edit: My second posting is not only a duplicate of the one just above it but also has a completely irrelevant link. Sorry.

Edit also: intransigent

Darth_Algar's avatar

Well hell, sorry OP. Looks like you have, and should not expect, any degree of personal freedom or autonomy, despite being an adult. No sleeping over at your boyfriend’s. No going out of the house if they don’t want you to. No having any privacy if that’s what they want. If they decide that, say, they want to watch you on the toilet (to make sure you’re not doing drugs in the bathroom or something) then you should just grin and bear it. Their house, their rules.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar You really don’t get it. The OP cannot control her grandparents. Just like you argue that the grandparents should not control the OP.

Darth_Algar's avatar


No, I get that she cannot control the grandparents. It’s just that the vibe that I’m getting from you and @jca here is that because she is living in someone else’s house she should not have even reasonable expectations of autonomy or even of privacy.

JLeslie's avatar

@Darth_Algar Then I am not communicating well. I think 21 year olds should be afforded reasonable privacy and total autonomy, while respecting others. This grandmother doesn’t do it though. Her rules apply to her house whether she is reasonable or not.

jca's avatar

@Darth_Algar: I thought @JLeslie and I were pretty clear in our wording.

The grandparents have the freedom to impose whatever rules they want (i.e. curfew “you must be home by a certain time, not out all night”) and the granddaughter OP has the freedom to accept or reject the rules. If she chooses to reject the rules,the grandparents have the ultimate freedom, as the homeowners and hosts, to kick her out.

Ideally, if the granddaughter wants a housing situation where she is completely autonomous, she would live on her own, pay her own way and not be under anyone’s thumb.

It’s really simple.

cutiepi92's avatar

Well…...this got long lol

I was away for a while so I guess I will tell everyone what happened. That specific night, an emergency happened to his mother (reaction to medication or something) so we had to run by the hospital on Valentine’s night. We were there for a little while and I just called and told them that I was staying with him because it was late and I needed to drive him back to his house (because he was too tired to drive me back).

Now that was true, except for the part where he was too tired to drive me back lol. Regardless, because of the circumstances (and I was already out), they didn’t say too much. So I was able to stay and they were ok with it. However, don’t think I will be able to again any time soon.

I guess what bothers me is their reasoning. They say it “looks bad” and that it’s disrespectful to his parents to stay at their house. But the reality is, his mother actually PREFERS when I spend the night because it keeps us from being out on the road late. I’m a good granddaughter, I don’t party or drink or act crazy and I do well in school…...Not being able to stay with my boyfriend sometimes is irritating

JLeslie's avatar

@cutiepi92 Have you ever introduced your grandparents to his parents? Maybe that would help. If they see how much his parents like you and that you are welcome to stay maybe they will feel better. No matter what it won’t change that they think it looks bad, because to your grandparents it looks bad. If you were the girlfriend of a man who lived next door to them and they saw you leaving the house in the morning with the same clothes on as last night they would think she is a tart. Or, that’s what I am guessing anyway. Still, they might not try to demand you don’t stay out.

cutiepi92's avatar

hmmm. at some point an introduction may help. Thanks :)

JLeslie's avatar

Let us know how that goes.

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