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Ask Amy: Parents not OK with her plan to live with boyfriend

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • April 12, 2013 - 11:47 AM

Dear Amy: I am a 22-year-old student in my last year of classes for pharmacy school. For the next year, I will be working in different pharmacy settings on an unpaid basis to gain experience out in the field.

I have been with my boyfriend, a fellow graduate student, for the past three years. We have a committed relationship and have discussed our future. We have agreed we would like to live together.

I recently tried gauging my mother and was shot down with, “I’m not interested in that.” There was no discussion or explanation. I know my parents are not happy with my relationship. They get visibly uncomfortable if I mention his name.

I have consistently maintained high grades, held a good job and participated in extracurricular activities throughout my school career; having a boyfriend has not detracted from any of these things.

I know I am lucky to have my parents’ financial support for my housing. I understand he who holds the purse makes the call (I would not be able to afford living on my own paycheck).

It is certainly their right to withhold payment if they don’t like my living situation. Am I behaving like an entitled and whiny teenager? Or do I have a valid argument that is worth bringing up?

Amy says: You don’t sound particularly whiny, but you definitely feel entitled.

It is obvious that you understand with accuracy the simple math here — as long as your folks pay for your rent, they can try to control you. As long as you accept this financial support, you will have to make some compromises, just as you are making choices and compromises with your career.

My main concern is not whether you and your boyfriend should get to live together, but why your folks won’t acknowledge this person and welcome him into your family’s life in even a tangential way. That is an issue worth pursuing.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com.

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