My boyfriend and I are in our late 20s and have been together for over five years. We really want to move in together, but I have some hesitation about my parents. I’m not sure how to break the news to them. They’re very religious and absolutely don’t believe in living together before marriage. My boyfriend and I aren’t religious or interested in marriage. I always knew I’d have to tell my parents about this eventually, but no relationship has ever gotten serious enough until now.
They also use money to try to keep me in line. I can’t use the argument that it will be cheaper for us to rent together because they could buy me a house of my own without breaking a sweat. I have to tell them that this is an ideological difference and one I will proceed in with or without their support. But other than religious differences (which they’re unaware of) we have a really good, close relationship. I enjoy talking to them on the phone and visiting them. However, they have always made it clear that living together before marriage is the most abhorrent thing someone could do and regularly mock and ostracize anyone in their community who does it, and I am very afraid that they’ll stop speaking to me when I do it. With good reason, they’ve said as much every couple of weeks for the last 10 years. I’m not sure how to proceed.
—I Don’t Want to Be Estranged!