Dating Across America: Sleeping Arrangements When You’re Staying With The ‘Rents

Even if you get to the point in a relationship where you and your boyfriend are totally comfortable with one another, things change when you bring others into the equation. At some point you may find yourself in a bit of a predicament: managing sleeping arrangements while at his or your parents’ house.

Some lovebirds will abstain and refrain from giving into their sexual urges. Others will sneak into each other’s rooms, regardless of the rules and etiquette of their host’s home, because when you’re feeling frisky, sometimes you have to give in. Some women are nonchalant about getting caught, while others say the sheer embarrassment causes them to rethink their sleeping arrangements for the future. We asked 10 women: “What’s a normal sleeping arrangement when you and your boyfriend are staying at your parents’ house?”

“My boyfriend and I have been together so long, it’s as if we have been married for years. We have lived together for six years and owned a home together for two years, so I think our families know we’re serious. We sleep in the same bed at home and when we visit family, or when family comes and stays with us in our studio apartment. I am not bothered by it — we’re all family.” — Brenna Boyce, Brooklyn

“In college, we slept together and got caught a couple times — not fun, and not worth it. Now that I’m older, I’d rather get a hotel and avoid the whole situation. But if that weren’t possible, then I’d have to say I’d respect the homeowner’s rules. If I can’t keep my hands and other body parts to myself for a night or two, then I deserve the embarrassment and humiliation and need to grow up a bit more.” — Patricia Cook, Arlington, TX

“At first, my boyfriend and I either slept in separate beds or separate rooms altogether, but we would sneak into each other’s rooms. His mother is very open-minded, though, and not stupid. Soon we were sleeping in the same room and listening to the jokes from his mother. According to her, no ‘raincoats’ were allowed, as she wants grandchildren very badly.” — Amy Brantley, Bryson City, NC

“Separate rooms. Although we are grown adults, both my boyfriend and I come from conservative families, so it’s just understood that while we visit them, we will never share beds (unless we’re married). If it helps them sleep better while we are with them, it’s fine by us.” — Midori Barizo, Seattle

“I always had three different levels of rules depending on the parent. My mom always let my boyfriend stay in the same room. She never cared and was always the one to call the house when she was on her way home ‘just to check in.’ My dad, on the other hand, was as strict as you can get. Whenever he was in town and Patrick was visiting, it was separate rooms and we weren’t allowed to be alone — ever. He’d even make a point to stay up with us and watch movies until midnight or so, which was hard for him since his usual bedtime is 8 p.m. With Patrick’s parents, we always had to sleep separately. Even during Christmas when the whole family was home and they didn’t have enough beds. I’d get the last guest room and Patrick would sleep on the couch. This is all while we were living together and had been dating for well over eight years! It was only recently that they started letting us stay in the same room — we just got engaged last August.” — Iceseas Hanson, Sarasota, FL

“If we really, really want to sleep together, we get a motel. Sleeping ensemble in mom and dad’s house is a real no-no.” — Sandra Essary, Bakersfield, CA

“I am 30 years old and my parents still make my boyfriend and I sleep in different rooms. Until I am married, my dad says.” — Christine Capeless, South Burlington, VT

“If we have been dating for a while and the parents are comfortable with it, then I say yes, sleep together. However, I wouldn’t have sex in that situation. I wouldn’t want to see or hear my parents have sex, so I wouldn’t want them to see or hear me, either. I would sort of be afraid of ‘getting caught.’ I say share the bed, but save sex for when the parents aren’t home or when me and my boyfriend are back in one of our own homes.” — R. Elizabeth Kitchen, Cleveland

“When my husband and I go out of state to visit my mom, we generally get to use her spare room. I feel lucky with that sleeping arrangement because some may not have that option. I imagine it could be uncomfortable for all involved if we were sleeping in a more open space.” — April Paul, Houston

“One night this summer while camping, there was a horrific storm. We all had to move into my parents’ home for our safety. Space was limited, so my boyfriend of three years and I doubled up on a single bed in the spare room. Of course, nothing happened, and we did not sleep great, but at least we were dry. My parents thought nothing of him and me sleeping together, but I know in his parents’ Catholic home, that would have been a huge problem.” — Amy Browne, Athens, PA

“Whenever my boyfriend and I go up north to visit his parents, we sleep in his old bedroom…together. His parents are really awesome.” — Stephanie Juarbe, Sarasota, FL