Ask Kari: How can I convince my daughter to not move in with her boyfriend?

Dear Kari,

My daughter has just graduated from college and is trying to figure what to do next with her relationship with her boyfriend. They have been dating for 5 years (since high school), most of which has been an up and down relationship for them. My daughter tells me that she is considering moving in with her boyfriend, but neither of them have jobs or a place to live. What can I say to help guide her into making good choices in her life vs. staying in a relationship that is easy for now, but may not work out well for her in the long run?

– Mother Knows Best

Dear Mother Knows Best,

You are in a tough position, as the period of life that your daughter is in involves many dynamics. She is most likely trying to secure a job to launch her career, as well as wanting to move out on her own. Adding to that a long-term dating dynamic involves quite a bit of decision making and overall stress. I would recommend that you stay focused on her and her hopes for herself rather than where her relationship is going with her boyfriend, or what his personal plans are. If you make him and their relationship your focus I think you will lose the role as a person whom she can access, talk to, and model herself after. Allowing your daughter to hear what you hope for her, making a few suggestions about just her, will most likely be better received over talking about her career plans, her housing plans, and her relationship plans. Take one step at a time. Eventually your daughter will arrive at where she needs to be with your patient guidance.


As published in the September 2018 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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