Boyfriend and Girlfriend Staying Under Same Roof

My question with boyfriend and girlfriend staying under the same roof will be, is there ever a permissible time for a boyfriend and girlfriend staying under the same roof as long as they live as “brother and sister”? I’m talking about situations like if the girlfriend became homeless all of a sudden and the only roof she has access to would be her boyfriends house.

Is this a real situation or only a hypothetical one? I can’t really imagine a gal having to stay with her boyfriend because she can find no other accommodations. Most people have family or friends they can call on in need. Having said that, I think they would need to have a reliable chaperone live with them and have separate bedrooms and perhaps even bathrooms otherwise they would be putting themselves into a near occasion of sin and scandal.

It could be a real situation somewhere, but I’m just making this premise. I would realize that in the real world, the girlfriend could probably find some relatives she could live with.

Why are you making a hypothetical situation that would not be in the real world. What is your angle?

I’m just wondering whether there is a morally licit situation where a boyfriend and girlfriend can stay under the same roof.


What is the point?

Perhaps a better question would be whether a boyfriend and girlfriend living under the same roof would be an intrinsic evil.

Why don’t you come at it from a different angle. Why don’t YOU propose a situation in which the boyfriend and girlfriend would be doing a good holy and healthy thing by living together.
I sense a alternate motive here.

It’s not an intrinsic evil. One can imagine scenarios where it would be justified. For instance, people escaping the Holocaust had to live in the same attics. In your scenario, if she has no other option, then I suppose it could be justifiable for as long as she seeks other options and avails herself of them when they become available (or they get married).

For something to be an intrinsic evil, there can be no situations where it would be justified.

The question is being discussed here:

I sense you’re doing a rash judgement here. The reason I asked this question was because I believed that there can be certain justifications for a boyfriend and girlfriend to stay underneath the same roof, and I just wanted to make sure that my beliefs were in line with church teaching.

Your question only matters in the real world, and the real world only. Currently, there is no Church teaching that justifies a boyfriend and girlfriend living together. People can make up extreme cases but most cases have more than one answer. Can she go back home? Live with a relative or friend? Even if she lost her job one day, all those options should be available to her. And even if she had no one, it would be preferable to find another woman to take her in, even if she’s somebody she knows from work, until she can get a job or government assistance. You can be there to provide emotional and even financial support, but living together would set a bad example and lead to scandal.


As he said earlier, his question would be better phrased by asking if it is an intrinsic evil or not. Ed, I know that you only care about the practical application of morality to what generally happens, and there is nothing wrong with only focusing on that, but its not true that that is the only good or valid way of looking at things. Some people care about trying to understand the reasons behind Church teaching even if doing so means they have to get into discussions about hypothetical situations that do not often occur in the real world. I am one of those people and judging from the OP’s posts it seems as though he/she is as well. I know its not your approach and you don’t like that approach, but there is nothing wrong with it.

OP, yes, you are correct that technically such a situation could occur. Basically, there are three reasons why living under the same roof is problematic for non-relatives of opposite genders. They are

  1. Actual sexual sin
  2. Putting each other in the near occasion of mortal sin
  3. Leading others into sin through example (even if they themselves are not actually sinning)

Of these three things, the first is clearly always and everywhere wrong and unallowable.
The next two are interesting because it is not always morally wrong to put yourselves or others in the way of temptation. It is very often wrong to do so, but there are a number of factors that need to be balanced such that it is technically possible for a situation to occur where one would be justified in allowing a couple to live under the same roof so long as they remained chaste and did everything they could prevent creating near occasions of sin and to avoid scandal. (ie, separate bedrooms, not being allowed in each others bedrooms, making sure to explain to others your situation etc)

I believe Ed’s fear is that if you acknowledge that it can technically be moral in certain circumstances couples will read that and then assume that it is therefore moral in their particular circumstance even if it is not. And that these couples will then end up sinning gravely and put their souls in jeopardy. This is a valid concern, however it does not mean we can’t talk about the fact that such situations can exist, but that in doing so we must be careful to not make it sound as though they are common, and we should probably encourage anybody who is discerning whether their own situation is one of these exceptions to speak to a good priest they trust about the matter to help them discern their particular situation. . But, yes, in answer to your question, it is technically possible for a situation to exist in which it is moral for an unmarried couple to live chastely under the same roof.

Of course you do!

I think some of the replies posted were way out of line :mad:

So it’s a hypothetical exploration of a legalistic justification of something that may be a near occasion of sin?


Oh, well then…The answer is, No. :slight_smile:

Hoosier, sorry if I came off as mean with that sentence here. Warandpeace, sorry if some of these replies were way out of line, and mods, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry out was being uncharitable with my reply to Hoosier.

Such circumstances are imaginable, though unlikely.

thewanderer’s answer is excellent.

I find it annoying when people at Catholic Answers Forums refuse to give Catholic Answers, even though I understand their reluctance.

No problem. For the record I don’t think any post has been uncharitable so far and I did not read that into yours. I hope you felt the same way.

I agree. This whole matter would better be discussed in Emily Post

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