Is it cohabitation?

I would love to ask a priest about this situation, but that is difficult right now given the circumstances.
So, I am a recent college graduate and am staying with my girlfriend and her family while we both look for a job. We both stay in the same room, but sleep in different beds (she sleeps in her bed and I sleep on a futon in a different side of the room). I feel that it is important to mention that we are not sexually actively either.
There is another bedroom in the house that belongs to her older brother who often comes home to visit.
We have talked about our plan of finding jobs and eventually getting separate apartments (until we get married of course). My question is whether my current situation is considered cohabitation? If so, would it be cohabitation if I stayed in a separate bedroom? I really would appreciate some help and insight into my situation (especially if there is a priest on here that could help me).
Thank you and God bless!

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Her parents like the idea of you sleeping in the same room as their daughter?

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I don’t know where you live but college degree or not, many grocery stores are hiring and you could rent a place and she could live at home.

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Her family is not Catholic and actually asked if I would want to stay here until I found an apartment. They seem to be ok with the idea of me and my girlfriend living in an apartment together (even though, as I stated above, I do no plan on doing as I know this would be cohabitation).

It is probably better if you were in a separate room. I do not think it would be a sin though, due to unemployment and the pandemic going on. If you can, email a priest, or call one on the phone and ask.


Didn’t you already ask this question in another thread? Or maybe there is another guy living with his girlfriend’s parents sharing a room with two beds who posted here recently?

No it isn’t “cohabitation” as the Church uses that word in reference to the sixth commandment. By that the Church means a sexual relationship, what it also sometimes calls “trial marriage”.


I would just say it is a little too much familiarity with someone you are dating. I know it would never have been allowed when hubby and I were dating job or no job.

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It sounds like you might be putting yourself in an awfully tempting position. Especially as the girlfriends parents are so lax and probably wouldn’t mind what goes on. It’s feels ok while you feel strong but if you are tempted then you might slip especially if the situation is prolonged for instance if you decide to take the parents up on their offer to stay. You’re on what I call a slippery slope to sin. Stay in the other room when you can. Better to be clear about your position too, otherwise their morals may become yours. God bless you. Hope you find a job soon


The Catechism gives us a very good, clear, phrase “trial marriage”. The Catechism does not use the term “cohabitation”.

Only you and your pastor/spiritual director can help you parse out sleeping in the same room. Is it prudent? Likely not. Occasion of sin? Only you know.

There is no reason you can’t get a job And an apartment.

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This depends on where the folks live. In the Bay Area, in Denver, in NYC, these are high cost of living and one has to bring in some good bank to afford an apartment.


I wonder what he would do if he didn’t have a girlfriend?

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Possibly wind up homeless.

Sounds like they better not break up then. Look. If the option is homeless or stay in his girlfriends room. Ok. If the option is work at a store and rent an apartment or move in with his parents or a friend then it may not be Optimal but it is doable. If your moral priorities are paramount.

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When I visit my girlfriend I sleep in her house with her parents but different room, same for when she visits me and my parents. Usually for like a week or so are the visits. (She is 22 and I’m a few months from 22) I don’t see this situation the OP is mentioning being much different.

Is the OP’s situation ideal? No, probably not. But is it a sin? I would say no, but perhaps a near occasion of sin, but only the OP would know.

I’d say, sleep in big brother’s room. When he comes around, then ask to sleep in the living room.

Her parents might be quite lax, so I’d wonder about her upbringing. It makes me think of the movie, Meet the Fokkers. Ben Stiller’s character has very lax parents.

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“Cohabitation” means living like you are married, especially having sex. This is the legal definition of the word in civil and canon law. Living together unchastely is of course morally wrong.

If however you are able to live chastely and without undue temptation, it is a mere roommate situation, which is neither encouraged nor strictly prohibited.

The apologist’s at Catholic Answers have answered questions similar to your question here:


I would agree with this.

Sleeping in the same room with your significant other is not a good idea, especially when there’s another room available.

Before I was married, I would sometimes visit my husband’s family and he would visit mine. We slept in separate rooms, parents were there, and we didn’t sneak into each other’s rooms in the night. Both his parents and mine were very traditional in their morals, and they were fine with this separate rooms arrangement.

You’d be surprised! I had yet another sex talk with my nearly 19 year old son just yesterday about wholesomeness and purity. I also noted that I can’t control his decisions or choices (good or bad). One potentially really bad one is staying over night at his girl friend’s place and sleeping with her with full knowledge of her parents. Do you believe that? Her parents are okay with him sleeping with their daughter while they are there. My son thinks they are enlightened and I’m the prude.

This is where I say, sometimes my son is a dummy.

I also told him that I won’t own his bad decisions.

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