What do you think of Opposite Sex Roommates?

I am considering renting a small house with a female friend of mine. She has a boyfriend, and I have no feelings for her, as she is nearly 10 years older than me. It will be just me and her, and we will have separate bedrooms.

I’m 26 years old, and moving out of my parents house for the first time since college. The rent is cheap, and the location is great. I’d much rather have my own place to myself, but can’t afford that just yet, so I think having a roommate is a great solution.

Now, while I am technically still Catholic, I do not practice my faith, so I am completely unconcerned with any explicit moral issues with this situation. Please don’t judge me, as this is where I am on my spiritual journey and I am doing what I feel is best and right for me.

However, my parents are serious Catholics, and other family members are Christian. Family is very important to me, and I do not want to damage my relationship with my parents.

I’m curious about what Catholics think about this. If in general Catholics are fine with opposite sex roommates, or is this seriously frowned upon??

You aren’t concerned with moral issues with the situation, but you want to know the opinions of Catholics? :confused: Most would say that it could possibly lead to a moral issue…

Having a roommate of the opposite sex for financial or other practical reasons is not considered intrinsically wrong by the Catholic Church. Depending on circumstances, it could be considered an occasion of sin, but considering the circumstances you have outlined, it appears that this would not be a bad situation.

None of us can tell you how your parents are going to react to this. Frankly, I’d be more concerned with how your potential future-roommate’s boyfriend would react. :stuck_out_tongue:

There is no universal moral imperative for two people of the opposite gender never to share the same house. So you’re not going to necessarily find the same reaction from all Catholics. In general, it’s not the best idea, though. It sort of unnerves me how many moral questions are decided based on the convenience of saving money with a roommate. :shrug:

Since you are not really concerned about the moral/ethical implications and are only concerned about the feelings and response of your family, perhaps the best thing would be to explain the situation to them and ask them what they think.

Even amongst Catholics there would be a wide variety of opinions about this and no one here can possibly know what your parents response would be. Although I get the feeling from your post that you already have a very good idea of what your parents are going to say about this and you are looking for some way to change their minds.

Now for my personal opinion. I think most devout Catholics would either be against it, or very wary. Personally I think it is acceptable in a few cases, but in general it is not a good idea.

I guess it depends on whom you ask too. I know it wouldn’t work for me. Plus, I wouldn’t want people at church seeing me living with some woman and coming to conclusions. That could impact me in other ways since people are no longer comfortable pointing out to one another that something seems objectively wrong.

You will end up sharing your life with this woman to some extent. There is no getting around that fact. If you are some kind of saint and don’t struggle with chastity, and she is the same, then fantastic. Otherwise… beware.

I think it would be a bad idea for a lot of reasons, personally. I simply cannot imaging a young man and woman can live in a house together like that and not have sexual impulses firing all the time. Maybe I am just not as pure as others. I can admit to that fault. But if it’s something you simply cannot admit to, but still struggle with, then I think you are contemplating a disaster.

And as far as what others are going to think… they are going to think you have sex with that woman. That’s what they will think. If you do not want people to think that, then it’s a bad idea.

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, my parents will be likely be skeptical, and understandably so I suppose. I have already signed the lease so it would be difficult to back out at this point. I am worried they will be upset, and I just want to reassure them as much as possible that things will be OK.

My sister recently moved in with her boyfriend, and that was really hard on my parents, and now she rarely comes around because of the stress and tension that has caused, which is sad, because I don’t feel things like this should push families apart!

I am confident that it will work out fine for me, and will actually be a great step for me, and that I will be much happier, that I will learn more responsibility and independence. etc.

Yes, I’m honestly not sure how big a deal this will be, and its a risk I am willing to take. Thanks for the advice.

At twenty six it’s definitely past time for you to move out! I would never want any of my adult kids to live at home. I’m literally counting the days till my empty nest next year.

Are your parents having the opposite problem, holding on to their not so little boy too tightly?

Thanks, yes they are. the never encourage me to even think about moving out. Whenever I bring it up they ignore me, and seem quite uncomfortable to even discuss it.

They tell me they like having me at home, and that I can live there as long as I’d like, and that is not what I want to do.

It makes me really nervous to tell them I’m moving out, but I have to do it, or else I will likely live with them for several more years, and that is not what I want.

This is an important move for you. Start establishing healthy and needed boundries with your parents. Don’t worry about your mothers angst, she needs to get some hobbies. If she gives you a hard time, visit less. Give her a self help book on dealing with the empty nest. All this will lay the groundwork for your future wife being able to tolerate her. :thumbsup:

Although it’s not a sin, it can be a cause of temptation and lead to scandal (people assume you’re doing something you aren’t actually doing, thinking that doing what they think you’re doing is okay). But if you don’t care about scandal then I guess you’re good to go.


Sure, I cannot live with a woman outside of marriage without that likely becoming an issue. So I don’t.

Obviously I cannot know for sure what other men actually think and do, but I have trouble believing that sex would never occur to them while living with a woman.

Also, for the record, he definitely will cause scandal. At the very least he will scandalize his devout Catholic parents. It might not be a terrible issue, but it’s definitely scandalous to live with some woman outside of marriage. That basically epitomizes scandal.

Whether or not he actually lives in sin here is beside the point, and it doesn’t even seem like he cares about the moral dimensions. He cares about what Catholics will think, especially his parents. As a Catholic and a parent, I am pointing out that they might not take it too well.

Since you are interested in not scandalizing your family, then why not just ask them what they think of the idea? What other people on this forum think may be helpful, but the only way you will know what your parents think is to ask them.

:shrug: As a man, I do not think the idea is outlandish.

Also, for the record, he definitely will cause scandal. At the very least he will scandalize his devout Catholic parents.

That is not the case. Scandal in the Catholic sense is narrowly-defined. Because his parents know what is going on, they can hardly be scandalized by something that is not intrinsically immoral:

[quote=CCC] 2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

Whether or not he actually lives in sin here is beside the point, and it doesn’t even seem like he cares about the moral dimensions. He cares about what Catholics will think, especially his parents. As a Catholic and a parent, I am pointing out that they might not take it too well.

There is not one response to that query. Already on this thread multiple views have been expressed. There is thus no point in raising the question of what Catholics may think. As I said in my last post, the OP has to decide how to raise this issue with his family. There is a definite chance that they will not like the arrangement, but only he can find that out.

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