Kara Brown, 24, a sales administrator, and her boyfriend, milkman and farmer Lee Barnard, 20, live with Kara’s parents, Diane and David, and her two younger sisters in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
“Lee and I met about two years ago. We used to drink in the same pub and were introduced by friends. From the moment we started going out, we were inseparable. A few months into our relationship, Lee started staying over at my parents’ house on Friday nights. Before long, it had become Friday and Saturday nights, then practically every night. About six months into our relationship, he moved in. It was never really discussed, as everyone was happy for him to be there. There are six of us living in the house. Lee and I share a room, my mum and dad share a room, my two younger sisters have a room each, and there’s a spare room left over.
We’re lucky, because Lee has a really close relationship with my parents; he often looks to them for advice and guidance, and they treat him like a surrogate son, which is lovely. But, although we all get on well, living with my parents can be quite trying. In the beginning, we never seemed to have a minute to ourselves. But, we’ve got used to it now.
I was nervous about living with Kara and her parents, because I didn’t know Diane and David that well, and I’d never lived away from home before. But I get on well with Kara’s mum and dad, and the four of us often go out for meals together or away for the weekend.
I really don’t think our living arrangements
Lee and I always make a point of going out together on a Saturday night, as, some weeks, this is the only time we’re completely alone. It can be hard, because we can’t do what we want, whenever we want to, and it can be difficult to do even the silly things other couples take for granted, like having a quick kiss and cuddle in the kitchen, Luckily,
‘I feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds – the security of living with my family, and being with Lee’
affect our relationship. The best thing about living with Kara and her parents is feeling secure – there is always someone there when you need anything. In fact, the only downside I can think of is the limited privacy that goes with living with so many other people, but that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make while we save up for our own place.
If we want to be on our own, we just have to go upstairs to our room.
The only time Kara and I really feel we need a place of our own is if we have a row, because it’s hard to sort out your differences when you know everyone’s listening! But, other than that, things have worked out well.
I think when Kara and I do finally get our own place, I’ll miss her family. I’ve got so used to having them around.”
my parents don’t get home from work until late in the evening, and my sisters are generally out every night, so we make the most of the time we do have alone together.
When Lee and I fall out, we’re conscious of not involving anyone else, but it’s at times like that when I think we need our own place. We have looked at a few houses, but the ones in nice areas are too expensive, so we’re still waiting for the right one to come along at the right price.
In the meantime, I feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds – the security of living at home with my family, and being with Lee, without the hassle of having our own home and having to take care of the bills. I’m lucky enough to have broad-minded parents who let us share a room and appreciate that, at
“We didn’t have any reservations about Lee moving in. He seemed a really nice person.
In any case, it all happened so quickly, we didn’t have a chance to worry that it might not work out. Having him here doesn’t affect mine and David’s relationship. It feels more like having a son in the house – so, no, we don’t feel we have to watch what we say or do. The only negative aspect I can think of is that there’s a lot more washing! The house doesn’t feel that crowded – we have four children, so we’re used to it.
The best thing about having Lee living with us is that he keeps Kara out of my hair. She’s terrible when she’s bored and with Lee around, that doesn’t happen. I think there are a number of advantages to a couple living with his or her parents. It’s a lot cheaper, for a start, and it means they don’t have the responsibilities of daily chores like shopping, cleaning, and washing, but at the same time, it prepares them for life together. Kara and Lee don’t have a lot of space or time to be alone, and the house can be quite busy at times, but other than that, it works well.
David and I are very liberal, open parents. When we tell other people that our daughter’s boyfriend lives with us, most of them are pretty surprised. I don’t suppose a lot of parents would agree to the same thing, and many wouldn’t allow it under their roof, but we’re happy for them to be living with us.” >