I am 19 and have been with my girlfriend for 3 years. She basically lives with me anyway, she’s here everyday and spends pretty much every night. We want to live together but my parents told me it’s “unnatural” (not in a religious sense) and that it would “harm my development” because I’m at a “critical age.” I also have generalized anxiety disorder and have gone to therapy in the past year. They basically blame her for that. They think I’ve been acting out because I have been staying out late with friends and they also blame her for that. Even though she has no influence on who I hangout with or when I go home.
I think they’re so wrong. Is there any validity at all to the claim that living with my girlfriend at 19 will hurt my development?

A: This is a tough question because I can understand both sides of the coin. Let me ask a question: Do you know any couples your age, in college, who are living together with a girlfriend and making it work? If you can find two couples who have been together six months to a year and it has worked out successfully — then you have an argument because you have proof. If no one else has made it work — then your parents may have a point.

Finally, there are the issues surrounding finances. Who is paying for your room and board as you go to college? Living together changes things sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. In the US statistics show living together doesn’t help in long-term relationships. Again I would look for at least two role models in your life that would be living in the way that you would to show that it can be done. Statistics is one thing — role models are another.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral