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Should your boyfriend sleep over?

“So, are you and Sean getting together tonight?” Mia asked me as she, Sara and I trudged up the Matt Davis trail.

“Nah, The Kid’s with me tonight.”

“So?” Sara asked.

“So, he doesn’t sleep over when Trent’s with me. You know that.”

Sara stopped abruptly. “Still? Are you kidding me?”

“No, why?”

“Haven’t you guys been together for, like, years?” Mia asked.

“Yeah, about three or four, I guess.”

“So why can’t he sleep over?”

“Well, he could but he doesn’t
feel comfortable with it, and
I want to respect that.”       

“Kat, that’s crazy!” Sara insisted. “You guys are in a committed, monogamous relationship. You know Trent knows you guys are having sex! Why not be out in the open about it?”

I have no problem being open about a lot about sex with The Kid — just not about my personal sex life.

And, really, what kid even wants to think about his
or her parents having sex?
It’s just one big eww!! Most kids think they’re parents stopped having sex when the last kid was born, and they didn’t enjoy it anyway. So if I were still married, my sex life most likely even be an issue.

But when you’re a divorced parent and dating, it’s hard to hide what’s going on, beyond just the noisy sex thing. Having a man who’s not quite our dad, but more than a family friend shuffling over to the breakfast table in his jammies, bed-hair and morning woody — or that look on a guy’s face that only comes from having taken care of that — feels a little too in your face. And there’s always the chance that a kid’s going to accidentally see a boyfriend or girlfriend naked.

Of course, Trent knows what’s going on. But, I don’t feel like I have to fill in the details for him

  • Is it OK for a boyfriend/girlfriend to sleep over when you have kids?
  • Does it matter how long you’ve been together or how old the kids are?
  • If one of your parents did that while you were young, how did you feel about it?

Photo © Angelika Bentin –

Bring on the comments

  1. jim
    Twitter: mobilene

    I don’t have gfs sleep over, and won’t sleep over at a gf’s, when her kids or mine are home, either. Only family members get to sit at my breakfast table. It avoids all sorts of problems.

  2. KC says:

    O’man, this is so outdated… Of COURSE it’s OK for a Girlfriend or Boyfriend to spend the night after you been together for so long. Unless you’re still looking for someone to take their place… if you think you’re hiding something from your kid… you’re NOT!
    NOW, I’m not talking about one night stands. Once I had a girls kids come in and get into bed with us the first night I slept over. She was fine with it, I wasn’t… that relationship didn’t last long… like, it ended that morning… LOL

    But my vote…
    a big YES, it’s OK for a girlfriend or boyfriend to sleep over once the relationship is confirmed…

    Morning Kat!

  3. Mindy says:

    Being that I ALWAYS have at least one of my kids, if my bf never slept over I would NEVER have sex. And that is completely unacceptable!!

    But even if that were not the case, dont married people have sex when their kids are in the home? So why NOT when you are in a committed relationship?

  4. terri says:

    I feel kinda bad about myself now! 🙂

    I sleep over at BF’s house – but the kids only see me in the extra bedroom. I come upstairs after they sleep and return downstairs before they get up.

    At my house, we try to make it look like BF slept on the couch.

    I tell myself that we are fooling everyone – but not so sure. Those kids are smarter than we think.

  5. N says:

    This reminds me of an ex-BF I dated for 3 years post divorce. I felt compelled to comment.

    I had sleepovers in his place. He, however, slept on the couch. His reason, he is a proud papa and wants to be a role model to his kids (17, 18, 20 all boys, & 22 y.o. daughter). OK. Fair enough.

    On the other hand, he refused to sleepover in my house because he didn’t want to leave his kids alone by themselves. OK. Fair enough again. Besides, he may have good reason to be worried leaving his kids unattended. After all, one morning of my sleepover his daughter was hyperventilating and showed me her inguinal area. What is that? she asked. I said, well, that is herpes zoster, a form of STD caused by herpes simplex virus. You will be on drugs forever when you have episodic breakout. You will feel numbness, discomfort, pain you kinda wish you were dead. I told my ex- to take his daughter to the gyn clinic for complete STD profile.

    That said, my vote. Yes to sleepover on LTR.
    About kids age. Still trying to figure this one out.
    My parents were married for 30 years. My sister 15 yrs my senior did the sleepover.
    I must say that her behavior did not have any influence on me. Or maybe subconsciously it did because we are completely opposite.

    Have great one,


  6. The Observer says:

    “It depends!” Can I get away with this as an answer? Cause it does. If you can have “noisy” sex with their dad (when you’re married), why can’t you have quiet sex with the BF (when you’re not)? OK maybe quiet is the non-sequitor, Kat. Just sayin’:)

    This topic does possibly expose some hypocrisy. And parental values do shine when children’s welfare are the main concern, as well. Mixed blessings. In this situation I’d have to weigh all the aspects. Of course I could always marry the lover…just sayin’. Be well.

  7. Edgar says:

    So you and Sean get along better than you and the ex (I’m forgetting his nom de internet – oh, yeah, Rob), and I presume that Trent likes him and enjoys spending time with him (as much as any teenage boy can express such emotions) and you and Sean have been dating for almost as long as I’ve been reading this column (which was from day 1, I believe, or somewhere around 4 years) and yet you still don’t have sleepovers? I hope your son is not with you much, because you are missing out on some good lovin’.

    My last three loves (which includes the current one) have all had kids at home – some full time and some part time – and if we had not had sleepovers when they were there, it would have been very difficult to carry on much of a relationship. Plus, they all liked my waffles – and the hot chocolates I would make them on special occasions.

  8. Chopper Papa
    Twitter: chopperpapa

    It’s never a good idea….No matter how long you’re married. To respond to one commentator who stated “if you think you’re hiding something you’re not” To which I reply, I know that everybody goes #2 that doesn’t mean I need or have to see them doing it.

    Secondly, I find it hard to have validity with my children if they want their girlfriends or boyfriends to stay over and when I reply hells no! They say well you did it!

    What does a parent say to that?

    You’re doing the right think Kat! Don’t let anyone try to persuade you otherwise.

  9. KC says:

    You’re right Papa…. kids were brought by the stork anyway…. that’s why people that are married sleep in separate rooms… right?

    When kids say they want to bring their BF/GF home… you say… NO. Is there any reason they should not listen to a simple NO… My kids understand NO…
    BUT, then you offer to take them to Planned Parenthood to get contraceptives because once they start talking about it… it’s going to happen. Whether you like it or not. And if you don’t talk to them about it… someone else will and most likely, they will be the ones to “show” them too…

  10. Kat Wilder says:

    Jim — I agree.

    KC — Outdated? I don’t think kids’ feelings go in and out of fashion all that easily. Do you? Mornin’ back!

    Mindy — Yeah, that is the trouble with parents who have custody unless you 1. hire a babysitter and sleepover the BF’s house or 2. arrange for sleepovers for the kids.
    But there is a difference in married vs. single sex, which I address above. Married sex = ewww; BF/GF sex and mom/dad’s single is different.

    N — that’s some story! Leaving kids unattended for sleepovers depends on the kids’ age, maturity and parent-child agreements.

    TO — Noisy married sex is a big ewww for most kids; noisy unmarried sex is putting mom or dad’s sexuality in their face. It’s just different.

    Edgar — I have never missed out of good lovin’; it just isn’t as frequent as married couples. Although, they are hardly role models for frequent sex! Plus, that’s what vibrators and phone sex is for!

    Chopper Papa — Amen!

  11. brian says:

    so when your son or daughter wants to have someone sleep over your response is do as i say but not as i do?

  12. KC says:

    No Kat, kids feelings don’t go in and out of fashion. But with age comes the realization that sitting around in their pajamas eating Rice Krispies and watching Bugs Bunny isn’t going to be something that they are going to be able or allowed to do all their lives either…
    I think age has a lot to do with it. If my kids were very young, I would want them to sit around the table and get to know the person I’m sleeping with. I would want them to feel comfortable around them and be able to talk to them. Of course I wouldn’t do this with just anyone I dated. I would have to be sure that we were in a committed relationship before I would want to introduce my children to the woman I would be committing my and their lives to but I would also like them to get to know each other before they came out from sleepland and found a stranger in the kitchen making breakfast.
    My kids are older so I guess I have a little different take on this than some of your readers. I also come from a more liberal state and area than some of your readers which I also think has some baring on my answers.
    As for kids doing as I say not as I do. Well, If I was sitting around having a cocktail and my 18 year old wanted one, I would say no and since I’m the King of my domain, If my kid wants to bring home his girlfriend that he just met and have a sleep over and play doctor with her… again, I would say NO. And if he didn’t like that, he could go and get himself his own place to live so that he can set his OWN rules about what he will and will not allow in his home.
    Having my girlfriend of 3 years spend the night is probable one of the lightest conversations I’m going to have with my children. And all of you that have small children,,,, you’ll know what I’m talking about once your kids get into their 20’s.

    Peace, love and hot tubs to you!


  13. N says:

    Miss Kat,

    I tried vibrators when ex-BF and I are not having sleepovers. Ok. Technically, sleepover meant, we have sex in my house (rarely If ever) then he leaves when I’m fast asleep. I know, I know,, 🙂

    Most of the time, he ate my homecooked Organic healthy dinner, & polite to say yum! But i know he prefers greasy burger on white bread. A man 25 year my senior

  14. Kat Wilder says:

    Brian — my kid better not ask me to have his girlfriend sleepover! Go sneak around and do it in a car, as I did …. 😉

    N — The trick is to have sex secretly under the table while eating an organic meal. ;-o