Q: I thought I could be the cool mom and let my daughter's boyfriend stay with us since he's having problems at home. Even though they are discreet, I know they've had sex under my roof, which weirds me out. I've already told my daughter he could stay until he gets himself together. He's a really nice kid and has had nothing but bad luck in his life. But this is keeping me up at night. My partner says I'm a hypocrite and making too big a deal of this since he and I aren't married. Help!
Steve: Depends on age. If your daughter is under 18, then you're in charge. If not, then you're an adviser with rules in your home. I wouldn't ban the sex, because you can't. But I'd set a time limit of 30 days. After that, he's gone.
Mia: It was a dumb move to let your daughter's boyfriend move in and even dumber to let him stay. Too many parents these days are more concerned with being their kids' friend than with being their parent.
Your job is to raise your daughter and protect her until she's an adult, not to run a flop house and let her man-of-the-minute use your home as the do-drop-in.
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I'm not telling you to be heartless. Maybe your daughter's boyfriend really doesn't have a place to go. But don't sacrifice the expectations you have for your daughter because he's having a rough go of it.
Help him to reconcile with his family if that's feasible or find a friend he can couch surf with. Maybe you can even help him pay for a room in a rooming house until he's able to support himself. Your house isn't his only option.
Meanwhile, make sure your daughter is on birth control. She probably should be screened for STDs. Stay close to her in the days ahead and let her know that you're looking out for her long-term future.
Q: Having flopped in a series of relationships I wonder if that quote from the dad in the movie "Juno" is right: "The best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you." Instead of going for guys that attract me, should I go for guys attracted to me?
Mia: Why not stop "going" for guys and instead concentrate on school, working hard and making a great life for yourself? Enroll in school if you haven't already. Take up a trade. Run a marathon, if that's on your bucket list. Get your A-game on point, and everything will fall into place without your having to go after anyone.
Steve: Yes, but there should be some effort on your part. The test here is, what kind of guy is it? Here's another useful quote, from Damon Runyon: "I long ago came to the conclusion that all of life is six-to-five against."
Don't expect 100 percent happiness. If you win more than you lose, you're doing just fine.
Steve is a 50-something married man who's been around the block. Mia is a younger, recently married woman with an all-together different attitude. They may not agree, but they have plenty of answers.