What to Do When Mom Walks in on an “Intimate Situation”

Dear Joan Actually,

So, I brought my girlfriend to my parents’ house for the weekend.  After arriving and making some introductions, the girlfriend and I headed upstairs. Some unpacking led to some undressing and, well, you know. Anyways, without knocking, my mother opened the door and caught us in the middle of an “intimate situation”. She was obviously horrified and has been acting weird ever since. It’s been a month since the incident. Do I say something? Should I let more time pass?

-Sarasota, FL

Wow. An event that’s equally humiliating for all parties involved. I would venture to say things are especially tough for the girlfriend; I’m sure she was aiming for a different kind of memorable impression. After discussing your problem with a psychotherapist and a dating expert, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you don’t need to put yourself up for adoption; the bad news is that you’ll need to talk to mom about what she saw.

Tina B. Tessina, dating and relationship author, suggests clearing the air: “A lot depends on the relationship you have with your parents, but talking with them is usually the best idea.”  Even though there will be some awkwardness, it could be worse: “Today’s parents might be shocked, but they’re usually more understanding about sexual issues than the older generations were,” says Tina.

Dating and relationship expert, Dina Colada, says tread lightly with your upcoming talk. “Discussing the situation with your parents is an option, but bringing attention to intimate details will make the elephant in the room seem like a brontosaurus,” she says. “If you do decide to mention it, tell your parents that you love spending time with them and you want to move past the awkwardness so you can continue to have good times together.”

Since the good times depend on you breaking the tension, you should face the music and get this awkward conversation underway. Remember, the “intimate situation” doesn’t warrant a discussion, just some acknowledgement.


“Mom, sorry about the awkward situation last weekend. Let’s forget that ever happened.”

“I hope we can get back to normal soon, because [insert holiday] is right around the corner.”

After you say something, everyone will be able to relax. Yes, what happened is mortifying, but your parents are no strangers to “intimate situations”. Dina summed it up best: “Every embarrassing moment leads to a valuable lesson, and you will only have to learn this one once. You will always lock the door and I can guarantee your mother will never ever forget to knock.”

Joan Actually

Dating Expert

Joan is a writer and dating expert.

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