Sexy Typewriter, Special to QMI Agency
, Last Updated: 11:51 AM ET
Would you go out with someone living at home in their 30s?
The combination of high unemployment and exorbitant rent in urban centres means that a lot of young people in their 20s and 30s are moving back home with their parents. Assuming they ever left the nest to begin with.
According to a recent U.S. census, the number of American men between the ages of 25-34 living at home rose from 14% in 2005 to 19% in 2011. Young women weren’t much better off; 10% of women within that age bracket are still sleeping in their childhood bedrooms or making the best of things in mom and dad’s basement.
They may be saving on rent money, but do young adults living at home suffer when it comes to dating?
“I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had an enjoyable, promising online chat with a girl who understands my jokes, shares my cultural and intellectual tastes, expresses an interest in meeting me…and then brings the conversation to an abrupt end when I reveal my living situation,” says Juan, a thirtysomething career student. “I’ve never come across a girl who’s said, ‘You live at home? Awesome! Please take me out!'”
In an extremely unscientific poll conducted on my blog, more than 30% of respondents said if they met a lovely, smart, employed, nice-looking and generally decent person in their 30s who lived with their parents, they would flat-out refuse to date them.
Says Juan, “My living situation poses a major hurdle to any dating aspirations I have. I fail to understand why living at home completely negates one’s virtues or worth.”
Madeleine, 30, is a radio producer who lived at home until age 28. She cites a good relationship with her parents and the fact that they lived in a highly sought-after downtown neighbourhood as her reasons for not moving out sooner.
“Casual dating was always a bit weird,” Madeleine admits. “I think a couple of people got scared off because they met my parents so early on, thinking that that meant this was a serious thing, even though it wasn’t. It was just because (my parents happened to be) there.”
Madeleine now lives with her boyfriend, who she began dating while living at home.
“I don’t think he liked it. But he liked me more than he didn’t like the fact that I lived with my parents. So we kind of worked out. It really wasn’t much of an issue since I spent a lot of time at his place.”
Jennifer, a 27-year-old journalist, doesn’t particularly mind that her 30-year-old boyfriend lives with his parents.
“I didn’t know that he lived at home at first, but I gradually figured it out over a few dates. By that point, I liked him enough that it didn’t matter. It was clear he still knew how to be a grown-up, so I just looked past it.”
Things are tougher when both halves of a couple still live with the folks.
Angelica, 22, is a recent college graduate. She and her boyfriend both live at their respective homes.
“For us, the biggest challenge of dating while living at home is the amount of money we’re spending in order to spend time together,” Angelica says. “Now and then we’ll find free things to do around town but the majority of the time we’re going out to eat, seeing a movie, paying cover to see live music. It would be great to not pay for gas, make dinner at home, and watch a movie. But those things are hard to do when you don’t have your own space.”
Angelica says the situation is not ideal, but “we won’t be in this situation forever. And the frustration and inconvenience is worth it in the sense that it’s helping us prepare for a (better) future.”
Sexy Typewriter blogs about her dating failures – online and otherwise – at Sexytypewriter.com