Before the pandemic, many millennials were familiar with living with their parents throughout adulthood thanks to rising housing costs and mountains of student debt. Now what was once an embarrassing anecdote about oneself has become normalized as a result of the pandemic when millions of adults moved home with their parents because they lost a job, needed to look after a sick parent, or just wanted to be closer to family and less isolated. As we venture into a “normal-ish” existence post-quarantine life, many adults are still opting to live with their parents.
Which begs the question: How does that work when you’re single and dating? And what do you even tell a prospective partner about your current living situation without feeling bad about yourself?
“Thanks to the pandemic, living at home with your parents has become much more common, regardless of age or even of financial stability,” says relationship expert Laurel House. “Beyond the pandemic, it’s now a cultural norm for singles and even couples to live with their parents.”
House points out there are a variety of reasons why adults are continuing to live with their parents, all of which are normal and can be beneficial to both you and you parents.“There is honor in living with your parents if you are taking care of your parents.
“There is honor in living with your parents if you are taking care of your parents. Though it might not always feel convenient to have your parents in your space, the fact that you are taking care of them is honorable, admirable, meaningful, and respected,” House says. “It shows prospective daters that you are a family person and that caring for your family is a priority, which might not be convenient now, but it is reflective of the bigger picture of who you are and who you will be in a longterm relationship.”
And if you’re living with your parents due to financial concerns and trying to save up, that’s a great quality, too. Who can fault you for wanting to be financially responsible post-COVID, especially if you’ve lost work as a result?
Even with all its merits, living at home with your parents as an adult still can cause shame and embarrassment. If you’re struggling with how to navigate dating while still living at home, House offers some tips and insights to make it less awkward and more empowering.
Be clear about why you live at home
“If you’re insecure about living with your parents, that insecurity might come across as insecurity or possibly defensiveness,” she says. “So first, you need to come to terms with the reasons why you live with your parents and be confident in them.”
House calls this knowing the three Cs: “Communication creates Clarity, and clarity creates Confidence.” You might want to practice what that means and sounds like before sharing it with a date.
For example: “When the pandemic hit, I was concerned for my parents. I didn’t want them to be alone and isolated. Plus, finances got tight, so I felt like it would be best all around to live together. That way I can be there to take care of them and we formed our own bubble. And honestly, it’s nice to have them close.”