You’re In Your Mid 20’s – Does Living With Your Parents Impede Your Chances Of Serious Relationship?

This question came from a client. I figure it may provoke people but I think it’s enormously interesting and  with Saturn in Libra it is certainly topical so here it is. In this case we’re talking about a woman who lives with her parents though you’re welcome to make remarks on either sex.

There are endless scenarios out there and exceptions to every rule but when someone asks me something like this, I try to answer it straight. I don’t know if I am right but I am charged to offer my thoughts on the topic and in this case I told her I thought it probably did have a negative impact.

I said if she met a man who also lived at home, they might plot a future together but if she met a man who was on his own, she’d be seen as, “cared for”.  In other words, he’s see that her parents were taking care of her so it would become a “sneak around behind the parents back” situation OR he would figure if he were serious, he’s have to be all the way serious as in make her his dependent. In other words she would go from being cared for to being cared for.

Now I am not judging that but here’s the difference:  When a young man on his own meets a young woman on her own and they like each other, it does not take long for them to see that they would have an easier time if they joined forces.  It’s just a normal things that occurs.  Hey!  Let’s share the burden and solve our problems together.

This may not sound romantic but it is. What’s more romantic then someone who wants to join their life with yours?

I did ask my husband this and his initial answer was that it doesn’t matter.  He feels a man who likes a woman will take her from whatever her circumstances may be but then conceded that what he saw in the house where she lived would matter.

In other words, he’s going to figure the woman is like her parents which makes sense as she has not separated from them.

In the end, I do think it has a negative effect on partnering.  It just keeps dating in the realm of finding a way to have sex while someone’s parents aren’t looking for the reasons outlined above.

Does living with your parents in your mid 20’s (and beyond) impede your chances of partnering?

40 thoughts on “You’re In Your Mid 20’s – Does Living With Your Parents Impede Your Chances Of Serious Relationship?”

  1. I think anyone who lives with their parents after the age of 18 is weird. I’ve even dumped boyfriends in the past who had their own place, when I discovered they’d lived with mama till they were 30 or something.

    OK, there are situations where it’s fine for a while – if your marriage has split up and you have young kids and no money, fair enough.

    I know I’m old, and that economically things are different from when I was young, but really….why would someone not want to be an independent adult?

  2. If this were way back when like in the early part of the last century or before any woman living at home was normal. Respectable women generally did not leave home or live on their own unless there were extenuating circumstances as in they were Orphans or possibly widows. If a man was interested he would visit her at home after dinner and before 9pm and visit with the parents and her but mostly with the parents to get a feel for if he wanted to be more serious. Then if he thought he could live with these people in his life he would then ask the father if he could date his daughter. We women were only given cursory consideration at that time. This was not always the case but in general it was. That is why the 60’s were such a traumatic time in our history.

    Now however personally I believe that both men and women should be on their own for at least a year or more before they even consider a serious relationship. I believe that it gives the both parties be they male or female a sense of self and independence very important I think. Also it signals that both persons understands that bills need to be paid and what it takes to pay those bills. Many times people who have never been on their own just don’t have any work ethic or understanding of what it takes to make it in the real world. In this or really any economy that is very important. Some of the worst arguments I have ever had in a relationship had to do with money issues. One of the reasons I am on husband number 3. Besides if a person can’t live with themselves how in the world can they possibly live with another person.

    Also men who are still living at home in their mid 20’s have never developed much beyond teenage years because mother usually takes care of them we can’t help it. Same thing with a daughter we mothers just don’t know how to stop being mother.

    The economy is really Killing the ability of getting out on ones own. It usually is easier and faster for you as a mother to just do whatever for said child rather than wait till they feel the need to do it themselves and as long as they are at home they can usually out wait you. When a person is on his or her own they usually understand no one else is going to pick up after them or pay their bills or pamper them whatsoever. Basically you get a much better picture of the person that you are interested in when they have been on their own for a while than one who is still in the shadow of their parents. In the past it was not a negative thing to live at home till you married. However in our world today it is a negative aspect when either person is still at home with no real life experience of their own.

  3. I am 25 and live with my parents. I had been living on my own since 2003 when I went away to college, but my lease went up that year and my living plans for the next year fell through. So I was not planning on living at home for long, but then my uncle died, my dad fell into a deep depression, and then was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (advanced). I have stayed at home partly out of obligation to my parents, in addition to a variety of other circumstances i.e. I don’t have any friends that are looking to shack up with me locally, nor do I have the finances to live by myself. It is hard. I do think this impedes me in finding a relationship, but it seems to be the best solution for the time being.

  4. Oof, that cuts close, Elsa. Thanks for your input and his. And thank you so much for pointing that everyone is caught on something right now. I have lied to men about where I live in the past and when they’ve found out they’ve been okay with it.

  5. I’m 32 and I live with one parent. I’m sure it does complicate my romantic relationship potential, but it does work for me. I lived alone already, I also supported my family for a little while… Right now I do think of it as joining forces with my own parent. I manage our finances in a way my mom wouldn’t, she earns more money than I do. I contribute in whatever way I can to make sure (if only for my own sake) that I feel I pull my own weight and we are equal parties. And I’m definitely looking for ways to earn more.

    But I hear you on it being a disadvantage… I’m definitely looking forward to meeting a man with a similar mindset than your husband! 🙂 And of course, hopefully he’ll like the way my house is set up…

  6. It has never been that I do not want to be independent. I have been, and I will be again. But after a severe back injury at a job, my family’s business closing, black mold in my home causing me to leave it and lose nearly everything, and the economy tanking (I’m in MI, no less…) I have no apologies for living with my 83 year old aunt, who is unable to make good decisions for herself on many levels.
    I want to LIVE. I will do whatever it takes to do that.
    I have my beloved dogs and horse with me. And I keep working at my home-based business. And I know, one foot in front of the other, things will keep getting better, and I will have my own home again!
    Do I have a relationship? No, not now, and I’m not looking for one at the moment. I want to get my feet under me first!
    That said, if someone comes along who accepts me for who I am and where I’m at…..well, I’d consider it!

  7. Like I said before the economy and the times at present make living on ones own next to impossible. However most of the comments I have read so far shows that most have lived on their own at least for sometime before having to return to the nest. That makes it a different than someone who has never ever lived on their own.

  8. Yeah, I was thinking this morning that it would be nice to live back in the day where it was possible to graduate college and have a job that paid you enough so that you could live on your own, buy a house, have security right away.

  9. I think this is going to HAVE to change when most people who have graduated from college have to move home because they can’t get a job. I think it’s going to become less stigmatized when everybody is stuck in the same situation.

    That said, I don’t think it’s good for a relationship, and I tend to think that if you have hit the age of 22 and have never moved out of mom’s, this is a bad thing. You need to learn at some point how to survive on your own. At the very least, the people who had to move home after college have mostly lived on their own during college, so they’ve at least got that.

    Why no, I’m not at all biased from dating someone who has rarely (if ever) lived away from his parents. I tried to get him to move out, but he never really wanted to, and he sucked at surviving on his own anyway. I really don’t think his family did him ANY favors to not teach either kid how to live on their own. The only reason the other kid moved out was to join the military, and after he got kicked out for drugs, as far as I know he never did a darn thing again besides sleep.

  10. There are alway circumstances that have to be considered. Family situations like parents or other family members who need assistance or care. That is a far cry different than someone who has never left home to be self sufficient. I personally have had to return several times this last time was to care for my elderly parents. This was not a choice it was a need my parents had and I was able to do this for them.

  11. Does Living With Your Parents Impede Your Chances Of Serious Relationship?

    like Kim and her aunt, due to various circumstances, living with my 84 year old mother IS my serious relationship of the moment… 🙂

  12. I agree with opal, and moonpluto. I left home at 16, though…every time I hit a snag my mother asks me to move home, LOL. Living on my own was hard, it was financially very very very very very HARD, it was emotionally hard, but damn was it rewarding.

    No, it doesn’t impede everybody…yes there are exceptions to every rule…but I wouldn’t want to be with a man who lived at home. Period. Hard and fast rule for me.

    And–a big thumbs up to the people who help their aging and ill parents:)

  13. @cj228 – Got a chuckle out of that! I prefer to think of it as having a lot of time for my elderly dog and horse. 😉
    Hugs to you. It’s not easy, is it?

    I have a best friend who is in the same situation – her mum is upright and able to take care of herself, but has become very ummm…memory deficient. She can’t live alone.
    It really helps when you’ve got friends in the same boat – we support each other and listen to rants whenever. We’re both single, and not looking for someone. It seems like you just don’t have the energy to deal with it.
    And then we joke about not remembering signing up for this……
    Thanks to everyone for the kind words.

  14. This is a generational dependent matter I think. There are more and more staying with their parents or moving back in after college and staying on because
    1) things are financially challenging right now
    2) people are taking longer and longer to mature. Ppl at age 18 now are comparable to 15 yr olds 20 years ago.
    3) often times parents are divorced/separated/widowed and it HELPS the parent for the child to be there

    I’m sure there’s more equally substantial reasons.

    My choice was independence. Moved out when I was 17 and have been on my own ever since and would not change a thing. It’s both scary and uplifting to know you are not dependent on anyone but you (and that factor has been a part of the crumbling of 2 marriages). So who is to say which is best.

    I found out my fiance lived with his grandmother after we had been out twice. His first wife left him and his child (literally hasn’t heard from her since) when the child was in kindergarten. Of course the child was devastated, needed a maternal influence and plus it helped with after school child care. His grandmother is also in a wheelchair and having him there had helped her a great deal.

    There are different circumstances. But honestly had I know he didn’t live on his own when he asked me out, I probably would have turned him down.

  15. “3) often times parents are divorced/separated/widowed and it HELPS the parent for the child to be there”

    I agree with this. I think parents hold on to kids because they don’t have partners for sure…which does impede the kid when it comes to partnering themselves.

  16. My dream is to find someone who will love me enough to understand the burden that is placed upon me by my family and to help me share it. I would love to live locally with a partner so I can still be close by to my mom and dad for whatever he/she/they need. I think that would be the most adult and ideal scenario. I know I’m stuck right now, but I’m trying to keep relaxed so the feeling of pressure is not exacerbated.

  17. I think like probably attracts like. I could not wait to leave home and either could my husband who went in the air force @ 17. So when we met – well it was just very natural to put our money together and share expenses. It still is! 🙂

  18. Personally, I feel that it’s the mentality of the person living with the parent that is the most significant factor. A good friend of mine had moved out of her parents house around the age of 23. Her father had a sudden heart attack 6 years ago and my friend found him dead. Her family did not have a lot of money – 2 younger teenage sisters and her mother who has some emotional problems – so she moved back home in order to help organize the finances. Despite the house having been paid in full (no mortgage), the yearly taxes were far too expensive. My friend arranged for the house to be sold and found a massive condo for the family to buy in full. They all live there together – happily – now.

    I’ve asked her about whether she feels this has effected her dating life negatively and she does not think it has. I, personally, feel that if this was my situation I would feel self consious about it. But at the same time I envy her circumstances. She is never lonely. Her sisters a mom are always there and there friends are always over. It’s…nice. She pays no rent, no mortgage, and they split the utilities. She’s getting an advanced degree now, because she can put all of her income towards it and has no debt. She’s a (Taurus/Leo/Leo, by the way).

    When I lived at home I had no problems dating. We just went to the guys place. When I met my boyfriend I had my own apt and he lived at home. When my lease was up we got a place together. I have a guy friend who always got shit from his male buddies about living at home for 10 years. But he was saving for a down payment for a house. Now he has one and his friends are renting and still living with roommates. I also dated another very good looking guy who lived at home, while I did too. It made it difficult in terms of where we could go to be alone, but he was working in a low paying job in the enterainment industry, following his dream, and I found that to be more valuable then his own apartment.

    My sister got divorced two years ago and move back home for year to get things in order. She now has her own place. She had no problems dating during that time either.

    I just think if you act like you are ashamed of it, then people will think you have something to be ashamed of. If you act like it was a well thought out choice and there are valid reasons for it, it won’t hinder you. Reality is 99% perception.

  19. I’m going to be a very lonely independent old woman one day. My oldest son would say, “I’m getting suitcases for my 18th birthday” from the time he was about 12.

    ..and he did..

  20. It depends on the person/situation!

    I’ve left home and come back twice, and now will be moving out again.

    In different cultures, it’s not ‘normal’ to be out of their home after 18, like here in the States.

    In my own experience, it’s always worked out because the boyfriend always had his own place.

    The second time I left was to move in with one of them.

  21. Star – as long as you use that name, I am pretty sure the spam filter is going to eat your comments. It is hosted off site, I can’t control it.

  22. Avatar

    I tried to move out when I was 12, so I’m one of the independent types. My guy owns his own house through sheer will, and honestly, its one of the most impressive things about him. Not just that he owns it, but that he managed to be responsible enough to pull it off by the time he hit age 30. He expects a lot of himself and therefore expects a lot from others (while at the same time lending a helping hand because it makes him feel good to use his self-earned privilege). And I love that about him. He’s respected by me and others.

    I haven’t been as financially responsible as he has, and I make far less money, but even when I was unemployed I told a few fibs to get an apartment and used my savings to pay for it. Just my nature. I can’t understand wanting to be dependent/living at home, but I won’t judge it either, everyone’s different.

    For example, one guy I know who asked me out a few times told me he lived with his mother. He explained she was unwell. I hate to come off unsympathetic, but I wondered why he couldn’t live around the corner or down the street, why he was living with a parent? He felt it was important and I respected that. But in terms of relationship, I felt like I’d automatically be second fiddle and she’d be the focus. How can you move forward with a guy living with his mom? How can you build a life with someone who’s busy taking care of someone else? Call me selfish, but I want my own life.

    I don’t feel women would be judged the same way as readily, but it’s highly possible I think. At least from my independence-loving POV.

  23. “I think like probably attracts like”

    WELL! That certainly explains how my last two partners ALSO left home at 16…and funnily enough we all worked at chinese food restaurants in teeny tiny towns:)

  24. Yes, I think it impedes you if you’re going after independant types. If you’re not, then no worries. 🙂

    Personally, I don’t find it hampers me. I’m 32 and living with mom (still, ugh) due financial and crap-life reasons, but I refuse to let that be an excuse. If I want, I try everything possible to go get — end of story. 😉

  25. I have Saturn, Mars, Neptune and Uranus all smooshed together in the 4th house. I’m 24 and living with my parents after two bouts of unemployment and I wish I was the “got at at 17” kind of person but well, I think I will be stuck at home forever and ever and ever AMEN. At least until I’m like that crazy lady in the Faulkner story “A Rose for Emily” about the woman who never left her house due to one setback or another until the day she died and then the townspeaople went in there and found the corpse of some guy who had asked her on a date 50 years prior in her bed rotting and holding a rose. Yep. That’ll be me.

    Living at home definitely impedes a relationship in my case (I would never bring a boy home!) but thems the breaks, I’m sure some people make it work.

  26. ((Charlotte))
    I have really enjoyed hearing everyone’s perspective on this issue. I’ve found it very interesting, informative, enlightening 🙂

  27. I agree with Elsa that living at home does prevent partnering, but bigger than that is what else happens after the partnering happens. Like the writer above, I’ve noticed that there is a psychological separation that often doesn’t occur when someone doesn’t live on their own for a while. The spouse becomes the “new daddy” or “new mommy.” That’s cute while the sex is good and he doesn’t go out and buy a boat figuring he should be indulged. After all, mommy always petted him. He has always had his toys and fun and never had to reciprocate at home to the other adults.

    If you move from being a tenant to being a wife…or a husband, some people never face that cold truth that things are your fault, that you have to save money, that you have to put up dishes, and all that. The worst are the women or men who never had to earn a living before and know about making the rent – or maybe ever had a real job. Daddy or mommy always paid it.

    If you live at home, you have to have an exit plan. Be going to school for something that actually will get you a job. Work. If you live with sickly family, realize that you have to plan out your life and not let it be decided by default. Get in support groups. Don’t let your whole life be about the “good daughter” syndrome.

  28. Hi Sally, you make a good point. My fiance has never physically paid his own bills. He has supplied the money for it but his ex-wife or mother always actually paid them. This fact, coupled with the fact that he is almost 40 has truly boggled my mind. When he told me that, it was the first time he ever rendered me speechless.

    He was embarrassed even. I still don’t know what to say. Taking care of everything on my own has always been such a big part of my life, sometimes his history makes me feel like we have lived on different planets until we came together.

  29. Partnering for survival and easing up the burden may have worked out for you, Elsa but I think you are a rare case.
    From my experience, men or people of any kind do not like other people with burdens.
    Second, if you NEED to get in a relationship, staying with your parents is probably bad, but if you WANT a relationship I don’t think it’s gonna make a lot of difference. When they are on their own or maybe out of their parents house but needy and out there in the open, people tend to get vulnerable – hence relationships. But needs fade away, other needs appear and you need other people to fulfill them.
    In a normal child-parents relationship, living with your parents in your 20’s for different reasons excluding confort could be proof that you can live in a partnership.
    I am just pointing out another perspective. I think it all depends on how each of us relate to our parents.

  30. Just one more addition: out of all the independent people I know there is not one of them that has a warm, conforting relationshp with his/ her family.
    So, there is a questions of how much independence there really is escapism.

  31. I had a boyfriend when I was in this situation, but he also lived with his parents. I also dated in this situation but not seriously. Me and this boyfriend broke up when I was living with my cousin

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