Dating if You Live with Your Parents

Dating when you live with your parents can be a challenge. There are already some stressors to just living in your parents’ house. You might feel somewhat like a teenager again. But you’re still a grownup doing grownup things, and that includes dating.

You should date, even if you are living with your parents. Dating is a normal part of single life. If you approach it in a mature manner, your parents will treat it in a mature manner. Be open and communicative with your parents and your date. Don’t keep secrets about your arrangement.

Dating can be difficult when you live at home with your parents. But it doesn’t have to be impossible. I’ll discuss how to go about it and how you can avoid pitfalls.

Living with Parents is the Norm and so is Dating

Roughly 52 percent of millennials live with their parents. From economics to emotional, there are numerous reasons why this phenomenon is happening. But just because you’re sharing a house with your parents doesn’t mean you put your life on hold. Dating is a big part of life.

Explaining Your Arrangement to Your Dates

You’re not some creepy loser living in your parents’ basement playing video games. You have legitimate reasons for living with your parents. Some of these reasons could include:

  • You’re in school
  • You’ve lost your job and are getting back on your feet
  • Saving money to buy a house
  • Help your parents
  • Big student loans you need to pay down

Regardless of the reason, you need to be upfront with potential dates that you live at home. If you don’t tell them, they’ll think you’re in the witness protection program as they try to figure out why they can’t come to your house.

That doesn’t mean blurt it out in the first few minutes. But when home arrangements come up, it’s your time to explain. No need for embarrassment; just explain it in a matter-of-fact manner.  This is not uncommon.

By telling your prospective date about your arrangement early on, you discover quickly whether this is a deal breaker. You may find they’re living at home too. The bottom line is you’ll be starting this relationship with an honest and strong foundation.

Separating Your Dates and Your Parents

Good luck if you think your parents won’t be asking you questions about your love life. But you can separate your dates from mom and dad. Although they might meet eventually, you do have control over when “eventually” is. Remember, you’re not a teenager. You’re a grown adult. You don’t have to bring every date around.

But you will inevitably get the “When are you going to bring your girlfriend or boyfriend over?” Be prepared to give an honest answer. You may not be ready for your date to meet your family. It might not be a serious relationship. Explain this to your parents. They’re probably not going to meet everyone you go out with.

Not everyone you go out with is “the one.” Some of these “dates” might just turn out to be casual friends. And sometimes, you’re just not ready for a date to meet any of your family. Explain this to your parents when they start asking. You don’t need to be mysterious, but you should be able to discuss openly that you’re in the beginning stages of your relationship and don’t know where it’s going.

When to Bring a Date Home

There are two ways to approach this. You can throw caution to the wind, bring your date home and see what happens. Or you can discuss meeting the parents with both your date and your parents separately. I suggest discussing.

You’ve been dating this person for a while. They know about your home life, and you now want them to meet your parents. Are they ready? Regardless of your living arrangements, meeting the family is a big step that not everyone wants to take. Discuss this with your date.

It doesn’t have to be a serious discussion. After all you’re not talking about the “M” word. You just want to know if your date feels comfortable with the idea. If they are, keep it very casual. There are several ways to bring your date home. They include:

  • Plan a lunch or quiet dinner
  • Have movie night
  • Game night works

It’s best to have some sort of distraction. That way, the spotlight isn’t as focused on your date or state of your relationship.

Once the meeting is over, be prepared for parental questions or opinions. That’s ok. After all, they are parents.

If it went well, and your date feels comfortable, invite them over more often for casual activities. If there was friction and you like your significant other, then plan on spending time away from home to keep the drama down.

And to keep the drama down even further, avoid talking about your date to your parents. We’re not saying sneak around. But you need to set boundaries and explain you’re in this relationship not them.

One of those boundaries is making it clear you are not a teenager; you are an adult. Despite living under your parents’ roof, you still make your own decisions. Don’t be hostile, but do be firm.

What if Your Date Doesn’t Like Your Parents?

A date not liking your parents can happen whether you live with your parents or not. But it does make it a lot more difficult if you’re in the same house as mom and dad.

Decide if this is a serious relationship. If you think there’s a future then you’ll have to make other arrangements. You may need to meet at:

  • Coffee shops
  • The movies
  • Your date’s place

These could be your only options. There are always those times when your parents aren’t around. But you need to decide if it’s worth it. If you really like this person, can you live with this permanently?

How do You Have Sex with Your Date in Your Parents’ House

Part of being an adult is learning to communicate. Dating and sleeping with your date, like it or not, takes some communication and planning. Don’t surprise your parents the next morning. Have a conversation that you would like to be intimate with your date. Don’t just announce it, but rather, feel your parents out. Start with mom. You don’t want to divide and conquer your parents, but a one on one is easier.

Give your parents a heads up when you bring your date home. Nobody likes surprises or unexpected meetings in the hallway in the middle of the night. Hopefully, they’ve already met your date and like him or her. This is just the next step in the relationship. And finally, be discreet. Your date shouldn’t be walking around in their underwear…and frankly, neither should you.

What About Hookups at Mom and Dad’s House?

This is a bit trickier. Your parents might not understand this one. Or they may be part of the flower child generation and be just fine. But don’t’ count on it.

Explain when you go out at night that you may be bringing a friend home, but they’ll be gone by morning. And don’t let your hookup sneak out in the middle of the night alone. Your parents aren’t going to appreciate a stranger walking around their house at night. Walk your friend to the door.

Be prepared for questions in the morning. They may disapprove. And this might end up being a one time thing. There’s always a hotel if you can afford it or go back to your date’s place next time.

Dating When You Live with Your Parents

It takes a little work and planning. But frankly, even if you’re not living with your parents, there are hurdles. You don’t need to ask for permission but keep the lines of communication open with your parents. And don’t forget your date. They need to be in the know as well.

If you start with all your cards on the table, dating will go a lot smoother for both your family and your date.

Anne Johnson

Anne is both a writer and a Nana. She attended University of Akron and went on to have a career in television sales. She now writes and promotes the multigenerational lifestyle. Currently she resides in South Carolina with her husband, two cats, a horse and fabulous grands.

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