At 32, I certainly didn’t expect to be single, unemployed, and sleeping in the same room that I had lost my virginity over a decade ago. You would suppose this is the worst intro to any guy you met on a dating app, but unfortunately the hardest part seems to be explaining to my parents why I won’t be home for the having dinner.
We’ve all experienced the bitterness of dating after the second “Mike” of the week goes for a high five, and all you have to show in the past 3 hours is your mediocre Pad Thai.
Let’s also not forget the mid-date text of “Mum,” which asks about laundry while you’re explaining your five-year plan to Mike.
“You sound nice … do you have a date tonight?” My mom asks me like I’m wearing lipstick and combing my hair to sit in the house and watch Family quarrel for the millionth time. Unfortunately, like the remaining 52% of people living at home with their parents due to COVID, turning back the clock meant answering intrusive dating questions and continually reminding them that I won’t be murdered every time I leave the house. .
You see, explaining how to upload a photo to Facebook is one thing. Explaining how app-related dating works to a baby boomer is another.
Among the “What is online dating?” group, my parents add to the 81% of people aged 55 and over who admit never using a dating site. My mom, a post-Woodstock child in love from the 60s and 70s who just started to trust the internet for online shopping, now gives me advice on finding love through the interwebs.
The burden of creating a profile that doesn’t scream “I’m bitter, but I’m bored” through filtered photos of myself, while educating a demographic on what not to do, has become everything. a feat.
Ironically, dating 32 is very similar to my high school years; minus the apple bottom jeans and phat baby jacket from Burlington Coat Factory. My parents now, as then, are vacuuming another room, trying to listen to my poor attempt at flirting.
Today not much has changed except instead of on the landline where I have to remove the caller ID, I record “Hinge guy 1” on my unlimited, non-family cell phone. The discomfort of not having alone time to speak peacefully and without an audience is impossible when living in someone else’s house. I see my own experience in another blog post about struggling to meet someone else’s parents. “… Of course, I’m an adult. If I lived alone my mom wouldn’t ask me if I came home, but I live at home, so the rules are different.
“Yes, my parents’ house has Costco snacks, free cable, and a daily reminder that my “ dinner is in the microwave, ” but I forget the wait in return is very many questions and comments.“
– Nikki frias
Yes, let’s not forget the House rules – the rules of expectations, responses and curfews that we quickly forget once we establish our own. Yes, my parents’ house has Costco snacks, free cable, and a daily reminder that “my dinner is in the microwave,” but I forget that the wait in return is so many questions. and comments.
The “Where are you going?” moved on to “Who are you talking to?” and what’s her name? “It’s like I’ve infiltrated the 13-year-old version of myself, anticipating the talk about boys and my first period.”[They] can say, ‘Mom, I appreciate your interest, but stop asking so many questions – if this is someone you should know, I will tell you,’ ”said Andra Medea, author of Conflict Unraveled: Fixing Problems at Work and in Families, after suggesting directly with intrusive parents on privacy.
I dig the internet for some form of relevance when it comes to living at home with parenting issues to end up on Reddit reading endless answers to questions like “Where do you crash into?” and others complain about taking care of their parents, maintaining a home and trying to find love.
Surprisingly, many comments ended with a positive outcome on their situation “… I know I missed a few dates because of my situation, but more so, people accepted and understood.”
Unfortunately, although the internet has provided the best expert advice on how to get sexy while your parents are in the other room and the benefits of creating boundaries, no one is explaining how to fight the post-date questioning and awkward stares after I come home on a Friday night after curfew.
We’ve all experienced the Walk of Shame after a night out, but coming home late after a date only means one thing to parents: sex. As much as I wished my messy hair and wrinkled clothes were the result, the truth is, I got some wine buzz after a low-stimulating conversation about Zoom meetings and finally Uber was home.
“Thank your parents for their concern, but remind them that you are an adult,” says relationship specialist Susan Winter in an interview with Elite Daily. “Also remind them that they have done a good job of uplifting you and instilling the kind of critical thinking that is necessary for you to make good choices.”
By good choices, let’s not hint at my failed relationships or the one guy you met with the weird facial hair.
On the positive side, the success rate of finding love and marriage from online dating would be around 10% of the American population, especially in the millennial age group. Unlike my experience of being ghosted and stuck, the reality of finding a connection seems plausible. The challenge of making any kind of romantic relationship, or hell … friends, after weeding out those married, incarcerated, or deceased seems different, but we still have to hope that dating while living at home is not impossible.
“Yes, we all like to think that one day the knowledge we bestow on our parents can be recognized and respected, but at the end of the day you end up with the realization that they have the power: “ If you don’t like it, leave! ‘“
– Nikki frias
As for my parents, they always ask about my love life, but instead of being insistent on the answers, they occasionally add “How’s your friend doing?” the next morning around a coffee. Surprisingly, this method works for us. Personally, I’m more open to information when I don’t feel the pressure of “Is this the one?”
For now, my quest to find love has been put on ice. I have met some really nice men, but actively trying to find a connection is mentally draining over time. I can only tell someone my favorite color so often before I get to the point of “How many kids?” after the first exchange of pleasantries. It started to feel like a chore after a few dates, and I’ve had enough at home already.
Creating boundaries, communicating, and recognizing house rules are key ways to live effectively with your parents and not lose your mind. Yes, we all like to think that one day the knowledge we bestow on our parents can be recognized and respected, but at the end of the day you end up with the realization that they have the power: If you don’t like it, go!
So if you do decide to stay, be prepared for the bird and bee conversation after you take out the trash. In the words of Chelsea Handler, “Obviously, if I really wanted to have a long-term relationship with someone, the last people I would introduce to her would be my family.”