A lot of young adults have moved home and are now adult roommates with their parents. In fact, it’s such a phenomenon right now that books written on the topic have made it to the bestseller’s list. So here you are, probably in your mid-to-late 20’s, maybe even your early 30’s, and you are working on furthering your career but aren’t making quite enough money for a down payment and a mortgage. Or you just moved back to town. Or you are getting a divorce. Or you consider yourself old-fashioned and want to live at home until you get married. Or you just got laid off. Whatever the reason is, it’s a popular circumstance for many singles right now. But how do you date when you live with your parents? For starters, try not to lead with this fact. When asked where you live, state the neighborhood not the homeowners. Try to avoid being too specific until further into a first date conversation. And when you do, be matter of fact about why, but be brief. At this point, your date should already know that you’ve gone back to school for a Masters, or just relocated, or was previously married, or are unemployed (another word to find a synonym for) so when you share that you’ve moved home with your parents you don’t need to go into detail. Stress that you plan on it being temporary (if that’s the truth) but really, if the person likes you then he or she will not be turned off by your current living situation. Finally, try to arrange it so that your date doesn’t have to meet your parents too soon and once it does happen keep it simple, “Mom, Dad, this is Adam/Eve, Adam/Eve this is my Mom (insert name here) and Dad (insert name here).” Allow them to exchange niceties and then excuse yourselves. Warn your parents ahead of time so that they are presentable (no housecoats) and that this is just a quick introduction on your way out the door. Hopefully your request will be respected and the interactions can be easy and comfortable.
When you take your new boyfriend or girlfriend home to meet your parents, you might as well hold up a big sign that says, “Sh*t just got real.” Because if you’re introducing someone to your parents, it is real. You’re making a conscious choice to test the waters of a real future with someone. But back in the days of arranged marriages, a man would search for a wife, meet with a prospective father-in-law who would offer a dowry on behalf of his daughter, hands would shake, Heineken bottles would clink, and happily ever after would be off to an amicable start. Okay, maybe there was no Heineken, but if my dad were involved there would be. It’s now totally backwards. These days we are expected to go out into the wild and successfully find not only a mate, but our soul mate. And on top of that we are expected to trust our own judgment. We can’t just go blaming our parents if it ends up badly. It’s all up to us.
Only two guys have ever had the opportunity to shake my dad’s hand, and let’s just say they both later screwed up on catastrophic levels. Now I won’t even entertain introducing a guy to my family until I’m very confident in our future. This guy will not only have to meet (and hopefully exceed) my expectations, he will have to be able to keep up with my dad and brother. He will have to endure their lengthy discussions about law and politics, the NFL and MLB, the Beatles and Dylan, nine irons and wedges. And then, of course, he will have to pass the Jewish mother test with flying colors. And while my mom passed away when I was in high school, I know without a doubt that the first question she would ask is, “When was the last time you spoke to your mother?”, the right answer being “today.” The next question: when was your last haircut?
Just getting to this point in a relationship is a feat in itself, and I can’t even make it to the checkpoint where meeting the fam is a topic of discussion. So I’m thinking, why don’t we take the whole soul mate search and go back to the days of yore? I’m confident that my dad, who is amazing, would put together a pretty outstanding dowry and then I’d have a good selection of possible husbands to choose from. It would include high end guitars (acoustic and electric), TaylorMade golf clubs, Jack Daniels, and not to mention, season tickets to Marlins games (don’t blame the man – we’re from Florida). Seriously, what guy wouldn’t love that? Then my dad and I would discuss who is Mr. Right, the men would shake hands, I’d call my dating shenanigans quits. Boom. I’d get my happily-ever-something. Any takers? I just have one more question. When was the last time you talked to your mother?