At what age are you considered a loser if you still live at home?

Not long ago I tried to set my friend (who will be referred to as Guy) up with a friend of a friend (referred to as Girl). He is 25 and she is 27. To me, Guy seems like a pretty good catch; he’s attractive, friendly, intelligent, and has a great job. He’s the sort of person you could put into anywhere and he’d make friends. He has dated but because he studied hard at university to get his high-paying job and now works long hours, has never had the time for a serious relationship. Guy lives at home with his mother and his younger siblings.

Apparently as soon as Girl heard the words “lives at home” she lost interest. According to my friend who is her roommate, Girl often complains that there are no good guys left, but here we have this great guy lined up for her and she dismisses him on a technicality. In fact, come to think of it, many of my friends still live with their parents and maybe half of them are working full time - are they all losers or does Girl have unrealistic expectations? These aren’t trekkies living in their parents’ basements - they’re socially functional, educated people who are living with their parents to save for a house deposit, save for travelling, or simply for the convenience.

Who is more grown-up - Guy with a good job but living with mummy or Girl who works dead-end jobs but is independent? At what age are you considered a loser if you still live at home? Do kids have a responsibility to move out as soon as they are financially able?

Well, I’m near 39 and live at home. Of course it’s not my parents home, it’s mine…

I’d say much above 24 living with the folks is kind of weird.

I’d think it was weird if a guy lived at home after college when he had a job, minus situations where parents/family are sick and he is needed at home or something. It’s just that people should want to move out college age or after when they can. Why wouldn’t you? I’d wonder why they still lived at home when they could have their own place, ya know? I think it could be a deal breaker if the guy was a year or more out of school and had a ‘real’ job or one that he made some money in (like 23 or so). The only people I know that live at home are younger (20, 21) and are in school and can’t work because of academic requirements or are just scraping by to get through school.

Living alone. Not that you’re a leper for staying with your parents (not “at home”), but being independent and self-supportive is considered more mature.

30, definitely. It’s a little odd past 25, but when you hit 30… yeah, you’re definitely crossing the border into loserdom.

Of course, this is circumstantial… you’re not a “loser” if you’re living with your parents because they need 24-hour assistance. If you have a separate house on a large piece of family land, that’s not being a “loser”.

That’s what I tell my daughter! :wink:

As for the young lady… eh, it’s pretty simple: she has standards and your friend didn’t meet them. They are not unrealistic, not at all, nor is she wrong for sticking to them. And having sex with the parents upstairs is so high school. Why would she want to go back to that? :confused:

I will say that in my personal experience, once past college nowhere near “half” my friends were living at home. I’m 39, if that matters.

Being self-sufficient is always more mature than living with mommy and daddy. I would have more respect for the independent girl.

Unless you’re taking care of a sick parent or something. I’d say 23 or 24 is about the age it starts to smell loserish. Anything over 25 is definitely loserish. Anything over 30 is pathetic.


By the way, independence and self-sufficiency are traits that women tend to like in men. Seeming to lack those qualities can be quite a turn-off.

This is an important consideration: are they living WITH their parents or OFF them?

Mr. S moved “back home” for a while in his mid-20s to early 30s. He didn’t even get the basement, because there wasn’t one. For a while he lived in a pup tent in the yard; when the weather got cold he fixed himself a spot in the unfinished attic. Why did he move back home? Because half his family was dying of cancer and he thought he might be needed around the place. :rolleyes: He had a full-time job and was otherwise self-supporting. After a while he and his sister (who was also living there with her daughter) were making mortgage payments to his dad because they were buying the property from him, so you could say that the dad was living with them and not the other way around.

Mind you, the house at the time was no palace; he’d have had better digs if he’d stayed out on his own. So it sure wasn’t for any kind of “convenience”; in many ways it was a huge pain in the butt.

So no, here’s one vote for “living with your parents as an adult doesn’t automatically make you a loser.” If they get along with the folks well enough to tolerate or even enjoy that arrangement, and the parents are all for it, it’s their business. (Me, I fought tooth and nail to go off to college at 17. No way was I staying home an extra year “to earn money for tuition.” Fuck that! I’ll earn it while I’m there, 30 miles away from you nutjobs, thanks very much.) Let them be judged as losers on other (lack of) merits.

On the other hand, I know of a very bright young person who should be moving out any time now, but because of the dysfunctional co-dependent family dynamic, it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon. Too bad, because that’s a situation worth leaving behind.

I figure your friend Guy dodged a bullet. Girl sounds pretty shallow. Several girls left Mr. S by the side of the road because he was too short, didn’t make enough money, didn’t have a fancy car, lived at home, whatever. Hey, it worked out great for me. :smiley:

I think men in their 20’s have come to agreement that living at home postcollege can be a very good thing. It’s all the rage now, everybody’s doing it. However, women in their 20’s (and beyond) do not generally think that it’s a good thing. Fair or not, like it or not, if chicks don’t dig it, they just don’t.
In my 30s now, and I would feel it was weird for a guy I was dating to even have a roommate, much less be living with his parents.

Living at home when you have a full time job and can support yourself would be a problem for me too. Your parents have finished raising you. They have their own desires, their own bills, and their own right to live without having to support someone.

Obviously, if you live at home for a very valid reason, there’s no problem with it. If you’re paying for 1/3 of the entire household expenses along with your parents, and it’s a mutual arrangement because your parents need the help, no problem. If you’re living at home because your parents need caring for, or because one died and the other is lonely, that’s great and commendable.

But if you’re living at home because, “Hey, why shouldn’t I? The parents let me and it saves me money”, then you’re just a sponge, and/or someone who who is not mature enough to want to be on their own. I can totally see a girl rejecting someone on those grounds.

There’s another issue: No matter how mature you think you are, it takes living on your own for a few years to really make you grow up. There’s nobody to buy groceries unless you do it. No one to cover your ass on the rent or phone bill. If you don’t clean your place, mom won’t do it for you. You’ll make mistakes, get yourself in trouble financially a bit, live from paycheck to paycheck and learn what it’s like to be truly broke with five days left until payday. These experiences will mature you. A guy who hasn’t been through them just doesn’t understand, and if a woman has been living on her own for a few years, hooking up with a guy like that is bound to be frustrating, and at worse they may simply already be miles apart in maturity.

Living with your parents is very different than living off your parents.

I know people that can make it on their own just fine, but feel that doing so would be stupid.

If they leave their home, they would have to pay rent and more bills. Why should anyone want to do that? If you can’t stand your parents, then get out as fast as possible, but if you can tolerate living with them, it would be stupid to move out.

Especially here in NYC, where if you move out rent is about one grand a month (if you’re lucky). All you gain by moving out and asserting your independence is a lighter wallet.

If a person has the means to live on his own, but does not want too, then I really can’t consider him a loser.

A loser is someone that has finished school for more than a year (I am being generous) and still lives off his parents.

My conclusion: Girl deserves to be lonely.

My age, or at least that’s how it feels :frowning:

Stupid Story Time:

When I was 16 I was talking to my mom and one of her friends. She said something about how her kids usually left at 19 or 20. I said I was determined to move out when I turned 18. They both laughed and said that wasn’t going to happen.

One week after I was 18 I was out of the house. One week after I turned 20 I was in Iraq.
Sure showed her!

Sorry guys, I know that everybody lives at home, but some people live with their parents. :smack: Just tends to roll off the tongue better I guess.

I’d say off (gah, that feels like I’m bagging my friends :frowning: ). AFAIK they do the same chores they did in high school and uni, some of them pay a nominal rent, but it’s pretty cruisey. Except for the ones who are studying full time they could probably all afford to rent on their own or with friends. I guess it would mean that they couldn’t keep their current lifestyle or save as much as they currently are (for instance, last year Guy saved just under 40k which he’s going to put towards a house deposit).

It depends on context, as others have said. In the rural area where I grew up, it’s pretty common for young single adults not to move out of their parents’ home until they marry. It’s a different culture. Many people do not attend college, and so there isn’t a natural breaking off point to help shove them off the nest. And if they don’t marry, they can turn into not-so-young single adults that live with their parents, and it’s still culturally acceptable. I have a cousin who is marrying for the first time at 45, and he’s lived with his parents his entire life. No one around here considers him a freak or a loser, or at least I don’t pick that up from people.

That said, I do not think I personally could have married a man who had not lived on his own for at least awhile. (Mr. Stuff lived in the same house for 45 years, but his parents moved out of the family farmhouse when he was in his late 20s, and he lived there by himself after that until we married). Living on my own in a strange city impressed on me what it takes to maintain a household of only one, both logistically and financially, and I wouldn’t trade the experience. I have a perception that a man who had never lived alone would not have an understanding of the gazillion little things that happen in a house every day that make it nice to live in. Mr. Stuff does have that understanding, and has a great appreciation for the fact that I make almost all of those things happen as if by magic, with no intervention on his part. His appreciation makes it much more enjoyable for me to continue to do those things, although I cannot imagine that I will ever enjoy dusting, no matter how appreciative he is.

So while I hesitate to throw Guy to the wolves without knowing the entire story, I see Girl’s point, and agree with her to a large extent.

For school or the house deposit? Maybe. But for travelling or for the convenience? Not so much. If he’s got such a good job, why are his parents paying for his travel still? Why are mommy and daddy still doing his laundry?

If he’s taking care of them - that shows maturity and responsibility. But not the otheer way around, not at 30.

Of course, I’m speaking as an American. From what I understand, the situation is very different elsewhere.

In Spain it depends a lot of the living arrangement. Of who does what. My single brother lived away from home while in college, but once he was out of college and working in our hometown - what better roomie than your mother? She cleans and cooks! And she cooks* just like Mom*! He paid his share and did some work: dishes, getting laundry on and off the clothesline, heavy shopping and lifting… Rentals aren’t easy to find in Spain and for his first two years out of college he was making minimum wage. They explained it as “roommates” and not as “living at home” to indicate that he was pulling his weight. Now he’s got his own place and visits once or twice a week.

I know people who’ve gone through “living at home”, “rooming at the parents’”, then gotten married and gone off… for just a couple years because Mom got sick and then it was “I have my parents at home”. Three completely different arrangements.

My personal philosophy is that once the kid (or yoiung adult) is in the full-time workforce, it’s time to move out. In realistic terms, they’re NOT socially functional unless they are living independently from mum and/or dad. They’re sheltered from the expectations of living in the real world, and as such are being retarded in their growth to full adulthood.

It’s a real problem nowadays that adult kids are not moving out. As a parent, you always feel some responsibility towards your offspring (and are loathe to kick them out), but this relationship is being stretched and abused by kids who find it more ‘convenient’ to stay at home. It might be financially advantageous for the kid, but it certainly isn’t for the parents.

If I were on the market for a partner and they said they were still living at home, I’d be absolutely turned off.

A question: does my linguistic differentiation make any sense to you guys? Because to me, someone who’s rooming with his mother (paying half of expenses and doing half of the housework) is actually a better prospect than someone who has what we call a picadero. Those guys who live “on their own”, but take their dirty laundry to Mom’s every week and pick up clean laundry and groceries? Those guys who are surprised to discover that supermarkets sell deodorant, not having been to a supermarket since they were waist-high? And Mom may even come by and clean? To me, those guys are “living on their own” like the dolphins at the zoo are living on the wild. And I’ve seen them both in the US and Spain.

It depends on the situation, I suppose. In Korea most people live with their parents until they get married. I know it’s different here, but if a guy was living with his parents (versus living off of them) I don’t think it would bother me too much. Sometimes it’s just practical.

Oh NOES! You mean … they’d have… to… sacrifice? :eek: Learn how to get by on little? Learn how to take care of their own selves. No, surely not that! :eek:

Sorry, but I’d definitely consider someone who’s not fending for himself a bad bet. For that matter, I won’t take up with a man who can’t feed himself. There’s no excuse for being a helpless adult. I love cooking and happily feed people; but it’s a whole other matter if I have to feed someone because he can’t manage to do it for himself. I recall an uncle-in-law proucly announcing he couldn’t even boil water. I guess he thought it made him sound macho. I though it made him sound like an ass.

LOSER ALERT I admit it, I’m 26 and live with my parents. LOSER ALERT

Yes, in general, most parents have their own wants and needs for privacy, and some even feel the need to kick their children out to “teach them a lesson” (that one always gets a :dubious: from me). And legally, they can do it. But you shouldn’t rule out parents that WANT their adult children to stick around, even if they’re in good health. The reasons could be that they want help around the house with chores so they don’t have to do them. And maybe even enjoy the company of their children. The adult child may feel this way as well. In my experience, most people can’t stand there parents. I’m fortunate that I can.

Why does there have to be a valid reason? Who and what determines what these valid reasons are? Is it because your parents instilled these values in you? Because of the opinions of your peers? That may have been their concern, and now you’re projecting what you think is “right” on to others…

Still not understanding the sponging reference. If all involved agree on the situation, I still don’t understand why it’s a concern for you. Some parents want to kick their kids out as soon as legally possible. Others feel that they would like their child to be successful and allow them to save so they don’t have to struggle early on. Wow, what a crime. Some parents may have the ideology that if they kick their kids out, the damn brat will come back asking for money anyway. Yeah, that happens a lot.

Although I can understand why the girl feels this way, it’s only because something in this society has plugged it into her brain that guys that live at home are losers. And I admit, I believe there are more “losers” that live at home at about 25 years of age, only because the true losers are very unresponsible, and it makes those that are responsible look bad. I believe the responsible ones are in the very, very small minority.

I believe the negative attitudes will subside after a generation or two with regards to women and men on dating on this issue, only because many folks today are allowing their kids to stay home and catch up more so than in the past.

If you could expand on this. What does “really make you grow up” mean?

I do, all the time.

That’s still the case. You assume my parents will bail me out when I slack off?

I clean the house.

Agreed, but I feel that this is a personality issue. If you suck at finances, you’ll likely follow this pattern for most of your adult life, regardless of your situation. How many of your peers are out of bad debt since being on their own? Being on your own doesn’t guarentee that you’ll learn from your mistakes. Many still make them repeatedly after being on their own.

Understand what exactly, being broke? Okay, you got me there. But I do know what being financially responsible means, as well as having good, no, great work ethic.

I agree that they’ll be differences in understanding, but miles apart in maturity? Again, this is a personality issue. I can’t tell you the amount of adults I encounter who are on their own, and are at a 13 year old level in maturity. And I mean LOTS.

Hmm… I think we need a “ask the guy that still lives at home” thread to dispell some of these misconceptions. Not all of us are incapable. In fact, I could move out right this second and be just fine. And yes, amazingly that includes being able to buy groceries, shower and shave, maintain my finances, and any and all property. Most people who know me would never guess that I live with my folks. Only when they find out are they surprised.

Sorry if I came off as snarky, but there is a lot of snarkiness in this thread on this issue. But I do agree with some of the opinions when it comes to a lazy adult child living at home. Which I think is the very problem, woman, and well people in general have come across one of these lazy adults without responsibility and project their negative views on all people that live at home (minus those helping with the health concerns of their parents or other related family issues).

As far as the experience of living on your own, well, I’m sure there’s something to be said for that, and likely something I’ll have to go through when it happens for me, but I’m fully prepared!

Enjoy! :slight_smile: