Analysts suggest North American numbers are similar. Setting aside the “whys” of such behaviour, chances are if you’re actively dating, you’re eventually going to encounter someone who has yet to cut the cord.
These Helicopter Kids (so named because they hover around the parental home) are a special breed requiring some careful tactics when it comes to dating.
Use the Mobile
Calling your date at home and having Ma or Pa answer will instantly transport you back to high school. This traumatic flashback is enough to induce bouts of teenage acne and make sprout braces on your teeth. Where possible, ensure that you have a direct line of contact with your date. A mobile phone is ideal.
Avoid awkward phone calls to the family home, and having to make small talk with well-meaning parents. It’s a real passion-killer.
I was dating this girl who lived at home with her mother and I couldn’t really tell them apart on the phone. Once I made the mistake of starting out a phone call with ‘Hey Sexy.’ Of course it was the mother who picked up. I never lived that one down — Jake.
Meet the Parents
If you do have to interact with the parentals, be nice, be polite and keep things light. If your date still lives at home you’re bound to spend some time there waiting for them to get ready, dropping them home from a date, or just some old-fashioned hanging out. If you do encounter the Parental Units, be pleasant and remember — you can always talk about the weather.
The Real You
Being on your best behavior around the family home inevitably means that you have to stifle the real you. This is a real no-no when you’re getting to know someone. We all tend to mind our manners when somebody else’s parents are around, but if your date still lives at home, they may never get to see the real you — the all-swearing, all-farting, all-drinking version. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing…
Be on your Toes
Some guys and girls who live at home are treated like mature adults and allowed to conduct themselves as such, personal relationships and all. But some have failed to define themselves as individuals with their own fully functioning social lives.
These people are still viewed as their parent’s ‘babies’, and heaven help anyone who makes anything like a sexual overture towards Daddy’s Girl or Mummy’s Boy.
I once dated this guy who, at 35, still lived at home and had no intention of leaving anytime soon. And why would he? No bills, his washing done for him (ahem!). Talk about failure to launch. He wasn’t allowed to have dates stay over, which, after six months, became very tedious. In the end, Mummy’s Boy had to go.
Someone who still lives with their parents can have some, shall we say, unusual thoughts about how things work in the real world. Living in their sheltered shell, little things like buying their own stuff and paying their way are as foreign to them as speaking Swahili.
This can translate into an uncomfortable end-of-date experience, particularly when the bill arrives. Helicopter Kids often need to be shown by example. Don’t be afraid to introduce them to the wonderful world of tipping, splitting the bill, and taking responsibility.
One Good Reason
Understanding the reason why someone chooses to still live at home with their parents, post-adolescence, can provide some clever insights about your date. Are they up-front about their domestic situation, or did they hide it from you until they could no longer avoid the issue? Are they saving to buy a place, or merely mooching off Mom and Dad because they don’t want to stand on their own two feet?
Get to the core of the issue early on and you might just save yourself from getting entangled with a clingy procrastinator who can’t look after him/herself.
If you have the patience of a saint, the flexibility of a yoga instructor and a real desire to make things work, you too can date someone who has yet to fly the coop.