Your Call – Is Living with Your Mom a Dealbreaker for Guys?

photo by klynslis

Share your advice for this reader in the comments section below…

Dear Em & Lo and Wise Guys,

I’m a 38 year old woman and after a horrendous year (divorce, job loss, money loss), I finally have a job that I’m trying to earn more money at.  The problem is, my mom and I rent a house together and I share her car due to my circumstances until I can save enough for my own.  I’m responsible for my own bills and whatever, I help my mom out, but is this situation a dealbreaker with guys?  I’m just worried that I will be rejected due to this.  When do I tell them?  Please help.  I hate feeling like such a loser.

— Mama’s Girl

What should Mama’s Girl do? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.


  1. what if your mother is uncapable of caring for herself? what if your the only family member that has the ability to keep a roof over her head and groceries in the fridge? would you say that’s a deal breaker… someone who has a biological obligation to care for his mother… like an old ball and chain??

  2. I don’t think its a bad thing to live at home with a parent. So, if a friend of mine leaves a secure environment to live like a bum (because he can’t afford it) will I have more respect for him??? We should not be judgemental of another human being. If you like someone, why should that change if they are living with their parent? I have friends that have great jobs and still live at home, they are happy. Perhaps, others are jealous of people that are happy.

    Don’t forget that once everyone was living with their parents, didn’t know there was a used bye date attached to that deal. I live with my girlfriend and we have bought our own place, I swear, sometimes I wish I was living at home with my mom.

    Don’t be so quick to dis this girl just because she lives with her mom. You never know where you may end up in the future.

  3. I am a divorced guy moving to another city to pursue a new career. I plan on living with my mom for a while (a year or less.) She is 92 and could use someone to watch over her while I could benefit from the stability of a good home. Guess it is a symbiotic relationship.Hopefully, we will get along and be respectful of each other.

  4. I think that living with your mother at your age isn’t much of an issue, you are old enough that staying out late or all night isn’t an issue, and (hopefully) your mother understands that you are a grown woman who is independent and needs her own space.

    As for what you should tell your dates – I wouldn’t bring it up right away or anything but when it does come time to mention your living situation be honest about it, tell them that it is a mutually beneficial situation (you help your mom and she helps you) and that it is only temporary. If he’s weirded out by this then he’s not for you

  5. I don’t see living at home as necessarily indicative of anything negative. I tend to determine if the person is emotionally mature (in a manner I find attractive) through their acts, mannerisms, and attitudes instead of something like living situation.

    For what it’s worth, I do think filial piety can be admirable–and even attractive–if it is based on supporting (a) parent(s) in a healthy constructive manner as opposed to some variation on co-dependency.

  6. I am happily married to my high school sweetheart, but somehow I’ve become a ‘relationship coach’ for a friend of mine who is still trying to find someone.

    His living situation is one factor he worries about, that I’ve told him is a non-factor, but the comments here make me wonder. When his mom died, he bought his family home from his father, who still lives there. He now lives with his dad, primarily to provide companionship and provide the limited care and support his dad needs. He is financially secure, so that is not a factor, but bringing someone home, and the awkward morning – after introduction over coffee could be weird. He believes firmly he has seen woman balk when they learn he lives at home with dad. I have told him he’s crazy, or that anyone who does balk is immature and selfish. Women, is this a dealbreaker early on?

  7. I agree with anathema. There are more details to consider for this to be a flat out deal breaker. My boyfriend lives at home (in the basement too), but he’s partially supporting his parents. While his friends are paying for their own apartments, he is paying off his father’s house. I feel like this is more positive than negative. Things happen and you’re being responsible living at home for the time being.

    Also, I would like to hear more of the men’s opinion on this. Is it any different?

  8. I think there’s a middle path. My boyfriend lives with his family and, while I initially thought it was a little odd, I do get it. Part of it’s cultural (they’re Mexican, and an unmarried son still living at home at 24 is apparently not such a big deal). Part of it’s financial–he does pay rent, but less than he would for a small studio in this very-expensive city. We hook up at my place or get a hotel room. It’s not ideal, but it’s also not super long term (he is starting to chafe at having his family ask him why he’s staying out late, or assuming he’ll do them favors all weekend), and for someone I love, I can work around it. It helps that, since he feels awkward about the situation (and, perhaps, also because he’s from a slightly more “traditional” culture), he is very assiduous about paying his way, picking up the tab for hotel rooms, dinners, etc. I’m not sure it follows that because someone is living at home they’re necessarily flat broke–there may be other factors at work.

  9. Meg, if the person DOESN’T have money of their own, that means that not only do all the after date hook-ups happen at your place, but YOU pay for all dinners, movies, condoms, entertainment, ect. Neither is a good situation. Either by choice, meaning the person HAS the money and won’t spend it, or by necessity, meaning the person is flat broke and has no place to crash except their child hood bed, so everything is up to you.

  10. I think it’s only a dealbreaker for either sex if the person in question has the money to live on their own, but are either too cheap or too dependent on their parent to move out.

  11. I know the Economic Situation of our country is bad. And I know women suffer more from lower income than most men do. However, I WOULD judge a grown man who still lived with his parents after a certain age. IF I were still dating, would this be a “deal breaker?” Yeah, probably.

    One of my “Absolutes” while dating was a man who was able and willing to be financially stable and independent.

    I know the OP has been through a bad divorce, the economy sucks, she needs to get back on her feet etc. A couple of months with Mom, to get stable, OK, I understand. But, I agree with Spes, if after a year or so, she is still with her Mom, it’s time to take a GOOD look at her life.

    Also, I don’t know where she lives, but the car situation needs to be remedied. HOW, if one is unable to spend the night with a man at her Mom’s house,(There is NO WAY I could have good sex in the same house as either of my parents) can she spend a night at a man’s house, with NO way to get home? Expect him to do all the driving? I’m not quite sure how that works. I guess only date men with really open schedules? It might work for a while, but eventually won’t he get tired of always being the Host Post Date?

    Divorce sucks, no doubt. Women suffer more, especially financially (most women with children see a 75% or more drop usable funds after a divorce, while most men see a 30% or more INCREASE in usable funds after a divorce) Ask for better Maintainence and more child support? I don’t know.

    Not being a man, I don’t know how they feel about this. For a short period of time, it is understandable, but in the long run, I don’t know.

  12. Considering the circumstances, I think it would be shallow of a guy to judge you for it. However, if you’re still living with Mom after a couple of years, then that’s a warning sign that something’s wrong on deeper level.

  13. I don’t think so, but all she is noting are potential negatives. She must have some positives that need to be highlighted to understand the full picture, e.g intelligence, personality, attractiveness, etc.

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