It’s been a longstanding quip that living at home while trying to date is like a death-sentence. But if you’re under the age of 35, you’re acutely aware that the game is changing, and that living at home is becoming more and more typical. As a result, there are a whole new set of challenges to face about how to date while living at home.
If you’ve found that even though you’re saving money, moving home has done less-than-exciting things for your dating life, we get it. But it doesn’t have to be as big a struggle as you think. Here are five dating tips on how to maneuver the dating scene when you’ve moved back home.
1. Don’t rule out the people you already know
Okay you’re home for the first time in four or five years, and depending on how tight knit the community you grew up is, you’re more than likely to run into people you know. While winding up back home may not have been your top choice, don’t act like you’re better than the townies. (After all, you are one of them.) No one likes a snob. And just because you weren’t into the classmate who never seemed to have a pencil in 9th grade math ten years ago, there’s no saying you two wouldn’t hit it off now. You have to assume the majority of people have matured in the past decade, just as you have. You have a whole different set of priorities now, and there’s a good chance that the people you knew from back when would surprise you if to got re-acquainted.
2. Use your familiarity to your advantage
If you do manage to meet someone new while living at home, the fact that you’re a local can give you a real edge. You know all the best underrated restaurants, you’ve got an in on the best spot to catch a sunset, and you even remember the best way to sneak into the local movie theatre. You remember all the good short cuts, and know where to find a good happy hour, so suggesting date ideas should be a no-brainer. On top of that, the fact that you spent your youth in the area makes conversation starters easy. Driving past your old high school alone could launch a hundred conversations about your awkward phase, the worst trouble you ever got in, or even making your date spill their worst high school secrets.
3. Hang out with your parents
Yeah, yeah, I know, but stay with me on this one. Your familiarity isn’t the only great tool you have. Your parents’ familiarity is too. If you’ve been gone for a while, and the last time you spent any real recreational time at home was when you were 18, there’s a chance you’ll need to be acquainted with some newer, or more adulty things to do in town. We’re not knocking Wendy’s, but if you want to treat your dates to something a little more upscale than what you could afford in your teens, your parents can be a good resource. If any new restaurants have cropped up, you’re ‘rents have probably tried them out and can give you a run down. Your mom also probably knows all the coffee houses with the cutest baristas. (The likelihood that she’s looking for someone for you on the DL, is pretty high, let’s be real.) And if you’re fresh off of campus 2 for 1 deals, your dad can probably point you to a spot where you can get a good cocktail that doesn’t come in a plastic cup.
Also, your parents have friends, and their friends have kids that are probably your age. Bumping into your mom’s book club buddy could open a door you’ve never even considered, so if you’re feeling stifled by hometown dating limitations, don’t rule out book club Nancy’s son whose New York internship ends next month.
4. Become a regular.
This goes for any relocation you may go through, but expanding your social circle by getting to know the people who regularly enjoy what you enjoy can be pure gold. Find a coffee shop, bar, yoga class, or gym that you like, and go often. If you spot a cutie by day three, all the more reason to keep going. It’s not out of bounds to introduce yourself to someone you keep bumping into, and you’ll get to chat with them on the reg without the pressure of a date situation.
5. Go on day-cations.
If your town is pretty small, or if you’re just bored with the scene in general, find a day trip location that’s not too far, grab a friend, and explore. You’ll get some exposure to new people and activities, and if you meet someone and hit it off, you’ll still only be a comfortable drive away from home. It can also help to fight off that “I had to move back in with my parents” stagnant feeling we’re all familiar with, and the sense of adventure that comes with exploring some place new, even if it’s close, is great for your frame of mind. Don’t forget happy and confident = attractive.