He Lives With His Mother?

It’s sad but true, women will put up with a lot of crap.  But it seems like one thing is very universally unacceptable — when an adult man lives with his mother.

Carrie and “Power Lad” who lived with his parents in a New York classic six apartment on the Upper East Side with a terrace overlooking the park.

Remember in Sex and The City when Carrie discovered that her latest guy shared a beautiful apartment with his parents?

Samantha He lives with his parents?
CarrieIt’s their apartment.
SamanthaSo not sexy honey.  Dump him immediately.  Here — use my cell phone.

Season Three, Episode 15.

Carrie didn’t dump him immediately, because she liked him, his parents were friendly and brought them food and he was a struggling business owner.

Once she realized, however, that Power Lad was still a child in the household, governed by his parents’ rules,  and that he was not saving money but actually spending it on really good pot, well it eventually ended.

I have some experience with this, the momma dwellers.  I hesitate to call these men out, even if I don’t use their real names, but I feel it’s a topic worth dancing around.  My momma dwellers are educated, well-spoken men.  I didn’t write them off immediately because  I’d known them since they lived in dorms.  Plus, there are certain category of momma dwellers that deserve a chance.
No Dumping Allowed
In my humble opinion, the following momma dwellers should not be immediately discarded:
1. Twenty Something Guy

I haven’t had one of these, but this  guy  is just out of school, has his  first real  job or is looking for one.  He’s recently discovered,  “Dude, they want first and last month’s rent and security before I move in?  That’s a lot of money.”  Yeah dude, better get a bank account.

Acceptable:  If he is saving for his own place.

Unacceptable : If his Mom still does all his laundry, cooks all his meals, he drives her car and he routinely buys rounds for everybody at the local bar.

2.  Break Up Guy

So the marriage/relationship didn’t work and he moved out of the  home, leaving the kids (if any) with their mother.  Suddenly he’s  homeless.  You can’t sleep on somebody’s couch forever and his married buddies are not taking him in long-term  . . . so . . .  he moves in with his mom.

Acceptable:  If he is providing financial support to his kids, someone has filed for divorce, and he is actively looking for his own place.

Unacceptable:  If he visits the kids at the marital home  “overnight.”

3.  Norman?    Older guy taking care of his elderly or sick mother.

A boy's best friend is his mother.

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Psycho

This guy still lives in his home town, and may even  have a good job and  his own place.   But his mother is getting older, or has taken ill. Maybe she’s widowed or divorced, either way she’s alone and probably should not live that way.  So he, like a champ, gives up, sublets, or keeps his place – but  he moves in with this mother.  He is probably a good guy, but depending on his mother’s condition, this could go on  indefinitely.

Acceptable:  If the mom is really sick.

Unacceptable:  If the mom goes out more often than he does.

4. Ethnic/Large family/family business guy or filthy rich blue blood guy

The heir to the family fortune and estate might still live with his mum.

The heir to the family fortune and estate might still live with his mum.

This guy works in his family business.  So does everybody else.  They all live in the large family home.  If you were to marry him, you might live there too for a bit. Ironically, this also happens in blue blood very rich families or royalty, “Chad” will move back to the main house while interning for “Daddy’s” company.  Except in that case Chad’s bedroom could probably accommodate most of the ethnic guy’s family and their business.

Acceptable:  If he wants to have his own family one day.

Unacceptable: If he buys a dog.  (There’s no way he’s thinking about leaving if he’s recently acquired a dog.)

If he’s a Prince, yeah, he can live with this mom.

5.  Grad school student guy.   This is a guy getting an advanced degree, perhaps a professional degree.   He studies all the time.  He lives with his parents because he can’t justify paying rent only to be conscious there a couple of hours a day.   He reasons, “Why pay for a city apartment just to study and occasionally sleep there?”   — especially true for medical students or interns.   This arrangement is almost always  temporary, and, frankly,  worth the investment.  One day he’ll graduate — and probably get a damn good job.

Acceptable:  If he is actually in school.

Unacceptable:  If he is merely planning to get back to school.  Look for that acceptance letter.

George lived with his parents before moving in with Meredith and the gang on Grey’s Anatomy

You see, a guy living with his momma should be given an opportunity to explain.   It should not be a deal breaker– at least not  until you know the underlying reasons and can access the likely duration of the living “arrangement.”

Enough Red Flags for a Communist Parade

But here are the red flags I don’t believe anyone should ignore:

1. He has a basement “room” completely set up where he pursues his personal interests — music, computers, lifting weights.  Yeah, this dude has set up house.  He ain’t going nowhere.

2.  He works from home, yet there is no home office,  desk, or computer and he has no cell phone.

3.  He’s mentioned that he hopes to inherit the house.

4.  He has never actually said he plans to move.   Pay attention to the silences.  The silences are very important.

Just Me With . . .  no momma dwellers at the moment:   one is estranged,  “If I’d Married My Stalker,”  the other is a very  special friend, “We Thought You Were Dead, Mommy — Almost F*cked to Death”  

30 responses

  1. I have had some experience with these guys!

    Guy#1–my best friend for 20 years until he died, platonic relationship. He lived with his mother because he retired as major from AF and she needed him. Well, this was the story originally. As I came to know him better, his story went to dust. She had a car and drove 11 miles to town from country and bought his groceries and cigarettes. He drove 30 miles in opposite direction to buy liquor and no groceries. When she died, he said so sadly to me, “I sure am going to miss mother’s little social security check.” ($80)

    Okay, his parents lived in a one-room shack until he put down-payment on the house so they could live decently. He was an alcoholic and was abusive to his mother. When she could not drive, she begged him to get groceries or take her. He bought $60 worth of liquor and three limes. “There, you wanted groceries. Here are groceries.”

    Guy#2–relationship. He lived on the road with a band for 20 years and shacked up with women whereever the gig was. (I did not know this until end of us) Married for four years and lived with wife. Divorced for 4 years and lived in ex-mil’s old trailer on her property. Moved back home with elderly mother. She took care of him—completely…food, laundry, bills, housecleaning. He did pay for cable because he wanted it and internet access. She struggled to get trash out of house and to road. I told him he should do that. He was she liked taking it out. SHE said that she mentioned it and he yelled at her, so she would rather fall down the steps as to evr ask her again. He wanted me to marry him and would have pressured me to sell house.

    He married a woman who was 34, never married, still living at home. They live in the basement of her parent’s home. Since he is still in school, path I helped him with, they are willing to put up with this. He will never be independent, ever.

    I think there is nothing wrong with a guy living with his mother if he is there to truly help her, not abuse her as both these guys have done. Neither of these guys ever would take a hammer to a simple task or pay to have it done. #2 said when she signed the house over to him, he would fix it up. He then said at the end of our relationship that he was tired of doing things around my house when he did not own the house. This was not news after the way he talked about his mother’s house, sister’s house, and mil’s trailer.

    It is sort of like the Plum in Sula. Eva, his mother, burned him alive to keep him from crawling back into her womb/uterus. (That is what she says!)

    1. Oh my gosh. Those are horrific stories. It is definitely important to find out whether the guy is truly “helping” his mother. One of mine told me he hated his mother. I don’t think he should have been living there. I’m not sure what was going on in that house.

  2. I think I actually agree with your post in its entirety! There are some acceptable momma dwelling situations, and some unacceptable. Like you said, folks need to pay attention to “context clues.” Why is he living at home? How long does he plan to be there? These are all answers that may come in the form of his actions. Gotta pay attention!

    1. Yup, absolutely gotta pay attention. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    1. Thanks, as I said, I’ve had some experience in this area. Yup, yup.

  3. I too have known countless guys still living with mom and pop. Years ago when I was still in my 20s, I briefly dated a guy living in his family’s Park Avenue apartment. He was a 40-year-old, unemployed musician. When he FI NALLY moved out and got his own place, his family, of course, paid the rent.

    1. Oh yes, I should have mentioned the “Starving Artist” guy– especially the ones whose parents have money. They don’t leave.

  4. I dated one guy who lived with his grandmother. That was very shortlived. Good list!

    1. With his grandmother? huh. I guess that could be a serious turn off. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    2. I completely forgot about the Landscaping Guy I almost went out with. He lived with his grandmother and didn’t have a phone. hmmm “The Landscaper Guy and the Female Chandler Bing” http://wp.me/p1sXPw-43

  5. Fabulous fabulous post.

    My on/off exclusive partner who totally wants to commit himself to me at all times and I have bits of issues. And I cannot stand how he still lives with his father. Only him and his father reside in his house. He’s 26. I’m 30. We share a history of 9 years. And even though he has a job and helps me financially whenever I want. His father still buys him groceries every month. So I relate to this post and refuse to be exclusive with him until…I guess, things will be taken much more seriously. Thanks for writing this and hitting it on the head. :D

  6. haha, this is so interesting! I dated one guy once who still, I suppose, technically lived with his parents. But they lived overseas and merely spent a few weeks out of the year in that home. But they occupied the master room etc. I guess I haven’t given this a lot of thought because culturally, South Asian Men may sometimes live at home. But it would give me great pause if he wasn’t holding his own responsibilities.

  7. [...] sadly, “He Lives With His Mother?” Share this:TwitterEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  8. [...] sadly, He Lives With His Mother? Share this:TwitterEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Posted in: Dating, Random Posts, [...]

  9. When I lived abroad “Sex In The City” was the closest thing I had to an actual relationship. So you can imagine that this show holds a special place in my heart. I ENJOYED reading this post, as a wave of memories whirled through my head. That being said… I nominated you for the Reader Appreciation Award, and I have provided a link below: http://pregoandtheloon.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/reader-appreciation-award/

  10. I am glad to see someone giving credit to those of us who are with our mothers to help out. I have a good paying job, new car, health insurance, and a 401k plan. I pay for half of everything, including repairs. If i met that special someone i would move to make things easier for us. But as it stands my mom is divorced with my 14 year old brother and a minimum wage job, I’m not going to let either of them go without because the male figure who is supposed to care in his life doesn’t . (I’m 23 by the way) And too many times i’m written off because of the title “momma dweller” its irritating, i feel like i’m breaking some unknown law because i love my family enough to help them in times of need.

    1. You sound like a good guy. And, pardon my familiarity, but I have to say you’re only 23 — it’s all good. Many people are still full-time students at 23, so the fact that you still live with family at your age shouldn’t even be a consideration. Help your family, enjoy this time in your life and feel good about it. Sure, maybe it’s inconvenient as far as privacy concerns when dating, but nothing that can’t be overcome. Being written off for being a “momma dweller” at 23? Well, I think that you’re probably dodging a bullet with those particular women, who might be after more than a relationship, sad to say. Kudos to you. Have fun, I hope you meet many nice women while living with family and after you eventually strike out on your own, whenever that may be. And Kudos to your mom, because it sounds like she raised a good man.

      1. Thank you for your kind words :)

  11. theprofessor20032003 | Reply

    Your forgot number 5. He loves his mummys food and thinks no woman could cook aswell as mummy

    1. Right! Absolutely! It is a huge red flag if a momma dweller goes on and on about his Momma’s cooking. Nobody can compete with that and he’s not going anywhere.

  12. My Mil has 3 sons, my husband and his 2 brothers. The youngest brother is in his early 30’s and has lived with her the whole time I’ve known him. He briefly moved out with roommates several years ago but always came back. He delivers pizza for a living and blows all his money on gaming. He only pays her rent if guilted by my husband. Her living room is cluttered with his junk, including dorm room style furniture and a laptop he never even uses. She does his laundry and buys food, beer and soda for him. She has to wake him up for work and he still late every day. He rewards her by being grumpy and rude to her.
    The older brother has a roommate and lives across town but still lets her buy his groceries and sometimes do his laundry. He went jobless for so long that he borrowed money from her until she had financial trouble. Then he started asking us. I allowed it one time, and only after he had gotten a job. It took him a month more than he said it would to pay us back and he never called to apologize. I won’t make the same mistake twice. She gets most of his mail. Because she handled his finances when he was in the military, she is involved to some extent in his bills.
    At least I married the responsible one…

    1. Whoa, sounds like you did get the best of the bunch. If he was in his early 30’s living with parents while saving or starting a business or actually helping his parents that would be completely different. This guy is acting like a teenager, but to be fair I guess his mom is enabling it. Shows how siblings can be completely different. Glad you won’t get sucked in. Thanks for the comment.

  13. I love reason #2!

  14. cheryle soulds | Reply

    Found the comments so true.I dated a 50 something man making close to 90k a year no children never been married and still lives with him mother.I would of stayed in the relationship but he had all kind of excuses why he couldn’t buy a house with me.I find this sick and sad.What is up with a person like this?

    1. That sounds like a Momma and commitment issue. Big Red Flags.

  15. Yep… I am that loser/mama’s boy!!!
    I don’t have a legitimate reason why anymore… I am just a 47 year old loser.
    I had the same job for 25 years. And a side business too. When I turned 40, the economy took a s h i t, and killed the business. I lost my job, My hair fell out, my 27 year old girlfriend left me, I had to move out of my beach pad, and last but not least… I completely lost my confidence and self worth. Since age 17, I always had my own place, a nice truck, plenty of money, and tons of girlfriends…
    But now at 47, I live in my mom’s guesthouse over looking the ocean, and I haven’t had a date in years.

    No need to post this blog! Believe me, no women will date me, or any other ”mama boy loser”.
    I have accepted that I am going to be single for the rest of my life.
    I never imagined I would end up like this, but I did.

    1. Loser? No. You have just provided some very real life reasons why you live at your mom’s guesthouse. You’ve also stated that you’ve lost your confidence and self worth and that those feelings are being confirmed by the women you try to date and/or your single status. That makes you feel like a loser, but it doesn’t mean you are a loser. Stuff happens, I know. There are good reasons for living with parents and there are red flags — usually when the guy doesn’t want to, has never, and sees no reason to live independently. That doesn’t sound like you. I wish you the best.

      1. Omg, I was engaged to a 50 something mamma dweller! What a mess!

      2. I take it that it didn’t work out? Like I said, there are some legitimate reasons for it, but it can also signal a problem.

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