The Pros And Cons To Millennial Relationships


The new generation of dating has come.

Los Angeles Times’ business reporter Samantha Masunaga recently wrote an article titled More millennials living at home, and you can't blame the economy after a report released by the Pew Research Center stated that the “nation's 18- to 34-year-old population is less likely to be living independently of their families and establishing their own households than they were during the recession.”

Not only are there 3 million more millennials now than in 2007, but the percentage of millennials moving back in with their parents has increased from 24% to 26% according to the study.

Masunaga speaks to how this stagnation has a significant effect on the housing market, but what about the dating market?

David Cruz — founder & creative director of Finding Cupid and matchmaker from Bravo's The Millionaire Matchmaker says that “this new information directly points to the way millennials are approaching relationships, as disposable. They are finding little priority in seeking out relationships or dating with intention.”

Alison Novak — professor of communication at Temple University studying millennials and interpersonal relationships echoes the findings in the study and states that, “in addition to impacting their financial future, [millennials moving back home at an increasing rate] has dramatically changed the way dating and romantic relationships are formed and even recognized by other members of the family.”

According to Cruz when you live at home and are still family dependent, individuals tend to lack self-confidence; while if you are single and independent, you're more invested in finding ‘the one’ and settling down.

The first deterrent is that millennials still living at home fear that disclosing that they still live at home may turn off a potential suitor. Second is that it makes them look at relationships in a different way.

Combine this with the rise of dating apps and what Cruz calls “instant hook up technology”, millennials find it hard to establish meaningful relationships. Cruz states that the, “key to solving the millennial dating dilemma, is to focus on living independent lives.”

Novak believes that one of the major differences of millennials living at home versus single independent millennials is that the family usually meets a significant other earlier in the dating process. “This can actually help the relationship in the long-run by building a supportive environment early on,” says Novak. She advises millennials who are living at home but looking to date, to use their close proximity to their families to their advantage and introduce their potential partners to the family early on in the relationship.

“This can help build confidence in the relationship or help identify those who may not make a good match,” says Novak.

Stacy KaiserLive Happy Editor at Large and licensed psychotherapist, says that many of the millennials are, “slowing their lives down by taking extra time to live with their parents, build a career, and find the right mate.”

While they are leaving the nest later, they are hoping to do so with more solid footing in hopes of gaining greater long term success. Kaiser believes that, “this has mostly occurred out of fear -- the divorce rate is higher than ever, the economy has been unstable...intelligent and thoughtful millennial's and their parents worry that growing up too quickly can lead to relationship, career or financial failure.”  

Tina B. Tessina — PhD, (aka "Dr. Romance") psychotherapist and author of Dr. Romance's Guide to Dating In the Digital Age states that dating while living at home has its drawbacks.

The one disadvantage that immediately came to her was, “having sex feel furtive and uncomfortable,” while another might be “uncomfortable dynamics, for example, a too-involved mom, who wants to interrogate your date.” But on the other hand, living at home does give you more disposable income to use for dating, so going out all the time is not so much of a problem.

Dr. Tessina advises daters to discuss their dating lives with their parents before bringing him/her home and set ground rules.

Amanda Rose, CEO of Dating Boutique Inc., believes that age is a big determining factor. “If they fall in the mid 20's to early 30's group living with their parents will negatively affect their dating life! At this age they need to be out on their own, experiencing life, paying their own bills and setting up the stage for their future.”

Women want a financially secure and independent man and if he is still living at home, he gives off the opposite perception.

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Millennials still living at home are labeled "lazy, inept, unmotivated, etc. and some may not consider them as a complete grownup; but what if they are actually motivated, driven, and trying to build something greater for the future? Can't they then be perceived as a more stable and desirable partner than someone who is out on their own and treading water?" asks Kaiser.