I had to move home; should I put off dating til I have my own place?

I had to move home; should I put off dating til I have my own place?

I had to move home; should I put off dating til I have my own place?I’m male, I’m approaching the big ’30’ and I’m recently single. The age doesn’t bother me but being single that age does… here’s why. Very late 2014 I ended a pretty bad relationship. It chewed up a lot of my savings to save myself from bad credit and so I could just leave for good. The good news is I’m in a better place than I ever was compared to before. The bad news is I had so very little money left, that I had to move back home. I had no choice as ‘home’ was in a different city and so had to quit my job (that was fine as I hated it). Over the past 6 months a lot has changed. I’m a year into a part time job, established a small business (but it doesn’t make enough for me to do it full time) and ended another relationship.

It was my decision to end it but it’s led me to some hard truths. My social life is a mess, with friends scattered across different cities. My business, which can (and will) become bigger leading to full time, keeps me unable to move into my own place and will be that way for at least another year. It does bother me but I don’t want to resign myself to a job I don’t believe I have to stay in. My actual question is this: when the time is right to start dating again, should I even bother until I live on my own/shared flat at least? My most recent ex was understanding about that, but said while it was a ‘red flag’ it was passable as I was trying to do more than just enjoy part time work. To give more context; I do pay rent, I contribute, I cook/clean and don’t take anything for granted. Am I just being paranoid or am I right to be cautious? Mister A

Turning 30 can be a head-wrecker. You’re moving into a new phase of your life (often a more responsible one) and feel like you should have your shit sorted – so having to pack up your life and move back in with your folks can’t have been easy. But you’re not alone; studies show around 13 percent of ‘boomerang’ kids move home between the ages of 18-29. And, it sounds like you’re actually in the right place for this time in your life: you need a safe base while you grow your business, regroup and save some money. Those are all valid reasons for taking what many would consider a step back for the average 30-something. As for putting off dating – hell no! The right woman will appreciate your entrepreneurial spirit and understand this is just a stop gap move for you.

Of course, we all have expectations of where we’d like a potential partner to be in life (own place, own car, full-time job, property portfolio, matching underwear and sock collection, etc, etc) but clinging too tightly to a stringent criteria list can be self-sabotaging. Case in point: I once spent a lovely two weeks with a guy in a holiday romance situation, and three short months later he turned up on my doorstep, backpack in hand, unemployed and knackered after getting off a plane from half a world away. He’d come to be with me and sure, I could’ve freaked out about all manner of red flags. Instead I just did everything I could to support him and help him get set up in a new country. And now we’re married with a kid and he’s the one supporting me. My point is, some partners don’t automatically seem ‘perfect’ on paper. Some relationships don’t start out ‘perfectly’. So don’t waste time waiting for everything to be ‘perfect’ before you put yourself out there. Good luck!

Love, reality chick

Linking up with #IBOT to Essentially Jess.

Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Jenny 5 years ago

    At 36 I moved back in with my Mum after my Dad died. She needed me, I had to move cities to be close by, and it just made sense for me to move into her house rather than rent my own place. I’m still there, I stayed much longer than I thought I would due to skyrocketing rents and home prices. I am however dating a lovely man who lives with his Mum (for much the same reasons) and we almost have a home deposit saved.

    It can be a “red flag” and some people will automatically think “loser” and quickly move on without taking the time to get to know you, but those sorts of people aren’t worth knowing anyway. Get out there and date, if that’s what you want. Don’t let what other people “might” think about you stop you from doing anything. Don’t wait for your life to be “sorted”, life’s messy and complicated and takes turns you aren’t expecting (including finding yourself living with your parents again!)

    • Author

      Totally agree Jenny – life is messy and complicated. I was just telling a recently separated friend tonight not to put her life on hold; to get out there and date!
      Sounds like you’ve got a lovely guy, good for you and hope all goes well with your plans to move out together.

  2. Megan 5 years ago

    I’ve had people make fun of me because of this reason in the past. Just remember previous generations didn’t have our unemployment rate, pay for their education, very high cost of living and weren’t priced out of the first time home buyers market, either.

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