I'm a 31 year old living at home & contributing. Is it embarassing?
March 10, 2017 8:05 PM   Subscribe

I'm a 31 year old male who is Filipino and living at home with my dad, step-mom, and step-grandparents. I've been wrestling with the idea of moving out, as men in western society face a major stigma if he is still living at home especially within the dating field. However, it's the opposite in Asian culture and making it out on your own (having your own place without sharing) in Los Angeles is a major challenge if you're not a nurse, engineer, business owner, and etc. I work as an Admin assistant at a UCLA clinic, and I am also working as a per diem MRI assistant on the weekends. I have already filed my taxes, and my gross income didn't even reach 40k last year. I realized that it didn't make sense to move out and have a whole paycheck go to rent. I'm not interested in sharing an apartment with roommates. I've decided to contribute money towards 1/3 of our mortgage. I also pay the family's cell phone plan, cable, internet, and gas. Everyone helps out in sharing the cost of the monthly expenses.

Some of you are probably cringing about the mere thought of a 31 year old male living at home. I'm not even sure about starting a family anytime soon, as I'm still in the process of finding myself and defeating some inner demons (Need to love myself more). My dad mentioned that he wants to put the house under my name at some point in time especially when I've gotten a major job upgrade. He also understands about privacy issues IF I ever start a family of my own. He may just move back to the Philippines, and let me do whatever I want with the house whether selling or renting it out. I"m not sure what the future holds,but I'm just focused on the present. Is it shameful to feel like this? I'm not even sure about re-entering the dating game, as women outside my ethnicity probably won't touch me with a ten foot pole stick. Even if I'm a contributing adult, some people may still see this as being dependent on your parents. Do I just care too much about societal norms?
posted by tnar23 to Human Relations (40 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
It's fine, and not even that unusual. Is it possible that your real concern is anxiety over dating? Because that won't go away just from getting your own place.
posted by mikek at 8:12 PM on March 10, 2017 [27 favorites]

Sure, some people you want to date won't want to date you because of this. But I think it will help if you can articulate some sort of plan so a prospective date knows what the end game is. Are you going to move out once you're a [specific job title]? When you make over [x] salary? If so, what are you doing to achieve those goals? Or are you waiting until you are in a serious enough relationship than you can move in with that person? Or not until you get married?
posted by AFABulous at 8:18 PM on March 10, 2017 [6 favorites]

Yes, living at home at 31 is embarrassing in American culture. Doesn't really matter why, doesn't matter how much money you're saving or how much you're contributing--American culture values independence and self-sufficiency as a symbol of adulthood. People who still live with their parents as adults are seen as dependent and immature. Doesn't matter if it is in fact not true for a particular individual. You will be seen that way. Them's the breaks.

That doesn't mean that you're doing anything wrong, but you're just going to have to understand what you're giving up in return for your lower cost of living. If it's worth it to you, then it is. You don't have to explain yourself. Other people are not required to change their opinion about people who live at home. You are not required to give a crap about their opinion.

Aside from that, don't let anyone put a mortgage in your name unless they're going to put the deed to the house in your name. If only the mortgage is in your name, then you are assuming all of the financial risk and reaping none of the benefit. If you are interested in purchasing your father's house, then buy it from him and have the mortgage *and* deed in your name.
posted by Autumnheart at 8:19 PM on March 10, 2017 [12 favorites]

Would not bat an eye at a 31 year old, gainfully employed man living with his family. I think you overestimate how many people in and around your age group are living independently from their families. My brother is 31, lives with my parents and helps my mother run the family business. He has no shortage of lady suitors, or so it seems to me.
posted by tippy at 8:21 PM on March 10, 2017 [30 favorites]

In my social circle (US-born, white, artsy, 40, queer) someone with a healthy, loving relationship with their parents who had a job and an autonomous sense of self and who lived at home would be admired, not scorned. Perhaps because so many of us have broken family relationships, loving and close ones look good.

I would honestly think someone either childish or materialistic who looked down on people with healthy family relationships who live at home.
posted by Frowner at 8:25 PM on March 10, 2017 [52 favorites]

It might narrow your dating prospects somewhat, because even people who have good relationships with their own parents might not want to start a dating relationship with someone where they might get put in the "meet the whole family" situation before they're ready, but if you're okay with that, then it's okay.
posted by rtha at 8:30 PM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

One of my good friends is a Filipino woman, now age 40. She has always shared her home with her brother. They are a package deal. This didn't turn off her long term boyfriend or her now husband - both Caucasian since you mentioned ethnicity. They now have 4 kids under age 6. Brother still lives with them, and Filipino grandma might as well be living there. I don't know how well he's doing with dating - his sister tells me he likes the girls that aren't so into him and doesn't like the girls who are really into him so much! That's a common problem for singles. You're fine!
posted by txtwinkletoes at 8:32 PM on March 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Oh, and: I learned a lot when I lived with housemates. I was lucky to never have terrible housemates, so there's that, but living with people who are not related to you by love or blood can teach you a ton about communication, both yours and other peoples'.
posted by rtha at 8:32 PM on March 10, 2017

I am 34 and live in a very similar situation to you (though I am white and AFAB). I can't speak to the dating part of your question (I am uninterested in dating for various reasons), but I have never faced any scorn or social stigma for being honest about my situation. It's unusual, maybe, but not embarrassing.
posted by darchildre at 8:33 PM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yes there is a stigma about this. Why? Well, it probably stems from societal beliefs that permeate a prospective dating partner's mind. They might be worried about your financial position and if things got serious if being with you means a financially unstable life.
Another issue may be that for those from a family where independence came at age 18, it may be hard to process or understand your relationship with your family. I've personally experience this and it required me to really be thoughtful to open myself up to an adult so intertwined with their parent. It was so different from what I knew. Knowing that, tread lightly in how you disclose your family situation.

This is not so insurmountable but you are wise for thinking about this.
posted by k8t at 8:35 PM on March 10, 2017

I'm a 31 year old white American woman, and while other people with similar cultural backgrounds may attempt to make you feel embarrassed, you should ignore them. You work two jobs, support your elderly family members, and prioritize stability and mutual aid over debt and uncertainty. Those are signs of exemplary character, not faults, for fuck's sake. You should feel proud of yourself, not embarrassed.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 8:36 PM on March 10, 2017 [84 favorites]

I was 31 and my wife and I lived her mother's basement for two years, contributing to the expenses and saving the rest up for when we eventually moved out, and our careers had progressed where we could afford a place on our own, so I don't think it's at all unusual.
posted by nickggully at 8:41 PM on March 10, 2017

Also, I sort of sense from your question that you are having trouble articulating your values and how to tell your story to other people. I think you would be better served by trying to affirmatively identify your values and what you want out of life and then deciding how to get those things than by rushing to move out (or not) because you think you are supposed to.

Like...you don't have to put yourself down all "you're probably cringing..." if you genuinely like living with your family. Even if you are staying at home partially because of something you feel is a weakness, just be honest, because then you can work on it. Like, if you think you don't make enough money or if you're scared to try new things, there are ways to change those other than moving out, and moving out won't solve them.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 8:47 PM on March 10, 2017 [18 favorites]

Some white people, especially more privileged ones, may not understand or appreciate this because it's unusual in their own culture. However this:

Yes, living at home at 31 is embarrassing in American culture

Is just not true, in fact is kinda racist and ignorant - unless "American culture" is exclusively defined by a very particular subculture.

There are people this will be a deal breaker for, absolutely, but there are many for whom it will not be.

I'm white; my ethnically viet partner was living at home when I met her, and subsequently for about three years after, too. Not all whities will be bothered by this.

You're good buddy, do what you want to do, not what a hypothetical girlfriend you haven't even met might want. The are plenty of real girls who will like you for who you are.

Best of luck.
posted by smoke at 8:54 PM on March 10, 2017 [29 favorites]

The people who wouldn't date you because of this are probably people who you don't want to date anyway-- consider it a shortcut that goes right past looks and charisma and cuts straight to values.

Your culture and experience and living situation is very different from mine and where I was at 31 but I'd feel like an asshole for judging you harshly because of it. If it's any consolation I earned about the same then and I had a recent PhD in a STEM field and had published some pretty solid research.
posted by SaltySalticid at 9:01 PM on March 10, 2017 [5 favorites]

Oh goodness. Yes, there is a prevalent (white, middle-class) narrative of leaving home at 18 and stigma around living with parents into adulthood (especially moving back in after a period of independence). But like you say it's not at all uncommon in other communities, and it's becoming more common/acknowledged in the US/Canada generally as people in our age bracket (I'm 32) and younger find themselves making similar choices for the same financial reasons you describe. For what it's worth, "multi-generational living" is itself a trendy concept in certain communities.

I would expect some people to be surprised when they hear you live with parents and grandparents. (I literally cannot imagine doing so myself). Some people will make thoughtless comments or ask intrusive questions, which you're not obligated to answer. But, if you can, try to take it in stride and act like it's no big deal—because it's not a big deal. If they keep pressing, maybe ask how it's any worse than living with housemates, which plenty of 31-year-old men do.

As for dating, yes, some people will be put off my your living arrangement, but if it (or your race, good heavens) is really and truly a deal-breaker, then good! You don't want to date narrow-minded, racist women—they're never going to be a good match.
posted by wreckingball at 9:05 PM on March 10, 2017 [5 favorites]

It just sounds like you're being really hard on yourself...it's not shameful to not want to spend half or more your income on rent.

I have several friends/acquaintances in their 30s/late 20s (of various races/ethnicities) that live with their parents and I have literally never heard anyone else say anything negative about them because of it or even question it at all. It may be different in places where rent isn't so high but it is really not uncommon in LA/Orange County. Of course there are some people who are judgmental about this but most people aren't in my experience.

I think the practical aspects do make dating harder though, because it's just harder not having your own place to spend time at.
posted by day late at 9:35 PM on March 10, 2017

There's nothing wrong with it, but it may turn some dating partners off. For various silly and offensive reasons, but also certain people with a strong sense of independence. But if you enjoy living at home with your family, then embrace it!
posted by stoneandstar at 9:40 PM on March 10, 2017

I am a 30 yo woman, white but not American, and I would find this off putting. You said that you contribute to the mortgage and cover household bills, but let me ask you... Who does your laundry? Makes your dinner? Plans what dinner will be, goes to the store to buy the items and serves it? Who washes the dishes? Puts up the Christmas tree/or other seasonal decor? What about your room? Who chose your furniture, wall color and window coverings?

I suspect "Mom" is the answer to at least one of these questions and that is what I would find off putting.
posted by saradarlin at 9:41 PM on March 10, 2017 [24 favorites]

I would feel like you are missing some foundational personal experiences by not living on your own. These missing challenges from your life experience ideally help you build certain skill sets. You might discover these missing skills as you navigate marriage.

Sorry to be sort of unclear! I don't know you personally so I don't want to be too specific. I think it's different for everyone, but ideally, you should strive for a variety of living experiences before marriage. Living with family in a hierarchy is not nothing like building a life with a woman from a different family and background, you need to learn how to navigate these differences while preserving the marriage and your sanity, and your partner's sanity.

I divorced my first husband because his family alliances overwhelmed our relationship in some respects. I was expected to go along with his family's program, and that wasn't fun for me in the end...

Mostly tho, living with the same people who are family for most of your adult life = a raft of missing interpersonal skills you will need for living successfully in a mutually fulfilling marriage. You can keep on this same path and stay living with your family! Just remember not to be frustrated when you are 5 years into marriage and your wife still insists on doing something differently than you family does things! I know you think this won't happen to you, but it will. Hopefully you'll remember this comment, laugh off your old habits, and learn how to do new things.
posted by jbenben at 9:54 PM on March 10, 2017 [9 favorites]

I think the norms around this are changing, even for the segments of society where living with your parents used to be considered somehow defective, because in a lot of places, property prices are so high or employment prospects are so limited, that there's just a built in expectation that Millennials will not be able to live on their own.

If you're a contributing member of your household who knows how to do your own laundry and doesn't rely on your mommy to pack you lunch for work every day, that's significantly different from being someone who is living at home letting mommy and daddy shield them from being a grown-up. You will still get some push-back from some prospective dates, and you will may have trouble figuring out where to have sex, but you'll find plenty of people who don't view this is weird and abnormal.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:08 PM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yes, living at home at 31 is embarrassing in American culture.

I suspect "Mom" is the answer to at least one of these questions and that is what I would find off putting.

living with the same people who are family for most of your adult life = a raft of missing interpersonal skills you will need for living successfully in a mutually fulfilling marriage.

I mean... would you even WANT to be involved with someone who would think this way, let alone openly say things like this out loud? Think of it as a way to separate the wheat from the chaff?

I'm not seeking romantic partners, but I meet people out in my daily life who live with their parents or depend on their extended families for support in one aspect of life or another to varying degrees, and it doesn't even cross my mind to pass judgement for those reasons. Many of us hold strong family bonds like yours in high esteem. Please don't feel bad for being a family-oriented person.
posted by wats at 10:19 PM on March 10, 2017 [28 favorites]

If I were a potential dating partner, I would like it that you have strong ties with your family.

I would be worried, however, that we wouldn't ever get any privacy. Could a date ever spend the night (or even just hang out) at your house comfortably and privately?

I would also worry about the possibility of you going right from your mother's house to mine, and whether you would ultimately expect me to take over some of your mothers' "jobs" or ways of doing things within (our hypothetical future) household.

Mostly, I would be worried about practicalities (i.e., privacy), and not so much about social stigma.
posted by rue72 at 10:20 PM on March 10, 2017 [15 favorites]

You're 31? 18 - 34 year-olds are MORE likely to live with their parents than ANY other living arrangement. You're in the biggest piece of the pie. AND you live in LA, one of the most expensive cities in the US? I'd bet a much greater portion of your geographical peers are living with parents than the US average. Living at home is not an issue *at all.*
posted by missmary6 at 10:33 PM on March 10, 2017 [10 favorites]

Dude. I get it. I'm Asian. Many of my Asian friends lived with their parents a lot longer into adulthood than my white friends, and this was a normal state of affairs. But look at your post. 90% of it is listing reasons why people should respect your choices, and the question (in so much as there even really is one) is "do you respect my choices".

I think you're getting a message from the majority of the society you live in, and you're hoping we'll tell you that you're somehow misperceiving that? Sorry, you're not. If I'm wrong and you just want confirmation that other peoples' perception of you is unfair, then sure, like everyone else has said above: it's totally unfair.

You got to come to terms with your own decisions, and it's not something anyone else can give you.

Ask yourself this though: if you were making 10x as much money, what would you do? Buy a really nice place for you and your family to live in? Or buy them a really nice place and one for yourself down the street?
posted by danny the boy at 11:16 PM on March 10, 2017 [6 favorites]

Don't be embarrassed. You're smart, economical, future-minded, and responsible. Spending half your take-home pay on rent doesn't automatically upgrade you into a world of heightened dignity and social prowess.
posted by delight at 11:23 PM on March 10, 2017 [4 favorites]

Many of us hold strong family bonds like yours in high esteem.

And some of us are so enlightened that we can simultaneously respect strong family bonds and be worried that you have never done your own laundry. Some of us even have brothers-in-law who really did lack life skills when they moved out from their parents house to their new marital home.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:32 PM on March 10, 2017 [15 favorites]

Regardless of what typical American society thinks or what Asian culture is, how do you feel about it and what do you want? Is this just about the money, or do you prefer to live with them?

Have you ever lived on your own? Based on this post alone, it sounds like you have some self-esteem issues. Moving out might help with that. Feeling independent and taking care of yourself can go a long way. In college, the change of scenery really helped me, even though I eventually decided to move back home. The thing about moving is, it's easy to go back to where you came from. If you're really only living at home because of the money, maybe you can take steps to fix that. I lived in a major city on a salary similar to yours -- it's not unheard of.
posted by AppleTurnover at 12:08 AM on March 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

Have you considered dating women from similar backgrounds, such as Hispanic women? That's my own cultural background, and this sort of thing is completely normal within my culture - you're not really expected to get your own place until after you get married. I have noticed the phenomenon you're mentioning - my (white, American) husband has similar views, and was really startled that I was living in a family apartment when we met. But that's not insurmountable either. Just say what you told us - that in your culture, this is just how you do things.

And just to speak from another standpoint - your father is considering giving you a house, that's a huge benefit to your long-term relationship prospects as well. Don't change what you're doing! What you're doing is working! There's no reason to put yourself into penury just because "American culture" says it's the right way to do things.
posted by corb at 4:23 AM on March 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

White, middle class, US woman here. I don't think there's anything disgraceful about living with your parents per se. If your family is close, loving, and supportive, that's a good thing!

But, a woman looking to be in a relationship with a man might be on the lookout for certain red flags. To wit: as Saradarlin and Rue72 said, what about all the day-to-day work? Does your stepmom and/or grandmother prepare all the meals, do all the housework, care for any pets, do all the work around holidays? Most women nowadays expect an equal partnership where the man cooks and cleans and scoops the cat box and puts up the Christmas tree, etc. - not just the woman! You don't want to give the impression that your future wife or serious girlfriend will be expected to do all the domestic work.

It's also pretty normal for a woman's relationship with her in-laws to be somewhat fraught, at least at first. The mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship is difficult. In mainstream US culture, a man is expected to put his wife first, and if his family is perceived as meddling or overbearing, this is really a turnoff to most women. If a woman thinks "these people are going to be all up in our business forever and my future husband won't stand up to them" that won't end well for the relationship.

YculturalMMV. There are plenty of women who will be happy with your arrangement, maybe even glad to have a built-in close family, but you want to pay attention to the points mentioned above.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:36 AM on March 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

Welcome to the majority!

If you end up living with your family for the next few years when you are older than 34 this will demonstrate:

Good genes: Your relatives do not die young.

Strong family values: You tolerate family instead of leaving them to be independent, indifferent to the challenges this my present to them.

Fiscal responsibility: If your Dad passes the house onto you will have an advantage many people do not have the means or support to obtain. You may find that once you start referring to "my mortgage" and "my house" your feelings about living in the same house as family change. In the meantime you have made sensible decisions about pooling your resources with people you value, rather than say, moving into a shared flat with acquaintances who may not value you at all. You have been living within your means, which is indeed a rarity, although not racking up debts in order to finance a lifestyle to appease imaginary people is not something that actually does enhance your social value in the long run when the bills come due and you need to weather a job loss or other of the usual financial ups and downs.

Stability: It is one thing to be stuck in a rut and never go out and explore the world, but it is people like you who create communities. It is hard to build up the knowledge required to be part of a community if you do not put down roots. You need to know who to trust, where the rare resources are, which bus runs on schedule, what the local police department is like and when not to call them, and a host of other information that gets picked up over time.

I could keep going and list a few more things that you are demonstrating, but I will just say that part of learning to love yourself more is appreciating the good choices you have made and patting yourself on the back for making them, rather than holding yourself to a standard that was realistic back in the 1950's.

That said, ( sexist alert ) men do have an instinct to go out and explore much more widely that women do - they roam farther from the teacher when they are children, and as adults they roam farther when out foraging - however, it is actually the women who migrate much more than the men. Men usually find better reproductive success closer to home. - or at least genetic studies indicate that their offspring fares better the closer to their community of origin they remain.
posted by Jane the Brown at 5:07 AM on March 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

As others have pointed out one issue here might be your self-esteem. Have you considered going back to school to acquire the education and training you would need to get a better-paying job? You want to be able to support a family some day, and your future wife may or may not want to stay home with the children for some number of years. Even if your father does give you the house you're also going to need more than you're making now to pay taxes and do upkeep. You're obviously somewhat interested in health care, why not look into training for better jobs in that area? If you're working and going to school it will make things easier if your living expenses are low.
posted by mareli at 6:36 AM on March 11, 2017

If you're an adult living at home it's not embarrassing. If you're a 31 year old kid living at home, it is embarrassing.

What's the difference?

Contributing. Not only financially but through care and housework.

Owning the decision. Not seeking affirmation from people whose own values and culture you don't have reason to respect, or even know.

It sounds to me that part of the problem is that you don't *feel* like an adult. Moving away from home is one way that some people discover who they are and start being adults, but it is far from the only way. And there are plenty of people who moved out from their parents' home whose 'adulthood' is not exactly, hmm, assured.

What would it mean for you, according to *your* values — not your parents' values nor their culture's values nor your peers' values nor their culture's values nor whatever hypothetical 'mainstream' popular white/American/western culture's values — to be an adult?

If you're the person you want to be, in your own eyes, it will be a lot easier not to worry about how other people perceive you. It will also help you, both consciously and subconsciously, make healthy choices about the people you surround yourself with.
posted by Salamandrous at 7:16 AM on March 11, 2017 [6 favorites]

The stereotype of the person living at home is also the person who does not meaningfully contribute in anyway, and complains about being expected to wash a dish while living rent free and taking advantage of their parents. That's not you.

I'm considered conventionally successful in many ways- ivy league business owner etc- and I would find this to make you very attractive. You are making responsible decisions for your financial situation and that strengthen your family as well.

Think about who you want to impress- someone who wants a quick hassle free fling- or someone who has dreams of settling down with a reaponsible, caring man whose family might even help out a bit if there are babies! Sounds like a DREAM come true for many women!

If you are looking for hassle free flings (or even just a romantic evening with anyone) I suggest keeping a budget for an occasional hotel room.
posted by cacao at 8:01 AM on March 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

How would you feel about a woman if you discovered after a couple of really enjoyable dates that she also lived at home, but unlike you, was not contributing as much to the household finances, was employed but not full-time, or was in your same situation but at an older age? or her parents, unlike yours, sort of wished she'd move out but she was putting her own financial needs first? Could you be tolerant of someone who didn't quite measure up to your own personal and cultural standards if you liked them and they weren't hurting anyone?

because someone your age who's fully self-supporting isn't objectively superior to you, as already discussed above, but it can feel that way because biases insecurities etc. but can you imagine being interested in and nonjudgmental of someone to whom you are measurably superior by those same arbitrary success metrics? because if you can do that, it might be easier to imagine others doing it for you.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:38 AM on March 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

The negative stereotype in the air these days is the emotionally stunted adult man who refuses to work, playing video games in the basement as his mom acts as his servant; he screeches at her for another grilled cheese and posts sexist garbage anonymously on the internet. This is an unkind stereotype in itself, but it doesn't even apply to you. The stereotype doesn't apply to a healthy family structure with shared contributions and assets.

The people worth dating understand and respect the cultural differences here, too. It's also a very millennial thing, regardless of culture of origin.

I'd have no issue dating someone who lives with parents, and have done so. Everyone I date causes a specific set of worries and with you, some but not all of these worries would have to do with your situation. Would we have privacy? If we got serious, would your family's wishes, traditions, and needs always trump mine? And if we were to marry, would you expect me to assume your mother's role in your life, and what would that entail (all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, planning?) How these questions are answered would determine whether we are a match-- but they don't determine whether you are doing something wrong and should be embarrassed!

I don't mean to pick at your phrasing but I do think it's revealing that you ask whether you ought to be embarrassed. I think it's worth asking yourself whether you have internalized any shame about this, and if there are areas of your life you want to work on for yourself (not to make yourself more attractive to a hypothetical judgmental dating partner.)

I am an independent person by necessity, and I admit I do think it's appealing when a person has shown they can navigate life's challenges without a cushion. It builds character, as they say. But I'd never begrudge anyone their cushion. Family is very important to a lot of people and that shows another kind of character: that you can function as part of a unit and respect your cultural traditions, and that you give and receive family love every day all speak very well of you.
posted by kapers at 8:43 AM on March 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

I know a *lot* of first-generation people in your age group (all races) staying at home in my stupidly high COL city (where average house and even condo prices are out of control - for that reason, and because they value interdependence). It's bullshit to suggest this is indicative of anything weird on its own, especially in this economy, where the largest growth is in part-time jobs.

There is still a bias against this among mainstream people who've been here a while, and that may be something you'd prefer to address.

I think that, as Snarl Furillo said, that will be easier if you clarify your goals in your own mind. Talk things over with your dad again, see if you can come to clarity around timescales and the nature of the ownership of the house. If your plan is to become a homeowner, and work to live, so that you can be free at 5:00 pm to do other things instead of focusing on a career, I think a lot of people would be ok with that. If you want to retrain in something to get a bigger salary etc, that's fine too. I think you need a pitch, and you need to believe it.

That said, although admin work is fine if you can do it/like it, and I understand completely that that might be your only option right now with things the way they are, it might not be that secure longer-term. If the only tangible you're getting out of this is a piece of the house on nebulous terms - while living with *multiple* older people who might need expensive care you'd eventually need to trade the house against - I think you need to figure something else out. Definitely get clarity on this from your dad. As far as other people are concerned, an unbiased person thinking pragmatically might also consider these issues.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:34 AM on March 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Third generation Filipino woman here (also 31!), I wouldn't bat an eye at this either. My cousin still lives with his parents and while I have a home and am happily married, I'm kind of jealous of all the money he's saving. When he finally does move out/get married/whatever, his parents will have set him up for a much more financially secure life without debt. That's a huge gift to an adult child regardless of who they are.

As a woman dating though, I would want to know eventually how you see things progressing. If we move in together, do I have to live with your family? Can you set up boundaries so my life isn't steamrolled by their needs? Do you have a plan for how you want to support them as they age? If we move out, can you help with chores or are you just used to your mom taking care of everything? My dad has three brothers and this is a huge dynamic in all of their separate families. Only one brother is still married. When we start a family of our own, can you put the needs of our nuclear family first? And I'd judge our relationship from there. Personally, my husband was very close to his family and as someone who was less tethered to my own, it was nice to have a family and safety net there that I wouldn't have had otherwise. That being said, early on in our marriage we had serious problems negotiating coflicting ideas about families and responsibilities. Just be open minded and willing to compromise I guess.

Also as far as women from other backgrounds not wanting to touch you with a ten foot pole, my grandfather joined the US Navy and that's how he got his citizenship. He married a white lady. My dad and his brothers also all married white women. I'm not trying to say white ladies are like the ideal marriage candidate or anything (but in my family there was a definite sense that this was establishing us as "American" vs. "Filipino") but don't limit yourself to thinking anything is out of the question. You have a long life yet.
posted by Bistyfrass at 10:57 AM on March 11, 2017 [4 favorites]

Hey so it sounds like you have 2 questions,
1. Is it embarassing that I still live with my parents @ 31
2. Can I date non-Asian girls / will they care about point #1

People have covered #1, but I just want to cover point #2 as another Asian guy. It is largely independent of point #1. The truth is, you could have a great career and be living totally independently of your parents and still have trouble dating outside your race. That's simply the reality for Asian guys in the US. Likewise, there is no shortage of white guys who are basically deadbeats living off their parents' money (which in practice is the same if not worse than what you do), but women swoon for them, either because they are "musicians" or "artists" or good looking. So your financial independence/maturity is almost completely irrelevant when it comes to dating, at least when it comes to the initial attraction stages.

Sure there are going to be exceptions - if you're tall and exceptionally good looking by "white" standards (I mean basically male model level attractiveness) then no, being Asian won't hold you back as much, but if you are an average looking Asian guy, you are going to have a much harder time dating outside of your race than an average looking white guy. Them's the breaks. Notice how all the people above saying "I'm white and my partner is Asian and I don't care that they live at home w/ their parents" are dudes. And besides your ethnicity, there's still a cultural expectation (not just in the US) that men are the breadwinners, which means it's more unattractive for a man to be living at home with his parents than a woman.

So you being Asian is, sadly enough, going to make a lot of women rule you out entirely, but yes, you still living with your parents (even in the responsible, contributing way you describe) is probably going to seal the deal, unless you have some other really amazing traits. In summary, you probably shouldn't change your existing living arrangement for the sole purpose of dating non-Asian girls, or maybe you should focus on Filipino girls who won't find your ethnicity unattractive and understand your culture/living situation.
posted by karakumy at 3:38 PM on March 12, 2017

I know a few different Filipino men who have dated, moved in with, and/or had children with women outside of their culture. I know a white woman who used to be married to a Filipino man. It's certainly not impossible to date outside of your culture.

Even if I'm a contributing adult, some people may still see this as being dependent on your parents.

It's not just about the money -- especially considering you are employed, that's a very small part of it. And emphasizing the money you pay is going to do little to ease the concerns of someone you might want to date -- in fact, it's going to seem even more like you are dependent on your parents, if you seem to feel that the money issues alone make you not dependent on them.

One stereotype is that men who have never lived out of their parents home are looking for someone to "mother" them by doing all the cooking, laundry, cleaning, buying your clothes, keeping track of if you need to go to the dentist, etc. (there are some great posts on mefi about emotional labor that cover the "etc", it's a lot of stuff) At the point where you are talking about your living situation, you need to make it clear that you know how to adult, basically -- even before that point, you can be saying things about how you are trying out some new recipes, or something funny that happened while you were grocery shopping. And if you don't know how to adult, you need to work on that. Not just cleaning -- read the emotional labor discussions, really consider how they apply, and what you would need to do for yourself if you didn't live with relatives.
posted by yohko at 6:13 PM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

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