When you’re in a relationship it’s natural that you want to spend as much time as possible with your partner; in today’s day and age where the cost of living is so expensive, the prospect of buying or renting a house or flat seems impossible to younger generations. That is why so many twenty year olds still live at home with their parents, as opposed to moving out with their partner and establishing a ‘home’ as a couple.
This means that many couples live a ‘half life’ of sorts: you spend half of the week at your house, and the other half at his. Like someone travelling the world, you also find yourself shifting half of your belongings on your back throughout the week as you carry enough essentials, but not too much to give the impression that you have actually left home. Whilst this can be lovely dividing your time between your family and the one that you love, it can also make things difficult in your relationships, both familial and romantic. This article will explore ten relationship struggles you only experience when you still live at home:
1. Having to be quiet during sex.
Out of respect for your family, and also to avoid the embarrassment of having your toe curling screams of ecstasy heard, one relationship struggle you experience when you still live at home is having to tone down your volume during sex. There is nothing worse than thinking you’ve got a free house and really letting yourself go (I’m talking about the headboard banging kind of sex) just to finish and find out someone has been sitting downstairs all along. This can lead to extremely awkward silences and a lack of eye contact for weeks on end…
2. Having really strict parents.
So as to avoid the above situation, some parents insist on their child’s partner sleeping in a separate bed, or even that their child and their partner sleep with the door open. This ensures that no hanky panky goes on under their roof, and also means that as a couple you drive yourselves crazy with the thought of what you would be doing if you had the chance to actually touch…
3. Knowing the limit to PDA.
Luckily I live in a household where my parents are still very much in love and can be seen openly kissing or cuddling. However, I still find it hard to judge how much PDA is acceptable in front of them, for example the first time my boyfriend came round to dinner, we had a chaste kiss at the door when he first arrived, and sat side by side on the sofa and the dinner table like we were strangers on public transport, as opposed to a couple! Consciously restraining yourself is therefore another relationship struggle you only experience when you live at home.
Unless your partner is an only child, how to deal with siblings is one relationship struggle that all couples will experience if they still live at home. My boyfriend confessed that mine and my brother’s relationship can be intimidating because of how close we are; it can be difficult to know how to talk to or interact with your partner’s siblings, especially as some siblings do not like sharing your partner and a rivalry or jealousy can occur. Some siblings also have the habit of letting your partner know how much they dislike them, or openly changing their behaviour around them, thus putting you all on edge. Or there is the opposite problem that your partner gets on with your siblings too well and you can get jealous of this and feel left out. Or if you have younger siblings, they don’t get the hint when you want some alone time, so you often find yourself having to play the role of babysitter.
It’s natural for all couples to argue at some points in their relationship. However, one of the struggles you only experience when living at home is that when you argue with your partner, your family might feel the need to intervene or have their say by putting their opinions across. This can be extremely annoying, especially if they side with your partner and also counterproductive as you and your partner cannot resolve the issue amongst yourselves. Also, you don’t want your parents or your partner’s parents to think that your relationship is unhealthy or that you don’t love each other. My advice is to argue in your room and don’t let your parents know unless it is about something really serious.
Okay so I have already mentioned siblings but how can I ignore parents too? One of the main relationship struggles couples experience if they still live at home is how to work around parents. For example, if your partner clashes or downright doesn’t get on with your parents, then this can make things very awkward. Likewise, if your parents openly make jokes about how often your partner is round this can cause tension, or if your parents complain you spend more time at your partner’s house than at home, and that they feel ‘abandoned’, or ‘neglected’, as if you have chosen your partner’s family over your own. A balancing act of spending half your time at your home and half at your partner’s is needed.
7. Family dinners.
Sometimes after a long day all you want as a couple is to be able to eat a quick meal and then relax, or even eat from the comfort of your bed watching TV. However, one relationship struggle you experience if you still live at home is having to eat as a family. Every night (which I love and don’t personally find a problem) my family and I all sit round the table for dinner and talk about our day, the TV only providing background noise. But for some couples the formality of this can be intimidating and the thought of having to spend time all together can be a bit too much. There is also the issue of not liking your partner’s parents’ cooking but having to sit there and shove it down your throat to avoid seeming rude or ungrateful.
8. Constant fear of embarrassment.
One relationship struggle you experience when living at home is the risk of being embarrassed. Your family know everything about you which is beautiful, but also slightly unnerving – especially when it comes to having your partner round. Sometimes your parents might feel the need to share embarrassing stories with your partner, or to bring out the dreaded baby photos so as to humiliate you in front of them. This. Is. Not. Cool. Mum and Dad.
9. Having your partner meet your parents early than you would have liked.
This refers to the early stages of your relationship and one of the struggles you might face if you’re still living at home is having to introduce your partner to your parents earlier than you would have wanted. There is no way you would be able to sneak your new partner upstairs right away or without your parents finding out – and don’t even try to force your partner to climb through your window Romeo and Juliet style as it’ll only end in disaster!
One of the most obvious relationship struggles you’ll only experience if you still live at home, is the issue of money. Regardless of whether you and your partner spend more time at your house or his/hers, overall you will both feel the pressure to contribute in some way. For example, if your parents or your partner’s parents provide you with regular meals or wash your clothes etc., money can be a small token of your appreciation and a means of recognising everything that they do for you.
So there you have it, a list of ten relationship struggles you only experience when you still live at home. Can you think of anymore? If so, answer in the comment section below.
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My name is Nicole Brownfield and I am 20 years old. I am studying English Literature and going into my 3rd and final year of Queen Mary University, London in September. I am currently the Editor-In-chief of my University magazine 'CUB' and my dream is to pursue a career in journalism after I graduate. I love living in London and am obsessed with sourcing out food and drink places, as well as exploring the parts of London I have never been to before. My boyfriend and I have recently turned pescatarian and this symbolises my goal to constantly keep bettering myself and to stay healthy and disciplined. Every day I try and achieve something as I want to look back and be proud of the life I have lived, and to make my family proud too.