1. You don’t technically have a curfew…but you kind of do.
You’re a grown up now, so you get final call on deciding when to officially let sweet sleep take you over. It’s not that you’re expected home at a specific time, but let’s be real, you still end up having to explain why you stumbled in at 3:15 AM on a Tuesday. “BUT MOM, I AM AN ADULT!!!!!!!”
2. You use the term roommates very, very loosely.
When you first start seeing someone, and they’re telling you all about the impressive tech start up firm they do marketing for and the fab apartment they live alone in, it doesn’t feel great to respond with: “Wow! Yeah, um, I share a bathroom with my 13 year old brother.” There should be no shame in your move home game, but it definitely feels like a buzzkill in your fragile, “what is my life” state.
3. You “meet the family” basically the same time you meet each other.
You’re not even attempting to do the whole meet my relatives thing yet, it just sort of happens without you even realizing. One day, they pick you up and before you can say, “NO, RUN!” every member of your fambam is interrogating/showering with affection the poor sap you didn’t have time to warn.
4. You get constant, unsolicited advice on love and dating.
“I just want you to think of your future daughter and what you’d want her to know about you,” my mother whispers as I walk out the door for a 3rd date. I can’t even tell you how badly I wish that was exaggerated for the sake of this article, but alas…
5. You revert to being a sneaky teenager.
There’s just something about going back home that turns you (hopefully not permanently) into an angst-ridden adolescent again. Nobody understands you! You’re Lindsay Lohan a la Freaky Friday. YOU JUST WANT TO DATE CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY AND RIDE HIS MOTORCYCLE, OKAY?!? And this mentality leads to some sneaking out. Even though you’re not even sneaking out, because you’re a grown up and allowed to leave. It still feels like you’re breaking some rule.
6. Sex takes an unsexy amount of planning.
Sure, you can probably get it on wherever the person you’re dating lives, but what about the nights when you want to stay at your place? Err…kind of your place? You’ve got a few options: become 16 again, drive to a secluded cul-de-sac, and love on each other in the car. OR, risk the awkwardness of bringing them to your room and having a parental unit see. And also question you later on why the door was locked and Miguel was playing loudly.
7. Privacy is a thing of the past.
“How was your date? Where did you go? How much do you like him? Do you want to invite him to Christmas Eve? Has he been tested for HIV?” EVERYONE CALM DOWN, PLZ.
8. Casual Netflix nights in cause unneeded anxiety.
This is hopefully something that eases up the more comfortable you become with the person you’re seeing, but in the beginning stages, we’re all kind of neurotic messes but faking it for society or something like that. I’m secretly an elderly Jewish woman in the body of a 22 year old, so I will always take a cozy night on the couch over the club. When you live at home and you want to snuggle up with the bae, prepare for other people to join you. Your little sister loves this movie…so, make room.
9. You can’t pretend things are okay nearly as well.
If family is checking in on the phone, you can put on a chipper voice and act like someone didn’t just break your heart and shatter it into a thousand sharp little pieces. But when you live with someone, it’s much harder to plaster a smile on your face everyday if something else is going on. And family takes this to a whole new level, ready to claw the eyes out of whoever hurt you.
10. You have to be more clever at hiding your…things.
I personally come from a very open family and had the sex talk at age 6. We’ve always been pretty chill at communicating about, well, everything. But it doesn’t matter how comfortable everyone thinks they are, NOBODY wants to know their daughter/sister/granddaughter is actually having sex. As a result, you’ll search for the perfect spot for those NSFW items you’ve got (dildos, lotions, condoms, lingerie, whatever gets your rocks off) to ensure nobody accidentally stumbles upon them one day.
11. That weird biological clock pressure is heightened.
“You need to get married soon,” my 8 year old sister says to me casually at dinner. Nothing says impending ulcer like everyone secretly waiting for you to settle down and start your own family. The subjects of marriage, babies, commitment are thrown around far too often, meanwhile you’re like, “Sometimes I still wear swimsuit bottoms for underwear when I haven’t done my laundry.”
12. The internet is not your always your friend.
You might make a comment about what your new bae does, and one of your family responds, “Oh, yeah. I knew that.” Oh, fareal? You’ve already checked out the LinkedIn and Google + profile of the guy I met on Tinder? K, cool. I don’t feel weird at all about that.
13. You have to really figure out that whole balance situation.
Feelings get hurt when you choose to spend more time with the new booboo. New booboo is bummed that you have family night because he got surprise tickets to see your favorite musician in town. You’re trying to figure out how to make everyone happy and loved. This is a pretty useful skill, even if it’s a pain to perfect.
14. The walk of shame actually fills you with serious shame.
Ladies and gents, I’m here to say: you do you! You make the rules on your sex and dating life, and don’t let anyone tell you what you’re SUPPOSED to be doing, okay? Okay…but. You’re going to feel like you were a cast member on Jersey Shore (omg, that’s becoming outdated now, #old) as you slink back into your room in the same outfit as the night before. Just keep those fingers crossed you don’t cross paths with anyone in your home on the way.
15. You gain a new appreciation for family.
Because at the end of the day, your family (whether that’s the family you choose or blood) will be there and love you unconditionally, even when you’re sobbing into a tub of ice cream because you’re convinced you’ll never find your soulmate, or you lurked too hard and saw photos of your ex with their new perfect looking flame. Family has your back, and when you’re navigating the treacherous waters of the dating world, that’s pretty darn comforting.