1. Your parents seem to always be on your mind: they’re the first thing you think of when you wake up and the last thing before you go to bed, but only because you either know you have to meet them somewhere later today or you just got done hanging out with them that night, enjoying a family-style meal, on them.
2. Decided to hang out at their house late on a Friday night and are too tired to even think of getting in your car to drive home? It’s totally cool because spending the night with them insinuates nothing. You go to your room, they go to theirs. You don’t need to worry about “what it means” to sleepover, because you know what it means: free coffee and breakfast in the morning. Duh.
3. Friday or Saturday night – one of the two – have basically become an understood date night… with your parents. You have clearly and purposely set aside one weekend night to enjoy their company, because you’re at that point in the relationship where it’s expected.
4. Dad always open every door for you, and never makes you feel awkward about ordering a second drink (but definitely will on the third, “What? Two isn’t enough? Are you a drunk? Did we raise a drunk?”).
5. You get dressed for your parents. If it was a real date, you’d kill yourself all day over how to achieve that subtly sexy vibe without having to completely spill the girls out. But since it’s just a Saturday night dinner in the ‘burbs, you don your preppiest striped tee with a colorful necklace, and a safe jean choice. You know they’ll just love you in this.
6. They don’t require it of you and sometimes they don’t even ask, but for whatever reason, you feel an incessant need to let them know of your whereabouts. “Just got to the gym!” “Making dinner!” “In bed, so tired.” Half the time, they don’t respond. But you know they love it.
7. You have come to expect a certain amount of compliments from your parents, and feel empty and less-than without them. Whether it’s over your outfit, your work, or even how well you’ve raised your dog, there are never enough and you hold onto each one with tenacious pride.
8. Your mom texts you throughout the day, just bantering. She even uses emojis now. Ugh, she’s so adorable! Who needs a boyfriend when your mom texts so well? She even sends you semi-disturbing and completely naive sexts without realizing it (this is real life):
9. When you fight with either parent, it’s like your world is coming to an end. You can barely focus at work, you’re not interested in food – nothing can be right again until balance is restored. And, worse yet, if you guys don’t make up before the weekend, you won’t even have them as a fake date on Saturday. Then you’ll go from being sort of a loser to a TOTAL LOSER.
10. They’ve seen you at your worst and haven’t gone anywhere, so you have to assume this is the real deal.
11. The two of them sometimes talk out loud about taking a trip, and you automatically assume you’re included. And, if some for reason you’re not, you shamelessly ask them to include you, because with who else are you supposed to get your travel kicks in (also, because you’re poor, so)?!
12. When you’re asked out on a real date, you feel the need to run it by your parents just to make sure they weren’t planning on seeing you, and to make sure there are no hurt feelings if you do have to cancel on them.
13. You hold hands with both of them, sometimes even at the same time, in public. You don’t give a damn. You’d shout your love for them off a mountaintop given the opportunity!
13.5. They’re your priority; not an option.