Would You Date Someone Supported By Their Parents?

1204-money-rules

Moxie,
I’ve been seeing a woman now for almost 8 months. Just before the holidays she told me that the apartment where she lives is actually owned by her parents and that they pay the mortgage. She covers the monthly fees and the rest of her expenses. Up until this point I was under the impression that, at 38, she was supporting herself and therefore somewhat successful at her chosen profession (she’s in a creative/artistic industry). She never outright lied about her living situation. We’ve never really discussed it. The only reason it came up was because I asked her about her experience with buying property in Manhattan. When asked directly, she was honest. Now I’m curious about her financial situation/stability. I don’t really have a problem with her parents owning property and letting their daughter live in it until they decide to sell and make a profit. I just want to be sure this isn’t a case of her going from one hand to the other without having her own ability to financially support herself. – Jay, 42

Thoughts?

Well, to be fair, you don’t know that she can’t support herself. Like you said, it could be that her parents wanted to invest in property and just decided to let her live there. Also keep in mind that her scenario is quite common here in Manhattan. You don’t have to be a trust fund kid to have this kind of living arrangement. Some parents bust their asses all their lives and have the ability to do something like this for their kids. What’s it to you?

Her monthly fees are probably somewhere around a thousand dollars or so. Add that to her other expenses and that’s not cheap. It’s not like she’s living off Daddy’s credit card. Granted, her overhead is still probably fairly modest, but she’s got to be generating some kind of revenue just to be able to live and socialize in Manhattan. I have to ask, though: why is it that women who are supported by their parents or who live off family money perceived as golddiggers, brats, or financially unstable, but men who do the same thing are called “playboys” or seen as international men of mystery types? Rhetorical question alert. The answer is sexism.

What would concern me is the fact that, as an adult, she’s okay with being beholden to her parents the way she is. Meaning, she’s essentially living under their roof, which gives them a tremendous amount of power and influence over her.  I’ve mentioned this before: my Dad offered to buy me a condo if I moved back home. He’d take care of all the fees and taxes. I’d just live there. Pretty sweet, right?

Wrong.

Trust me. I would have paid dearly for agreeing to that. My life would not be my own. If I had agreed to his offer, he would have had control over me as well as my finances. Not to mention the absolute hell I would have been subjected to after he died and the property likely was included in the probate case we endured. I might not live in a palace, but I got this place on my own.  Nobody has any say in what I do with my money, and nobody could use it against me because they were jealous and believed Daddy loved me more and wanted payback.

Try not to put the cart before the horse on this. If things progress to a place where you think you two might merge households, then worry about. At that point, you’ll be justified in asking for a more in depth look at her financial situation.

Until then? It’s none of your god damn business.

 

 

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20 Responses to “Would You Date Someone Supported By Their Parents?”

  1. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “Some parents bust their asses all their lives and have the ability to do something like this for their kids. What’s it to you?”

    Well, it begs the question of whether these well-meaning parents are breeding character flaws in their children, such as entitlement or unrealistic expectations. The OP’s question is about whether she will expect him to fulfill the role of her parents.

    My experience is consistent with the OPs concerns that people who are supported by their parents into adulthood often lack perspective and have unrealistic expectations. Of course, most well-adjusted people are/were supported to some extent (education, etc) so it’s usually a matter of degree.

    Also, it’s virtually mpossible to avoid people like this categorically in NYC so it’s best to look at people individually and not leap to assumptions.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 3

    • mxf Says:

      Whether it’s an actual character flaw or not, perception can still be a point of contention. My parents are fine, but it was definitely understood that I’d be both expected to attend university, and pay for it on my own. Where I live it’s possible to do, but it meant I treated taking care of myself like the job that it was from high school onward. The boyfriend I spent my 20s with, on the other hand, came from a really, really wealthy household. Of course his parents paid for his school, business school, rent, occasional other help, etc. He was relatively grounded, but there was no way we could view money the same way, when he knew that any endeavour ultimately had a solid back-up if it fell through. When I was still happy renting a scrappy apartment, he wanted to buy a new condo, and his parents were eager to give over the down payment.

      In a lot of ways it was a learning experience for me, and money wasn’t what made us split up, but for all the years we were together it never sat comfortably with me to be with someone whose every wish was one request away. It was just too unfamiliar.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  2. KK Says:

    I have to say. I have never heard of a woman supported by her parents who is referred to as a “gold digger,” only if they are supported by the boyfriebd. And a guy is only a playboy if he is rich and single. Otherwise he is a loser and yes, this is sexism. Also. Who is to say she is ok with the scenario of her parents paying? The only issue is if she expects him to support her. Otherwise, who cares?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  3. Zaire Says:

    I disagree that men who live off parents are seen in a more positive light. A lot of women (self included) would see that as a problem past a certain age. I’m a millennial so it’s not uncommon to have people living at home or with parental support.

    What I definitely agree with is the price you pay for living at home. I took two years after undergrad to work before graduate school and I lived at home the whole time. If I was out with my mom and wanted to buy anything over $50 I would be berated for wasting money. I was routinely told “just because you don’t pay rent doesn’t mean you should spend money ‘anyhow'”. That wasn’t even the worst part. If I was out past 10pm I would be berated by my dad. God forbid I went out with friends on a Friday or Saturday night. He’d wait up for me to make sure I got home and insinuate that I was involved in all kinds of nefarious and weird stuff. There was other stuff I won’t go into but needless to say, I got it together and moved out at 25. My life is much more peaceful.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

    • Eliza Says:

      Yep, Freedom has a price…but it’s well worth it. When you stand on your own, completely…and never had any assistance…you can do as you want, when you want, and with whomever you want! No lip service is handed to you. I prefer it that way. And no, don’t admire adults that get handouts from their parents. I have known grown men, yes, men in their 50’s – living in a house with their parents…owned by their parents, and purchased by their parents. Talk about being sheltered. And no…I prefer not to date a man that lives AT HOME with his parent(s) still. One can still take care of their parents, by living apart, yet close by. I have managed to do that. So, no reason others can’t. Nothing redeeming about a grown adult living off of parents. Time to grow up.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

  4. Selena Says:

    From the letter:
    “She never outright lied about her living situation. We’ve never really discussed it. The only reason it came up was because I asked her about her experience with buying property in Manhattan. When asked directly, she was honest. Now I’m curious about her financial situation/stability. I don’t really have a problem with her parents owning property and letting their daughter live in it until they decide to sell and make a profit. I just want to be sure this isn’t a case of her going from one hand to the other without having her own ability to financially support herself.”

    You’ve been seeing each other for 8 months. How would it be “a case of her going from one hand to the other without having her own ability to financially support herself.” ?

    It kind of sounds like you want her to possibly go in on buying property with you. Or pay rent to you if you buy property and ask her to move in with you. Do you think she would want to do either scenario if she could afford it?

    Perhaps you need to really think about whether you want a life partner, or an investment partner, or housemate first. THEN broach the subject with her. She has been honest with you – you would be wise to be honest with her. And yourself. ;)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  5. BTownGirl Says:

    It’s really none of your business at this point. I had a milestone birthday this year and my parents paid off my mortgage as a gift – not because I’m irresponsible or spoiled, but because they want the best for their children. As for the question about whether or not people with family help have unrealistic expectations as far as their partner’s finances, I can only speak for myself, but it was important for me to find someone successful, ONLY because I don’t want to piss through my own money covering the major expenses. Sure, there are some wastrels out there, but I think it would be pretty obvious if this woman was one of them!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 15

  6. PGH Gal Says:

    So I just bought my first home, thanks to a small gift from my mom. I qualified for the mortgage on my own via my excellent credit and steady job with good salary. But I simply didn’t have enough saved for this last minute buy (I was transferred for work and it’s cheaper to buy than to rent where I’m headed). I am the only name on the deed and this is 100% a gift, but some folks still see something like this as entitlement. I think of it as good fortune that my mom has saved enough over her career as a teacher to own a home of her own AND help me fulfill that dream too. If some guy sees this as a character flaw on my part, he can kiss my ass one cheek at a time.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  7. Speed Says:

    As I wrote before, I don’t recommend getting involved with “artists,” especially broke ones, at all. However, the OP is already several months in.

    And, apparently, the OP doesn’t have any complaints about his partner except that she’s not flush with dollars. But so what? Fact is, there are millions of people who, because of mistakes, or bad luck or whatever, are just never going to be real “earners.”. As long as they are good partners, I think it’s okay. “Poverty” or “bad with money” or “living on dad/mom’s money” is a flaw, I guess, but much easier to live with than a woman who is a cheater, a coke or speed addict (plenty of those even among the high earners, in my experience), has anger issues, etc. If the OP is good with money, and his partner is willing to follow his lead, then it’s all good. Is the partner loving, kind, patient and reasonably cute? If yes, then what’s the problem? You need a fat bank to go along with all that?

    Trust me, if the converse were true—if she were a high earner—you’d run into a whole other set of problems. Ultimately, there may be no “perfect financial state” for your partner to be in: broke, rich, or middle class, there are going to be issues.

    The only problem, to my mind, would be if his partner had a cavalier, dependent/entitled or spendthrift attitude toward money. This is serious, especially in the arts, where most people, again in my experience, are not the most frugal or even rational about money. Yes, I am biased, I know.

    Maybe in the end the old commonsense rule applies: the OP and his partner, if they plan on something long-term or marriage, have to sit down and have a very open discussion about every aspect of money.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 5

    • fuzzilla Says:

      **And, apparently, the OP doesn’t have any complaints about his partner except that she’s not flush with dollars.**

      Exactly. It’s like he’s looking for problems where there aren’t any. I mean, I get that money issues can be tricky in relationships (whether it’s actually struggling, being foolish with it, or simply having different perspectives and values about it), but you’re right, everything was fine ’til he started nosing around her finances.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

      • Selena Says:

        “…but you’re right, everything was fine ’til he started nosing around her finances”

        The only reason the OP knows this woman’s parents own her home is because he directly asked about her experience buying property in Manhattan. What prompted him to ask?

        And why should it matter unless/until he wants her to sign on a mortgage with HIM? It doesn’t sound like they are close enough to consider that at this time.

        There is a funny smell to this letter regarding the OP’s actual intentions.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    • Parenting Says:

      From my experience, a struggling artist living in an apartment funded by her parents at the age of 38 is a bad deal. I dont know this womans specific situation, but Ive come across a number of middle aged “artists” who never had to be adults. Their parents took care of the big ticket items so they could continue to work part time to pay for groceries and what not and retained something of an adolescent mind set well into their 40s and 50s.

      Personally, its not for me but to each his own. If she has been an aspiring artist her entire adult life and never felt compelled to fund her own lifestyle Im not sure why she would be persuaded to give up her lifestyle and her dreams now.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      • fuzzilla Says:

        He said she works in the arts, so I assumed she had some kind of salaried administrative position in an arts organization, not that she’s out selling paintings on the sidewalk. To me, it’s very believable that she works hard and is sensible and yet finds it difficult to afford Manhattan on her own. Of course, I don’t know her either, but the OP never gave any evidence that she was some flaky party animal who barely worked.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

        • Parenting Says:

          He said “creative/artistic industry”, that could mean pretty much anything. That said, i do agree that there isnt enough information here to know if she is an accomplished professional who happened to fall into some good fortune or if she spent her life fostering dilusions about a barely viable artistic career while living off her parents.

          If he is thinking he wants to some day merge finances with this woman, I think its fair for him to ask those questions.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. AnnieNonymous Says:

    I’d take her explanation with a grain of salt. There are undoubtedly a bunch of complicated layers to this situation. It’s possible that the apartment is a pre-inheritance, that she’s living there rent-free now and it will eventually be hers to either sell or continue living in. I dunno, everyone wants to be wealthy but we’re immediately skeptical of people who are. If you’ve never gotten the sense that she’s doing something scammy or that she doesn’t have a good handle on her finances, I wouldn’t worry about it. There are worse things in the world than staying with this woman and moving into the NYC apartment she already basically owns.

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  9. UWSGal Says:

    The OP sounds foolish. So this girl has rich parents and its a bad thing?? May be if they get married her parents will by them a house or soneting. Having money or support from your parents is a wonderful thing. I wish I had that. It gives you freedom to do what you want, not to bust your ass to survive.

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    • Eliza Says:

      Hey–I agree, never had a dime given to me, and it was a struggle. Wouldn’t want that for my kids. I can respect an adult helping out his/her parents–but living off them? Nope, don’t find that to be a redeeming quality at all.
      How embarassing…imagine being a 50+ year old man, and living with their momma. How do you host anyone over? You can’t have a private evening with anyone at home. Nothing beats having your own place.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

      • Selena Says:

        The woman doesn’t live with her parents. She lives in a property they own. Sounds like she can have a private evening, anyone over, “in her own place”.

        Perhaps her parents prefer having their middle age daughter in the property instead of taking chances on unreliable tenants who might trash the place?

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  10. Letty Says:

    It depends on how her situation is, I live with my parents because I was born with disabilities and it’s tough out there to get an affordable apartment while living on ssi, dating has been an issue because of the stigma attached to it. I do want to go back to school to get a ged, I’m just working with a caseworker helping me with what I needed. Can’t always judge people based on that, it’s tough to deal with things like this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

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