DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: Long time reader over here. I’ve been about this column for four years now and thankfully, it has really helped expand my nuance around dating. I’m a 31 year old visible minority male who has had a string of maybe 2 semi-serious relationships since attending college at 25. I have recently only gone all the way with one girl at the age of 31, and I feel unique compared to most men in that I haven’t felt the pressure to get laid by a certain age.
Partially, this is because I’m pretty serious about my career over the last ten years, partially I come from a semi queer family situation who really doesn’t meet the typical nuclear, 2 kids two cars classic all American (or Canadian) family structure. With that (and being a minority) the classic toxic manly man’s definition of manhood is something I have prided myself on distancing myself from. Practically however, there is one big reason why I haven’t been dating. Maybe you and my fellow nerd readers have already picked up on a common thread here already, but I’ll just bluntly say it: I haven’t pursued dating primarily for a lack of money. I am (relative to the typical north American) dirt poor and with dating, and the risk of pregnancy and what that entails for lower socioeconomic peoples, and the fact I have been living at home for more or less thirty years of my life, with dating…. AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Period.
So finally, after reaching a point in my career where I have the money to start going out, I DO….HAVE TIME FOR THAT…So I recently met someone pretty cool who connects with my lifestyle and goals. The only problem is her roommates who share the space just as one would have a problem bringing girls over to their parents’ house. After all, who wants to have a fancy old bang about while dad watches the game and mom is in the kitchen? As well, on the other hand, who wants to bring a nice girl home to deal with the… various routines older folks go through in close proximity to ones “love nest”?
So my house is out but the real fly in the ointment is that my sexy friend’s roommates do not want me as a prospective partner to spend the night in their house. But not just in their house-but in my sexy friends room.
We both think it’s immature- she pays for her part of the space, her space is hers to use -except- I partially do not think her room mates are immature. For one, I do understand some of the concerns a house full of women may have with a random stranger man interloping into their space-especially if it is a one night stand. It’s understandable how you may not exactly want a stranger to be using a shared space such as a bathroom, especially when everyone has a different schedule and you have to accommodate a new guest. Of course, I have to ask the implication about what this means for NON sexy friends staying over-but in short, a one night stand may throw a wrench in the established routine of four working full time women outside of hearing creaking bed springs at 2 am. That makes sense. And me and my sexy friend were (unfortunately) ready to meet their considerations.
However, once said hook up happened and I was ready to leave… inclement weather hit, preventing my ride from picking me up-stranding me for the night. No problem for me and my friend-no one wants a perspective ride to get in a car accident or face dangerous road conditions because of a bootie call-and again, we were ready to meet her roommates somewhat understandable concern.
This is the problem though. When my sexy friend informed her roommates I would be staying, they simply came back with “Well can’t we drop him off at the bus station?” which is reasonable- if the busses actually ran. To do so, I would be waiting in a city I don’t know, between the hours of 9pm and 6 am next day for the bus – and I’m a visible minority in a somewhat increasingly racist time. On one hand from my perspective, this immaturity to a shared space bootie call has jumped to a callous disregard of life and of the time we live in-like lets imagine the shoe on the other foot gender-wise: If I were a woman, would we even comprehend suggesting that I stay overnight alone at a bus station?
At the same time, I am also pragmatic to give the benefit of the doubt-that maybe my sexy friend’s roommates simply don’t know enough about the bus schedule or other extenuating factors. Four roommates all working and busy don’t exactly have much connection outside of sharing the space they pay for.
So to wrap it up, as a young 31 year old who still lives at home, who isn’t in a position to purchase my own living space yet, and has to deal with a prospective partners roommates who’s life style totally clashes with myself and my sexy friend, what should I do? Should I start saving my money for motel rooms? Should me and my friend pack a tent in their car? Maybe save up some gas money and hit the countryside.
Three Bedrooms One Bath
DEAR THREE BEDROOMS ONE BATH: Oof.
Two things can be true, TBOB; your lady friend’s roommates can have legitimate concerns about having strangers sleeping over and they can be rude, inconsiderate or just plain “what the actual hell is wrong with you?” levels of hostile for strange reasons.
It’s entirely reasonable, for example to be uncomfortable to have a strange person, especially a strange man, staying in your house – especially if he’s a hook-up rather than an established partner. While the person who invited him presumably has decent Spidey-sense and has vetted him, that’s no guarantee, and God knows people have had to deal with roommates bringing folks home who turned out to be creepers or worse since time immemorial.
At the same time however, sometimes s--t happens and throwing someone out in nightmare weather with no real means of getting home safely is almost needlessly cruel. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for your friend to say “hey, we’re not throwing him out on a night like this,” and – at the very least – waiting until either the busses are running or it’s safe for you to catch a cab or a rideshare home. That, to my mind, is basic hospitality.
But, leaving those specific circumstances aside, there does come a point where accommodations, compromises and understanding are going to be required from folks who live together. There are reasonable compromises and concessions that can be made for things like having overnight guests that aren’t “you, as a sexually active adult, are not allowed to have your partners over, even in your room”. That’s the point where I think your lady friend’s roommates are acting unreasonably. I have to wonder if similar rules apply for any of their partners, regardless of gender, or if this is just something they decided only applies to other people.
(I also wonder if there’s a racial element to this; would they have the same issue if you weren’t a racial minority?)
But that’s something for your friend to sort out for herself; she’s a grown-ass, rent-paying adult and she’s the one who lives there. That’s her responsibility to deal with. Your responsibility is to find options that work for you, considering your living situation and your finances.
Squaring this particular circle is going to be a combination of a willingness to look at this as a challenge requiring some creative solutions, a can-do attitude, and an eye towards a more amenable living situation, both short and long-term.
The long-term solution, obviously, would be to save up towards getting your own place – either on your own or with roommates of your own.
Short term, however, is where you’re going to need some creativity. If your parents have a space that would work as an additional-dwelling unit (like a garage or basement apartment) or a space that you could access with your own door, that would help give you more breathing room as you get your finances together.
Without that, however, you’re going to have to look at hooking up as a series of challenges that make this more exciting. Think of it as a way of building both anticipation and excitement; you and your friends or partners have to find ways to overcome the obstacles that’re thwarting your desire, which makes the successful boning down all the sweeter. In some ways, it’s like being a teenager again, trying to find alone time with your snugglebunny. The challenge of finding the time and space, the thrill of the risk of getting caught all add spice and intensity to the relationship.
But, as entertaining as that can be, there are diminishing returns to this approach, especially once you’re an adult. It’s one thing if this is an issue with an established partner. It’s less desirable if you’re dealing with random hook-ups or one-night stands. A committed partner may see trying to solve the “where’re we gonna do it” as a fun game you are playing together. To someone you just met off Tinder or at the bar, this becomes one more reason why they’re gonna want to just go home alone, instead.
And honestly, boning down on the regular in comfort and safety takes money. Yes, you could sling a tent out in a convenient field or campground, that’s not going to be a long or even mid-term solution. That can be an entertaining diversion on occasion, but I think even the most understanding partner is going to want the benefit of a comfortable mattress, four walls and climate control before long.
The same goes for finding sneaky outdoor canoodling spots or local Lover’s Lanes for some back-seat action; it’s fun on occasion but not as your primary or only option, and it has privacy, legal and safety risks involved.
It’s a shame that more places haven’t followed Japan’s initiative, where a lack of privacy lead to the rise of love hotels for couples who need a place to go to bang. But as it is, the most viable option is going to involve overnights at hotels or a short term rental service like Airbnb. These get pricy very quickly, so it’s understandable that this can put a damper on your love-life.
So, short term, you may have to allow for finding opportunities when your parents or inconvenient roommates aren’t around, while hotels and rentals are for special occasions or when there are no other options.
Medium term, if things with your new sexy friend look as though they’re going to last, hopefully she’ll be able to sort things out with her roommates.
The course of love – or just getting laid – never did run smoothly, but that’s not always a bad thing. With luck and a flexible outlook, if this does turn into a more established relationship, you and your lady will look at this as an amusing challenge that you had to overcome together and ultimately brought you closer as a couple. If not, or future partners have similar roadblocks, you’re going to have to factor the price of the occasional night at a hotel as part of the cost of dating until your living situation is sorted.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org