Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Challenging the Stigma of Living with Your Parents

It appears that when many people are asked to picture someone who "still" lives with their parents in their twenties they picture someone who's overweight, has no ambition, & eats pizza & plays video games all day. Does anyone think this might just be a stereotype? What is a person who "still" lives with their parents like? I believe they can be anyone. Many great people live with their parents for various reasons. All of the ones that I know have university degrees & a lot of ambition.

I for one live with my parents & I’m currently 24 years old. I've been triggered a lot lately when looking at match questions on the dating site OkCupid. Nearly everyone says they wouldn't date someone who “still” lives with their parents. 

A screenshot of the OkCupid question along with my answer & explanation. Just one note, I believe everyone has the right to their own choices & this article is just an argument defending my position.

First of all, I don’t like how this question uses the word “still” which implies that this is an undesirable thing that’s temporal. Look at the bigger picture regarding humans. The society we live in today has only existed for a blink of the eye in humanity’s entire history. There have been many different cultures & there still exist many cultures where people live in extended families. It even makes sense evolutionarily to live with your family. Humans are a social species. The cost of living with your family is lower, you have a greater chance of survival, & you have a lower impact on the planet.

Now the reason that I live with my parents is in short because I’m mentally disabled. This doesn't mean I will never live on my own, this doesn't imply any lack of ambition, this isn't weakness. I need to hold my head up high & keep trying my best. I have a degree in chemistry & biology, I’m a mental health advocate, I've been running a weekly online variety show for more than 2 years featuring more than 400 people with more than 100 episodes. I’m a photographer, artist, & much more. I work on many projects & I firmly believe in the value of my work.

I can feel crushed at times browsing dating sites & seeing how people want someone who has all of the superficial standards of society. No I don’t have an automobile either. I have two legs, a bicycle, & public transportation though. I feel that I’m more capable than most despite not having any of these things. 

At times when I'm triggered I bring out my list of positive thinking to try to counteract my negative thoughts. I've made a video about the list. I have people who believe in my work & support me online (I can never thank you enough!). Really, if I simply keep my mind confined to just my own world which I've been building for myself I’m completely happy. It’s only now that I’m seeing what the rest of humanity is like by using a dating site that I’m feeling challenged.

While I stated some reasons earlier why living with your parents is a positive thing I also want to point out that I've found many people these days who’re the same age as me living with their parents. It appears that many of them seem to move back in after studying at university. It appears that the job market in my area of the world is highly saturated so it’s quite difficult to acquire one.

Overall, I felt the need to write this since I feel so challenged when browsing these dating sites & I’m sure that there are others out there who can relate & benefit from me being open & talking about this here.

-- If you'd like to help support me, my family, & projects you can become a patron to my work over on Patreon. I'm trying to be able to support myself & continue to produce my projects. Any support means the world to me. I literally dance in a circle & run to tell my parents with every pledge that I receive.