With a growing number of professional single Asian women fleeing the nest and living independently, many are not willing to entertain the prospect of moving in with a partner’s parents.
It can mean a complete change of lifestyle; akin to going back to nursery school, despite having already graduated from university. For many women, including those who still live at home, their parents lead independent lives, so they can’t quite grasp why a potential partner’s parents can’t do the same. But perhaps the biggest oversight made is that it often has nothing to do with the parents demanding that their son stay with them, but the fact that their son wants to stay with them, and has made the decision to do so, himself.
This is certainly true of three of my close male friends.
Nilesh’s father left his mother when he was born and sadly, Nikesh’s father passed away when he was a baby. Raised single-handedly by their mother’s, who played the role of both parents, Nilesh and Nikesh were supported until they graduated. They both grew up watching their mother’s make sacrifices and overcome challenges to secure a brighter future for them. Fortunately, both are now well settled in their lives and careers - and when they do marry, they want to continue living with their mother. Does this make them mummy’s boys, bad prospects or dependants, simply because they now want to furnish the same courtesy to their mother? And yet, both Nilesh & Nikesh have lost count of the number of second dates that they did not get simply because they still live – and want to continue living and supporting – with their mother.
Sanjay’s story is different. He was raised by both of his parents, who always encouraged him to follow his dreams and aspirations. At 35, he is a successful single Asian professional male, who has spent 8 years of his life living and working abroad. Despite having led an independent life, he is now back in the UK and after being apart from them for so long, he now wants to settle down, and stay with his parents.
He strongly believes that the benefits of living with his parents, once he is married, outweigh the drawbacks. Practically speaking, it is more cost-effective and will allow the whole family to enjoy the benefits of an extra disposal income. But on an emotional or personal level, his parents also get to be a real part of his children’s lives and are well placed to instil cultural values and traditions, which risk being diluted. Plus, he hopes he can spoil his wife with spontaneous gestures, without having to worry about childcare further down the line.
In times of hardship, it’s easier to face and overcome problems when you are a strong family unit. And for Sanjay, living with his parents after marriage, will enable him to fulfil his role of being a good son and dutiful husband, allowing him to look after his parents in old age while providing for his wife and children.
The stories differ but the common thread is that Nilesh, Nikesh and Sanjay are three men who have been raised with good morals and values by their parents. Each man is compassionate, considerate and loyal – and has shown that by their commitment and love to their parents. Surely these are all qualities that are at the top of most women's list, when looking for a life partner?
To me, these three guys exemplify, why you should not be hasty in dismissing a potential partner because he wishes to live with his parents. It’s important to stop and ask him why, and put yourself in his position to identify whether you would do the same in his situation. If the answer is no, then that’s fine, at least you gave him a fair chance. But I’ll leave you with a final thought: we are all going to get old one day. Would you prefer to be in a nursing home surrounded by strangers, worse still struggling alone, or be looked after by your nearest and dearest?