Ask Amy: Why would people smirk at our housemate arrangement?

DEAR AMY: Why is there a stigma about living
with your parents?

Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune) 

In many cultures around the world multi-generational households
are considered the norm. No stigma exists.

My home is in a very high-rent area where people pay as much as
two-thirds of their income for housing. I decided to rent out two
bedrooms. My renters each have their own area in the house, as do

My tenants are my adult children.

All expenses are split equally, as are household duties as
defined in our tenant contract. We respect each other’s

The advantages of this arrangement allow for each of us to pay
far less than we would living on our own. We all get to live in a
well-maintained, nice home in a part of the country we love.

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We take care of each other’s pets when someone is away. We live
with people we know and trust.

So far, this is working well for us.

Lea, in Santa Cruz

DEAR LEA: This arrangement sounds ideal. I
agree with you that the North American concept of rugged
individualism may have created a stigma about adults living with
their folks, but this same concept also allows you to ignore the
stigma, and live as you please.

DEAR AMY: My boyfriend and I are in our early
20s. We have been in a long-distance relationship for 18

He is my first major love and relationship. Now our current (yet
tentative) plan is to move in together after my Ph.D. is done and
his business settles. He is very supportive and I’m happy being
with him. However, I’m not sure if I’m ready.

I’ve lost myself as I put so much energy, time and effort to
our relationship, instead of investing in myself. I became
emotional and I’m not as productive or disciplined as I was. I
don’t know how to balance myself, as this is my first
relationship. I’m not sure if a relationship is good for me or
I’m ready to be in one. I want to focus and invest in myself
without his influence because I’m scared of losing myself even

My boyfriend wants to be supportive, but we are both so
clueless. Should we break up, or find a balance?

Is there a way to be in a relationship and still be your most
productive/career-driven self in your 20s?


DEAR UNSURE: Regardless of the plans you two
have made, you should dial in to that feeling in your gut. Your
early-20s is a time of emotional development and exploration, and
in that sense, your concern about this demonstrates that you are
right on track.

The ideal — for you, for your guy, and for everyone — is to
find a healthy balance, in your life and relationships. It is not
unusual to feel like you’ve “lost” yourself when you first
fall in love. It’s called “falling” for a reason. That
sensation of tumbling through space is thrilling, but it is
frightening, too. And yes, obsessively feeding one relationship
will curtail your own personal and career progress. Remember, the
primary relationship in your life will always be the one you have
with yourself.

You should choose to live wherever your Ph.D. takes you, in
order to build a career in your field, and no — given how you are
feeling, you should not cohabit until you are absolutely

If you move to his city, renting a room in a group house
(instead of cohabiting) might be a good idea for you.

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advice to “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”
was off base.

This girls’ volleyball coach had insisted that she shave her
arm pits and legs.

She wears a “uniform” — as in, the coach wants his team to
look “uniform.”

If this young woman wants to play volleyball that badly, then
she should follow the coaches’ rules.

Sure, there is gender discrimination in the world, but this
smacks of too much micro-feedback, and to call it discrimination
goes way too far.

Instead of supporting the coach and his idea of how to be proud
of his team, you rule in favor of a young teenager who now learns
that she can go over his head to the school administrator for
stupid stuff.


DEAR MARGIE: In my mind, demanding that this
young athlete shave her body is the essence of
“micro-feedback.” As I said in my response, unless male
volleyball players are also asked to shave, I think this girl
should be left alone.

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You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a
letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also
follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.

Source: FS – All – Interesting – Lifestyle
Ask Amy: Why would people smirk at our housemate arrangement?