Are You Dating a Hobosexual? Find Out Here

Man sleeping in car

If you’re thinking what we’re thinking, you’d be wise to question what the hell a hobosexual is and how not to catch it!

It may sound like some sort of STD. But when we refer to a hobosexual, we’re not talking about some disease or even a bearded, plaid shirt-wearing hipster that looks and smells like they crawled out from under a moldy bridge.

What is a “Hobosexual”?

A hobosexual is someone who dates you with the sole purpose of having somewhere to stay.

The term originated several years ago in a 2017 article by writer Nakita Nicci. The full definition is a “person who dates you with the sole interest of having a place to stay–not a genuine romantic interest.”

In other words, they’re serial daters, often bouncing from one live-in relationship to the next, and they typically come with a trash bag full of dirty laundry. 

The term may have originated over five years ago but has since seen a resurgence in pop culture because of the current relationship status of Matthew Lawrence and Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas of the group TLC.

Matthew was previously married to former Dancing with the Stars alum Cheryl Burke. The news media reported that he lived at home with his parents before the marriage, but after the union, he moved into Cheryl’s house. 

After the relationship ended in divorce, he moved back home to his parents, but since starting a relationship with Chilli, rumors have him making plans to move in with her. 

We’re not saying having a roof over his head is why he’s in a relationship with Chilli, but we are implying that it does look a little suspicious.  

So, at this point, you may think, “who does that?” The answer is plenty of people do that. Some don’t realize they’re doing it. But some do.

Several years ago, a woman–we’ll call her Natalie–got wrapped up with a guy just like this. He was still living with his ex when he met Natalie and decided she was The One. After only a week of dating Natalie, he packed up his stuff and moved into her apartment. 

Over the next several months, Natalie’s family and friends watched as this person ate all her food, collected unemployment checks, borrowed money from friends, and all while comfortably lazing around on her couch. 

When Natalie figured out he was using her herb garden to grow a few “special herbs” of his own, she enlisted several guy pals to help evict the loser from her life. 

In 2014, another hobosexual made an appearance in pop culture. “Joe, the Homeless Millennial” created headlines when he let a film crew follow him around and document his days panhandling on the Manhattan streets. At the same time, he spent nights seducing unsuspecting women so that he had a place to lay his head. 

Most recently, the LA Times released a podcast titled Dirty John. It follows the true-crime story of Debra Newell, a highly successful interior designer who fell for John Meehan, a big-time hobosexual. John checked all the right boxes. He was available, successful, and attentive, only to ease his way into her home and heart. Unfortunately, the results were deadly. 

Watch Out!

On dating apps, be very careful of matching with a hobosexual. They’ll sign up for sites catering to successful individuals (like Elite Singles) because they know they have the finances to foot the bill for whatever they want.

Other hot sites for hobosexuals include religious dating sites like Jdate and Christian Mingle because they hope to prey on their kindness. So watch out! 

Look at your match’s profile for any warning signs. When you initially talk to them, and they give you excuses for not having a job or a place of residence, move on because they could be a hobosexual.

A hobosexual is worse than a typical mooch because they take it to a pathological level. They take advantage of a person’s generosity while pretending to care and have feelings for you. The result is a toxic relationship that drains you emotionally and financially. It’s also potentially dangerous for whoever deals with one of these derelicts. 

While Natalie eventually could break free and move on, extricating oneself from a person like this is often not very easy. Sadly, many women are unable to maintain that type of emotional distance. 

They wind up struggling with what has turned into a toxic relationship and often go back and forth with the guy. Sometimes they’re even fearful for their safety and lives as they try to break free from the compulsive nature of a guy who had been lovable and charming at one point. 

Tell-Tale Signs That You’re Dealing with a Hobosexual

1. The Relationship Is Fast-Moving.

Anyone serious about being in a relationship with you doesn’t feel the need to move quickly. Instead, they’ll take their time to get themselves together, emotionally and financially, and heal from previous relationships before moving on and pursuing a connection with someone else. 

2. You Begin Drifting into Cohabitation.

Moving in together is a big step for any couple, so it requires some planning and a serious conversation. If your new love begins drifting into your living space or staying with you more and more, it is likely because they have nowhere else to go, and that’s a definite red flag.

They start leaving items at your place. At first, it’s smaller items like a toothbrush or shoes. Suddenly, they begin leaving their stereo equipment and dishes. They start to sleep overnight because it’s “closer to their job,” which you’ve never seen them go to. This brings us to our next point.

3. Everything Is in the “In-Between.”

Is it just you, or do they always seem to be “in-between” everything, like jobs, apartments, and partners? Their employment status is sketchy at best, and their last known address involved sleeping on their best friend’s couch. They also don’t have a habit of ever being single. If this is the case, be concerned. Be very concerned. 

4. You Overheard Them Telling Someone They’re Canceling Their Storage Locker.

They’ve brought their camper van, two bicycles, and an old TV of questionable origin to “just visit for a bit.” Then they ask, “Your garage is empty, right?” What could possibly go wrong here?

5. Your Friends Understand What’s Happening.

Often, our family and friends can see what is going on way before we do. When dealing with someone who’s a hobosexual, “free-spirited vagabond” is code for I don’t have a home, so I’m wandering the earth looking for targets.

Whenever your loved ones tell you they believe something is off about your new relationship, listening to them would greatly benefit you. 

6. You’ve Altered Your Lifestyle to Make Them Comfortable.

You’ve had to purchase a COSTCO membership just to offset their ravenous appetite for everything organic that costs a million dollars at the grocery store. You’re even thinking about building a custom-made doghouse in your backyard just for Sparky, the German Shepard they brought with them. 

7. They Move On Quickly.

If and when you finally take a proper assessment of the relationship, and you’ve decided to end it because you’re not completely convinced their intentions are true, they shrug and say, “cool,” and then move on without a care in the world; they were likely hobosexual. 

8. It’s Too Good to Be True.

They agree with everything you say, never disagree with you, and whatever you need to be done, they’re on it. We all dream that the perfect person for us is out there, just waiting for us to bump into them with our shopping cart. But when we think we have found it, it can sometimes feel uneasy or strange. It’s the feeling that everything in the relationship is running too smoothly, but you’re hesitant to question because you don’t want to seem like the naysayer.  

9. They’re Mostly (If Not Always) Unemployed or Stay Changing Jobs

If your potential partner reveals they no longer have a steady job when you first meet but then constantly reassures you they’re about to find something soon or that they’re trying to figure out what career will fulfill them, then you may be dealing with a hobosexual. Always keep your eyes open and look for specific signs that let you know it’s time to move on from the relationship.

10. He Doesn’t Know When to Get Out.

In every relationship, people need space, and in the beginning stages of dating, you shouldn’t force yourself to spend every waking moment together. If the person you’re seeing is spending all their time at your place, eventually turning those all-dayers into all-nighters and not allowing you to enjoy the spot where you pay rent, consider that a big red flag.

A guy who’s got his own thing going is willing to give you your alone time because he also wants his. If you have difficulty kicking him out, it’s most likely because he doesn’t have anywhere else to go. See that as a red flag and move on. 


Dating a hobosexual sometimes isn’t easy to spot because they put their best foot forward to impress you, and who doesn’t do that, especially at the beginning of a relationship? Your job is to recognize when their “good impression” raises red flags. 

For example, if your friends express concerns about your relationship, like how quickly it’s moving, take a step back so you access the situation. In other words, don’t allow him to spend every night at your place, and cut back on the life adjustments you make specifically for them. They’ll understand if they’re genuinely interested in a relationship with you.

However, if they decide that the relationship isn’t working out because of your requests, that’s fine. It’s better to know of their intentions earlier rather than later. 

Abigail Langton
Abigail Langton

Abigail Langton spends her time deep diving into the facts readers want to know about current dating apps online. You'll find her breaking down the latest price points and how to stay secure dating online.