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09/30/2016 10:57 am ET Updated Sep 30, 2016

This Is Precisely How Long It Takes To Get Over Empty Nest Syndrome

Admit it, your daughter's room would make a great home gym.
Rick Gomez via Getty Images

So your precious daughter is nicely settled into her dorm room and loves college and you know you should be happy. But you’re not. You remain deep in the throes of empty nest syndrome, unable to walk past her old bedroom without going inside and sniffing the sheets for a whiff of her.

How long will this go on, you and your therapist may be wondering. A fun study by Peregrine Adventures of 2,000 empty nesters came up with an answer: Precisely 3 months and 14 days on average ― pretty much til Christmas!

Sure, one in four parents were able to move on in a month or less, the study found. Traveling, home gyms, and having more sex were the areas they most frequently moved on to. Traveling was by far the biggest goal for empty nesters, with 44 percent planning to see the world.

Actually, rather than dwell too heavily on sentiment, 20 percent of parents have their eye on turning their child’s recently vacated room into a nice home gym or  office. And FWIW, dads get over the kids moving out about two weeks quicker than moms overall, the results showed. Dads also were more keen to rekindle their sex lives and more likely to cite “reduced household expenses” as a plus for becoming an empty nester. Guess they forgot about those tuition bills.

So where do empty nesters most want to go? Tropical destinations top the list, followed by a long-held bucket list experience they’ve talked about doing but never got the chance. Not to mention you can now travel off-season when rates are lower.

“Once the kids leave the house for adventures of their own, it’s clear that the parents want to feed their wanderlust and have fun as well,” said Leigh Barnes, Regional Director, Peregrine Adventures North America, in a press release. 

“Our survey found that nearly half of parents are eager to see new lands and go to places they’ve never been,” she added. “As much as we hear about the travel habits of millennials, it’s clear that the empty nesters may be the real explorers.”

All in all, something for you parents of high school seniors to look forward to.

 
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