As a self-proclaimed “zip code collector”, I have a thing or two to say about travel and romance.
In ten years I’ve had nearly 20 addresses and throughout my stops I’ve experienced a spectrum of relationship scenarios, moving for love, marriage, divorce, dating again (eep!), and finding my way back into a committed, long-term relationship…running smack into the Tiny House Movement along the way.
Most people don’t link the autonomy and independence of tiny homes with a traditional life pattern, what I call the “Three M’s” (Meet, Marry, Mortgage)–and maybe they shouldn’t. As an active member of the Movement, I’d argue that those pursuing roam about lives and smaller dwellings are in fact traditionalists in many other ways, especially when it comes adopting courtship avenues from a century ago.
I’m writing this as a woman lucky enough to have found a partner who doesn’t think I’m nuts for wanting to live light and hit the road. But even with this relationship and the experiences of all my journeys, I’m no expert on wander-love. So when I was asked to write about romance and roamers, what did I do? I turned to our growing community at Tiny House Dating, which is about 30% nomads, travelers, and what have you.
An interesting theme emerged as I spoke with singles and reviewed hundreds of profiles; many of our members aren’t interested in dating. Here’s a snapshot of what I found:
“Why would anyone want to be in a romantic relationship with someone they weren’t friends with first??!”
“I would love to get to know more tiny house enthusiasts of any kind. Seeking a life partner right now isn’t my priority, but friendship is.”
“I’m in this game to make friends in the tiny house world!”
Despite being a forward-thinking sub 30, I was surprised at this trend. Focusing on community first and romance second isn’t a new idea; however, it’s one that my fellow tiny house peeps seem to be shouting about from the top of their lungs. Never fear! I think I’ve figured this one out.
If you’ve wandered, or even just traveled a bit before, you understand that “life on the road” comes with an added number of daily variables. In fact, you might readily welcome them. The reason a path loaded with variables works for roamers is that we’ve built certain frameworks into our lives. I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t attribute the success of my adventures to a far-flung safety net of friends, loved ones, and supporters. True, you could say the same as stationary folks and their networks; however, anyone that’s completed a prolonged couch surfing stint will tell you that community is a little bit more essential as a nomad.
Taking any road less traveled is much easier with help from our friends. So, it makes sense that wandering tiny house folks would stress this piece of the pie. But what about that part on bypassing romance? Let’s circle back to the idea of traditional courtship.
In the smaller towns and tightly-knit clusters of yore, we met mates through our tribes. The dating game was one of major social capital. There’s always something to be said for a serendipitous meet-cute, but in contract this tribal model generates degree of awareness, comradery, and accountability we don’t always find with outsiders. And while it’s not perfect, tiny housers on the go appear to understand that old school crowd sourcing can lead them to the genuine connections and the relationships they’re interested in (someday).
“I cherish the independence of any partner I might have and welcome their ability to walk freely with me. And they must be interested in exploring the tiny home community and all the exciting opportunities it offers.”
Reading this member’s thoughts helped me to truly understand the community-focus of the Tiny House Dating pool. Thinkers from my nomadic and simplicity-focused camps don’t abide by Three M’s of society. For us, relationships aren’t the goal, or destination; they’re the vehicle—much like the mobile structures we embrace—and in walking “freely” we prefer to leave the door open for ties of all kinds: friends, lovers, teachers; you name it.
That’s why I invite you, Wand’rly readers, to stop by my profile and say hello. I’m probably not the love of your life, but our kinship could lead us to so much more.