Living alone in a van or RV full-time sounds like the ultimate dream–you are completely free and untethered–you have your entire house with you, you see a lot of places, meet a lot of new people, and your number one decision every single day is where you should go next. However, keeping this energy up at all times is just not possible. As social beings, you get lonely, too, and yearn for a bit of companionship. You might want a partner to spend your time with, or maybe even settle down with someday.
RV dating is possible but there might be some differences compared to “normal” dating, where you’re not on the road all the time, which you need to consider. It can also be fun as long as you keep in mind some factors when it comes to dating on the road.
Advantages of Dating in an RV
The first thing that you want to look at is the advantages of dating on the road. There are plenty of benefits that you can get when you plan to do RV dating. The following will talk about these benefits and how you can enjoy finding the love of life while you are on the road.
Interesting and Unique: Plenty of Possibilities
Living in an RV is a unique lifestyle, and that is just a simple fact. After all, traveling is associated with positive feelings of excitement and adventure. Folks living traditional lifestyles don’t meet many people like you, and you become very interesting to them. They might ask you a lot of questions, or even want to try the lifestyle with you.
A lot of people enjoy learning new things and are excited about the thought of traveling, they just never get to do it. You are proof that it can be done, you can survive (and thrive!) while constantly exploring what the world has to offer.
Plenty of Opportunities That May Come Your Way
Constantly going from place to place, you meet a lot of different people you may be compatible with. Every place you go to presents a lot of opportunities for friendship and dating if you go out and actually talk and connect with people.
Traveling can give you a social network you would not have if you chose to settle down in one place. There could be some of them that you may stop talking to after a while, but some of these relationships do last, friendship or otherwise.
If you are not a big fan of going out, you could make use of location-based dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, OkCupid, and Happn, among others. You can see and interact with people who are in relatively close proximity to you, talk virtually in the meantime, and make plans when conditions ease up.
Share Travel Experiences: No Need to Enjoy It Alone Anymore!
You travel a lot. You get to experience a lot of things so many people only dream of. You get to see amazing views, experience different cultures, and watch a beautiful sunset, but you are alone. Most of the time you don’t mind, but sometimes you just wish you had someone to share it with.
Dating gives you that. And dating on the road gives you the joy of seeing another human experience the same amazement that you have for traveling. You get someone you can laugh with, cry with, or talk to. The world is a wonderful place, and it is a joy to be shared.
Disadvantages of Dating in an RV
Aside from the advantages that you can get from dating on the road, there are also some disadvantages that you should know. The following will talk about the different disadvantages that you can get when you are dating on the road.
Non-traditional Living Arrangements: The Stigma You Need to Face
Let’s be real. A lot of people with traditional living arrangements simply do not understand living in an RV full time. Many may be intrigued and excited by it, but many others will simply reject it. Most mainstream people would not even bother to try and understand your chosen lifestyle.
There are some negative stereotypes about living full-time in a vehicle. Some people would automatically assume your life is unstable, you are homeless, or having a hard time supporting yourself, let alone a relationship.
Age can also be a factor. The older a person is, the less they can be open to new experiences, as most of them may have already settled and would be uncomfortable leaving that life behind.
If it comes to the point that you get into a serious relationship and your partner accepts and is interested in your lifestyle, their family might be less open. If you are envisioning a long-term relationship with this person, it is something that you need to address. Will you be able to deal with any negativity that might be coming from your partner’s family? How far are you willing to compromise?
Shallow Dating Pool: Take Note!
Although you initially seem to have a lot of choices for people to talk to and potentially date, a lot of them may not really last long given the nomadic nature of your lifestyle. Like the previous point, many non-nomadic people you might want to date may not want to change and leave their settled lives to date you.
Traveling full-time may give you a wide pool of people to get to know, but many of them will simply not stick around in your life, especially when you start dating someone with traditional living arrangements. You would need to work out both of your schedules if you decide to see each other regularly or semi-regularly.
This could also be a con when you decide to date fellow nomads, as when you start talking to people, most of them are usually already coupled up, even married, or have decided to stay single. Some single ones are open to short-term or casual relationships, so if you want to and are open to these types of relationships, there is no harm in trying your luck.
Long-Distance Relationship: The Possibility or Impossibility
If ever you decide to pursue dating while living in an RV full-time and have no plans yet of moving in with your partner or them moving in with you, you need to figure out how you and your potential partner feel about dating long distance.
This means not seeing each other for weeks or even months, only talking to them on the phone, and giving and receiving silence when you get to a place where there is no cell service. Not to mention the current pandemic we are currently going through. For several countries, there is very little certainty as to when we could travel and see loved ones again. Some of us might be quarantined alone, or cannot go anywhere due to travel restrictions.
Some people simply cannot handle the stresses brought about by maintaining a long-distance relationship, and it is best to be upfront about this before any major heartbreak occurs.
What Are the Things You Should Consider
At the end of the day, dating is dating. The basic principles of dating while living a traditional, settled lifestyle mostly carry over to dating while living in an RV. Specific lifestyles may bring about unique, mostly logistical issues, but in the end, we are all dealing with people and their unique backgrounds, emotions, and approaches to life.
Here are some things to consider which may apply to dating all in all, but a little more specific to dating while living in an RV full time.
The Type of Relationship that You Want
One thing you should settle before actively finding people to date is what do you actually want? What kind of relationship are you looking for? Do you want something casual or are you actually looking for a long-term mate? Casual and serious relationships are completely different things and require different approaches.
Know and establish your boundaries as well. Try to establish beforehand any deal-breakers you might have in a potential partner. Will you do long-distance relationships? Will you date someone who is a nomad or not a nomad? Are you planning on having a family? If so, will your ideal family stay on the road or will you eventually settle down somewhere?
Answering these questions first would save you and your potential dates a lot of time, confusion, and potential heartbreak. It is best to know beforehand what you want so you are firm and quick with your decisions, and avoid getting strung along–or stringing anyone along–emotionally.
Casual relationships are easier on the road, as both of you don’t really expect the same level of commitment that a serious, monogamous relationship does. It is also the most viable option, especially when you want to date a fellow nomad–most of the single ones prefer casual dates. You can stay in a place for a while and date casually, assuming that all parties are in agreement on what your relationship is supposed to be.
Serious or Monogamous Relationships
Serious, monogamous relationships could be a bit harder to find and maintain when you are living in an RV full-time. They require a lot of effort to make them work–even with traditional living arrangements–but if it is what you want, it would be worth the trouble to find. You would need someone who would either want to travel with you or someone who is comfortable with dating long-distance.
Casual and Serious Polyamorous Relationships
Polyamorous relationships can be open or closed–and could be approached similarly to open and closed monogamous relationships. What level of commitment are you willing to expend? However, polyamorous relationships also pose some unique situations. You need to think about how many people are in your relationship. Will you fit inside your RV? If you decide to live together, will you be comfortable? When you live in an RV, you need to downsize, since there isn’t a lot of space. You will need to think about how you will manage your relationship given the constraints that small space and a nomadic lifestyle will give you.
Keep An Open Communication: Solves Almost Anything
Yes, you live in an RV and travel, but don’t make it your entire personality. After all, no one makes a big deal out of living in their own house. People are different and have a wide variety of interests. A lot of people may not yet share your passion for living life on the road. Just because a person is not a nomad or a camper does not mean that they are automatically boring.
Talk to people about different things. Tell them about your passions and interests. Be open to their interests as well. The best thing about dating and meeting new people is learning and experiencing new things. Be open to these kinds of experiences. You can teach them a thing or two about camping and traveling, and you might learn a new craft or pick up a new hobby because of them. Exchange and growth are what interpersonal relationships give us. Make the most out of every connection you build.
Make Sure to Be Confident
Just because you live a non-traditional lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that you have to hide it. It reinforces the stigma that people have about living in an RV full-time.
Be confident about who you are and what you have to offer. Yes, your living arrangements might be a bit different logistically but show that there is so much more to you than living in a vehicle. Show them your interests, your kindness, and your sense of humor. Show them that there is nothing to be ashamed of in how you live and show them the important lessons that traveling has taught you in the time that you spent on the road.
If they decide that dating someone with your lifestyle is not for them and they want to leave, let them. Being honest and confident with yourself will allow you the mindset that not everyone will want to be with you, and through dating, through rejection, you are filtering out people who will not be compatible with you anyway. Take rejection as a step forward to finding someone who will be open and accepting of these parts of you.
Always Be Patient With Your Significant Other
When you meet someone new, especially someone who is not a nomad like you, be patient with them. It will take time to fully grasp and understand a lifestyle as unique as yours. As long as they are interested in you and in getting to know you, try to explain to them what your life is like, and welcome them into it if they wish to experience it as well. Dating is about showing yourself and giving each other the time to know and understand one another, to see if you want to be with each other or not.
A date might be a bit hesitant about your lifestyle at first, but through time, patience, and constant communication, they might learn to like your lifestyle and even want to go along and travel with you sometimes.
Dating is a lot like traveling. Although it could be a physical journey, it is primarily an emotional and mental journey. It is about getting to know people and deciding if you want to stay in each other’s lives for a little longer every day. And although living full-time in an RV is challenging, don’t let dating intimidate you. After all, dating is supposed to be fun! You get to know a lot of different people, including yourself along the way. It can be difficult because life is difficult, but the most important thing is to be authentic. Life and relationships are an adventure, don’t forget to enjoy yours.