When I first started traveling solo on the road,the last thing on my mind was dating, everything was new and fresh, it gave me the opportunity to work on myself, meet new people and see what I’m capable of. And while all that was true, things started to change my 2nd year fulltiming. I took the first year to travel solo, but now I wanted to share my life with someone. I was ready to start dating.
What am I looking for in a relationship
I don’t think it comes at any surprise when I say, dating is tough, especially as a nomad! Being full time on the road is a lifestyle that a lot of people might not understand, so having patience while dating is important.
For me, waiting until I was stationary was vital, because I knew what type of relationship I wanted to invest in. I didn’t want to start a relationship if I was traveling and did not have enough time to get to know someone if things were going well, so I waited till I was at my homebase to have a better chance of spending quality time with someone.
Next, I needed to be honest with myself and potential dates on what I’m looking for while dating. Being real with myself and setting boundaries on what I will do and can’t do with someone is important.
For example, some people had the assumption that I’m in an RV and must not want anything serious which isn’t the case. I didn’t want casual hookups or casual partners, so I made that crystal clear.
About Online Dating
I first tried online dating, which was intimidating at first, trying to figure out which online dating app to use, since there isn’t a dating app for nomads (yet). What helped me pick which dating app to use was the type of relationship I was looking for. I found the app Hinge was the best one for me, I liked that it centered around reading someone’s profile vs swiping on pictures.
Just like anything in life, I quickly discovered some pros and cons to online dating as a nomad. One of the pro’s to online dating, is you can center your nomadic lifestyle on your profile and find other nomads easily. Even in the “middle of nowhere” where I was stationary, I found quite a few nomads.
But on the other side of that coin, one of the downsides to online dating as a nomad was feeling like I was being interviewed about the RV Lifestyle vs finding someone that was genuinely interested in getting to know me.
While some conversations were refreshing and genuinely interesting, it did feel like I was being interviewed vs finding a potential partner. I found myself always answering the same questions like: “Where’s your favorite state and what do you like about it?” or “How much MPG does your RV get?” While I was expecting questions about my RV, I didn’t expect it to take up a bulk of our conversations.
It’s okay if I’m not everyone’s cup of tea or people don’t want to date a fulltime RVer. But, what I did find was some assumptions about me based on the way I live. For example, I got a lot of people assuming that because I was a traveler, that I must be bopping around the country all the time (which would be very expensive to do) so I couldn’t be looking for something serious, even though my profile said I was. One of the benefits to this lifestyle is having my home with me, so if someone or something was worth it, I could stay there longer.
After many conversations, I personally didn’t find what I was looking for by online dating. It started to feel like a chore answering so many questions vs genuine conversations that could lead to a date. For some people, online dating was the place they found someone, but for me, I didn’t find a spark through text.
Expect the Unexpected
After failed attempts at online dating, I’ll admit I felt a bit jaded. I fell into the assumption that I wouldn’t find someone unless they were also a nomad, because someone that isn’t in this lifestyle couldn’t possibly want to date someone like me.
So I deleted and swore off the dating apps. I accepted that I’ll just be traveling solo for a while. And as fate would have it, once I stopped looking, love found me.
Just by luck, I met someone in the most unexpected places, while being a part of my best friend’s wedding. It was the reason I was back in my hometown and stationary for months.
There is something that feels real, natural and genuine meeting someone in person vs online. There wasn’t the pressure or expectation we were going to date. We just started off talking, becoming good friends and discovering we held the same principles, values and sense of humor.
What also surprised me was that he isn’t a fulltime RVer or a nomad but he respects me, and finds a way to make it work. It made me rethink the expectations and assumptions I had about myself. Maybe the right person for you isn’t someone that’s living the exact same lifestyle as you, but someone that values who you are and accepts you for where you are in life.
As my partner and I navigate life together, there are challenges that have come up, but because we have a solid foundation, those challenges are met with our same effort to make things work. I’m glad I didn’t fully give up on dating after failed attempts. I do believe there is someone for all of us, but sometimes letting go of expectations of what our future partner might be, might lead to you finding the right person you wouldn’t have expected.
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