Are you dating a minimalist and stumped? We’ve got you covered!
Note: While “dating” is in the title, this post is a great place to start for any meaningful relationship you may have with someone who is a minimalist/as a minimalist.
Read Denise’s essay on this exact subject: Minimalist Living With A Non-Minimalist. Oh Boy
Question submitted by Kathy J:
Hi Denise & Aly! I found your blog while looking up minimalism and hoped you could help. I’m just starting to date a new man and he’s a minimalist. I want to support his decision and am looking for some advice. What should I give him for Christmas? Should I even get him anything? What about dates? Any advice or tips you can give would be a huge help! Thanks ladies!
Great question, Kathy! I feel your pain! Dating as a minimalist can be just as tricky as dating a minimalist. Here’s a few ideas to help you get started:
Dating A Minimalist: Just put down the item now and walk away. When dating someone minimalist, tread carefully when giving a gift. Unless the person has stated “I need xyz” and asked you to purchase it, avoid giving gifts. I fully understand this is a hard one, especially in today’s world where affection is frequently purchased and given in the form of stuff.
Some good gift ideas include:
- A home cooked meal
- A coupon book they can cash in for things you’ll do (cleaning, driving, etc.)
- A gift card to their favorite restaurant or coffee house
- Multi-use items they need (ask them first)
- Ecofriendly items that replace waste (ask them first)
To this day, my favorite gift I’ve received was my passport, paid in full. There’s a fun gift idea (if they don’t already have one)!
I’ve also received plenty of stuffed animals, clothing, and jewelry that I never use. They just take up space in my house – however I feel guilty about tossing these things. It can be a lose-lose situation. Keep that in mind before spending the money.
Dating As A Minimalist:
As a minimalist, I think the key is to stay in tune with your partner. Discuss with them where you stand and respect the decision they make. Keep in mind, if you’re dating someone who is not simplifying, they very well may enjoy receiving gifts. It’s up to you how you’ll handle that.
Dating A Minimalist: Whew, this is a toughie. Taking a note from gift giving, let me first point out that you should steer clear of shopping dates. Instead, opt for dates that offer new experiences, explore shared interests, or allow room for the two of you to talk.
My favorite dates? How about these:
- Explore a new trail (state parks/local parks)
- Try a new activity (kayaking, paddle boarding, etc.)
- Take a 30-60 minute drive outside the city (road trip)
- Try a new recipe (cook together)
- Check out local events (concerts, festivals, etc.)
- The classic always works as well: Go to a good restaurant
Dating As A Minimalist: Listen to your partner – what interests have they expressed? Exploring those interests is a great way to get to know your partner better while having fun.
Really, not too much more to add than that. The above date ideas may be a good place to start as well.
Good luck folks! Let us know – what tips do you have for someone dating a minimalist? Send it to us in an email, or post it on our Facebook wall!
Blessings & Happy Holidays,
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).