The question of dating for Van Dwellers really has two sides to it. First, it can possibly scare some people when they discover they are dating a van dweller. Second, it can possibly scare a van dweller to be dating.
Many books about dating provide advice that is applicable to van dwellers, just as it is to the rest of society. Basically, before even contemplating dating, there are some things to consider:
- Do you have a way to maintain good personal hygiene?
- Do you have a steady way to make money? (Printing your own does not count).
- Do you have a stable place to live?
These are important questions to ask before beginning dating. It will be very difficult to get dates (or at least second dates) without good personal hygiene. Dating can be very well done on the cheap, but it will occasionally require some amount of money.
The third question may be of most interest to some van dwellers. A very small percentage of the population is open to the idea of dating somebody that they view as "homeless," even though you may not consider yourself homeless. As such, you probably only have 3 options:
- Only date people that accept your chosen mode of living.
- Just don't let people know.
- Don't date.
Since you're reading this, you probably don't consider #3 an option. Finding people that fit #1 may be difficult, but not impossible. Thus, we go to #2.
Since many people consider honesty to be one of those big cornerstones of a successful relationship, this one can get a bit tricky. Things can get even worse when a dating partner starts to question "why we never go back to your place." Therefore, it may be advisable to let somebody know about your situation after a certain number of dates if you plan on pursuing a steady relationship.
This is strictly a personal philosophy, but I would tell a potential partner somewhere around date number five, if I had any inclination of pursuing a long term relationship. My approach would be to start a discussion about the desire for personal freedom and the escape of rampant consumerism and the rat race, and use that as a segue into explaining my living choice.
Of course, if you pick up your date in at his/her house in your van, then they might perhaps be able to figure it out on their own and simply ask. :)
Considering the fact that you have chosen this mode of living for one reason or another, you may actually end up finding potential partners amongst people that are of similar mindset and inclination. If this is an idea you are open to, consider plugging into your local "alternative" community. Most cities have some semblance of a community of people interested in simpler lifestyles, reduced consumerism, and some sort of activism related to such concepts. Participating in groups, activities, and gatherings for these sort of things could provide a plugin to a pool of eligible partners that are open to the van dwelling lifestyle.