A Minimalist Approach To Modern Dating

minimalist dating


ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

As if it weren’t complicated enough, dating apps work to draw your attention away from real life and play into a need for instant gratification with a seemingly endless list of love interests. Maintaining a purposeful and intentional approach to dating will keep you sane and more likely to find fulfillment.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Thanks to the connectivity of the internet, it seems to me that dating is both more accessible and more exhausting than ever. For minimalists, dating is all about being simple and intentional.

One of the first things I learned about being a minimalist is that dating requires a lot of introspection. Whether you consider yourself to be a full-fledged minimalist or are just looking to simplify your love life, knowing yourself and being comfortable with who you are is the best place to start.

Which Are You?

Choose The One That Fits You Best, Click The Box Below

i am a minimalist
they are a minimalist

Minimalist Dating Quiz

Minimalist Dating Quiz

Everybody approaches dating a little differently, and being intentional in a relationship starts by understanding yourself. I put together a short quiz with some simple dating questions to help you decide what role minimalism plays in your romantic life.

How To Date Like A Minimalist

How To Date Like A Minimalist

The first thing to keep in mind is that not everything will be perfect. It can be easy to get caught up in the Hollywood version of dating where everything is a fairytale, but I’ve found that the best things happen when you let go of expectations and allow things to unfold naturally.

When it comes to dating, my main focus is simplicity and connection. Minimalist dating is an excellent way to simplify your love life so it is less daunting and more focused on finding something meaningful.

Intentional Dating: Identify Your Values

Intentional Dating Identify Your Values

When I first started dating as a minimalist, I was skeptical about how I’d be perceived. The metric of success seems to be a big house, a fancy car, and expensive clothes. I worried about how my minimalist uniform and way of life would be perceived by non-minimalists.

At first, I thought it would hurt my chances at finding someone, but I quickly realized that it was one of my best tools — a natural filter to identify a woman who aligned with my values. I kept my minimalist status close to the vest when I first started dating, but quickly started talking about it out of the gate, turning off women who weren’t a good match anyway, saving me from fruitless interactions.

Start by asking yourself:

  • Which of your values are most important?
  • What are your must-haves in a partner?
  • Where are you willing to compromise?
  • What clues do past relationships give you?
  • What work do you need to do first?
write down your intentions

Simplify Your Dating Life

Simplify Your Dating Life

If you’ve adopted a minimalist mindset, then you know the value of keeping things simple. Here’s a couple of things I’ve learned along the way to help you date purposefully:

Keeping Things Simple:

  • Focus on one person at a time
  • Don’t force something that isn’t there
  • Take your time and be mindful
  • Enjoy yourself and have fun
  • Trust your instinct if it feels off
keep things simple in a relationship

I like to suggest coffee as a first date idea. It’s simple, low-pressure, and allows you to get to know each other without spending a lot of money. Another benefit is that, if I’m enjoying the date, I could nurse my coffee to have more time to connect and if it wasn’t a good fit, I could finish my coffee quickly.

How To Be A Minimalist When Your Partner Isn’t

How To Be A Minimalist When Your Partner Isnt

If we all lived our lives the exact same way, the world would be a pretty boring place. That being said, it’s still important to have a significant other whose values complement your own.

values that are most important to youThe big thing I focus on in relationships is communication. I want to understand my partner’s core values and have them understand mine as well. Compromise is the name of the game here, and being honest with each other to ensure your lifestyle is compatible. This minimizes arguments and helps us respect each other.

Find joy in learning about each other. The great part about being different is you get to engage with a fresh perspective on the world. Take into account the points where you stand strong and the places you are willing to compromise.

Knowing how to support your non-minimalist partner can be difficult, especially if you’re cohabitating. Trust me when I tell you that forcing someone to adapt to your way of life is a recipe for disaster. Instead, consider some of the tips below to help your relationship flow smoothly.

  • Start With Yourself: Don’t pressure your partner to declutter, start by simplifying your own life.
  • Talk About It: Keep an open mind and have judgement-free conversations about your lifestyles.
  • Find Compromise: Instead of a full declutter, find ways to neatly put everything in its place.
  • Be Patient: Some things are sentimental to your partner, talk about minimizing gently.
  • Be Accepting: Being different people is okay, the important similarity is your love for each other.

how to become a minimalist

Tips For Dating A Minimalist

Tips For Dating A Minimalist

If you are a non-minimalist, dating a simple man or woman is a great opportunity for fun and personal growth. It can also be challenging if you don’t understand their behavior and way of life.

Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend lives in a tiny house, or maybe they just value simple living. Either way, there are a few things to understand about dating a minimalist.

  • Sharing: Be prepared to receive lots of articles about van life, tiny homes, and minimalism.
  • Organizing: If you live together, there will be a place for your things and everything in its place.
  • Décor: Expect paint colors to be simple, no knick-knacks on tables, and a focus on a tidy aesthetic.
  • Gifts: You will need to re-think gift-giving, see suggestions below.

Learn About Their Lifestyle

Learn About Their Lifestyle

Show that you care by taking an interest. Even if minimalism is not for you, we all can benefit from learning new things. The best way to make your boyfriend or girlfriend feel supported is to participate in things they care about. For minimalists, that can look something like this:

  • Ask your partner to help you declutter your kitchen.
  • Find a minimalism article and discuss it with them.
  • If you live together, establish a clutter-free zone.
  • Have a sit down to discuss decluttering shared items.
  • Have an honest conversation about your differences.
  • Schedule regular times to clean and declutter.
Decluttering Rooms and Storage Spaces

What To Buy A Minimalist Partner

What To Buy A Minimalist Partner

Since they aren’t big on material things, shopping for a minimalist person can be a challenge. Here’s a few things to note when showing your significant other you love them:

  • Minimalists appreciate experiences over gifts, so plan something fun to do together.
  • Ask before buying any gift, even if you think they need it.
  • Choose vacations carefully, as minimalists aren’t big on spending money.
  • Discuss fun ways to spend the holidays that don’t involve a lot of consumerism.

gifts for minimalists

Benefits Of Dating A Minimalist

Benefits Of Dating A Minimalist

In the long run, we are all just looking for a meaningful connection, and dating a minimalist can be a great way to find that. Here are some reasons why dating a minimalist is the way to go:

  • Minimalists Are You-Focused: We are more interested in relationships than material things.
  • Minimalists Are Affordable Dates: We prefer quality time to expensive outings.
  • Mindfulness Means No Games: We value simplicity and clear communication.
  • Financial Simplicity: We tend to be frugal and debt free, avoiding unnecessary spending.
  • Minimalists Are Happy: Living simply means a life of gratitude and low-stress.
living a level 10 life

Dating Green Flags

Dating Green Flags

Before you go all in, it’s important to know if the direction you’re headed is a healthy one. I wish I could tell you there’s a magic way to know for sure if your date is “the one,” but unfortunately, there’s not. There are, however, a few green flags to keep an eye out for early on:

  • Positivity: They have a generally positive outlook on the world.
  • Responsibility: They admit to their mistakes and take ownership.
  • Respect: They treat others kindly, especially service staff.
  • Actions: They show up and do what they say they’re going to do.
  • Boundaries: You feel comfortable taking time for yourself.
  • Laughter: You have fun together and drama is at a minimum.
  • Listening: You feel heard and appreciated.
happy and positive

Dating Red Flags

Dating Red Flags
It’s good to know when things are going well, but equally important to be honest with yourself if things are heading south. Finding a true connection is only possible when you take care of yourself first. Have your own back and look out for the things below before it gets too serious:

  • Financials: They have poor money management.
  • Energy: They don’t match your investment level.
  • Vision: They don’t have much of a plan for their future.
  • Criticism: They are more negative than positive.
  • Interest: They have little to contribute to the conversation.
  • Lifestyle: There’s a major mismatch on big things: religion, kids, etc.
relationship red flag
setting intentions


Minimalist dating may be focused on simplicity, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. On the contrary, minimalism is all about creativity. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time together. Planning low-cost, mini-adventures is a great way to get to know someone while keeping things simple.

Winter Dates

  • Holiday movie night
  • Snowball fight
  • Skiing/snowshoeing
  • Cookies and cocoa
  • Ice skating
  • Decorating gingerbread

Summer Dates

  • Lay out and stargaze
  • Take a nature hike
  • Campfire and s’mores
  • Wine and cheese picnic
  • Jam out at the beach
  • Take artsy pictures

At Home Dates

  • Homemade spa night
  • Board game competition
  • Make a gourmet meal
  • Invent a TV drinking game
  • Wine and paint night
  • Favorite band karaoke

First Dates

  • Coffee and library
  • Rollerblading
  • Visit a farmer’s market
  • Go to the zoo
  • Bar trivia night
  • Go to a museum

Active Dates

  • Go for a bike ride
  • Take a dance class
  • Geocaching
  • Bowling
  • Work out together
  • Start a garden

Long Distance Dates

  • Learn a language
  • Play a virtual board game
  • Watch a movie
  • Send each other take-out
  • Play truth or dare
  • Read together

Your Turn!

  • What traits do you look for in a potential partner?
  • What values are most important to your lifestyle?
  • How does minimalism play a role in your dating life?
1 Comment
  1. We like to fly kites together.

Leave a Reply