If you’ve just started dating someone who is a minimalist, there are some things you should know before you get too serious- so be warned- they don’t do things the way other people you’ve dated might have. And, if you’re in a long term relationship with a minimalist, there may be some things you recognise below because you’ve become accustomed to their little idiosyncrasies. Here are the main things you should be aware of...

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

  1.  Minimalists appreciate experiences over gifts: Your partner prefers doing something rather than having or getting something on special occasions- so think less about what you can wrap and more about how you can spend your time together (if you’re stuck for ideas, check out our top 100 clutter free gifts for inspiration). Days out will always trump physical gifts for minimalists, even if you can’t do the activity right away- you will have something to look forward to together and can fill your diary with future dates- however there may be something they want on occasion…
  2.  Always ask before buying physical gifts on birthdays and Christmas: Yes, it takes away the element of surprise, but a minimalist would much rather you asked them what they want so you don’t waste your money and to avoid giving them something they don’t desire or need. If you do insist on getting them something off their wishlist- make sure it’s consumable like a bunch of flowers, a bottle of their favourite tipple or some chocolates as these don’t hang around forever.  
  3.  If you stay over: Try to respect their way of life. You may not always understand it but be kind and accept that they like things done a certain way. They probably don’t appreciate a lot of mess, so keep your belongings neat and tidy and don’t bring too much over as this may be overwhelming for them. Those people who already live with minimalists will know all too well that home is a sanctuary, not a dumping ground and stuff can quickly be the source of arguments and resentment. It’s important to talk this through if you see your relationship going somewhere and moving in together could be on the cards. With all that said, it's not their place to criticise your space and they should show you the same level of respect when they stay over. 
  4.  Take an interest: While minimalism is not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle choice and most who follow it are happy to talk about their way of life if you show a genuine interest. So, ask them about it; where their inspiration came from and how it makes them feel. It can be a great source of date night conversation, especially if you don’t know a lot about it yourself. And if you do, you can talk about your favourite books, YouTubers and documentaries. 
  5.  Avoid shopping as an activity to do together: Where some couples enjoy browsing the shops together, chances are- if you’re dating a minimalist, the mall is the last place they will want to go, so try to think of literally anything else for you both to do when you get some time together. You might get away with food shopping or a foodie market, however the acquisition of non-consumable stuff is not their bag, and you will have a bad date if you push for this. If you’re not great at coming up with ideas, simply ask them- they might have some fun suggestions that you’ve never even thought to do before. 
  6.  Minimalists are cheap dates: Given that there is no pressure to buy anything or impress with stuff, minimalists are easy to please when it comes to date night ideas/daytime activities. A walk in the park or on the beach, a picnic, a movie night at home, baking and cooking are just a few cheap and cheerful examples of things you can do together. So, if you don’t have a lot of disposable income right now, that’s ok- they won’t expect to be spoiled every time you meet up. Minimalists are just happy for the good company and the joy of simple pleasures, which taps into the types of holidays they prefer too...
  7.  Holidays and weekends away: If you get to a stage where you want to go on holiday or spend a weekend somewhere other than at home- choose carefully and get their input too. A location that takes entertainment to the excess might not be for them- for instance Disneyland or Las Vegas might be too extreme because these vacations are built around consumerism- however somewhere that focuses more on nature and creating your own memories might be more up their street. There are exceptions to the rule, but generally anywhere that encourages unnecessary spending is usually a turn off for minimalists. 

RELATED: 10 Things to know before dating a woman who loves picnics 

She gets excited about plastic plates- Any kind of outdoor eating equipment makes her giddy. She loves to own many different plates and cup collections- but whatever choice she makes they ALL have to match or the entire trip is ruined. If you want to help her pack for your date, it needs to be coordinated or you're not coming. And forget paper anything- she is not running around trying to prevent littering at end of your 'alone time'.

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