While working at Amazon this holiday season, I’m running a weekly “Ask A Question” post since I’m not sightseeing much and have limited time to write. You can find out more about AAQ here.
For today’s question, David asks: I was wondering if you’ve considered settling down with a ‘significant other’ or possibly having children?
I get this frequently on the road (often from older couples on their way to visit children/grandchildren in other states). It’s a hard question to answer not because my feelings are mixed, but because it seems like the majority of people just can’t understand that there are women out there like me who really don’t need a significant other in their lives to be happy and have no urge, whatsoever, to have children.
I’ve always been this way. I was a tomboy growing up and had no interest in dolls or playing house. I never sat around with friends in high school discussing which boys were “hot” or who I wanted to date. When I was a young adult and people asked if I wanted kids someday I’d say “I don’t think I ever will, but I suppose that could change.” And that’s still my answer today. Maybe someday my ‘biological clock’ or whatever will kick in and my views will shift radically, but the older I get without it happening the slimmer I believe the chances to be.
For some reason, this answer often seems to trouble those who are happily married and have kids. I get comments like “Well, you just haven’t met the right person yet” and “Someday, it’ll happen”. It’s almost like they feel sorry for me for not chasing down marital bliss or the joys of motherhood. I assume that they have gotten real pleasure, fulfillment and contentment from these two states of being and I’m happy that they have, it just has never felt necessary to me. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I don’t lie awake at night wondering when my prince charming will show up. I never look at other people’s children and wonder what it would be like having my own. And I don’t feel like I’m “broken” for being this way, it’s just another facet of who I am. Strong sense of wanderlust, loves pizza, no desire to procreate.
That’s not to say that I wouldn’t consider marriage or partnership if the right person came along (he’d better be willing to travel because I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon!), but I don’t need that kind of connection to feel like I have a good life. And because I don’t need it, I haven’t gone out of my way to find it. I’ll put it like this: I feel like, traveling alone, I can still achieve about 90% of my potential for happiness. Maybe I could get an extra 10% if I found the right match, but as an introvert, the effort of weeding through all the bad matches to find that gem just hasn’t seemed worth it to me. And I’m definitely glad I hit the road solo as I’ve developed so much confidence in myself and gained so many new skills having no one else to rely on.
Now, I have dated on the road. Very briefly, while I was working at Amazon in 2014. It was much more about meeting new people and getting out of the RV on weekends than a quest to find Mr. Right. I created an account on one of those online matchmaking websites and went on a couple dates. One was a bust, one was pretty fun. We had dinner (I paid my own bill) and talked. I had explained explicitly on my profile that I traveled and wasn’t looking for a relationship nor was I interested in casual sex. There were no expectations on either side, it was a nice evening.
I know that there are single full-timers out there (and singles thinking of full-timing) that are interested in finding that special someone to travel with. I have met a few couples on the road who met after one or both of them had gone full-timing, so it’s certainly not impossible to find love on the road. If you’re a solo full-timer who is interested in meeting someone, I did a video interview with Technomadia back in January about solo RVing and we did talk a little bit about dating on the road, you can find that video here.
Besides dating websites, there are also co-ed Facebook and forum groups out there for single RVers with a matchmaking element to them, but I can’t say if they’re worth it or not as I’ve never participated. If any of you readers know of other resources, feel free to share them in the comments.