Author Topic: Mustachian Dating  (Read 11884 times)

dancedancekj

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Mustachian Dating
« on: June 07, 2012, 08:22:57 AM »
I'm 27 and single, which is awesome (work, my mentoring/volunteer stuff, and growing my 'Stache keeps me pretty busy most of the time) but occasionally I get adventurous and go out on a date with someone.

Being Mustachian on a date isn't too hard, as I usually suggest coffee ($7 if I'm buying, $2 if we're going Dutch) cheap but tasty places to eat ($20 if I'm buying, $5-10 if going Dutch) or free activities like walking around the downtown area, listening to free jazz in the park, or strolling through the farmer's market.

Here's where the problem comes up though. I generally find that most people my age (Mid to upper twenties) generally do not share the same goals as I do. Many of the more financially successful of my age group are still spending money like there's no tomorrow (cruises, liposuction, mortgages, new cars, Coach purses) while on the flip side, others seem to have no plan regarding their financial future and still spend like there's no tomorrow (booze and club covers, eating out all the time, new clothes, new shoes, expensive loft apartments, flashy cars).

It gets a bit overwhelming sometimes when I have to explain my alleged "batshit crazy" habits. No, I haven't turned on my AC yet. Yes, I know it's 90 degrees outside, but a fan and a cold jug of agua fresca works just fine. Yes, I bike to work sometimes. No, I'm not sweaty and stinky when I arrive (witch hazel and a towel = amazing stuff). No, despite being a doctor, I am not getting a new car. Yes, my old car is 13 years old, but it works just fine. Yes, I dry my clothes on a clothes rack. Yes, I make most of my own food. Yes, I plan on retiring by the age of 45. No, I don't have any interest in travelling, not when I can be putting that money towards my student loans and early retirement. Why are you shaking your head in disbelief?

Ranting aside, my question is: Is anyone else finding it extremely hard to date and meet people that are at least somewhere within the ballpark of the Mustachian world? For those of you that are in a relationship (and I know this has been covered here and there) how do you deal with others that are less Mustachian than you are, or not Mustachian at all? Is there a good way to kind of slowly introduce people to your Mustachian lifestyle? Am I destined to become an old person with eight cats?

Taylor

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 09:10:05 AM »
I'm 27 too, and was single until about 2 years ago. I don't think I have any great advice, just wanted to give you hope that there are mustachian young people out there just itching to meet you! I have conversations now with my boyfriend who says that my 'financial wizardry' (his words, but I'll take it :)) was incredibly attractive to him.

We only had one traditional date (dinner)-that was our first date. The second was a bike ride, the third was a home-cooked dinner from me and a DVD. And so on. If you are actually compatable with someone, they will match your habits and values. I think it's rare for people to talk in depth about thier finances on the first few dates, so maybe steer away from conversations about your more mushtachian habits until they get to know you. The right one will find that your mushtachian ways irresistible and recognize you for the badass you are :)

AJ

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 10:07:18 AM »
I'm 28, but I'm no longer single, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt.

I'm thinking the "batshit crazy" parts of your personality should probably be revealed more like a disease than a preference. At what point in the relationship progression would you tell someone you have curable cancer, or that you see a shrink? Whenever that is would be a good time. If you restrict your pool of partner applicants to those that are already Mustachian (a rare breed), you may be single for a very long time. Best to expand into the "potentially Mustachian" realm as well.

This is really sexist, I know, but I'm assuming from the fact that you mention paying for the meals that you are male. If your would-be mates are female, you have a fine line to walk between being true to your Mustachian self and coming off as a cheap bastard. Even now, as a dyed-in-the-wool pragmatic engineer (and fellow hard-core Mustachian), I would think less of a date that came off as cheap. It is as hard-wired into my female brain as 36-24-36 is to a male's. Can I get past it? Yep, for sure, but its an uphill battle. I don't mean that you should be someone you're not, or keep your quirks secret forever, just until you hook her first with your wit and charm :)

As for introducing it slowly, you could "appeal to the nobler motive", so to speak. Say you bike to work to stay fit (fit is sexier than cheap). You keep your old car because you have maintained it well, you don't want you working-class siblings to resent you, and you have self-esteem coming out your butt so don't need a fancy car to feel good about yourself. You are thrifty because you are trying to pay off your student loans, like a responsible adult. You don't turn on your AC because the heat doesn't bother you and you were raised not to waste energy. I know with my less-than-mustachian friends, re-framing my eccentricities helps them to understand. They can't get their heads around retiring early, but they understand paying down debt and saving the environment. Baby steps with some people.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 10:09:07 AM by AJ »

trammatic

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 10:16:54 AM »
Try the "Meetups and Social Events" forum...perhaps find a group of local mustaschians to choose from! :)

kolorado

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 11:09:18 AM »
Have you thought about a dating site? That way you can be upfront about being financially conservative without looking cheap. According to The Millionaire Next Door, a financially conservative wife was a huge influence in accumulation of wealth. But do tone down the nitty-gritty save money rhetoric, at least until you've dated someone a few times.
When my hubby and I were dating we occasionally took a ride to the big mall(when gas was $1-2 a gallon), rarely bought anything but $4 worth of burgers or tacos in the food court and walked and talked. I think shopping together can be a really great date. You get to find out how the other person values things and how much they desire to consume. We realized that most of our overall life and financial goals were the same on those dates.
I still have all the crazy ideas between us as a couple but over the years he now looks less like a deer in the headlights when I bring them up. The trick there is to highlight your other qualities quickly after revealing any supposedly extreme qualities. I'm pretty good looking and I can cook and bake very well. Shining and sharing your other talents will soften the impact of your unconventional ideas. Can you fix things? Fix something for her. Can you cook? Cook her dinner.
Our favorite date was a movie borrowed from the library and a half gallon of ice cream to share with my siblings. I was more courted than dated since I was young. I don't think I'd do it much differently even at my age though. It's simple, inexpensive and fun.
And don't be afraid to look outside your peer group. My older sister married someone 7 years younger. I married 7 years older. My brother married 13 years older. Find a partner that fits you, not fits your age expectation.

AJ

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2012, 11:23:42 AM »
I still have all the crazy ideas between us as a couple but over the years he now looks less like a deer in the headlights when I bring them up.

I totally relate to this. ;)

KMMK

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2012, 11:54:34 AM »
I think you should disclose certain things fairly soon. General lifestyle things like biking, older car. I wouldn't mention money or little quirks immediately though. If you want to meet the right person, and trust me, an already decidedly mustachian partner is much easier than trying to change someone, those traits will appeal to them.

I tell my husband that what attracted me to him was that he said all the "wrong things".  He said he was unemployed (intentionally), not getting employment insurance, drove a 20 year old car, liked walking everywhere.  He was completely honest about everything. Never once did he say any of the usual things that women want to hear. He was clearly a man of integrity and someone who valued time more than money. He always wore the same jacket and older clothes, which appealed to my stuck in the 90s grunge thing.

We were both 30 when we met, so not a big age difference from you. I agree, you should consider older women (assuming you're looking for a woman - I don't think it was clear in your post). We're both great at saving money, want to retire early. I got him a bit more convinced than he was before as I'd thought about it more. I think I'm the one with more of the embarrassing quirks and have toned them down a bit, as compromise is important to keep a relationship. My relationship with him is much more important to me than living exactly how I would chose to otherwise. Living extremely cheap is fun, but after a while it gets lonely. I'd rather spend a bit more money and be with him. And with two incomes, we do so much better than we did alone.

Where to meet - I'd try activities that give you a chance for some small talk, getting to know each other, prior to the pressure of a date. It would be hard just to pick someone based on attractiveness and ask them out. Of course internet dating can be useful as well for a targeted search.

catalana

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 01:18:06 PM »
As for introducing it slowly, you could "appeal to the nobler motive", so to speak. Say you bike to work to stay fit (fit is sexier than cheap). You keep your old car because you have maintained it well, you don't want you working-class siblings to resent you, and you have self-esteem coming out your butt so don't need a fancy car to feel good about yourself. You are thrifty because you are trying to pay off your student loans, like a responsible adult. You don't turn on your AC because the heat doesn't bother you and you were raised not to waste energy. I know with my less-than-mustachian friends, re-framing my eccentricities helps them to understand. They can't get their heads around retiring early, but they understand paying down debt and saving the environment. Baby steps with some people.
This + 1.

I didn't even realise my beloved was frugal at first because he sold it as being fond of an outdoors/active lifestyle.  Our first date was a walk on the beach, and a couple of weeks later he prepared and packed up a whole load of gear and cooked an outdoors meal on the same beach.  I was blown away at the amount of effort and planning it must have taken.


Jamesqf

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 01:40:15 PM »
I didn't even realise my beloved was frugal at first because he sold it as being fond of an outdoors/active lifestyle.

Indeed, I'd have to say that a good part of my frugality is a consequence of prefering an outdoors/active lifestyle.  It's what I really enjoy, the fact that it's cheap is just a bonus :-)

salmp01

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2012, 03:10:34 PM »
I'm married now but was single for a good part of my life.  When I was in my 20s/30s I almost always suggested an active date.  During the summer going for a walk around the lake or going cross country skiing in the winter were popular dates for me.  Sometimes Id pack a picnic for dinner.  I always thought it was important for me to not drive fancy cars or wear expensive clothes or hang out fancy bars.    Be who you are and youll attract the right kind of person.   

KittyWrestler

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2012, 03:43:35 PM »
It is hard... majority of the folks in this country thinks living paycheck to paycheck is norm... Until they get kicked in the butt..
I was like that too when I first got out of school and got myself into $8000 credit card debt.. but eventually, some folks learned and changed.

There are also some young people rooted from a frugal family. They have seen their parents saved and saved... I think young ppl from those kind of family is your best bet... The foundation is there already.. They will be most likely follow your footstep and admire what you do.

Osprey

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2012, 11:53:03 PM »
 For what it's worth, I'm a 27 year old medical doctor and happily partnered up with a nonmustachian. Lucky for me and you, everyone is worried about money these days and minimalism and sustainability are trendy. And if you're a dude, cooking is trendy too!

A lot of spendthrift people are in autopilot but still they don't understand our motivations. Sometimes it's all about semantics: try financial independence instead of early retirement; responsible instead of frugal; sustainable instead of  last-decade's-model. Your lifestyle is awesome and not some big secret to be ashamed about.

My two cents is: try to be confident in your generosity of spirit and open minded about everyone else's choices (or at least act that way and don't pull faces at expensive new Audi cars like I used to do, heh.)

And as for dating: don't be scared to say no to trying out that hot new expensive reataurant. Girls like a guy who has nothing to hide and nothing to apologise for.

Best of luck!

Grigory

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2012, 01:14:56 AM »
There are always free events to go to - free days at museums, gallery openings, Shakespeare in the Park performances, etc. Or you could search for people who may be frugal to begin with: check out meetup.com and other such sites to see where people with your interests hang out.

SweetTPi

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2012, 11:24:06 PM »
I'm a 28 year old Ms.MM.  I don't think that there is any special way to find a frugal/MMM leaning relationship.  As it's been so often said here, being a MMM is different for each person.  One thing that stands out to me is how cynical you seem, even self-righteous.  I bought a new car for my first car a few years ago, and if you had told me that I was in the wrong to do so because that's what you think, well, I wouldn't be amused.  It's been widely discussed that being MMM is different for everyone, based on what it is that they value. 

I generally find that most people my age (Mid to upper twenties) generally do not share the same goals as I do. Many of the more financially successful of my age group are still spending money like there's no tomorrow (cruises, liposuction, mortgages, new cars, Coach purses) while on the flip side, others seem to have no plan regarding their financial future and still spend like there's no tomorrow (booze and club covers, eating out all the time, new clothes, new shoes, expensive loft apartments, flashy cars).

Now, I'm in the financially successful side of things but in the spending-money-like-there's-no-tomorrow catagory I've committed the 'error' of buying a new car (16k total) and a mortgage (roughly 1.2 years salary).  Really, you lump a mortgage and getting lipo together as the same financial type of sin?  Out of my circle of friends, I can't think of anyone who drives flashy cars, has too big of a mortgage, goes on cruises (or any trip-style vacations), has had lipo, or buys Coach purses.  Heck, I don't think any fall into the second list of behaviors either.  In my life, I've found that many in my age range, and therefore your age range, tend to be fairly frugal.  Lunches are brought to work, with an emergancy stash of soup in a drawer for those forgotten lunch days.  Budgets are made and used; things are bought once saved for; cars are to be driven until +10 years old.  Maybe it is because many of my friends, like me, were laid off sudddenly during the recession, and now we know that it could happen again and we'd better be prepared.  Maybe it's how we were raised.

I do wonder where it is that you are trying to meet people, and if that is also part of the problem.

keith

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2012, 01:03:54 AM »
As for introducing it slowly, you could "appeal to the nobler motive", so to speak. Say you bike to work to stay fit (fit is sexier than cheap). You keep your old car because you have maintained it well, you don't want you working-class siblings to resent you, and you have self-esteem coming out your butt so don't need a fancy car to feel good about yourself. You are thrifty because you are trying to pay off your student loans, like a responsible adult. You don't turn on your AC because the heat doesn't bother you and you were raised not to waste energy. I know with my less-than-mustachian friends, re-framing my eccentricities helps them to understand. They can't get their heads around retiring early, but they understand paying down debt and saving the environment. Baby steps with some people.

This is great, I like this approach.

onehappypanda

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2012, 08:38:54 AM »
As for introducing it slowly, you could "appeal to the nobler motive", so to speak. Say you bike to work to stay fit (fit is sexier than cheap). You keep your old car because you have maintained it well, you don't want you working-class siblings to resent you, and you have self-esteem coming out your butt so don't need a fancy car to feel good about yourself. You are thrifty because you are trying to pay off your student loans, like a responsible adult. You don't turn on your AC because the heat doesn't bother you and you were raised not to waste energy. I know with my less-than-mustachian friends, re-framing my eccentricities helps them to understand. They can't get their heads around retiring early, but they understand paying down debt and saving the environment. Baby steps with some people.

This is great, I like this approach.

I like it too. I think the key here is there are multiple ways to approach the idea of a Mustachian life, and some of them are easier to "digest" when you're first meeting someone than others.

And can I give a suggestion? Don't be so quick to judge people your own age and make so many assumptions about them, and try being a bit more positive. While much of what you said is true, I have had no problem finding other young people who have similar money ideals as me. I just find that people don't want to talk about money with people they perceive as judgey or negative. But I try to approach things in a positive way as much as possible, not as a negative, and with an open mind. I'd rather talk about what I DO like to do with my money (savings, investing, finding creative ways to stretch it while still enjoying life) than about what I don't like to do with it. When I talk about biking, I talk about the positives and what I get out of it (health, connecting with my city, saving fuel) rather than complain about everyone in an SUV. I thrift because I love it and I get a thrill out of finding nice things for a good deal, not because I begrudge the money stores generally charge. And there are some things that I spend more on because they're important to me and/or I get a good deal of utility out of them, and it really isn't anyone else's business to judge that, unless I've asked for guidance. I guess what I'm trying to say is that no one wants to be around- or listen to- someone who is negative, and cheap, and constantly talking about what they don't do with their money. But people are surprisingly open and more likely to listen to someone who is positive, and creative, and talking about how they get the most from their money. It's all about how you approach the conversation.

Not saying that you're any of those things of course, but I can see hints of that in your quote about other young people and as a young woman who has done the dating thang, I'd be turned off if someone talked like that on a first date, and I'd wonder if they were a Scrooge. Like it or not, people are really sensitive to negativity and cheapskate-ness when they're first dating, even many people who are relatively Mustachian in their own life. You may want to consider how you're approaching the issue of your lifestyle, and whether you're really communicating all the positive aspects, and whether you're really being open to the potential that someone else just has slightly different priorities.

And don't be so quick to judge a book by its cover. I have some really nice outfits that I would wear on first dates, but most of them were thrifted. Some people have nice cars that they bought cheap and fixed up themselves. Many people ARE very spend today, but others might be thrifty in a way that just isn't visually obvious. Meet people with an open mind and you might be surprised what you learn about them.

dancedancekj

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2012, 09:20:15 AM »
Thanks to everyone for the excellent advice. There is some really awesome food for thought here. I've been working on being less negative and judgemental overall. Part of my issue is that I like to be very harsh on my own level of spending - call it some weird masochistic tendency if you will, since I get some sort of thrill about it.  I get that most other people aren't like that, so I don't really bring it up. I also get personally discouraged sometimes due to the large amount of student debt I have, and there's a healthy dose of jealousy in there sometimes despite happiness with having found the Mustachian path, and sometimes it seems all I can do IS concentrate on not spending. Breaking that focus would be good.

I also gave the impression that I'm a bit of a scrooge, which is fair. I never talk about money on dates, and would never plan to unless we were say, moving in together. I've never criticized any dates or my friends for their spending habits, although I can't help but cringe inwardly sometimes at a couple co-workers' non-Mustachian purchases that they share with me (and only because I know their income, student loan amount, and the price they paid).

I think I'm going to take the excellent advice of AJ by framing the Mustachian behaviors for myself. Concentrating on the benefits to health, happiness, and satisfaction and having the Stache growth be a nice side effect in a sense, and not losing perspective of what is actually important (i.e. not the money itself).

And as for my dating population, let's just say that I have a very small percentage - possibly 1 in 10? :) But that's a whole other issue.

HeidiO

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2012, 11:37:11 PM »
1 in 10 in Nebraska?  Good luck with that :-)  Being single (when you don't want to be) sucks.  And it is hard when your demographic is...  under-represented...  But it does work - I fell in love with my wife while changing a dressing on a 4th degree decub together.  Good luck.  And if it is the right person, some compromise works (I have a Coach purse.  $20 on craigslist.)
Heidi

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2012, 12:56:01 PM »
You might also look a little further afield than the already mustachian. There's a fair amount of overlap between mustachians, engineers, environmentalists, hackers, etc. If you've got hobbies or interests in those areas, you may be able to find people who, while not yet as financially on top of things as we try to be, are fertile ground for the ideas. That can at least expand your dating pool a bit, since you really can be too restrictive with these things, without risking your financial security. But don't worry - it can happen! I was on a date last night and apparently Dave Ramsay comes on the air super-late on Saturdays. We actually talked a little bit about the whole thing (at a fairly superficial, still getting to know you level). It may not go anywhere, but there are receptive 20 somethings around.

Bakari

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Re: Mustachian Dating
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2012, 04:02:06 PM »
I suspect that the more different than mainstream you are, the less likely you are to find like minded people (whether for dates or for friendship) through the usual means of meeting (work, bars, parties, friend of a friend - unless that friend is especially like minded already) and therefor the more useful technology becomes.
With the internet, be it a dating website or one like this, you can specifically search for certain characteristics, instead of just picking people randomly based on appearance and seeing what happens.

I have trouble finding people I have any interest in (even living in the Bay Area where my lifestyle barely qualifies as alternative) but I have had great success with OKCupid.com - in addition to my current girlfriend (whom I live with), I had several AMAZING dates with people where it didn't ultimately work out, but not because of lifestyle differences (we were just looking for different thins out of dating), and some have become long-term friendships.

I briefly tried a number of different pay sites, but I actually found OKC to be much better than all of them, and it also happens to be completely free.