It’s safe to say that at the rate society is going, minimalism is getting harder to make sense of. All around you, brands, influencers, and celebrities promote goods that you “need right now” to live a better life. It’s no wonder you and a lot of people you know aren’t content with your lives.
Then comes a minimalist. You really like this person, but his or her atypical approach to life scares you. Planning a date starts to feel like solving a math equation, and gift-giving is as nerve-racking as public speaking. If you find yourself wanting to build a genuine connection with this person, but you’re not sure how to approach their minimalism, then here are three reminders that will set you on the right path.
Why do minimalists do this?
Minimalism means differently for everyone who practices this lifestyle. There’s one universal truth they all embrace, though: getting rid of unnecessary things to make way for those that truly matter. They know that to achieve this mindset, they have to create an environment that could nurture it.
Alongside this are practical reasons you can probably relate to. While others can consider their clutter a “creative mess” that they can live with, minimalists think otherwise. Having too many possessions that detract from their time management and money handling skills. Some enter minimalism with the simple goal of reducing the constant stress and anxiety they with. Others feel that with fewer things to maintain, they have more room for the experiences they crave. ;
Don’t be afraid to start this conversation with your special someone. Knowing exactly what their motivations are will give you a nice glimpse of their worldview. This could even be the topic that draws you closer together.
Virtue or Not?
Just as minimalism is not a religion or a cult, neither is it a virtue. They didn’t choose to live this way to prove that they’re better people. It can’t be helped if others perceive their lifestyle as such. There’s nothing like knowing a minimalist to trigger that buyer’s remorse with every unnecessary item they buy online.
That being said, minimalists are unlikely to preach to you when you decide to buy a new pair of sunglasses. She won’t look at you with disgust if you gift her a bag in a bright shade of yellow. He’s unlikely to tell you that the only accessory worth wearing are men’s silicone bracelets. Minimalists wear accessories, and they can like bright colors, so don’t worry about what to get them.
Most importantly, they won’t watch your every move to give you notes on your excessive lifestyle. Just relax and be yourself.
What are the rules?
You’ll find self-help books and guides on how to live a minimalist lifestyle. It’s unlikely, though, that you’ll discover a minimalist bible somewhere listing the commandments they must adhere to. There are no strict rules that your special someone follows. If they do use guidelines, that solely a personal preference.
Minimalists aren’t subjected to magic numbers that will enable them to reach Nirvana. Colors are recommended, not mandated, and the specific way they do things aren’t governed by any organization. For you to know how they live minimally, you’ll need to ask them. Don’t assume that it’s the same for every minimalist because they all have different journeys.
Feeling Uncomfortable is Okay
If minimalism is the exact opposite of your current lifestyle, know that it’s normal to feel uncomfortable around minimalists. They may also feel the same way around non-minimalists, which is why it’s important to talk about your choices. The better you understand the elements of each other’s lives, the easier it will be to embrace your differences and work through them.