Every Friday night across the country, a familiar scenario plays out: Someone listens to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” for the 14th time in a row, consumes Nutella by the fistful, and dons old sweatpants with paw prints on the butt, all while thinking, “It might be time to try to get a date.”
Why shouldn’t this be happening in a 120-square-foot cottage on wheels? Tiny house people have needs, too. And slowly, a few enterprising souls are popping out of the reclaimed woodwork to fulfill them. Enter Tiny House Dating. At long last, someone thought to outdo FarmersOnly, Purrsonals, and SaladMatch by creating a niche dating site for tiny house people. From the website’s About Me section:
We help connect people who’s [sic] values are based (at least in part) around “right-sizing” their lives. This includes We the Tiny House People (of course) and other related folks like minimalists and environmentalists. If this sounds like you, welcome. We’d like to help me you meet someone special.
After finding out about this from Lloyd Alter on TreeHugger on Friday, I wanted to see who’s out there on the tiny house dating scene, so I opened an account. My interest in tiny houses is, after all, well-documented. It was slow-going, however, because the website’s capacity was overloaded for hours. Tiny house people, it seems, are flocking in hordes to find love.
To make a profile on Tiny House Dating, you’re required to answer some basic questions about yourself, and also provide some details about where you stand in the tiny house movement. For example: How serious are you about tiny houses, on a scale from one to 10? What does tiny house living mean to you? So what is the single tiny house person looking for? I perused some of the profiles to get an idea. As it turns out — as with any dating site — a person’s preferences can get pretty specific. For example:
I am searching for a petite and attractive lady too share my life with who is a one man kind of women some one responsible and fun who shares my dream of building a mortgage free homestead and having a quality life based on respect for each other. [sic]
It’s not every day that a shared desire for a mortgage-free homestead factors into someone’s image of the perfect mate, but hey — why the hell shouldn’t it?
And there’s at least one tiny house designer catering to the single-and-searching as well. I spoke with Joshua Woodsman, founder of Pinup Houses, about what drove him to launch a website for those making their own tiny houses “a dream in progress.” In keeping with the name, the site is festooned with old-timey illustrations of half-naked women. For anywhere from $50 to $120, customers can purchase blueprints named for legendary sex symbols: the Bettie, the Marilyn, or the Sofia, among others.
And who is this guy, exactly? He introduces himself with the basics: “Hi, my name is Joshua Woodsman. I’m from Texas and I live in a cabin.” He is also an imaginary person.
Joshua Woodsman is an alter-ego invented by a Czech architect to appeal to American audiences, who he tells me are more interested in small-scale living than Europeans.
I asked “Joshua” (who declined to share his real name) how he came up with the idea for Pinup Houses, and it turns out that his target audience is pretty much the same as every other business in the United States: sad single people.
“First, I tried to imagine the people who would want to build a small cabin. And I saw one single man and his date, in this cabin,” he said. “I tried to focus on this lonely man, and make a good space for him and his date in the plans.”
He raises an important question: If you live in a small cabin deep in the woods, how do you propose to bring someone back to your home without sounding like a serial killer? Alternatively, how do you tell your date that you live in a trailer in someone’s backyard without sounding like a huge loser? Tiny house dwellers need people who understand them and their unconventional living spaces.
Dating services for lonely tiny house people: It’s creating the next generation of micro-homesteaders! If ever there were an indication that the tiny house movement has some longevity, this might be it.