As anyone who has been reading this blog knows, I’m kind of big on appearances while van living.  Even though I am free-sleeping in my van, I want to appear middle class and normal.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  The first is safety.  As a woman living in my van I could become a target for predators.  A predator might want to steal my laptop or anything else they deem valuable from my van.  A predator might want to rape and/or kill me.  You get the idea.

The second reason I want to appear middle class and normal is because I work (not as much as regularly as I’d like, but still) for middle class and even wealthy clients.  My van is a little shabby looking but the least I can do is try to appear very clean, neat and respectable.  I try to speak in low, quiet tones in public and I try not to stand out in any way.  I try to be well-mannered.

The third reason is, perhaps the most important is that it’s the right thing to do for society.  It sets a good example.  I don’t want to live in a world of filth and poor manners.

Living in a van puts me at a disadvantage in the world but it doesn’t hurt anyone as long as no one knows.  A lot of free-sleepers (mostly those without vehicles) are dirty and scary looking and attract negative attention.  I don’t want to be lumped in with them.

Unfortunately my boyfriend doesn’t care as much as I do about this and it is causing some friction between us.  He is a free-sleeper too and he talks loud and isn’t as stealthy as I am.  I don’t like this at all and I’m not sure what to do about it.  When I tell him how I feel about it, he tries to understand but it doesn’t really change things because he’s just not on board with my ideas.

He wants to get married….yesterday.  I’m no exactly putting him off but I’m not in a rush either.

He wants to get married and rent a room or apartment somewhere but we do NOT have the income to support this.  And even if  we could pull it off, the stress of having to come up with $1000 or more a month is something I don’t want to deal with.

Not really sure where I’m going with this post but I don’t write often enough so I thought I’d just write what’s on my mind at the moment.

Advice is welcome.


About Maureen, Living in a Van

I'm a free-sleeper living in a van in the prettiest part of the world. I do this partly due to financial circumstances and partly because I love a good adventure.
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3 Responses to Stealth

  1. Patty says:

    Well, you said advice was welcome….

    I don’t know you, we have never met IRL, and yet I worry about you. I don’t know your gentleman friend either. I do recall you remarking he drinks something like a gallon of vodka per day. It’s never a smart move to marry a homeless alcoholic. If your daughter wanted to do this, how would you feel?

    People marry to begin their own ‘legitimate’ family unit. To invest in and work for a better future. To live, love, and have a better life. Your friend is incapable of truly investing himself in a future with you because of his alcohol abuse. You and the marriage will never be his number one, alcohol is his mistress. A bottle is the true love of his life. You can’t change him. You can only change you. Anyone drinking a gallon a day is on the downhill slide. It’s only a matter of time.

    Look at the practical side of this for a minute. Once you are in a legal marriage with this man, you are financially responsible for what he does. If he gets behind the wheel and blacks out, has an accident and kills someone, the family will sue you. He will also have legal access to whatever you own. He can take it and use it as he pleases. If I was in his place I would want to marry you. There is no downside for him. When you marry, the two of you together is supposed to be more than either of you on your own. You are on the losing end of this deal. You are signing on to be his enabler and caretaker. He is on his best behavior right now. If you marry, the worm will turn and things will change.

    My best advice to you is to go to some ALANON meetings. I’m not trying to get you to buy into everything they preach. Just go and listen to the stories of what addicts do to the people they are supposed to love. Addicts ruin the lives of those around them. How much more can you afford to lose?

    Maureen, I wish you only the best. I honestly can’t see any way this could turn out to be good for you.

  2. B (yes, that's really my entire name!) says:

    I have to say I agree with the first comment. I understand why it may seem like a good relationship for you. You have companionship, safety, and mechanical know-how. But you don’t need a marriage to have that, and mariage only leaves you legally tied and therefore vulnerable to whatever he might choose to do. And clearly, by your description, his values don’t match yours. Take care of yourself!

  3. Ryu says:

    The way I see it, you have a huge advantage! You’re used to being in public all the time. Your house is always with you. Your stuff is always with you. At a moment’s notice, you could bug-out.

    So basically you are still integrated with society, while your BF is happy to be on the fringe. Women are always more sensitive to social cues. Of course you care more what others think.

    Marriage is a big deal today. If you can’t love, honor and obey, and he cannot lead properly, it would not stick for long anyways. More than properties or common values, a common goal is the most important thing. I see he is still a senseless romantic. But you don’t want to be a housewife, you want the adventure to continue.

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