Peak Oil Dating: What’s an “Ideal PO Mate” ?

Dear Peak Shrink ~

I am very happy to have found your website & to see the support and interesting information you have to offer here. I thought I was either very unique or crazy (maybe both), however feel better having found you & yours.

One of the questions I have is how to find like-mindeds for dating purposes? I’ve just about given it up completely, as not too many people (maybe I’m not looking in the right places?) share the same viewpoint about the future and preparations for such. I am an attractive 47 year-old woman, wanting to move off the grid, but would like a helper/help mate. It is a daunting task to think about alone. Most guys these days haven’t even heard of living off grid, and think you are a little cuckoo when you say you want a goat, some bees and a few chickens. My first 2 husbands were stockbrokers and really thought I had lost it when I suggested such. Any suggestions? Looking to move from LA to northern Colorado, but not limited to this.

Off-Grid Girl

Peak Oil Dating! Off-Grid Girl, are you looking for different features in a mate now, than you were before Peak Oil? Are their characteristics, skills, outlooks, etc that take on new significance? How ’bout the rest of you out there? If you are single, has Peak Oil changed your notion of “falling in love?” If you were to be single and wanting a mate (for those already involved) what might change?

Do we need a “Sex, Love, and the Peaknik” chatline for your “special lifestyle?” (grin) What is an ideal date for a Do-More Doomer? Deadbeat Doomer? Philosopher Doomer? Are they the same?

Oh boy, I could go on, but I’ll stop here. Chime in!

About Kathy McMahon

Kathy McMahon Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist who is internationally known for her writing about the psychological impacts of Peak Oil, climate change, and economic collapse. She's written for Honda Motors, and has been featured in American Prospect, Greenpeace International, the Vancouver Sun, Freakonomics, Itulip, Ecoshock Radio, and Peak Moments Television.


  1. I came across this quote that might help shape the discussion:

    If I consider my life honestly, I see that it is governed by a certain very small number of patterns of events which I take part in over and over again.

    Being in bed, having a shower, having breakfast in the kitchen, sitting in my study writing, walking in the garden, cooking and eating our common lunch at my office with our friends, going to the movies, taking my family to eat at a restaurant, having a drink at a friend’s house, driving on the freeway, going to bed again. There are a few more.

    There are surprisingly few of these patterns of events in any one person’s way of life, perhaps no more than a dozen. Look at your own life and you will find the same. It is shocking at first, to see that there are so few patterns of events open to me.

    Not that I want any more of them. But when I see how very few of them there are, I begin to understand what huge effect these few patterns have on my life, on my capacity to live. If these few patterns are good for me, I can live well. If they are bad for me, I can’t.

    Of course, the standard patterns of events vary very much from person to person, and from culture to culture.

    For a teenage boy, at a high school in Los Angeles, his situations include hanging out in the corridor with other boys; watching television, sitting in a car with his girlfriend at a drive-in restaurant eating coke and hamburgers. For an old woman, in a European mountain village, her situations include scrubbing her front doorstep, lighting a candle in the local church, stopping at the market to buy fresh vegetables, walking five miles across the mountains to visit her grandson.

    But each town, each neighborhood, each building, has a particular set of these patterns of events according to its prevailing culture.

    A person can modify his immediate situations. He can move, change his life, and so on. In exceptional cases he can even change them almost wholly. But it is not possible to go beyond the bounds of the collection of events and pattern of events which our culture makes available.

    We have a glimpse, then, of the fact that our world has a structure, in the simple fact that certain patterns of events—both human and nonhuman—keep repeating, and account, essentially, for much the greater part of the events which happen there.

    Our individual lives are made from them…so are our lives together…they are the rules, through which our culture maintains itself, keeps itself alive, and it is by building our lives, out of these patterns of events, that we are people of our culture.

    Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building

  2. Peter Wang says:

    I know if I weren’t married to a very environmentally aware woman, I’d probably have a hard time finding a date leading to a lasting relationship. I think people are out there, waiting to be found, but you have to look hard. There are sites for environmental singles, maybe try those?

  3. I, on the other hand, am a 58 yr single woman who is primarily looking for a lover, who could be a friend, but not anyone that would share my life. All i need is for them not to judge me, or my buckets and books. If they want to talk about it, fine, but i’m not looking for a life/soul companion, just a person to shar a part of my way of living my life and what i enjoy. I did have such a situation, for about 20 yrs, but a move ended that.


  4. Peter Wang says:

    This is interesting… there have been multiple threads in the Living Car Free forum at created by guys who can’t find women who aren’t completely focused on measuring the worth of a man by the length and breadth of his carbon footprint. That is to say, the man says, “I don’t own a car”, and he gets dumped, POOF, just like that. As if he’s a weirdo or criminal.

  5. Okay, so Peter, I have to admit, that as a teenager, I did pass up this perfectly smart, handsome boy for a lad with an Austin-Healey “Sprite,” a fact that my now husband (that smart car-less lad) never lets me forget. Some might argue that the car represents the demonstration of a man’s ability to “provide” for his family, much like a large herd of goats in another culture. If that is the case, we need a cultural revolution, don’t we?

    I was proposing just such a campaign in an earlier (okay, somewhat silly) post entitled “Porn for Corn and Harmers to Farmers,” in which we launch slogans like “Woman say “Yes” to Men who say “Hoe!” to promote farming. Maybe we need something similar to create sex appeal for the proudly car-less chap?

  6. Peter Wang says:

    Young women are driven by DNA and culture to look for evidence of resources possessed by the prospective mate, resources which could be used to ensure the survival of their mututal offspring. What’s more evidence of resources than a big, new, expensive car? Men are driven by DNA and culture to display “wealth” to attract females.

    But as we know, what passes for wealth may really just be indebtedness. You don’t “own” the car the same way you own your undergarments.

    The irony is that all other things being equal, the car-free man is likely more wealthy than the car-bound man. He can put $500 per month into an investment account that the car-bound man can ill-afford. Over time, that $500 per month will grow to a huge sum.

    The revenge may come at midlife, when the car-free man is trim, strong, and wealthy. The car-bound man is fat, unhealthy, and not as wealthy. Who will the girls pick then?

  7. All this “Tarzan meets Jane in a Nascar” only gets us so far in the discussion. We find all sorts of contradictory information out there about how current millionaires have several bouts of financial ruin, before they hit it rich, and remain married to the same woman, throughout. Or the sad fact that 1/2 of the married Americans surveyed would consider divorce if their spouse lost their jobs. Ultimately, I think it has something to do with an individual’s capacity to recognize another person, heart-to-heart, and old-fashioned, corny qualities like truthfulness, compassion, fairness, respect, and a willingness to work harder than you’re “50%.” It also has to do with simple things like one’s skill in listening and being truly interested in what that person has to say. You may be able to weed out a lot of shallow folks who could care less about those things and, as the song goes; “First I look at the purse.” That’s a good thing. Those folks will only break your heart, ultimately, and probably when things are at their worst. And, if you go through a lot of potential mates, don’t be discouraged: Most of us only need one (at least one at a time…)

  8. Massaging the Pain says:

    I think it’s a great idea for a “Sex, Love, and the Peaknik” chatline. Now, my ideal date would to talk about gardens, watch the chickens, take a walk, go bike riding, read and talk about PO Books. I now gravitate to reading books like “Patriots” (you mentioned it awhile back), “Parable for the Sower” and “Parable of the Talents”. I am attractive, turning 50 woman (at the end of the month) and wonder a lot about how and when I could meet someone. Since learning about PO over three years ago, “their characteristics, skills, and outlooks” that I look for is completely different. I went to a “green” networking/drinks thing that was sooo disappointing. It was all about how to look “green” and no one talked about the energy crisis, peak oil, anything really important. I left early. Seven years ago I was seeing someone that didn’t own a car, and I thought he was weird, now I would think that was great.
    I’ll check out the sites for environmental singles and the Living Car Free forum. From what I’ve seen on the Internet, there are a lot of singles looking and wanting to meet someone, to connect and start building more community. Lately, I’ve been feeling so alone, and reading the stories and comments from other singles helps. I could also go on, but will stop here.

  9. bacteriocentric says:

    I read this blog and I felt the yearning of the lady with the x stockbroker husband(s).
    I married a lovely woman presumably with my world/PO views. Allegedly due to health, she has changed into a consumer /spender; presumably to show her “love” for our daughters in the only way she can (by spending money on them and giving them what they want). Her only goal is plain and simple – short term SATISFACTION.
    This has been going on for many years; and my daughters have turned against me, because I don’t spend frivolously and am “obsessed” by this passion for saving resources and the true meaning of their dwindling future.
    My only hope is that someday they may realize my reasons; and find a true soul mate to live with in a sustainable way.

  10. Dating is tough now. After being PO aware for 19 months (and divorced for 7 months) I find it nearly impossible to date. I joined a couple of months ago. It amazes me that so many women at age 40 or so list “travel” as a favorite pastime and then also say they “someday” would like to have kid(s). PO has so far been a turn off for women I chat with.

  11. Funny, I have been thinking along the same lines as the person who started this thread. I am a male in my late 40’s now.

    I grew up on a small dairy farm, when small was actually possible (and had a great childhood), but I digress… I find that when I look at internet dating sites I become dismayed at the lack of people who actually understand what is in the pipeline for us (or not!).

    There are lots of lovely people out there, but, I am not so sure that people are as flexible or adaptable as they will need to be and that deters me from dating at times.

    Thank you.

  12. Jessica Lancaster says:

    I’m female, 40, fit, fun, funny, attractive, educated, intelligent (all that and a barrel of oil) and I am finding it challenging to meet a partner who is “peak aware” and who wants to build a future based on knowledge of energy descent. If there are any men out there who’d be interested in connecting with a Canadian peakist, please let PeakOilBlues know!

  13. Why in the **** would a peak oiler want to engage in reproduction? That’s what has gotten us into this mess in the first place! You should marry this guy:

Speak Your Mind