Buying a house is a lot like dating, so I’ve come to find out. For the past six years I have been living in a condo in the city of Atlanta with less than 500 square feet. I have officially outgrown the relationship with my current condo and for the past few months I have been on the hunt for the perfect house. I had a list of everything that I wanted to buy – a list of exactly what I was looking for. And really, I don’t think I was asking for too much: I wanted to stay in the city, I wanted a cute backyard, and I wanted to have a place where I could host and have friends come over, with enough space to actually entertain people.
So the process goes like this: you start the house hunt, list in hand, and you visit all of the different real estate websites looking for the perfect match. You get so excited about all the opportunities that you almost get overwhelmed with swiping left and right through them, and you set up times to view them. But then the houses either get taken by someone else and go under contract, or you eventually realize they are not the one for you because they don’t match your list.
How Dating is Like Buying a House
The reason that I say the house hunt is like dating is because in a relationship we think we know exactly what we want, and we also have a list of what makes the perfect guy. We visit different dating apps and websites, or we go out to places where we might meet someone, and we set up a time to meet – a date! Then we qualify these men that we are dating according to these checklists, but in reality we meet someone who doesn’t fit all of the criteria. Then either A. we settle for them or B. we realize that our checklist is just a bunch of ******** and we really shouldn’t be going off this checklist in the first place.
Walking Away From the Wrong One
That is the point that I have come across with finding a house. I found a house that I thought was absolutely perfect for me, and I put in an offer. At first it truly seemed meant to be, but then it ended up not being what I thought, so I had to walk away. The feeling of walking away left me grieving that loss, a lot like grieving the loss of a relationship after a breakup or heartbreak. I was so excited to start this new season of life in this new home. I was dreaming of what the next few years would look like in this home, and I was getting ready to decorate it, and then something came up that was just an absolute deal-breaker.
Oftentimes in relationships we do the same thing: we start dreaming of what their last name sounds like with our name and we see everything with rose colored glasses, but in reality when you take a step back and really examine the relationship for what it is, you are able to see that it’s not right for you. As hard as it is, you just have to walk away.
And then you begin the hunt again, swiping through these beautiful homes or swiping left and right on guys on dating apps, and you start to get excited again. Your criteria of what you’re looking for starts to change because you are just so ready for this next season of your life that you are willing to change what you thought you wanted just to make it happen. But the truth is if you steer too far from what you originally wanted, in the end you most likely are not going to be happy.
Waiting For the Right One
So as hard as this waiting season is, it’s really because something good is already making its way to you. If you settle for something that wasn’t yours, you will never have the opportunity to accept what was really meant for you. The waiting season is uncomfortable – you can easily become impatient and you can get really frustrated, but the thing is that the waiting season is actually growing you and shaping you into the person that you need to be. That way, when the right thing comes along, you are able to see it with crystal clear eyes and you’re able to appreciate it so much more because of all of the frustration and headache that you went through to get to this point.
I’m saying all of this because I am still in a major season of waiting. I am waiting to find my perfect house, waiting to find my perfect man…but the thing is maybe perfect doesn’t really exist. Maybe all of these failed relationships or opportunities are actually shaping our belief that we don’t need perfect, we just need what was really meant for us. And I know that when I find it, I’ll recognize and appreciate it, and I believe that you will too.